We take a look at this week’s Premier League fixtures, including a huge crunch game between a much improved Spurs side, facing off against a revolutionised Liverpool team. There are also big games at the other end of the table as Everton host Luton.Embed from Getty Images
This Week’s Premier League Fixtures
Aston Villa v Brighton
Bournemouth v Arsenal
Everton v Luton
Man United v Crystal Palace
Newcastle v Burnley
West Ham v Sheffield United
Wolves v Man City
Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool
Nottingham Forest v Brentford
Fulham v Chelsea
Aston Villa v BrightonEmbed from Getty Images
Aston Villa has had a bit of a strange week in terms of results. Last week, they played against Chelsea, and were the better team throughout the game, even before Gusto’s red card for Chelsea.
The red card did help them in the end, as Ollie Watkins got his first goal of the season, to secure a big 3 points for Aston Villa, putting them up to 6th in the table. They have done brilliantly so far in the league this season, with just 2 losses to their name against Liverpool and Newcastle.
Villa also played in midweek, as they took part in an all-Premier League tie for the Carabao Cup third round. They hosted Everton, and, despite controlling possession throughout the majority of the game, were largely toothless upfront.
For a team trying to break into the top 6, the domestic cup competitions are something that they should be aiming to win, and the same goes for Aston Villa. The Carabao Cup is a great chance at some silverware, and to get the fans to Wembley, and instead, they have been knocked out at the first time of asking.
It was a very disappointing 2-1 loss, especially at home. It allows them to solely concentrate on the league, and their European fixtures now, and perhaps losing the Carabao Cup fixture congestion will help them in the end.
Brighton are another side that have had a mixed bag of results this week. Their game against Bournemouth last week was certainly an entertaining one, which I fully expected, especially with the way Bournemouth have set up this season.
It was a fairly even game at the AMEX, and Brighton was more than fortunate to get themselves back into the game. After falling behind to a first-half Solanke goal, Bournemouth’s Milos Kerkez put the ball into his own net in first-half stoppage time to give The Seagulls a chance.
They came out fighting in the second half, with Mitoma scoring 1 minute after the restart, before grabbing his second with less than 15 minutes to play. It was a brilliant display from the winger, one which we have grown accustomed to seeing during his time at Brighton.
Brighton they played midweek, also in the third round of the Carabao Cup, as they were drawn away against Chelsea. It was all bite and no bark for Brighton though, as despite dominating possession, they only registered 2 shots on target from 14 efforts.
Nicolas Jackson secured Chelsea’s passage into the fourth round with the only goal of the game, knocking Brighton out of a competition they should have had serious hopes of winning. But, with European fixtures coming up, they may be thankful for a few less games.
This looks like it should be a brilliant game, against two sides pushing for a place in the top 6. This is a chance for Villa to prove to themselves, and to the rest of the league, they are ready to take that step, whereas for Brighton, a win could see them go top if other results go their way.
It is an extremely difficult one to call. Villa are usually so hard to beat at home, but Brighton have players like Mitoma who can make something out of nothing. I do not want to put a draw, so I will stick my neck out and say Brighton will just edge it.
Prediction: Aston Villa 1 – 2 Brighton
Everton v LutonEmbed from Getty Images
Well, Dominic Calvert-Lewin is back and he is amongst the goals already, which is precisely what Everton are needing at the moment. They spent big on Beto this summer, but their long-term servant is coming up with the goods so far.
It was a massive, and very surprising, win for Everton last week, when they faced Brentford away from home. For a side usually so good in front of their own crowd, Everton executed their game plan perfectly.
This was not a smash-and-grab by any means. The early goal from Doucoure may have settled Everton into the game, and without it, we could have seen a much different result, but they did not rest on that one goal lead, they were constantly trying to get on the front foot to get a second.
Even when pegged back, they still looked calm on the ball and looked like the more likely team to score again. They need to play like this more consistently, especially away from home.
This is exactly what they did in midweek as they took on Aston Villa in the third round of the Carabao Cup. Calvert-Lewin scored his second goal of the week as he helped Everton knock out Aston Villa, in what was a brilliant counter-attacking performance.
Everton needs to push on now and carry on putting points on the board, and what a chance they have here for that. They win here, they make it 3 wins on the bounce in all competitions, and they will start to get some confidence behind them.
Luton, like Villa and Brighton, will be having mixed emotions about the last week of fixtures and results. They finally managed to pick up their first point of the season, at home against Wolves, but should it have been more?
In all honesty, yes it should have been more. Bellegarde got sent off in the 39th minute for Wolves, leaving them to play with 10 men for over 50 minutes. Luton capitalised on this, but their inefficiency upfront really cost them.
They registered 20 shots but only managed to get 4 of these on target. Pedro Neto then gave the 10-man visitors the lead 5 minutes after halftime, and it took a Carlton Morris penalty to get Luton back level.
They should have been winning that game, especially when Wolves went down to 10 men. If they have any hope of staying in the division, they really need to be picking up all 3 points in games like that.
To make matters worse, Luton was then humiliated in the third round of the Carabao Cup. They had the, seemingly, easy task of travelling to League One side Exeter. Despite fielding a relatively strong side, they looked weak all over the pitch.
They were more than matched by Exeter, and the former Man United youth graduate Demetri Mitchell gave the hosts the lead with 7 minutes to play. Mitchell then got sent off for a second bookable offence 5 minutes later, but Luton could not make than man advantage count for the second game in a row.
What a chance this is for Everton to build up some steam. They should be looking to come into this game, and put a few goals past Luton. Luton will be happy with a point here, especially being away from home, but I do not think they will get it.
Prediction: Everton 3 – 0 Luton
Newcastle v BurnleyEmbed from Getty Images
Newcastle will feel on top of the world after the week they have just had. What a performance they put in last week against Sheffield United. Whilst the defending for some of the goals was absolutely abysmal, to put 8 goals past any team is impressive.
To have 8 different goal scorers in the game as well is a brilliant achievement. They looked hungry, and I think they need a performance like that to get them back on track after the difficult start to the season that they have had.
Again, despite the awful defending, they looked hungry for more. Most teams would have taken their foot off the pedal at 3 or 4-0, but Newcastle wanted more, it was an all-round brilliant performance.
They were then tasked with facing Man City at home in the third round of the Carabao Cup. Whilst it was a, well documented, much-changed Man City side, with a fair share of youth graduates and fringe players on the pitch, Newcastle did not have their strongest team out either.
The likes of Dummett, Targett and Lascelles were all in defences, whilst Lewis Hall started also. It was a controlled performance from Newcastle. They waited, and they took their chance when it came, as Isak scored the only goal of the game.
You can see it slowly starting to tick at Burnley after their performance against Man United last week. Having already played Spurs and Man City in some entertaining, high-scoring games, we saw a resilient Burnley side take United to the wire.
Burnley more than matched United, and it took a moment of brilliant from Bruno Fernandes to break the deadlock. Burnley will be disappointed they did not get anything out of the game, but the performance was immense from them.
Lyle Foster’s red card the other week is looking costly for them though. They do not have a presence leading the line anymore, Burnley is struggling for goals so far, and he was the one players who always looked likely to get on the scoresheet.
Burnley will take some confidence from their midweek Carabao Cup game against Salford though. Despite their opposition being from League Two, they limited the home side to 0 shots on target, as they completely dominated the game.
They ran out 4-0 winners, with 4 different scorers, and they will be hoping some of those players can take that confidence into this game.
It is not a good time to be playing Newcastle. They have just had two massive wins back to back, and their confidence will be sky-high. Their home fans will be up for this and will make St James’ Park bouncing. I cannot see how Burnley does not get beat here.
Prediction: Newcastle 3 – 0 Burnley
West Ham v Sheffield UnitedEmbed from Getty Images
West Ham’s good start to the season took another knock last week as they travelled to Anfield to face Liverpool. It was just the second time this season I have seen West Ham be ineffective without the ball, and it cost them.
They did well to get themselves level after Salah’s early penalty, with Jarred Bowen grabbing his fourth goal of the season, continuing his fine streak of form. Should he be getting an England call up any time soon? He has been a standout performer at West Ham for some time now, and he is starting to add goals and assists to his game as well.
West Ham could not hold on however, as Liverpool turned on the style in the second half, with goals from Nunez and Jota securing the win.
West Ham was also disappointing in midweek, in their third-round Carabao Cup tie away against Lincoln of League One. Despite a strong team being fielded, they struggled to break down and create chances against their lower-league opposition.
Their quality did eventually shine through, as Soucek grabbed the only goal of the game, advancing West Ham into the fourth round, where they have been given the exciting prospect of facing Arsenal at home.
The less said about Sheffield United this week, the better. It was not even the score line that disappointed me the most about them last week against Newcastle, as the defending for some of the goals was not even League Two standard.
What did disappoint me the most was Sheffield United going forward. That game against Man City where they nearly stole a point seems so long ago now. Not for the first time this season, they were limited to just the one shot on target, which, especially in front of your own fans, is embarrassing.
Something needs to happen at Sheffield United, and fast. Out of all the promoted teams, they look the worst this season. Burnley has had a difficult start, but they have put some good performances in, nobody expected Luton to do well, but you can see it starting to click.
Sheffield United just seem to have no identity on the pitch. The uncertainty around the club certainly did not help during the transfer window, and this may have held them back a bit, but they could at least put a bit of effort in on the pitch, as, once again, they were utterly embarrassing last week.
Is this a bad time to play Sheffield United? They will certainly want to make amends for their performance last week, but it will not be the easiest game to do so in. West Ham will control possession, and I would not be surprised to see James Ward-Prowse run the game and grab a couple of assists here.
Prediction: West Ham 3 – 0 Sheffield United
Tottenham Hotspur v LiverpoolEmbed from Getty Images
What a derby that was last week between Spurs and Arsenal. It was everything you were hoping it would be and more. End-to-end action, both teams going all out for the win, it was a brilliant watch!
Spurs were fantastic in that game. I think everyone expected them to get walked all over with their new style of play, but I was not convinced. I said it would be high-scoring, and I thought home advantage would get Arsenal over the line, but the performance from Spurs kept the crowd quiet for long periods of time.
It was a horrible own goal to concede, and you have to feel for Romero a bit. He should not have been looking to intercept that cross from where he was, and I am not entirely sure he needed to block it either.
Spurs got on with it, and what a performance from their two-star men this season. James Maddison grabbed both assists for Son’s goals. This is a combination we may see time and time again this season, as their partnership only looks like it is getting stronger.
It was a good point for Spurs in the end, but it could have been so much more. The Richarlison miss right at the end of the game sticks out for me, and it is hard to think that if that were Kane, Spurs would have walked away with 3 points.
Liverpool have had a brilliant week. Last time out in the Premier League they beat an impressive West Ham side comprehensively. They looked like they were at their attacking best, as they recorded 22 shots with 7 of those on target.
The thing I like about Liverpool, and that I have liked about them the past few seasons, is that their goals are coming from all over the pitch. Salah and Nunez are both on 3, Diaz and Jota are both on 2, whilst Szoboszlai, Gakpo and Robertson have also found themselves on the scoresheet this season.
It is so much harder to play against a side where any of their starting 11 could get on the scoresheet. It restricts teams from taking chances, and it even makes the sides play a bit more cautious against them.
Liverpool also won 3-1 in midweek, in their third-round Carabao Cup game at home against Leicester. It was another game where Liverpool found themselves behind, this time from a third-minute McAteer goal.
That was to be Leicester’s only shot on target though, as Liverpool completely dominated the game from there on out, having 29 shots with 10 on target. It took them until the second half to get back into the game, but they never looked like losing from there on out.
This promises to be a cracker of a game. If this were last season, I would have expected Liverpool to win this with ease, but now, Spurs will not go down so easily. Postecoglou has done a fantastic job so far, and I think his side will get another draw here.
Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2 – 2 Liverpool
- Bournemouth 0 – 2 Arsenal
- Man United 1 – 1 Crystal Palace
- Wolves 1 – 3 Man City
- Nottingham Forest 1 – 1 Brentford
- Fulham 2 – 0 Chelsea