EPL GAME WEEK 7 PREDICTION
Saturday 29th September
West Ham v Manchester United 12:30pm
Manchester United’s season will be destroyed unless Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba can put the club first and campaign on a united front until May. Then the hierarchy will have to decide who leaves. Surely they will back Mourinho. To support a player over any manager would set a dangerous precedent. They should have been concentrating on this game and narrowing the eight-point gap to Liverpool rather than infighting. United do have a great record against West Ham, who are yet to win at home this season. But the Hammers could have beaten Chelsea, and if Marko Arnautovic is fit they’ll be dangerous. The Hammers have failed to score in their last three league matches against United and defeat for United would equal their worst return of 10 points after seven matches of a Premier League season. I don’t see them getting a win at the London Stadium.
Arsenal v Watford 3pm
Having beaten Tottenham and pushed Manchester United, they will be full of belief heading to the Emirates, despite only managing one away win in their last 14 attempts. Arsenal will attempt to record five successive league wins for the first time in more than a year, which tells its own story. It will be important for the Gunners to lay another small building block under Unai Emery for foundations that were never going to be a quick fix. Arsenal have won eight of the 10 Premier League meetings. However, Watford’s two wins have come in the last three matches but I expect Arsenal to get the win here.
3-1 to Arsenal
Everton v Fulham 3pm
Everton have a perfect Premier League home record in this fixture, and Fulham last avoided defeat at Goodison in a league game 59 years ago. Perhaps the Premier League’s joint top scorer can defy that narrative. Marco Silva’s sides have conceded 91 goals in his 48 Premier League matches, so five-goal Aleksandar Mitrovic could be excused for salivating at the prospect of facing an Everton defence without a clean sheet since April while Marco Silva has not presided over a clean sheet in 17 fixtures. I expect both teams to have a go at it.
Huddersfield vs Tottenham 3pm
Huddersfield are yet to win a game this season (or even score at home!), the prognosis is bleak, and things may get worse before they get better, with the next visitors to the John Smith’s Stadium being Liverpool. To win this one they’re going to need Tottenham to have an off-day and, more importantly, give an error-free display of their own. Start well, go in front, get the always excellent home crowd going, and we might see an upset. If Spurs strike first, it will be hard to envisage anything other than their bounce back to form continuing. Tottenham won both of their Premier League games against Huddersfield last season, scoring a total of six unanswered goals. 0-3 Tottenham win.
Man city vs Brighton 3pm
A week away from their mouth-watering duel with Liverpool, Manchester City could strike a decisive psychological blow by ensuring they arrive at Anfield above Jurgen Klopp’s side in the table. If the champions beat Brighton, then only a win for the Reds at Stamford Bridge will prevent that occurrence – and with events in west London commencing once this match has concluded, there’s even greater incentive for City to ensure there are no unexpected slip ups. The Seagulls arrive at the Etihad with just two wins since early March but it’s ironic that both of them have been against Manchester United, the only league opponents City have succumbed to in their last 21 league matches. Brighton have won only two of their last 15 league games, both against Manchester United. Manchester City to win comfortably 4-0
Newcastle vs Leicester City 3pm
Six matches into the season and already the Premier League table doesn’t make for happy viewing for Newcastle. Two points, only four goals scored and three home defeats. Can they get their first victory of 2018-19 against a Leicester side that I saw lose 4-2 at Bournemouth a fortnight ago, when the scoreline didn’t reflect how poorly the Foxes performed. Leicester have bounced back from that loss with victory over Huddersfield and a dramatic League Cup penalty shootout win at Wolves. Is it too early in the season to call this a must-win match for Newcastle? Probably, but they are desperately in need of their first three-point haul. Newcastle’s 2-1 away win over Leicester last April ended a five-match losing streak against the Foxes in all competitions. I could have picked another home win for Newcastle again but I just don’t see them scoring much goals. 1-1
Wolves vs Southampton 3pm
Wolves continue to win new admirers. Their excellent performance in the draw at Manchester United persuaded more observers that Nuno’s side rank as one of the best new arrivals to the Premier League in years. Anyone who witnessed their stroll to the Championship title will know that there’s more to come – and turning numerous chances into goals is their main issue. Goals have been a long-term problem for Southampton, so Danny Ings’ availability is a major boost. He has scored three of their six so far and is surely the main threat to Wolves’ unbeaten home record that stretches back to January.Southampton have gone five matches without victory against Wolves in all competitions, losing the last three. They have never suffered four defeats in a row in this fixture. I expect Wolves to get the win here. 2-0
Chelsea vs Liverpool 5:30pm
So early in the season and yet so much at stake. Chelsea may have earned the edge at Anfield on Wednesday, but it’ll be Saturday that matters most. Chelsea and Liverpool represent not only a huge threat to champions Manchester City but a huge threat to each other. It’s a fixture which has become one of this generation’s greatest rivalries: Liverpool fans (incorrectly) taunting those of Chelsea for their lack of history; and Chelsea supporters (incorrectly) mocking their rivals’ obsession with the past. Of course, it’s the future that matters most: and these two seem certain to be involved in a three-way title race which should provide the neutral with an antidote to City’s romp to glory of last season. This is the most-played fixture in English football in the 21st century, with Chelsea and Liverpool facing each other on Saturday for the 58th time in that period. It’s a tough one to call but I feel Chelsea will get their second win against Liverpool in a week. 3-2 Chelsea win
Sunday 30th September
Cardiff vs Burnley 4pm
Cardiff’s last three games have brought increasingly heavy defeats against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City, but never mind those matches, it’s ones like this that will determine their Premier League future. Burnley’s win against Bournemouth last week cleared ‘the fog’ from the start of their season, only for a bit of mist to descend again with a Carabao Cup defeat at Burton. Sean Dyche questioned the mindset of his players after that one. If they don’t switch straight back on there may be some red mist around. This is the first top-flight meeting since a 1-1 draw in March 1962. I expect Burnley to kick on and get a win here. 2-1
Monday 1st October
Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace 8pm
Bournemouth were brought back to reality after they suffered heavy trashing away at Burnley and it will be It will be interesting to see how Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe reacts to his side’s defeat by Burnley, and whether he changes anything or just puts it down to a bad day after their strong start to the season. Crystal Palace picked up a decent win at The Hawthorns against West Brom in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday but this is a much harder task for them. Bournemouth to edge this 2-0.