Updated:Oct 28, 2022 5:45 pm
We look at some of this week’s crunch matches in the Premier League, including Man United v West Ham, and Liverpool v Leeds.
This Weeks Premier League Games
- Leicester v Man City
- Bournemouth v Spurs
- Brentford v Wolves
- Brighton v Chelsea
- Palace v Southampton
- Newcastle v Villa
- Fulham v Everton
- Liverpool v Leeds
- Arsenal v Forest
- Man United v West Ham
Leicester v Man CityEmbed from Getty Images
The early kick-off on Friday sees Leicester take on Premier League champions Man City, with everything realistically pointing towards a comfortable Man City win. City, with Haaland, have been formidable this year. The Norweigan striker has undoubtedly hit the ground running, with 17 goals in 11 games, which has made every difference in their goalscoring capabilities compared to last year. City are currently outscoring themselves by a staggering 14 goals this year when compared to the previous year, and have scored 11 goals more than any other team in the league this year.
It seems only a matter of time before City leapfrogs Arsenal to the top of the table. City know how to play the long game where the title race is concerned. Last year they relied on matching or bettering Liverpool’s results to win the league by a solitary point, and they will be willing to do the same again this season. However, City will need to turn their attention towards the Champions League at some point, and could this cost them points towards the latter stages of the season? An injury to Haaland, De Bruyne or Rodri could derail Guardiola’s plans.
Leicester have hit some form in the last few games. They have recorded a 2-0 against Leeds and an impressive 4-0 away win against Wolves to haul themselves out of the bottom three. Many seem surprised with Leicester struggling this season, with England hopefuls Harvey Barnes and James Maddison in the team and performing well, but their lack of investment in the transfer window is clearly to blame.
Having lost Wesley Fofana to Chelsea, and experienced goalkeeping Schmeichel to Nice, Leicester were scrambling to find a new keeper, but to no avail, now having to keep Danny Ward in net, who has already had very indifferent performances so far this season. There should be goals in this game, and if Danny Ward does not perform, there could be a lot of them. I expect to see Haaland on the scoresheet again this weekend, and would not be surprised to see him get a hat trick.
Prediction: Leicester 0 – 3 Man City
Brighton v ChelseaEmbed from Getty Images
This could be a very interesting game. New look Graham Potter, former Brighton manager, going back to The Amex with his new club, Chelsea. To make it even more interesting, Potter has not lost in the Premier League yet with Chelsea, and it would not be surprising if Brighton managed to beat them, to inflict a first loss on their former boss.
Brighton have been terrible since losing Potter, losing their last 4, only scoring once and conceding 6, with a 0-0 draw against, then, bottom-of-the-table Forest being a worrying result for them. Brighton usually do not score many goals, they are defensively resolute and grind out wins, but this is now lost. The defence has started leaking, and the goals have also dried up. They have only scored 2 goals in a game on four occasions this season, all coming under the Potter reign.
Leandro Trossard took his tally to 6 with a brilliant strike against Man City last week, and he will need to be at his best to give Brighton a chance of getting anything out of this game. He is the only forward player at Brighton to score this season, with the majority of Brighton’s goals coming from midfield instead.
Chelsea look like a different team under Graham Potter, going forward and defensively. He has seen Chelsea qualify for the knockout stages, and could finish top of the group. Potter has also not lost yet in the Premier League with Chelsea, winning 2 and drawing 2 of the last 4 games, only conceding once in these, a stoppage-time equaliser against Man United.
Kepa has had a miraculous turnaround since the managerial change, with some top-drawer performances in recent weeks. Chelsea need to get their forwards firing again, with Aubameyang and Armando Broja having a goal each, and Sterling only having 3 goals to his name this season, if Brighton can stay defensively resolute then Chelsea may struggle to find the back of the net.
Potter will have a happy return to The Amex, and he will get one over on his former club. The unbeaten run will continue for now, and Brighton will continue sliding down the table.
Prediction: Brighton 0 – 2 Chelsea
Liverpool v LeedsEmbed from Getty Images
Another interesting game in this match week in the Premier League, Liverpool, who cannot string together a set of wins in the League, against Leeds, who are currently one of the worst sides in England.
Where has it all gone wrong for Liverpool? Mane sold in the transfer window, Darwin Nunez was brought in to replace him, and a promising 3-1 win against rivals Man City in the Community Shield. Yet 11 games later and they sit in 8th place, 5 points behind Chelsea in 5th and 12 points behind league leaders Arsenal. 2 wins in their last 5 games, and an embarrassing 1-0 against newly promoted Nottingham Forest in their last game. 8 current first-team players are out injured, including star men Luis Diaz and Thiago, things are not looking good for Liverpool so far. Is the 7th season curse a real thing for Jurgen Klopp?
It is not all doom and gloom for Liverpool however, they are capable, as they always have been, of scoring goals. We have already seen them this season put 9 past Bournemouth and 7 past Rangers in the Champions League, and they have shown their defensive resilience in back-to-back 1-0 wins against Man City and West Ham. On their day they can beat anyone, and they have shown in the Champions League their worth, having qualified for the knockout stages with ease.
Leeds have been awful this season. They have only won twice, their first coming on the opening day of the season, a 2-1 win against Wolves, and the second a shock 3-0 win against Chelsea. Since then, Leeds have picked up 2 points, conceding 15 goals in the process. They managed to hold league leaders Arsenal to a 1-0 loss, but other than that it has been worrying for Leeds. Goals are an issue, the defence is an issue, and it will be interesting to see how long Jesse Marsch is giving before he is sacked. It is hard to see Leeds turning their form around, especially against Liverpool.
Whilst Klopp has taken the blame for some of their recent poor performances, his leading players need to step up and perform consistently and bring their Champions League form into the Premier League. Leeds are simply shocking at the moment, and anything but a big Liverpool win would be a massive surprise.
Prediction: Liverpool 5 – 0 Leeds
Arsenal v ForestEmbed from Getty Images
Arsenal have surprised everyone so far. Nobody expected them to be anywhere near the top of the league, and nobody expected them to still be there now, however they keep grinding out results. Arsenal typically struggle against top 6 sides, however back-to-back wins over Spurs and Liverpool have proven some of the doubters wrong about their title aspirations this year. Granit Xhaka looks like a player reborn, his recent form, and goals, have helped Arsenal stay top of the league.
Will they be able to keep it up? Everyone expects Arsenal to slip up at some point, and that moment may be coming sooner rather than later. Their participation in the Europa League will detriment them in the long run, playing on Thursday nights and then back in the Premier League on the weekend will lead to fatigued or injured players, and this could be their downfall. We have seen this already this season, with their lacklustre display against Southampton last week resulting in them drawing 1-1, and then losing 2-0 against PSV in the Europa League on Thursday.
Arteta certainly has a rotatable team, it is just whether his B team can perform when they are called upon, if they can, they may be in this title race for the long haul, if not, then expect to see them drop off considerably.
Forest have found it difficult to adjust to life in the Premier League. Signing 20 players in one transfer window and trying to gel them together is difficult in any league, let alone as a newly promoted side in the Prem. At times they have looked completely out of their depth, with comical defending and a lack of fluidity up front. The issues they have are at both ends, but they need to start picking up points, and quickly if they have any hope of surviving in this league.
However, they went into last week’s game with Liverpool expecting to be beaten, and won 1-0, thanks to some heroic goalkeeping from Dean Henderson, for their second win of the season. Awoniyi scored his third goal in as many home games, meaning he has scored 3 of Forest’s 8 goals this season. It does seem to be clicking a little more each week with Forest, but they need to pick up points whilst Wolves are struggling to score and whilst Leeds are unable to pick points up.
Forest will be on a high after that win against Liverpool, and I expect them to make a spirited start against a tired and leggy Arsenal. If they score early, they could gain another surprise 3 points here, but the longer the game goes on, and the more Arsenal grow into it, the more likely it is that we will see another Forest loss and Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table for another week.Embed from Getty Images
Prediction: Arsenal 3 – 1 Forest
Man United v West HamEmbed from Getty Images
United have turned a corner since their embarrassing 6-3 derby day loss to Man City. They have looked much more attractive going forward and have been defensively resolute at the back. A spirited last-minute equaliser against Chelsea, and the following celebrations, demonstrated the passion the players are showing towards the club and the fans. Performances have improved, a 2-0 against Spurs previously, where United dominated from start to finish and gave Spurs no chance. It was almost like watching United during the Furgeson era.
The issue with United is keeping this level of performance up, trying to control the game each week, instead of playing well against a top 6 club and then losing to a relegation candidate the next. They also sit second in their Europa League group but have already comfortably qualified. Their aim now will be to finish top, as they sit 3 points behind unbeaten Real Sociedad. Ten Hag will believe his side can win the Europa League, and it will be interesting to see how he will juggle this competition whilst also fighting for the top four in the Premier League.
West Ham started the season terribly, losing their first three games with no goals scored, but since the start of October, they have won 3 of their 5 games, losing and drawing 1 also. The goal-scoring confidence is returning, Jarred Bowen and Scammacca have started scoring again, and Bowen in particular will want to continue his good run of form, in an attempt to persuade Southgate to give him a spot in his team for the World Cup.
West Ham are also playing under the pressure of performing well in the Europa Conference League. They have already qualified from their group with ease, winning all 5 of their games so far. Moyes will want to win this competition, and West Ham have the squad to do so, as long as it does not affect their Premier League performances.
This should be a very open game against two teams who played on Thursday night. Tired legs should lead to goals for both sides, and it is hard to see which of the two teams will dominate and win the game. This should end in a draw, and there should be goals.
Prediction: Man United 2 – 2 West HamEmbed from Getty Images
- Bournemouth 1 – 3 Spurs
- Brentford 2 – 0 Wolves
- Palace 2 – 1 Southampton
- Newcastle 3 – 0 Villa
- Fulham 1 – 1 Everton
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