Such that we’d be clear, we hate international breaks, we don’t know about you but we don’t find them interesting and we just have to live with it because it’s part of the game and we’re glad we won’t experience any of the punctuations anymore this year… Whew!!!
So Arsenal went from steady wins to steady draws, is that the new deal? Maybe the Liverpool game was an exception, any serious team should be beating Crystal Palace anywhere and regardless of the quality in the Wolves squad, the gulf in class should tell; Hello Manchester City, are we on turbo charged mode already? Pep’s team play away at the London stadium and we can only expect one outcome based on recent form and history. Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United are home to Crystal Palace, anything short of a win would do and they should do just that.
Elsewhere, Liverpool are away to Watford, tricky but winnable for the Scousers and the match of the day if not of the weekend in England is definitely at Wembley where Chelsea will be the visitors of Tottenham… That’s a game to watch.
Let’s talk Chelsea shall we? It’s a new lease of life under Maurizzio Sarri, Chelsea know just how to win the league in a new manager’s first season, Jose Mourinho did it, Carlo Ancellotti did it, Antonio Conte did it and it’s not impossible under the new Italian. Attacking wise, the team will press you to coma, especially when they’re trailing, the task is simple, wear them out till they yield, it’s been working but against Everton, they just couldn’t get past a very determined Jordan Pickford and a spirited Everton defense and hey, they could have lost too.
Spurs aren’t exactly solid at the moment, yet another 1:0 win over Palace the last time, same score line for the sixth time running against the Eagles, wasn’t pretty but it was effective and it keeps Mauricio Pochettino’s team very much in the title race; this game reeks a stalemate, Spurs will defend for almost the entirety of the game and hit on the counter, it feels very much like a score draw.
An inspired Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen performance got Tottenham their first ever win at Stamford Bridge in the modern era last season, revenge would be on the cards of the hosts but Sarri won’t defend, he’ll want his lads to keep the ball, fitness concerns always trail international breaks and it’s left to be seen how much of it would affect this game.
Manchester City will pick up from where they stopped, Leroy Sane shone brightly in Germany’s endeavors over the break, the young lad is getting his groove back and can help the champions to ease the pressure on Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez, meaning more troubles for the Hammers who will have to endure the afternoon and hope the Citizens lose steam to their midweek engagements in Europe, will that distraction be enough to help West Ham cause an upset?
Liverpool are now behind the Citizens on points and no longer by goal difference, they’ve been a good value for their investments this term and they are the real deal, Watford in town, good test for the Kops but all eyes will sincerely be on their trip to PSG in midweek, huge chance for Watford to capitalize on that, but will Jurgen Klopp prioritize?
Fulham has a new manager, you know who? The miracle man with Leicester City, Claudio Ranieri! The Italian is back and he has taken over to halt the rot at Craven Cottage. The former manager can’t complain, so much investment on zero result, you can’t lose everywhere and expect to keep your job, even if you own the club your conscience will prick you sometimes; whatever it was that failed under the last regime must have been analyzed and now we can expect that feisty but conservative approach. We can argue it that Ranieri has more materials now than he had when he won the title with the Foxes, can he do it again soon?
Huddersfield are picking points and so are Cardiff, the relegation suspects have heaped all the pressure on Fulham and you can’t blame them, no one wants to go down but for how long will their resilience last? Cardiff got one over ten man Brighton the last time out and they will bask in it, elsewhere in the battle against the drop, Newcastle beat Bournemouth, happy times at St James’s Park?
Arsenal are up against Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth, a team with lots of energy and pace, and with Arsenal seemingly losing steam following three straight stalemates, the Cherries can hurt them but what version of Arsenal will turn up? The one that fires on all cylinders or the one that labored to score draws in three straight premier league games?
Premier league predictions!
|Fixtures||Players to watch||Verdict|
|Brighton vs Leicester||Anthony Knockaert||Brighton to win or draw|
|Everton vs Cardiff||Richarlison||Everton to win|
|Fulham vs Southampton||Aleksandr Mitrovic||Fulham to win or draw|
|Man United vs Crystal Palace||Jesse Lingard||United to win|
|Watford vs Liverpool||Sadio Mane||Both teams to score|
|West Ham vs Manchester City||Leroy Sane||City to win|
|Tottenham vs Chelsea||Eden Hazard||Full time draw|
|Bournemouth vs Arsenal||Ryan Fraser||Both teams to score|
|Wolves vs Huddersfield||Ruben Neves||Wolves to win|
|Burnley vs Newcastle||Joe Hart||Full time draw|
Strictly the writer’s opinion