Weekend Preview and Predictions

@0riginalfooty takes a look at the fixtures for the fourth weekend of Premier League football. Last week proved to be an absolute shocker on the prediction front with a measly one correct result out of ten. We’ll surely do better this week…

Saturday

Arsenal vs Manchester City (12:45)
Neither of these sides will have been too happy to head off for the international break on the back of poor results. Arsenal will be even more incensed with the injury to Aaron Ramsey that could rule him out of this one. The Gunners were very poor against Leicester and were fortunate to get a point against Everton after being wholly outplayed. City, on the other hand, suffered an unbelievable home defeat at the hands of Stoke. It goes to show how unpredictable this league can be. Arsenal were very poor against the big teams last season and City will be out to avenge that Community Shield defeat at the start of this campaign so expect a City win.
Prediction: Arsenal 1-3 Man City

Chelsea vs Swansea (15:00)
1st plays 2nd in an early top of the table clash. It seems unlikely that The Swans will continue their push at the top of the league for much longer but they should enjoy their run whilst it lasts. Chelsea have made an equally impressive start to the season and are full of goals. They should have too much for Garry Monk’s side in this one despite Swansea’s confident outlook.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Swansea

Crystal Palace vs Burnley (15:00)
This is a clash between the bottom two sides in the division, on one point respectively, and they will both be desperate to hoist themselves out of the relegation zone with this one. Although it’s very early on in the season, psychologically you don’t want to be stuck down at the bottom of the pile. Whilst a trip to Selhurst Park is never easy, Burnley will give The Eagles a good match. Neil Warnock is still getting to know his side and may have to settle for a point here. Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-1 Burnley

Southampton vs Newcastle
Southampton have started the season fairly convincingly under Ronald Koeman and don’t seem to be suffering too much from the mass exodus in the summer. Newcastle, in comparison, are still desperate for a win and there is talk of Alan Pardew having only two games to save his job. The Magpies probably need this win more but an entertaining draw is a more likely outcome.
Prediction: Southampton 2-2 Newcastle

Stoke vs Leicester Stoke secured the most unlikely of results by beating Mark Hughes’ former club Man City at the Etihad Stadium and that has really saved them from what had otherwise been a very poor start. Leicester have been one of the surprise packages of the season so far and have done remarkably well to get two points out of three of the best teams in the division. A note of caution, however, it is often easier to get fired up against the big teams where there is no pressure and it’s the results against the smaller sides that keeps you in the division. Leicester may find that out the hard way here.
Prediction: Stoke 2-1 Leicester

Sunderland vs Spurs
Both sides will be keen to bounce back after disappointing defeats prior to the international break. Sunderland succumbed to defeat away at Loftus road whereas Spurs were hammered by Liverpool at home. It will be interesting to see how both sides recover. Sunderland, on the whole, have looked pretty tough to beat but don’t seem to have that killer instinct in front of goal. Spurs, on the other hand, have performed admirably against weaker sides but there still seems to be a gap to bridge with the big boys. Expect Spurs to just edge a victory.
Prediction: Sunderland 0-1 Spurs

West Brom vs Everton (15:00)
These teams find themselves in and around the relegation zone at this early stage. The Baggies were thrashed last time out by a rampant Swansea and scoring goals seems to be their Achilles heel. Everton, conversely, have made a really disappointing start to the season. Although they’ve had relatively tough fixtures that included Chelsea and Arsenal, they have thrown away several leads in their opening two fixtures and conceded six against a rampant Chelsea. West Brom shouldn’t threaten the Toffees though and an away win should kick start their season.
Prediction: West Brom 0-2 Everton

Liverpool vs Aston Villa (17:30)
Liverpool negotiated a potentially tough trip to White Hart Lane with ease and they have made a decent start to the season. Villa have also made a terrific start, however, they are about to embark on a tough run that sees them play five sides out of last season’s top six. Villa have been remarkably good at Anfield in the last two seasons beating Liverpool 3-1 in the campaign before last and drawing 2-2 earlier this year. Despite their good start and the injury to Daniel Sturridge, it’s hard to see anything other than a Liverpool victory.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Aston Villa  

Sunday

Man United vs QPR (16:00)
Rio Ferdinand returns to play against his old club and Radamel Falcao could be in line for his Manchester United debut; two subplots that make Sunday’s tie a mouth-watering clash. Louis van Gaal will need to get a win sooner rather than later after an uninspiring start that sees them languishing in the bottom half of the table. QPR changed their formation last weekend at home to Sunderland and looked instantly more solid as they came away with a good win. This should be an entertaining game and United should, finally, come away with three points.
Prediction: Man United 3-1 QPR

Monday

Hull City vs West Ham (20:00) Hull were absolutely terrible in the first half against Villa last weekend and their exit from the Europa League could prove a blessing in disguise so that they avoid abject performances like that in future. West Ham are trying to improve their style of play, with mixed results, but I think they’ll go back to basics here and try to grind out an away point.
Prediction: Hull City 1-1 West Ham

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