Premier League Central’s Adepoju Marvellous gives his predictions for the latest round of the Premier League.
With no more international breaks till March of next year, the Premier League enters into one of its most critical stages of the season. Games will start to come thick and fast which would test the quality as well as the depth of most squads.
13 days on from Arsenal’s humbling at the hands of Aston Villa, the Premier League returns today with Chelsea’s visit to St. James’ Park where the Blues will aim to go top of the league for the time being at least.
Matchday nine concludes with a clash between Wolves and high-flying Southampton and here are my predictions for all 10 matches.
Newcastle vs Chelsea
Before the international break, Chelsea were one of the most in-form teams in the country and would look to keep their impressive run going. However, visits to Tyneside have been anything but straightforward for the London outfit. They have picked up only one victory on their last seven travels to St. James’ Park. Nonetheless, Chelsea go into tomorrow’s clash as clear favourites and should head back to London with all three points.
Prediction: Newcastle 1-3 Chelsea
Aston Villa vs Brighton
For a team who only secured their Premier League status for this season on the last day of last season, Aston Villa have made quite an impressive start to the current campaign. Dean Smith’s men are in sixth, three points off the top and with a game in hand. On the other hand, Brighton have endured a torrid start to the season picking up only one win so far.
The Seagulls are two places and three points above the drop zone will need to improve results urgently to avoid being drawn into any relegation scalp. Aston Villa have produced arguably the two biggest upsets of the season with 7-2 and 3-0 victories over Liverpool and Arsenal respectively. I simply can’t see anything but a Villa win.
Prediction: Aston Villa 2-0 Brighton
Tottenham vs Manchester City
Pep’s Guardiola recent contract extension proves that he still has the full support of the City hierarchy. If it is to remain that way, then results on the pitch simply have to improve. A win in tomorrow’s heavyweight meeting would be a good way to start.
However, Spurs are playing some good stuff at the moment and should pose a stern test to the Citizens. The partnership between Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son has been devastating for opposition defences and stopping it will be key to City’s chances of getting a victory.
Prediction: Tottenham 2-1 Manchester City
Manchester United vs West Brom
Once again, the Red Devils have flattered to deceive on numerous occasions this season. United’s home form has been horrendous, to say the least. A single point from four matches is a very meagre return for a team of that level. The visit of West Brom represents a fantastic chance to pick up a first home win of the season which I expect Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men to do.
Prediction: Manchester United 3-0 West Brom
Fulham vs Everton
After picking up wins from each of their first four games of the season, Everton have failed to win any of the last four. Carlo Ancelotti’s men have suffered injuries and suspensions which have exposed their lack of depth in certain areas of the squad. A trip to West London to take on Fulham is a good way to get back on track. Scot Parker and his side are languishing in the lower echelons of the table and are already one of the favourites to go down this season.
Prediction: Fulham 1-3 Everton
Sheffield United vs West Ham
Sheffield United have failed to follow on what was a wonderful return to the top flight last season. No wins and only one point is a summary of how poor the Blades have been this season and it’s no surprise them currently rooted to the bottom of the table. Sunday’s opponents have only lost one of their last five league games. Take into account the fact that they have played Manchester City, Leicester and Tottenham in that span and it truly highlights how much of a corner David Moyes’ men have turned. This could go either way so I wouldn’t be surprised if the spoils are shared.
Prediction: Sheffield 1-1 West Ham
Leeds United vs Arsenal
Leeds may have shown that they are prepared to go toe-to-toe against any side in the division, but perhaps more caution is needed at this point. Last year’s Championship winners are 15th, with only one victory in their last five games.
Next up is a highly anticipated clash against an Arsenal team which up until the drubbing by Villa, had the best defensive record in the league. However, it is going forward where the Gunners have struggled. This has the potential to be a classic and I expect an entertaining score draw.
Prediction: Leeds 2-2 Arsenal
Liverpool vs Leicester City
The champions have endured several injury blows this season already. Jurgen Klopp is missing about seven first-team players heading into tomorrow’s game against the current table-toppers; Leicester City.
Last season’s top scorer; Jamie Vardy, will be licking his lips at the thought of the potential back-four he could be up against tomorrow. However, Liverpool are unbeaten in home league games for over three years now so they will be pushovers despite the numerous absentees for the game.
Prediction: Liverpool 2 vs 1 Leicester
Burnley vs Crystal Palace
Burnley have started the season poorly having scored three goals in eight games. Like fellow current bottom-three occupants; Sheffield and West Brom, they are also without a win. On the other hand, Palace have made a promising start and currently occupy the top half of the table. This should be a narrow encounter which could go either way.
Prediction: Burnley 1-2 Palace
Wolves vs Southampton
The Saints have been one of the surprise packages of the season. Since a demolition by Spurs in September, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men have picked up 16 of 18 points possible. Wolves have had mixed fortunes this season and will be looking to attain some level of consistency in results as well as performance. The absence of Danny Ings will no doubt be a big blow for Southampton.
Prediction: Wolves 2-1 Southampton