After that whole business of countries across the globe trying to seal their spot in next year’s FIFA World Cup to be hosted in Russia, attention now switches to club football and most importantly the Premier League. Hostilities will resume across different grounds in England as the fight for success (glory or survival) continues.
Liverpool vs. Manchester United
What a game to look forward to. This is why we watch the Premier League; Manchester United have won their last 5 games in all competitions and are only second at the summit of the league because of their inferior goals difference. 6 wins and 1 draw in 7 premier league games means they are one of the most in form teams in the division. In contrast, Liverpool have not had an impressive start to the season. Familiar failings have plagued them; the persistent defensive issues which were obviously not addressed and not being ruthless against lesser teams’ means they are very much likely to come up short in the title race. But always back Liverpool to turn up in a big game; especially at Anfield. United are in superb form going into this game but Jose Mourinho will approach this game with caution as is his approach in big games away. Absence of Marouane Fellaini means Ander Herrera will come into midfield to partner Nemanja Matic. The injury to Saido Mane rules him out of this one and Liverpool will surely miss what he brings to the attack but, Daniel Sturridge is a very capable replacement provided he is fit. Liverpool will come out flying in this game but the United’s defense is also capable of responding. This game could go either way.
Burnley vs. West Ham
Burnley sold their best attacker and their best defender; first game of the season away to the champions and they went there to pick all 3 points. This is a team that has also drawn with Spurs and Liverpool. Still the same old Burnley; difficult to beat and they could even move to third on the table with a win this weekend, if other results go their way. West Ham on the other hand are one of the unpredictable teams in the league and you never know which West Ham will turn up. Too close to call.
Crystal Palace vs. Chelsea
Kick-off: 3: 00pm
Crystal Palace are yet to register a win and score a goal in the premier league this season. They are the perfect team for Chelsea to play and bounce back to winning ways after the defeat to Manchester City, before the international break. The champions themselves have not been totally convincing so far but, this is a welcome fixture for them and the obsessive Antonio Conte would have all week been looking forward to seeing his team get back to winning ways. Chelsea lost Alvaro Morata to a hamstring in the defeat to City and N’Golo Kante during the international break; but they should have enough to win. Roy Hodgson would have also been thinking of how he can save a team that look out of sorts but, there will be no revival yet. Straight win, for the blues.
Manchester City vs. Stoke
Unbeaten in the premier league this season alongside United, 5 wins in the last 5 games, goals pouring everywhere, exciting to watch, playing the Pep Guardiola way and that performance against Chelsea that epitomized qualities of potential champions. Still early days but, the citizens have shown the title could yet be heading to Manchester. Well, Stoke bounced back with a win against Southampton after three consecutive defeats. They will have been hoping to keep the momentum but they face City at the Etihad where they are very strong. Sergio Aguero could return after resuming training early in the week but even without him, they have enough in their arsenal to win convincingly. The Potters will come to soak up pressure in the hope for a goal against the run of play and luck on their side but City will control possession and patently carve out chances and you wouldn’t bet against them not taking most. City will win this one and it could even be by a big score line.
Swansea City vs. Huddersfield Town
After a start which saw Huddersfield win successive matches in what’s their, debut Premier League outing, the Yorkshire side are now without a win in five. The run has also seen them score just a goal during that time in what is turning out to be something of a barren spell for David Wagner’s side. Swansea have fared little better as they went throughout the whole of September without a league victory. They have failed to win any of their last four games. Both team’s only Premier League away win have come at Crystal Palace.
Tottenham vs. Bournemouth
This should be a straight forward victory for Spurs if they harbor hopes of challenging for the premier league and, they have to find a way to make Wembley feel like home in the league having banished any demons of not winning at Wembley in the cup competitions. You’d forgive Bournemouth for thinking they could get something from this game; but considering all Tottenham’s win in the premier league so far have come away from, the last a 4-0 win at Huddersfield. But then, there is Harry Kane and his goals which should be enough to see Spurs record their first win at their new home against a Bournemouth still finding their feet this season with Jermain Defoe making a return to one of his previous teams, you can bank on him having an effect on the game.
Watford vs. Arsenal
The last game on Saturday is at Vicarage road where Watford host Arsenal in what is sure to be a testing game for the gunners. Since the thrashing at Anfield, Arsenal have been unbeaten in all competition, including the impressive draw at Stamford Bridge in a game which they could have won. That is the Arsenal we have been used to in the last few years, they lose a game and it looks like a crisis is about to begin but they do enough to avert it by putting together strings of result and when you expect them to take the initiative, they disappoint. The game against the hornets should see them keep the momentum. Though the international break saw them lose Shkodran Mustafi to a long term injury, they should have enough to see their opponents off.
Sunday 15th October 2017
Brighton vs. Everton
Ronald Koeman is now leading the sack race after an underwhelming start to the season at big-spending Everton. It has not been good enough. High profile arrivals were meant to make the team break into the top 6 but, they look miles from being anything close to that. These are the kind of games you win with ease if you want to finish in the top 6 and this is also a game that could see Koeman is shown the door. History is on his side this weekend though, because Everton have lost only one of their last 19 Premier League games against newly-promoted teams.
Southampton vs. Newcastle United
This will be the sixth out of eight Premier League games that Newcastle have play on a Sunday this season. From the five previous games they have played on this day of the week, they have won one, drawn one and lost three. Newcastle have not beaten Southampton in their last six attempts. Mauricio Pellegrino’s side have only won once, in their last five outings and have only scored twice during that period. Newcastle are only one of four teams to have won three consecutive fixtures in the league this season (the others being Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea).
Monday 16th October 2017
Leicester City vs. West Bromwich Albion
Neither Leicester nor West Brom have won any of their last five Premier League matches. Leicester have lost three and drawn two, while the baggies have lost two and drawn three. During that spell, both clubs have managed to keep one clean sheet and they both came in 0-0 draws. This match is clearly going to be about the team that can do just enough to win.