After some shocking results last week, we take a look at this week’s Premier League fixtures, including a huge game for Man United at home against Brentford, a big top-of-the-table clash between Arsenal and Man City, and the West Midlands derby between Wolves and Aston Villa.
This Week’s Premier League Fixtures
Luton v Tottenham Hotspur
Burnley v Chelsea
Everton v Bournemouth
Fulham v Sheffield United
Man United v Brentford
Crystal Palace v Nottingham Forest
Brighton v Liverpool
West Ham v Newcastle
Wolves v Aston Villa
Arsenal v Man City
Man United v BrentfordEmbed from Getty Images
How much pressure it Ten Haag under right now? I do not think the United board will pull the trigger so early into the season, and they will give him more of a chance, but it is certainly not looking good for him at the moment.
They lost their fourth Premier League game of the season last week against Crystal Palace and the second game in a row that they have lost at home in the league. Even their last win at home against Forest was less than convincing.
United have a massive game on Tuesday night, in their Champions League group against Galatasaray. They could be deemed unfortunate to have lost against Bayern in their opening game, but another loss here, and they could struggle to make it out of the group.
They have a tough game against Newcastle in the Carabao Cup to come, and losses in these kinds of games is the difference between a successful season for United and a catastrophic one. With United 9 points off top spot already, it will be interesting to see whether they prioritise the Champions League or this Premier League fixture.
Brentford were a hard watch on Sunday in their game against Nottingham Forest. Creatively, they were good going forward, they carved out chances and registered a few shots on target, but all this was done early in the game.
Forest went down to 10 men after 56 minutes, with Niakhate receiving a second yellow card. I expected Brentford to go on the dominate from there on out, and see out the win. Instead, they were actually worse off with the extra man on the pitch.
They did limit Forest to one shot on target throughout the entire game, but that one shot on target somehow found the back of the net, when Flekken really should have done better.
There was a fair share of controversy in that game also, with Brentford convinced they should have had a penalty just before halftime, but they really let themselves down with that second-half performance.
This is a difficult one to call, especially with United being so poor at home as of late, and Brentford only winning once all season. Brentford ran riot against United at the start of last season, beating them 4-0, but this will be a much different game.
With United desperately needing a win in midweek, I think they will field a slightly weaker team for this game against Brentford. I do not want to go against United, especially when they are playing ant home, but I do not think it will end well for them.
Prediction: Man United 0 – 1 Brentford
Brighton v LiverpoolEmbed from Getty Images
When Brighton collapses, they do it in style don’t they? I do not think anyone would have predicted a big scoreline here, let alone 6-1. Brighton did the same against West Ham this season and against Everton last season.
The defending on display from Brighton at times in that game against Villa was verging comical. You cannot defend like that in the Premier League, let alone if you are pushing for a European spot again.
Brighton did bounce back after that horrendous defeat against West Ham, and it will be interesting to see if they are able to do the same here, especially after conceding 6. Will they go back to basics and make it a tight game, or will they go all out like they usually do?
After seeing the goals Brighton conceded, questions need to be raised over the choice of Jason Steele in the net. Yes, the defending was awful, but he really should have done better with a few of those attempts on goal.
They brought Verbruggen in from Anderlecht in the summer, and it would not come as a shock to see him in the starting lineup for their game against Liverpool.
Speaking of Liverpool, things did not go well for them at the weekend. It was their first loss of the season, following 5 successive wins, but should they have lost the game at all?
Like the Forest v Brentford game, there was a fair amount of VAR drama. The decision to disallow Diaz’s goal is a ridiculous one to rule out, especially with VAR getting involved. PGMOL did apologise after the game for the ‘human error’ made, but that will not please Liverpool.
They did well against Spurs though, especially considering they were playing with 10 men from the 26th minute, and went down to 9 men with 21 minutes to go. They hauled themselves level and kept themselves in the game.
Their performance did not matter in the end, however, with Joel Matip turning a cross into the back of his own net, to break Liverpool’s hearts and send the home side into raptures, having witnessed two stoppage-time winners in back-to-back games.
Credit needs to be given to Liverpool for holding on for so long, and even keeping themselves in the game, but that could be a big, big game they have lost there. It ends their unbeaten run, but fortunately for them, they are still only 2 points off Man City at the top of the table.
This is certainly an intriguing game that we have on our hands here. A team that conceded 6, coming up against a team that went down to 9 and conceded a last-minute goal to lose the game. Both sides will want to get back on track, as both sides are vying for a European spot.
This all depends on how Liverpool start. If they start well and score early, then they will win this game. The longer it goes on level, the more Brighton will grow into it, and the more damage they can do to that Liverpool backline. A score draw here for me.
Prediction: Brighton 2 – 2 Liverpool
West Ham v NewcastleEmbed from Getty Images
Jarred Bowen is surely in contention for an England call-up this season. He put in another brilliant performance last week in their 2-0 win over Sheffield United, scoring his fifth goal of the season. He has been crucial for The Hammers for the past few seasons.
It was a brilliant performance again from West Ham, who bounced back from their two losses against Man City and Liverpool, and they will be glad to get back to winning ways so soon, especially with more European fixtures coming up.
West Ham really is building an exciting squad full of squad depth. To be able to bring players off the bench such as Mohammed Kudus, Pablo Fornals and Said Benrahma, is such a huge positive when they are having to play midweek constantly.
These are the kinds of games that they need to be winning if they are to make the step up. They won the Europa Conference League last season, and they are playing in the Europa League next season, they need to be pushing for a consistent spot in that top 6 now.
Newcastle had the fairly straightforward task of beating sorts Burnley at the weekend, and it was a test they, not to the same extent they did against Sheffield United, passed, with flying colours.
With one eye on their midweek crunch clash against PSG at home in the Champions League, it would have been expected for Newcastle to rotate their team, but they did not, and it showed.
The gulf between the two sides was evident as Newcastle carved out chance after chance, whilst limiting Burnley to very little. Tripper got his fourth assist of the season, supplying Almiron for his goal early in the first half, whilst Isak netted his fourth of the season, guiding Newcastle to a relatively easy win.
After a difficult start to the season, Newcastle are now turning a corner. They have won three on the bounce in the league, and they show no signs of slowing down. They look back to their defensive best and are still a joy to watch going forward.
This game is a surprisingly big one for both sides. West Ham look set to compete for a European spot this season, and Newcastle are expected to be up there again. Both sides will want to get a win here to show the rest of the league what they are about.
With that being said, West Ham will have played on Thursday night and could have potential fitness issues. They struggled after playing in the Europa Conference League and then the Premier League last season, and so for that, I am going with a narrow Newcastle win.
Prediction: West Ham 1 – 2 Newcastle
Wolves v Aston VillaEmbed from Getty Images
Was Wolves’ win the shock of the week last week? After three games without a win, and struggling to a draw with Luton, many expected Wolves to get turned over by the Premier League and Champions League winners.
Looking at the stats, they were very fortunate to win the game as well. Dominated on the ball, and only created one chance on target, whilst City had 23 shots with just 8 on target.
But Wolves showed a side that has been missing in recent weeks. Their defence resilience shone through, and, whilst they rode their luck at times, took their chances when they mattered most. The own goal was a fortunate way to give Wolves the lead, but they did not let City’s equaliser deter them.
Hwang Hee-Chan is finally coming into his own in the Premier League. After a less-than-impressive spell last season, the striker has already netted four goals this season, including that winner against City. If he can keep up this goal-scoring record, he could be the answer to Wolves’ issues upfront.
It was a huge win for Wolves, it puts them 3 points clear of the bottom 3, and it was a great time to pick up those points with Luton and Burnley winning games in the last week. It obviously is not enough to keep them up this season, but it is a start, and certainly something to build on.
Aston Villa also have a good shout for the surprise result of the week. After some good wins over Palace and Chelsea, they hosted Brighton, in what was a game between two very attacking sides, and two looking to secure European spots again.
Many predicted a tight, cagey affair, with some brilliant attacking moves on display. Whilst we got the attacking styles of play, it was anything but tight or cagey, as Aston Villa blew Brighton away in their 6-1 win.
With just 9 shots on target, Villa certainly were clinical, and Jason Steele could have done much better with a few of the goals, but do not let that take anything away from Villa, as they were relentless.
Ollie Watkins ran the show as he grabbed himself a hat trick within 65 minutes, and an assist, capping off an incredible performance by the Englishman. It was a brilliant result, especially over such a close rival in the league table.
This could be a brilliant West Midlands Derby, between an informed Villa side, and a Wolves team who just picked up a brilliant win. It should be a feisty affair, but I think Villa and Emery will come out on top here.
Prediction: Wolves 1 – 3 Aston Villa
Arsenal v Man CityEmbed from Getty Images
Arsenal put in a brilliant performance last week, as they almost completely shut out Bournemouth at home. They limited the home side to just the single shot on target, in a very commanding display.
Whilst Arsenal did score two of their four goals from the penalty spot, one of which allowed Kai Havertz to get his first goal contribution in an Arsenal shirt, their attacking display was nothing short of phenomenal.
They constantly looked to get on the front foot, and consistently broke down the Bournemouth defence, carving out multiple chances. It was a proper performance for Arsenal, against a side who have surprised many this season.
Confidence will be high in the Arsenal camp, as they are one of the only two unbeaten teams in the league now, alongside Spurs. Can Arsenal go one step further this season and win the league? This game will certainly test their credentials.
Man City, on the other hand, had a less-than-ideal result at the weekend. They were expected to turn up to Wolves, and make short work of them, but they did anything but that, as their unbeaten run came to an end.
Whilst they, like Arsenal, limited the home side the just one shot on target, they could not keep the ball out the back of their own net, with Ruben Dias scoring on their own goal, before Hwang Hee-Chan scored the winner after Julian Alvarez equalised just after half time.
It was a big blow for City and their title defence, and it was one that was less than expected. Pep never underestimates lesser opposition, especially in Premier League games, which is why is was so surprising to see City lose against a Wolves side who, so far, have been poor in the league.
City will be looking to bounce back with a win here, but they have a difficult Champions League game first, away against RB Leipzig, before having to travel to London to face Arsenal. The Champions League game allows them to get back to winning ways, and regain that confidence that will be so crucial against Arsenal.
This will be an absolute cracker of a game. City, in recent history, has done very well against Arsenal and ended their title dreams last season. Arsenal has not lost a game in the Premier League yet this season, but all it takes is one slip-up against City and they can lose.
It is a hard one to call this, especially with City just losing to Wolves. I think with recent history being on their side, and a few injuries that Arsenal have sustained to Declan Rice, and potentially Saka, City may just edge this one, and end Arsenal’s unbeaten run.
Prediction: Arsenal 1 – 2 Man City
- Luton 0 – 2 Tottenham Hotspur
- Burnley 1 – 0 Chelsea
- Everton 2 – 2 Bournemouth
- Fulham 1 – 0 Sheffield United
- Crystal Palace 1 – 1 Nottingham Forest