Just when you thought the Premier League could let up with all its surprises and shock results, that is when you’d be wrong. This season, the defenders are having a nightmare with almighty VAR on top of their heads. However, it turns out that last week’s 19 goals were well under the long-term average of 26+ and the fewest in a 10-match slate since June, which makes us scratch our heads once again.
Hence, the English top-flight is consistently becoming unpredictably complicated but super exciting at the same time. Let’s check out what teams should earn three points this week:
Friday 30 September
Wolves are finding difficulty killing off games; they lack consistent intensity throughout a whole 90 minutes. Newcastle hit back with a late goal last week, reducing Wolves to just a point. Nuno must start grabbing three points in order to compete for the European spots.
Hodgson’s Palace continued their impressive start of the season with a decent 2-1 win against Fulham; the combination of their attacking players look dangerous. However, this game looks like the hosts doing just enough to grab a tough win against the Eagles.
Wolves have earned 10 points so far, their best-ever total after six Premier League games.
Wolves have lost three of their last six league meetings with Palace (W2 D1).
Palace have won three of their last five away league games against Wolves (L2).
Prediction: 1 – 1
Saturday 31 October
Sheffield United vs Manchester City
The Blades are struggling to replicate the same impressive level of performance as they had in the last campaign. Chris Wilder has been unlucky with the fixture schedule, and his side has failed to defeat Manchester City in the Premier League.
On the other end, Pep Guardiola looks to carry his winning momentum from this week’s Champions League to the Premier League. The visitors will aim to nick an early goal to pile on the pressure for a side already struggling to put the ball in the net this term.
Sheffield United has never beaten City in the Premier League in eight attempts (D3 L5).
Blades boss Chris Wilder has won 99 of his 202 games in charge of the club in all competitions, but he has been stuck on 99 wins for the last 10 games (D2 L8).
If Riyad Mahrez scores or assists, he will reach 100 Premier League goal involvements, becoming the sixth African to achieve the feat after Didier Drogba, Yakubu Ayegbeni, Emmanuel Adebayor, Sadio Mane and Mo Salah.
Prediction: 3 – 0
Frank Lampard is finally finding ways to slowly forge his summer signings into one piece and exploit the squad depth he possesses, which will be extremely handy for the rest of the season. Burnley seems to be the perfect game for his youngsters to test themselves.
Sean Dyche managed to grab three points against Spurs. The biggest problem he faces is the front end of his squad, how to put the ball in the net.
Burnley has won one of their 12 Premier League matches against Chelsea (D3 L8).
Chelsea has won five of six Premier League games at Burnley (D1).
Edouard Mendy can become the first Chelsea goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet in his first three Premier League games for the London club since Petr Cech in August 2004.
Prediction: 4 – 1
With just one senior center-back (Joe Gomez) left at Jurgen Klopp’s disposal, it will be interesting to see how the defending champions will aim to set their back line with either Nat Phillips or Rhys Williams to replace Fabinho. Some have even predicted that James Milner will play defense. Either way, Liverpool will look to continue their winning momentum to keep the pressure on their rivals and neighbors Everton.
David Moyes’ side are looking like a major threat to the ‘Big Six’ clubs, looking extremely confident after receiving much-deserved points against Manchester City. It will be an interesting match to watch how both managers use their tactical strategy against each other, given their problems and form.
The Reds are unbeaten in their last 62 Premier League home games (W51 D11), winning 28 of their last 29 games at Anfield. They’re also unbeaten in their last eight Premier League games against West Ham (W6 D2).
West Ham manager David Moyes has never won in 15 previous Premier League away games against the Merseyside club (D6 L9).
Prediction: 2 – 1
Sunday 1 November
Dean Smith will look to tweak a few things after the 3-0 defeat to Leeds, but his starting XI has been spectacular since the start of the season. The Villians must be delighted at gaining 12 points from their first five matches, especially the shocking 7-2 win against Liverpool.
On the other hand, Saints have suffered a rocky start to their campaign. However, They’re unbeaten against Villa in their previous six meetings, which gives them enough confidence needed for this game.
The Villans are without a win in their last seven Premier League games against Southampton (D3 L4).
The Saints have won their last two Premier League games at Villa, scoring seven goals in total.
Ralph Hasenhuettl has won 13 away Premier League games (W13 D8 L12). Only Ronald Koeman (14) has won more in the competition for the south-coast club.
Prediction: 2 – 2
Many predicted Steve Bruce to be a terrible signing as a manager, but to his credit, he has helped Newcastle look decent enough to stay away from the relegation zone. He has given them enough strength to put an upset to any team, as proved by nicking a point each against Wolves and Spurs. Now the Magpies will target top-form Everton.
Carlos Ancelloti has transformed the Toffees, but his squad looked tired against Southampton, which is why a shift in gears is a must to recover their winning mentality and any hope to challenge for the title this season.
Newcastle has won two of the most recent 15 Premier League games against Everton (D3 L10).
Newcastle has won one of seven Premier League home games (D2 L4), failing to keep a clean sheet in any of them.
Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin has scored more Premier League goals against Newcastle than he has against any other opponent (4).
Prediction: 0 – 3
One could call this the match of the season. Manchester United is riding high after massive wins against Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig in the Champions League. The spark from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the added squad-depth have been working very well for the Red Devils who will aim their momentum at an under-pressure Arsenal side.
Mikel Arteta may face criticism after three defeats in four so far, and his side still has not managed to grab a victory at Old Trafford since September 2006, which is another added pressure for the Spaniard, so this game will be an interesting one to watch.
United is without a win in three home Premier League games so far this season (D1 L2). The Red Devils last failed to win any of their first four home games at Old Trafford in 1972-73. On the plus side, they’re unbeaten in their last 13 Premier League home games against Arsenal (W8 D5).
The Gunners have won two of their last three Premier League games against United (D1) — as many as they did in their previous 15 against them (W2 D5 L8).
Prediction: 3 – 1
The deadly combination of Kane and Son has been causing plenty of trouble for the teams in England, so Jose Mourinho will look to let the duo continue doing what they are best at while finding better ways to manage at the back. Adding a bit of consistency will take this Spurs side to wonderland, especially with the squad-depth they have this season.
Brighton have suddenly looked extremely dull after throwing away their second win of the season on Monday to yet another struggling team, West Brom. The Seagulls will look to sit back, but Tottenham’s quality should be enough to break through and earn all three points.
Spurs have lost one of their last 12 matches in the Premier League (W7 D4).
Brighton has won one of the last six Premier League games against Spurs (D1 L4).
Brighton has lost once in the last 10 away Premier League games (W3 D6).
Prediction: 3 – 0
Monday 2 November
Scott Parker will find this match as the perfect opportunity to prove that this Fulham side will not repeat its flop history. West Brom clearly looks out of shape. A draw looks like the final outcome of this match just as in last season’s Championship where these two twice shared a point apiece.
The Cottagers have lost their last four Premier League home games, including the last match of the 2018-19 campaign. They have not lost five successive Premier League games at Craven Cottage since August 2013.
The Baggies have won just one of their 14 Premier League away games played on a Monday (D6 L7).
This is the first Premier League game between Fulham and West Brom since 2013-14.
Prediction: 0 – 0
It’s interesting to see Marcelo Bielsa keeping faith in his loyal players such as Patrick Bamford who got his first Premier League hattrick last week. Leeds will be looking for the win, not wanting to taste another home loss like they suffered against Wolves earlier this month.
Leicester can have another round of the Jamie Vardy classic show if the striker is fully fit to run behind the opposition back line to put the ball in the net. Another interesting match for the weekend to follow!
Leeds has scored 12 goals in the Premier League this season — the most by a newly-promoted team since Middlesbrough in 1992-93 (also 12).
This is the first Premier League meeting between Leeds and Leicester since April 2004.
The Foxes look to win five of their first seven games in a top-flight season for the first time.
Prediction: 1 – 2
[All key facts sourced from Reuters]
What are your predictions for the fixtures? Any specific match you’re looking forward to watching? What are your fantasy strategies for the week? Any popular player (or sleeper) whom you hope will earn you points? And who are you adding? Please let us know in the comments below, and if you hear any late fitness news (e.g. positive Covid-19 tests), please share!