@Originalfooty takes a look at the fixtures for the sixth weekend of Premier League football. Last weekend we got five out of ten predictions correct and one correct score. Will we do better this week?
Liverpool vs Everton (12:45)
Both of these sides have suffered very poor starts to the season by their standards. Liverpool are enduring a terrible run of form. They were fortunate to beat Ludogrets Razgrad in the Champions League after a moment of lunacy from the opposition’s goalkeeper, they’ve suffered back-to-back losses in the league and required penalties to knock out Championship opposition in the League Cup. Other teams have worked out how to play against them and Steven Gerrard is a passenger at the moment who is being too easily marked out of the game. Everton, on the other hand, have been appalling at the back – similarly to Liverpool – and have lost to sides that they should really be beating. With both sides struggling at the back so much, this should be a high scoring and entertaining match.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-2 Everton
Chelsea vs Aston Villa (15:00)
Chelsea may have dropped points at The Etihad last weekend but they remain the favourites to lift the trophy this season. Their title rivals have all struggled to hit top gear but they are ruthlessly dispatching weaker sides in the division. Villa have made a good start and, despite losing to Arsenal last weekend, have already earned more points out of their horror run, that sees them facing last season’s top five, than many would have expected so can play without pressure. Chelsea should emerge victorious.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Aston Villa
Crystal Palace vs Leicester (15:00)
Neil Warnock masterminded an excellent win for his side against Everton, despite being under the cosh for long periods of the match. Whilst they were largely gifted goals from Everton’s back five, they capitalised on those mistakes and were good value for their win. Meanwhile, Leicester smashed five past Man United and tore them apart in the second half. The speed at which The Foxes attack and can hit teams on the break is frightening and no side in the league will want to face them at the minute. The Foxes should have enough to see off The Eagles.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-2 Leicester
Hull vs Man City (15:00)
Steve Bruce’s side have put in a mixed range of performances and are yet to fully click at the back. Letting a two goal lead slip against a struggling Newcastle side was particularly disappointing. City, on the other hand, showed great resolve to get a point against Chelsea and they have kept themselves within touching distance of the table-toppers. Pellegrini’s men know that they can’t afford to slip up again and must keep the pressure up on Mourinho’s men.
Prediction: Hull 0-3 Man City
Man Utd vs West Ham (15:00)
Louis van Gaal watched on in utter disbelief last weekend as Leicester picked off his side. This must be the worst defence in United’s history and they have to tighten up at the back if they are to be successful this season. The saving grace for van Gaal and his side is that other top-four contenders are currently struggling too and they have not taken full advantage of their failings. West Ham look very organised and produced a wonderful performance to beat Liverpool last weekend. They are playing with attacking flair and confidence and Sam Allardyce deserves great credit for his summer dealings. They will be confident of scoring goals against this poor United defence, however, keeping the likes of Di Maria, Falcao, Rooney and van Persie at bay remains a terrifying prospect for any defence. United should bounce back.
Prediction: Man Utd 3-2 West Ham
Southampton vs QPR (15:00)
Ronald Koeman’s side have been a revelation this season and have demonstrated how important it is to be united as a team regardless of the calibre of players who leave. Whilst their former stars struggle at their supposed greener pastures, Koeman’s team find themselves sitting pretty in second place. QPR, on the other hand, have struggled to find a team identity this season and they need to find a level of consistency to their performances. Southampton should run out comfortable winners.
Prediction: Southampton 4-1 QPR
Sunderland vs Swansea (15:00)
Swansea have suffered back-to-back losses against the top two sides in the league but Garry Monk will be delighted nonetheless with the start they’ve made. Wilfried Bony got himself stupidly sent off last weekend, which ruined their chances against a strong Southampton side. Despite his red card, he has served his ban by missing their midweek League Cup match; another reason that clubs should aim to stay in the competition. Sunderland are hanging perilously close to the drop zone and are in real need of a confidence boosting win. Swansea will have enough to deny The Black Cats all three points.
Prediction: Sunderland 1-1 Swansea
Arsenal vs Spurs (17:30)
This is the second local derby of the weekend and it promises to be an intriguing encounter. Whilst Arsenal have not played particularly well, they are still unbeaten in the league and their performance improved dramatically against Aston Villa at the weekend – although the Villans were suffering from a bug. It was the same old story at White Hart Lane, however, as they dropped points against weaker opposition in the form of West Brom. Spurs are looking to avoid their third straight loss in the league but The Gunners should have too much for them.
Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Spurs
West Brom vs Burnley (16:00)
This is an early relegation battle and one that both sides will be desperate to win. The Baggies performance improved greatly against Spurs as they came away from White Hart Lane with a surprise victory and the addition of Joleon Lescott at the back really added solidity to their defence. Burnley have also looked fairly sturdy at the back and are keeping clean sheets, which is important at this level. The biggest problem both these sides face is sticking the ball in the back of the net and both seem to struggle for firepower. Both sides will know how important a victory is here and may be more adventurous, however, it is vital that neither side loses this game so a draw is the more likely outcome.
Prediction: West Brom 1-1 Burnley
Stoke vs Newcastle (20:00)
Had Stoke not shocked Manchester City, this would be a clash between the bottom two sides in the league. Stoke have been very disappointing thus far in the campaign and need to rediscover their strong home form. Newcastle have also been extremely poor this season and are yet to register a victory. Alan Pardew’s job was saved by a Papisse Cisse-inspired comeback last weekend, however, pressure remains on him to deliver results. A bad performance and result here could lead to the end of Pardew’s reign and Stoke should nick it.
Prediction: Stoke 2-1 Newcastle