The wait for the international break is finally over and the Premier League (plus Fantasy football) is back in our lives, so it’s time to get back to the routine of making tough calls and hoping our players assists us with the maximum amount of points!
There is always difficulty and confusion after the international break ends because some players return with a hot-form while others struggle with knocks and travel fatigue. However, there are some key fixtures to ponder upon this week in the Premier League.
Fixtures (All times BST):
- 12:30 Liverpool vs Newcastle
- 15:00 Brighton vs Burnley
- 15:00 Manchester United vs Leicester
- 15:00 Sheffield United vs Southampton
- 15:00 Tottenham vs Crystal Palace
- 15:00 Wolves vs Chelsea
- 17:30 Norwich vs Manchester City
Let’s take a look at the following fixtures that should concern our fantasy managers out there:
Liverpool vs. Newcastle United
Against Newcastle, Liverpool are aiming to continue their 100 per cent winning form. They would become the fourth team to win 14 consecutive English top-flight matches, after Arsenal (14, August 2002), Man City (15 in August 2019 and 18 in December 2017).
Klopp’s sides are unbeaten in their last 40 home Premier League matches, and Liverpool haven’t lost at home to Newcastle in their last 23 league meetings with them at Anfield. Newcastle will hope for a respectable score to be beaten by and pray the front trio of Salah (3 goals, 2 assists), Mane (2 goals, 1 assist), and Firmino (2 goals, 2 assists) to go easy on them.
Prediction: Liverpool 3 – 0 Newcastle
Brighton vs. Burnley
One thing in common between these two clubs is their lack of ambition in the final third. Brighton began their opening game with a 3-0 victory, but they’ve struggled in scoring goals ever since. In the last 14 fixtures at home, Brighton has not scored more than once, not a great stat for the club.
Burnley did manage to impress a little bit against the likes of Arsenal and Wolves, but managed to just take one point from them. They have also been short of goals upfront, scoring just thrice in the four games this season. This match is likely to end up with a couple of goals at most, so it will not produce many points for fantasy managers.
Prediction: Brighton 0 – 0 Burnley
Manchester United vs. Leicester
Even though it’s early on in the season, Manchester United’s meeting Leicester already feels like a pivotal fixture for the home side. Despite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer having a great start against Chelsea in the opening day, they have struggled to get points as they wait to bounce back from a three-match winless run. The Red Devils have managed only two points from the past nine, netting one goal in each of the last three games.
Leicester is one of only three unbeaten teams remaining, so will be confident going to Old Trafford. Jamie Vardy (3 goals, 1 assist), looks dangerous as ever, and James Maddison’s (2 assists) way of creating chances will trouble the backline of United. With a victory, pressure will be pounding on Solskjaer’s shoulders for the job.
Also, United have lost three of their last five Premier League games at Old Trafford (W1 D1), as many as they had lost in their previous 52 at Old Trafford (W32 D17 L3).
Prediction: Manchester United 1 – 1 Leicester
Sheffield United vs. Southampton
This match is a tough one to call – with Sheffield showing great signs like a decent comeback against Chelsea for a draw. Home form will be vital for the Blades’ survival hopes this term and they could just edge this one.
Southampton looked extremely dangerous against Liverpool but are really struggling in the final third. The Saints are in the midst of a three-match unbeaten run, though goals continue to elusde Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men. They’ve scored one or fewer goals in 17 of their last 24 Premier League fixtures this calendar year.
The victory for Sheffield will put them on the 3rd position in the Premier League table, which just shows how impressive they have been so far.
Tottenham vs. Crystal Palace
Tottenham has been the most shocking team so far, with just two points from their last three matches. They were lucky to grab a point against a dominant Man City side, were beaten at home by Newcastle United and failed to win against Arsenal in the North London derby.
Crystal Palace has been extremely impressive after their first game of the season. They have the best defensive record at the moment, conceding just two goals. However, scoring has been a continuing problem for the Eagles.
Palace’s last five Premier League away games against ‘big six’ sides have seen them pick up wins against Man City, Arsenal and Manchester United. They are also the last side to win away at Anfield.
Spurs have won their last eight Premier League games against Crystal Palace, conceding just one goal in that run. So they’ll be pumped up to claim all three points, but you never know what to expect from them lately.
Prediction: Tottenham 1 – 0 Crystal Palace
Wolves vs. Chelsea
One thing is sure in this particular fixture: Both teams will be bagging goals in the net. Wolves have advanced to a position in the group stages of the Europa League, which has certainly affected their domestic results. After four rounds of Premier League fixtures, Wolves are one of only two teams yet to put a win on the board, putting them in line with bottom club Watford. Both Raul Jimenez (2 goals) and Diogo Jota look to be in dangerous form, and it is worth looking how they will do in the scoring charts.
Frank Lampard has just one win so far as Chelsea boss. His men look great moving forward despite Eden Hazard leaving in the summer, but they have struggled to have a dominant backline that still needs tons of improvement in order to support their form up front.
Prediction: Wolves 2 – 3 Chelsea
Norwich vs Manchester City
This will be a great match between the two of the league’s top scorers, with Manchester City’s Aguero and Norwich’s Pukki each on five goals. Norwich has been creating troubles for many teams so far this season, but their momentum will be overmatched by City.
Without Aymeric Laporte until 2020, City will be hoping John Stones is fit. Otherwise Fernandinho will have to slot in at centre-back. Guardiola’s side will be keeping their pressure on Liverpool, so with Kevin De Bryune (5 assists) already in hot-form, the Citizens will demolish Norwich for the win and to make a statement why they are still Champions League and Premier League favorites.
Also, Manchester City are unbeaten in their last 25 Premier League games against promoted sides (W20 D5).
Prediction: Norwich 0 – 3 Manchester City
Bournemouth vs Everton
The one great aspect about Bournemouth has been their defensive approach, but their struggles have been similar to many teams in mid-table as they struggle to score goals. The Cherries have scored five goals in their opening four matches, taking just four points in total from their opening four Premier League fixtures.
Everton’s Richarlison looks to bring his scary form back, having scored twice over Watford. New signings Alex Iwobi (1 goal), Fabian Delph and Moise Keane (1 assist) look comfortable in contributing for the team. It’ll be a tough game for Bournemouth against the attack-minded visitors; the quality of Everton is a slight edge for sure.
Prediction: Bournemouth 0 – 2 Everton
Watford vs. Arsenal
Watford have been disappointing this season and already have many issues to solve. The club sacked popular manager Javi Gracia last week, replacing him with the man they axed in 2016, Quique Sanchez Flores. Sanchez will need time to rebuild a squad that has just one point from four undaunting fixtures (Brighton, Everton, West Ham and Newcastle).
Manager Unai Emery opted to start the trio of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (3 goals), Alexandre Lacazette (2 goals), and Nicolas Pepe (1 assist) against Tottenham, which was a great call. All three attackers look extremely dangerous and will create massive problems for unstable Watford. However, the Gunners still have a long-term issue with their backline, having conceded six goals in their previous three matches.
Prediction: Watford 0 – 2 Arsenal
Aston Villa vs. West Ham
Aston Villa were extremely lucky to defeat Everton with a two goal margin, but credit should be given where it’s due. They were close to losing from a wider margin against Palace as well. The Villains sit 3rd from bottom after four rounds of fixtures, having lost three times and picking up maximum points just once so far.
West Ham were demolished by Manchester City who put five past them in the opening week. Since then, the Hammers have had a decent run, a three-match winning streak. Thanks to Sebastien Haller (3 goals), who has netted three goals in his last two games, they now look like a strong side. It will be an interesting game to watch with both teams going with an attacking approach, but it’s West Ham’s defense that will make the difference.
Prediction: Aston Villa 0 – 2 West Ham
What match(es) you are planning to watch? What players can bring out the best for fantasy managers? Whom have you placed your bets on for fantasy earnings? Whom will disappoint or surprise this weekend? Please share with us, and let us know your match predictions in the comments below!