Premier League Preview
I remember at cubs where the saying ‘Be Prepared’ was quoted at each session. Well it’s very true in life itself and not being prepared for Week 8 saw the results suffer as a result. Only 5/10 match odds correct and zero correct scores brought the averages right down following a good spell previously. With the Premier league returning following the Nations league action its time to get back on track. Let’s try and improve as SPORTSvox takes a look at some great fixtures this week in our Premier League preview.
Chelsea v Man Utd
What a game to kick off with. Sarri has his team flying at the start of the season. Hazard is top goalscorer, Jorginho pulling the strings and the defense looking settled, things look bright at the Bridge. Compare that with the trials and tribulations of Mourinho and his United squad, you could potentially pencil this in for a home banker?
It doesn’t get better for United and Mourinho when you look at the stats. Chelsea have only lost once in the last 16 vs United at the Bridge. Mourinho since his most recent departure has also lost on each occasion he has returned as opposition manager.
Chelsea have enjoyed lots of possession in all their games so far this season, only Liverpool secured more in their recent encounter. I don’t see that changing here, I can envisage Mourinho parking the proverbial bus and looking to counter attack with the pace that he has at his disposal.
Who is more clinical?
However for all the possession Chelsea may have had, United have actually had more shots on target this season so far. Its the conversion where United have struggled, they have scored five fewer than Chelsea and they will need to take their chances if they want to come away from the Bridge with any points in the bag.
It will be a fascinating game but I fancy Chelsea to continue their good start but not without a couple of scares along the way.
Prediction: 2 – 1
Bournemouth v Southampton
I just love watching Bournemouth go about their business so far this season. Their first team will give anyone a game and i just hope they remain fit for the season. It will give Eddie Howe and his side a real fighting chance to push for a European spot. In contrast Southampton as I have mentioned previously are still struggling to find a Callum Wilson equivalent. Not only has he scored three goals, he also has four assists. Add Ryan Fraser’s four goals and three assists, oh and King’s four goals, you see where I am heading here.
Just six goals in eight games for Southampton and a three nil home drubbing by Chelsea last time out wouldn’t have helped any confidence issues. It’s going to be a tough task for Mark Hughes, the only consolation this year might be that there are potential three teams in a similar position. Both Cardiff and Huddersfield have conceded more goals though so there is still hope.
Fraser and King are injury doubts, if they play I cannot see anything other than a Bournemouth victory. However take them out and their pace diminishes form their attack and its a whole different side that Southampton will face, that’s how important they are. Through in a semi derby atmosphere and I think Southampton could sniff something here. So with that said my prediction is on the fact they won’t play and I will stick my neck out on a draw here.
Prediction: 1 – 1
Cardiff v Fulham
If there was ever a side that Cardiff are going to break their games without a win streak against, its Fulham. Having conceded 21 goals in just eight games Fulham have the worst defensive record in the Premier League. Just behind them are Cardiff on 17, you would imagine this game should be full of games then no?
I think it will be the complete opposite, both managers know how important three points could be here and I see a tense affair ahead. Neil Warnock will try and keep things tight and look to nick a chance here or there to convert. For Jokanovic, the pressure is very much on, for all of their free flowing football they need points on the board.
Not really sitting on the fence, I think both sides will try and win the game in their own way but I see a hard fought draw ahead.
Prediction: 1 – 1
Man City v Burnley
The main thing for manager like Pep Guardiola following an International break,is to assess any new injury concerns that may force him to change plans. The good news is that actually he has a couple of players returning from injury in De Bruyne and Delph. I cannot see either of them playing 90 mins but again it just strengthens his already immense squad.
I am glad to see Sean Dyche has turned things around a little in the last few weeks. having conceded ten goals in their first five games they have only conceded 2 since and this has given them the platform to get some points on the board.
I cannot see anything other than a City home win and maintain their 100% home record. Expect Aguero and Sterling to potentially continue their good scoring records against Burnley.
Prediction: 2 – 0
Newcastle v Brighton
Rafa Benitez must pick up his side again following the late collapse at Old Trafford. For parts of that game they showed they can compete but they need to start picking up some points before they find themselves very detached. As I mentioned previously it’s creating chances where they are struggling. They have the lowest number of shots at Goal in the Premier League so far this season. this needs to chance if they are to change their fortunes.
For Chris Hughton and his ‘Seagulls’ it was a welcome if slightly unexpected win against a resurgent West ham last time out. They have had a full rest and recovery period and will be fired up to go and get three points at Hughton’s old stomping ground. If they are to achieve that then it normally comes down to how Glen Murray performs. He has scored five of their nine goals so far and has scored in every game where they have picked up points.
Tough one to call this, certainly not going to be a goal fest. the return of Gross could be key to Brighton creating a few more chances and fancy them to maybe nick this one.
Prediction: 0 – 1
West Ham v Tottenham
Cracking London derby this week between two sides with completely contrasting summers. For Pellegrini, lots of new signings, for Pochettino it was about stability and consistency in his squad. Roll forward a couple of months and Tottenham have continued where they left off last year . They will see games like this as must win if they are to keep tabs with the top 3.
West Ham after a slow start are now showing signs that they can play as a team and the Brighton defeat aside are progressing nicely. Marko Arnautovic is a key player and they will be very happy he has passed a late fitness test. They will need to keep Harry Kane quiet as he has scored seven goals in his last seven games against the ‘Hammers’.
This will be a true London Derby, it will be a tight affair and either team that takes their chances will prove to be the one coming out on top. Tottenham who will be without Alli, Rose and Vertonghen will welcome the return of Eriksen and i think he can be the difference here. His proven quality may just be enough to ensure Tottenham collect all three points.
Prediction: 1 – 2
Wolves v Watford
Wolves are flying and showing signs that they definitely belong in this league and can challenge for a potential European spot. A lot of this has been built on a solid defensive set up, having only conceded six goals so far this term. I cannot see things changing here at home against a Watford side that appears to be in a slight hangover period.
For Garcia and his injury ravaged side this will be a very tough test. They will somehow have to try and get enough of the ball to trouble Wolves in key areas. From there they need to hope that the likes of their talisman Troy Deeney can complete a bit of a smash and grab job.
Solid home win for me this one and Wolves to continue their climb up the table.
Prediction: 2 – 0
Huddersfield v Liverpool
Wagner will know that not winning in their last 12 games in all competitions just isn’t good enough. They need to try and turn it around fast but it will not happen here against a Liverpool side who know how to win ugly as well. Huddersfield need to score, four goals in eight games just doesn’t give you a chance. They battled hard against Burnley and deserved their point. Liverpool however will not give them the 68% possession that they secured at Turfmoor.
For Liverpool there are a few injury concerns to Salah, Mane, Van Dijk and already have Milner out. All key players but if Liverpool and Klopp are to win the league this year they need to win this game. I think they will but it will be a lot tougher than a lot of people expect.
Prediction: 0 – 1
Everton v Crystal Palace
This fixture screams mid table stalemate all over it. Everton, following all their summer signings I am sure had their sights set a lot higher. they haven’t really had a full chance to show off their whole squad yet and I still see better things ahead for them. Jerry Mina may make his belated debut and Everton will be looking to build on their last three results since their defeat at Arsenal.
For Roy Hodgson he will not relish going back to Godison Park. His record there is horrendous one draw and seven defeats will not fill him with enthusiasm to get a result. Compounding that is the fact that he may also be without Zaha, who picked up an injury on International duty.
Zaha who has scored three of Palace’s five goals this season will be a big loss. There is also a bout of illness flying around the squad so i wouldn’t be expecting much as a Palace fan this week. Everton to continue their recent resurgence and secure three points comfortably for me here.
Prediction: 2 – 0
Arsenal v Leicester
A really great encounter to finish week 9 with two previous Premier League winners facing off at the Emirates. For Emery, he has already got the fans on his side and Wenger seems to be a distant memory. For Arsenal fans this is all very familiar, compete up until Christmas and then capitulate afterwards. I think it won’t be so dramatic this time but I cannot see Arsenal sustaining a title winning pursuit. Their goal has to be Top four and I am sure Emery will settle for Champions League football next season.
Only City have scored more goals this season than Arsenal and I expect their attacking line to cause Leicester more problems this week. Lacazette and Aubanmeyang seem to be developing a nice partnership. With Ozil and Ramsey calling the shots and Torreira keeping the Gunners more solid it looks promising for Arsenal.
For Leicester its been very up and down. I have enjoyed some of the football they have been playing. They certainly haven’t missed Mahrez and have actually created more chances and scored more goals than compared with this time last season when he was playing.
This will be a tough assignment for Claude Puel, he has some quality at his disposal but he needs to find that consistency starting at the back. Morgan seems list this year, his lack of pace is being severly tested and as good as Maguire is he needs some assistance there. Going forward Maddison has shown his quality and earned his well deserved England call up. They will need to keep things tight and hope they can cause Arsenal some damage when their chances appear.
I think there will be goals in this game and Arsenal should just have too much for Leicester. should be a great spectacle.
Prediction: 3 – 2