We take a look at this week’s Premier League fixtures, including a huge derby between the two Manchester clubs, a big chance for Burnley to pick up a much-needed win against a struggling Bournemouth, and a chance for Chelsea to continue their recent upturn in form, as they welcome Brentford.
This Week’s Premier League Fixtures
Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur
Chelsea v Brentford
Arsenal v Sheffield United
Bournemouth v Burnley
Wolves v Newcastle
West Ham v Everton
Aston Villa v Luton
Brighton v Fulham
Liverpool v Nottingham Forest
Man United v Man City
Crystal Palace v Tottenham HotspurEmbed from Getty Images
Crystal Palace were awful against Newcastle last week. St James’ Park is always going to be a difficult ground for any team to travel to, but any team that concedes within the opening few minutes is going to have a long 90 minutes.
Palace really are showing to be a team that is making no progress in the Premier League. After being a side that consistently sits mid-table each season, they cannot seem to push on and make the jump to the next level.
There are not enough goals in this Palace team for my liking. They have some brilliant attacking players, and on their day, individually, they can score against anyone, but as a whole, it just is not working at the moment.
Palace are usually solid defensively, but against Newcastle, they were run ragged. In front of their own fans, it may be a different story, and they may be more compact at the back, but they are going to have another tough 90 minutes here.
Spurs on the other hand look unbelievable this season, and what a transformation they have had under Postecoglou. I was not entirely sure how the appointment would go, but I do not think anyone expected these kinds of results from him.
9 games in and they find themselves unbeaten, 2 points clear at the top of the table, and they find themselves not missing Harry Kane at all.
Son and Maddison are performing out of their skin for Spurs at the moment, and they will both be crucial if they are to compete for the Premier League title this season. They both look relentless at the moment.
The question for Spurs is, how long can they keep this going? They have already beaten some big teams, and they went toe to toe with Arsenal at the Emirates the other week. They could be in this for the long haul here.
I cannot see anything other than a win for Spurs here. How big of a win, depends on how Palace turn up to this game. Spurs have the ability to run riot here, Palace do not have the answers to stop this Postecoglou revolution.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 0 – 3 Tottenham Hotspur
Chelsea v BrentfordEmbed from Getty Images
Chelsea looks like they are finally starting to turn the corner under Pochettino. After he was appointed, I expected them to turn it around, and perform much better than they did last season.
They have still had some embarrassing defeats this season, to Nottingham Forest and a shock 0-0 draw with Bournemouth, but as they showed against Arsenal, they are more than capable of competing in this league again.
Mudryk and Sterling look back to their best in recent weeks, with both of them being on the scoresheet lately. It is about time Mudryk performed for Chelsea, as he has struggled for form ever since his arrival.
Poch needs to keep this form going now, and he needs to drive Chelsea back up the table. They cannot afford to have another mid-table season, or even one outside of the top 6, especially considering how much money they have spent on the squad.
Brentford are a strange one this season. It is no shock that they are missing Ivan Toney, as he is such a big player for them, and he was always going to be hard to replace, but they look like a completely different team without him.
The defensive stability of last season has gone, and they seem to have gone backwards. They have endured a horrendous start to the season, with their 3-0 win against Burnley last week being just their second win all season.
The frustrating thing about Brentford is their inability to hold onto a lead. Against United the other week, they conceded twice late on, and went from looking like winning a huge game to leaving Old Trafford with 0 points.
They need to learn to win and to win ugly again. There is no ruthlessness in the squad anymore. The only positive so far for Brentford is that Mbeumo is still scoring. His 5 goals this season are an impressive tally so far, and Brentford fans will be hoping that can continue here.
This is one of those games that will be so hard to call considering the recent form of both sides. Brentford has struggled for most of the season, but picked up a big win, whilst Chelsea has not only started to win games but score a few goals in the process as well.
I think Chelsea may edge this one. It will be a tight game, as any that involve Brentford are, but the form of Sterling and Mudryk should help Chelsea through this one.
Prediction: Chelsea 2 – 1 Brentford
Bournemouth v BurnleyEmbed from Getty Images
This game could be Iraola’s last if it ends badly for him. Expectations were high when the Spaniard joined from Rayo Vallecano, but he has so far failed to impress.
Bournemouth did look impressive in their opening game against West Ham, and even in the first half against Liverpool, but since, it has all gone downhill. The defensive incapabilities from last season have started to creep back in, and they are struggling to score goals.
To make matters worse, Bournemouth have just lost back-to-back games against Everton and Wolves, two sides who were down the bottom end of the table with them last season. They need to be winning these games if they are to stay in the league again this season.
Two goals in Bournemouth’s last five games is an extremely poor return. Solanke is their top scorer with 4 goals this season, and Bournemouth may need to play around him for any hope of a result here.
Burnley are in a similar situation to Bournemouth here. After their promotion to the Premier League last season, expectations were high for Kompany and Burnley, and many expected them to be the better of the three newly promoted teams.
Fast forward 9 games and Burnley have just managed one win and one draw in those games, with their only win coming away from home against fellow strugglers Luton.
I believe Kompany will come good in the end, and the result will start to pick up, but how long will the Burnley board give him before they decide enough is enough?
Lyle Foster will be huge for Burnley this season. He already has 3 goals and 2 assists this season, and will be looking to improve that record. Burnley have also shown themselves to be a card-heavy side this season, with 3 red cards already, something that the newly promoted side needs to cut out.
This game could go a long way to deciding the fate of the two sides this season. Bournemouth are awful, and if they lose this I do believe Iraola could be sacked. Burnley has looked impressive in some of their defeats this season, and I think they will pick up another win here.
Prediction: Bournemouth 1 – 2 Burnley
West Ham v EvertonEmbed from Getty Images
West Ham have slowly but surely started to drop off in the Premier League this season. After an impressive start to the season, their confidence has been visibly knocked by their back-to-back defeats against Liverpool and Man City.
It is hard to predict what a successful season for West Ham would be this year. They struggled to stay in the division last season but won a European trophy. Ideally they would want to be around that top 6 areas, but there is so much competition for those spots now.
Jarred Bowen is someone who will be looking to carry West Ham forward. He has had an unbelievable start to the season, with 6 goals so far, which will surely earn him a spot in Southgate’s England squad at some point throughout the season.
West Ham will have European fixtures to contend with for the second season in a row now, and this could cause some fatigue and injury problems. They typically struggled in the Premier League after their European games last season, and it will be interesting to see if the same happens this season.
When Dyche first joined Everton, I predicted that he would keep them up, because his style of play guarantees points. Turns out I was right then, but this season, I am not too sure about them.
Everton are always capable of a big, surprise result, such as their convincing away win at Brighton last season that helped them stay up, but they need to be winning consistently to have a chance of staying up again this year.
There is an impending investigation ongoing at Everton at the moment, which could result in a 12-point deduction for the club, which would be catastrophic. If that deduction were to be put on this season, they would surely go down.
But Everton needs to forget about that for now and worry about getting some points on the board. There are teams in the league this season that are a lot worse than Everton, so they need to open up a big gap so they can play without consequence.
My head and my heart are mixed with the result of this one. My head says West Ham, with home advantage, should win this one, but my heart, and my gut, are telling me Everton will sneak this one. To be safe, I am going with a score draw.
Prediction: West Ham 1 – 1 Everton
Man United v Man CityEmbed from Getty Images
Here it is, the blockbuster of the weekend, the game everyone will be looking forward to, and the game everyone will have eyes on. A Manchester derby, with so much on the line, this should be an interesting one.
Man United have really been getting away with some poor performances lately in the Premier League. In fact, they have been struggling all season, and are lucky to have half of the points they do.
They laboured to a 2-1 win over Sheffield United last week, they came from behind in stoppage time thanks to McTominay against Brentford, they lost against Palace, relied on a wonder goal to beat Burnley 1-0, lost against Brighton and Arsenal, went 2-0 down against Forest and somehow won 3-2, they lost against Spurs and a blatant penalty for Wolves getting turned down meant that United got an opening day win.
They have not put in a convincing performance all season, and it shows. They really are struggling under Ten Haag, and it is something that needs resolving if they have any hope of finishing in the top 4 this season.
How long will Ten Haag be given? Postecoglou and Pochettino have both imprinted their style of football on their respective teams in a short period of time, and it is evident on the pitch. Ten Haag has had months with this United side, and there is no evident style of play on display.
If United play how they have been against Man City, they will get torn apart. If they go attacking, City will hit them on the break, whereas if they go defensive, City will break them down time and time again. They need a big performance here.
City on the other hand has been out of sorts lately. After a perfect start to the season, they were shocked by Wolves, and then beaten by Arsenal in back-to-back games.
They then struggled to a 2-1 win against Brighton at home, with Akanji getting sent off also. This feels like a much bigger game for City than it should be, it feels like it could make or break their season.
There is obviously a long way to go, and this one game will not completely define their season, but if they lose here, they could be 5 points behind Spurs already, and they do not want another season of playing catchup.
City always ends up performing in these big games, especially against United. Haaland will be rearing to go, and Alvarez is in the form of his life at the moment. These two should give the United defence more than enough to think about.
This should be a cracker, but I can only see City winning this. The United midfield is too weak to control this game, and their defence will not be able to contain Haaland, Alvarez, Foden and the rest. I do not want to predict too high a score, but there should be goals here.
Prediction: Man United 1 – 3 Man City
- Arsenal 3 – 0 Sheffield United
- Wolves 1 – 2 Newcastle
- Aston Villa 4 – 0 Luton
- Brighton 2 – 0 Fulham
- Liverpool 3 – 1 Nottingham Forest