It was an enjoyable mid-week for Premier League fans (except for Chelsea fans) with all of Tottenham, Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United producing some dominant performances and topping their groups.
An exciting game week with 2 big matches on Super Sunday, the English Premier League is back with a bang. Here’s a look at all the fixtures along with their IST timings:
The game week begins with Leicester City visiting Stoke at the Britannia Stadium which has been recently renamed as Bet365 Stadium. Both teams are in the bottom half of the table with one point separating the other. Form wise, Leicester have been unbeaten in their last 4 PL games and have won 2 in a row for the first time this season. Stoke are traditionally strong at home but Leicester’s recent form will be enough to see them through the match.
In another mid table clash, Huddersfield play host to West Brom Albion. Both teams are well organized with a tight defensive approach. A draw would be a fair result for this contest.
Newcastle United welcome Bournemouth at St. James Park. Bournemouth are struggling at the moment and Eddie Howe needs to improve his side. Bournemouth have scored only 6 goals so far in the PL and they need to fix this. Newcastle have won just once in their last 5 matches and would be looking to get back to winning ways. I’m expecting Newcastle United to win.
Burnley visit Southampton which should be an exciting contest. Both teams are on a good run of form with Burnley being the better team so far this season. Sean Dyche has done a fantastic job with this Burnley team and there are reports linking him to the Everton job. A draw looks likely.
Swansea against Brighton and Hove Albion at the Liberty Stadium should be a tight affair. Brighton are unbeaten in their last 3 matches and manager Chris Hughton wants his team to fight for every result. Swansea have just scored 7 goals so far and that stat needs to change. A defeat for the Swans would mean another season long battle for survival in the Premier League. Am expecting the promoted side Brighton to win this one and heap more misery on the Swans.
Saturday finishes off with West Ham United playing Liverpool and considering Liverpool’s erratic form this season, anything can be possible in this match. Liverpool will be without their talismanic midfielder Coutinho, also Wijnaldum and Lovren are doubtful for this match.
With only 2 wins in their last 5 PL matches, Liverpool needs a winning run to be in hunt for the Top-4 places. With all their attacking flair and fluidity, Klopp has to sort out their defensive issues which are hurting them badly. Unless Liverpool find their defensive stability I fear they wont have any chance of silverware this season.
West Ham on the other hand are playing well but the results haven’t been in their favor. With just 1 win in their last 5 matches Bilic would be hoping his team gets a result in this match. A point against Liverpool can be a big confidence and morale booster for his side. Expecting a hard fought victory for Liverpool in this one.
Super Sunday begins with Tottenham playing hosts to Crystal Palace at Wembley. Spurs have major absentees with Lloris and Alderweireld although in form goal machine Harry Kane is available. With Kane and Alli firing on all cylinders, Spurs are the second most exciting team to watch in the PL after Manchester City. With Eriksen pulling the strings in midfield and Alli behind Kane, they’ve formed a destructive partnership.
With 4 points from 10 matches, Crystal Palace have a mammoth task of survival but expecting a result against Spurs is another daunting task. Palace’s only win at Spurs was way back in 1997!! Expecting Spurs to win this one quite comfortably.
MANCHESTER CITY VS ARSENAL
I don’t think that people will believe that Manchester City have actually won just 1 match against Arsenal in their last 9 matches in all competitions (D4 L4). This stat shouldn’t worry the City fans as they are on a roll this season. They have blown away teams in England and in Europe likewise. “A pure joy to watch” as I would put it.
Manchester City have scored a record 35 goals in 10 matches in the PL. (That’s 3.5 goal per match!!) Pep Guardiola has finally instilled his ideas in the City side which lacked consistency last season. They are the team to beat this season and it would be a herculean task for Arsenal.
With a stuttering start to the campaign, Arsenal have found their feat and have won 4 of their last 5 matches. With Sanchez and Ozil getting back in their strides, this match could prove to be vital for their own title ambitions. A win at Etihad will open up the title race and will boost the morale of the other challengers.
Arsene Wenger is not the kind of manager to park the bus against City and I am expecting him to go all out, trying to cancel City’s midfield and limit their wingers. This match could prove to be a tactical master-class from both the managers. However considering City’s form this looks highly unlikely. Although I am going for a draw for this one with Alexis Sanchez having a great match.
CHELSEA VS MANCHESTER UNITED
The last time these two sides met at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea humiliated United with a 4-0 victory. Things have changed this season and it would be Chelsea on backfoot this time. With Kante probably missing this tie, it’s the perfect opportunity for Mourinho to attack his former side and to go for a win. United has won just 1 of their last 15 PL matches at Chelsea.
Manchester United’s terrific start to the season was halted by a loss against Huddersfield and a victory against Spurs have seen them get back to winning ways. A win at Chelsea will prove Mourinho’s critics wrong about his negative approach towards big matches, where he tends to park the bus! United have enough arsenal in their attack to actually win this game and the fans would be shocked if they sit back and defend in numbers. Jose needs a win at Stamford Bridge to prove his title credentials with Manchester United.
Chelsea are back with the 3-0 loss to AS Roma in the Champions League and need to get over it quickly. A terrible defensive performance away at Roma must have shocked Conte who’s usually known for his defensively strong teams. Conte must be expecting a response from his players especially Morata.
This match will pit Morata against Lukaku, two strikers who were linked heavily to both the clubs with Chelsea gate crashing the United-Morata deal and United doing the same with Chelsea-Lukaku deal. Hazard getting back to his old form should worry United as he’s the game changer, someone who can create or score goals with a blink of an eye. Expecting a keen contest with United to come on top.
That’s it for the weekend guys. If you like what you’ve read, check out more stuff from: