Premier League Preview
All in all it was a good effort last week, my big selection Bournemouth let me down in style. Will settle for 7/10, United could have easily turned over Wolves. Chelsea meanwhile couldn’t manage to convert one of their 17 shots at goal. Let’s see if we can keep the momentum going as SPORTSvox takes a look at the fixtures this week in our Premier League preview.
West Ham v Manchester Utd
The Hammers battled for a point against Chelsea. With all the fervor going on with Mourinho at Old Trafford at the moment, Pellegrini may feel this is an opportunity. The Hammers look to be finding some kind of system in their play. Arnautovic should be fit to return from injury to bolster their attacking threat and they will be looking to cause United problems.
Who knows what’s really going on at United, if it’s kept in the dressing room it’s normally fine. For United however it seems to be over flowing onto the pitch and this is a real concern for United fans. There is still more than enough quality to go to West Ham and get a victory but it depends which of their stars decide to show up.
Goals seem to be hard to come by for both teams so I think this will be tight rather than a goal fest spectacle. Very hard one to call.
Prediction: 1 – 1
Arsenal v Watford
Emery seems to have got his side clicking and Arsenal will go into this full of confidence. Its amazing how a bit of grit in the midfield can make such a difference to the whole squad and atmosphere at the Emirates. Ok so it’s not all about that but it has gone a long way to help. Its something that probably every Arsenal fan has been calling upon for the last 5 years. No fresh injury concerns to worry about and they should secure three points.
Troy Deeney will be a big loss if he is not fit for this game. Not just his presence but he seems to motivate the team around him as well. Granted they have started well Watford but they do not have the greatest away record ( 1 win in last 14 ). They will definitely give it a go and will try and pressure the Arsenal defense which should guarantee goals in this game.
Arsenal win and goals to be scored, sounds a familiar scenario in recent weeks.
Prediction: 3 -1
Everton v Fulham
Two sides that I thought had a very good summer in the transfer market. I think they will only improve as the season moves on and this one is a hard one to call. As it stands neither can keep a clean sheet. Although some good football is being played the results for both sides are not forthcoming.
Everton are reliant on Richarlison to perform upfront but the lack of a goal threat is apparent. They need that to change this week if they are to get the win. The Toffees still have a large injury list and in Jerrry Mina they have a signing that still hasn’t started a game yet.
Fulham have a terrible record at Goodison Park and they will need top goalscorer Mitrovic to cause havoc once again. I thought he was a constant handful against Watford. If the likes of Schurrle can get good delivery into him then maybe that record book will be re written.
Another tough game to call, so sitting on the fence a little here, with both sides looking a tad shaky at the back.
Prediction: 2 – 2
Huddersfield v Tottenham
I mentioned at the start of the season that to stay up you need a goal scorer. This is something that Huddersfield just do not possess. Just three goals in six games and I cannot see that changing here. Wagner will try and keep things tight at the back to give them half a chance but turning draws into victories is a very different kettle of fish.
Tottenham have a few injury concerns not least in goal but I do not expect Gazzaniga to be tested that much this week. Erikssen may be out but Ali might come back in. I think that demonstrates the gulf in class here and I expect nothing else other than a Spurs victory
Prediction: 0 – 2
Manchester City v Brighton
Another game not to dwell upon too long. City might rotate a few players as the Champions League is back in town but that will not dent their momentum. They have too much quality and will be looking to add to their already large tally of 55 shots on target from their 6 games so far this season. That’s 15 more than anyone else by the way.
I like Brighton’s spirit and under Houghton you will always be guaranteed a game. They are without an away win in 16 attempts and have not kept a clean sheet thus far this season. It may well be a long afternoon for the seagulls. They massively miss Gross as an attacking threat and do not create as much when he is not on the field. No problems for City here.
Prediction: 4 – 0
Newcastle v Leicester City
If there was ever a game where Benitez changes his fortune and gets off the mark it may just be this one. Having only scored four goals thus far and not having won yet its a bold statement. I do think Newcastle can get at this Leicester defence though and hopefully cause them some problems. They are still waiting for the likes of Shelvey, Kenedy and Ritchie to create more but will the lack of a striker come back to haunt them?
I like this Leicester side and they are playing some good football but they were woeful at the back against Bournemouth. For all of their talent going forward, Claude Puel must be worried about the amount of goals they are conceding. Not sure whether having Morgan on the sidelines is a help or hindrance to be honest. He has looked a bit labored in recent weeks. As tipped up, James Maddison has had a good start. I would be looking for him to get in the England squad at some stage.
Tight affair once again but i do feel Newcastle can sneak this one.
Prediction: 2 -1
Wolves v Southampton
One of my favourite sides to watch at the moment Wolves, should have no problems getting past a very average Southampton side. Only the top 3 sides in the league have had more shots at goal so far this season than Wolves. I can see them converting some of them against Southampton and Jiminez adding to his goal tally for the season.
Although I am not a massive fan of this Southampton side, for all of Mark Hughes’s grit and determination they still create chances. The trouble is they have one of the worst ‘good opportunity’ to conversion ratio’s in the league. Read into that subjective stat as much as you want. What it tells me though is that they lack a bit of quality. Unless that is rectified they will not go to the likes of Wolves and change their awful record of just 4 wins in 31 premier league games.
Prediction: 2 – 0
Chelsea v Liverpool
The headline late kick off pits the two sides who played midweek with Chelsea coming out on top at Anfield. Move forward a couple of days and I imagine the intensity and starting line ups to be slightly different at Stamford Bridge.
For Chelsea that win will mean more psychologically than anything else. They will be confident at home that they can cause Liverpool some problems. The form of Hazard run fear into any visiting team and I think the way Liverpool play will help Chelsea. So far at home this season they have struggled when faced with 11 men behind the ball to break sides down. Liverpool, more than likely will press high up the pitch. This may help Chelsea if they can retain possession under pressure ( no easy task ).
I think Klopp will take his side anywhere these days and feel confident of returning with three points. That’s how improved this squad is this season but they have to do it on the day. I think this game and how Liverpool approach it will tell us a lot about whether Liverpool can win the title this season. It’s by far and away their biggest test so far . They will be looking to change their poor record against Chelsea of only two win from their last 15 meetings.
This should be a cracker, Chelsea so far have been used to easy possession. This will all change with the visit of Klopp’s men and I see goals here. It might be a case of who makes the most of their chances, wins.
Prediction: 2 -2
Cardiff v Burnley
I am glad the Ryder Cup is on this week as it would be far from a Super Sunday fixture this one. The top 5 in the premier league have all had more shots on target individually than these two sides put together. That says it all for me. Its going to be a grind but one Cardiff will need to prevail in if they are looking to stay up this season. The lack of goals is a real concern and Neil Warnock will know this is a big game for his side. His best weapon may be from set pieces in the form of Bamba.
For Burnley, last week was a welcome relief and hopefully Sean Dyche has his team back on track. Ashley Barnes proved me wrong last week scoring two goals but i still believe longer term they need fresher attacking options. They may just have enough to see this one out but i certainly won’t be watching.
Prediction: 0 – 1
Bournemouth v Crystal Palace
The return of the Monday night fixture sees Bournemouth looking to get back on track after that surprise drubbing at Burnley. It wasn’t really that to be fair, it could have easily have been so different. If they had taken their early chances and I fancy them here to get back to winning ways against Palace. I have a massive amount of admiration for Eddie Howe and he has some real gems that he is developing there at Bournemouth.
Palace on the other hand I just cannot work out. Four goals from 6 games just isn’t good enough and although ‘Woy’ is keeping things tight at the back. They have to find a more attacking threat. The reliance on Zaha is becoming such a talking point that i think its now starting to affect the whole team. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Palace delve into the transfer market in January, looking for a new striker. Let’s see if the improved performance midweek from Townsend sparks something.
Bournemouth to get back to winning ways.
Prediction: 2 – 0
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