Another week another round of Premier League action as the blues take on the reds in the Manchester Derby. Who will take the spoils and earn their fans bragging rights until the return at Old Trafford? But apart from Derby Day, there are some other fixtures going on apparently, so let’s take a look at those matches and try to predict the outcome, all the while, hoping I do better than last week. Well I can’t do any worse!
Cardiff v Brighton
Cardiff lost to an emotional Leicester City last weekend to leave them in the bottom three. With Newcastle and Huddersfield both winning last week, Cardiff will need the points to try and keep tabs on their rivals before they start getting the winning habit.
Brighton lost at Everton but are still eight points above the dop zone. It’s still too early to start thinking about relegation, but every point helps avoid the dreaded drop. If Brighton play to their full potential, I think they will win, but I also don’t think they will play to their potential. I just can’t see Cardiff winning either so I’m going for a draw.
Prediction: Cardiff 1-1 Brighton
Huddersfield v West Ham
Lift off for Huddersfield last week when they beat Watford 1-0 at home, but face a Hammers side fresh from beating Burnley 4-2. That win for Town finally lifted them off the bottom of the table, but victory for Newcastle means they are still in the relegation zone. It’s going to be a tough season for the Terriers after the results they pulled off last season, and they need to find some of that form quickly before they get left behind.
After a difficult start, Manuel Pellegrini’s men have put a five point gap between themselves and their opponents, but two wins from their last five matches is not the sort of form expected from a Pellegrini side. However, I think they will have too much for Huddersfield and predict them to take the three points back to East London on Saturday.
Prediction: Huddersfield 1-2 West Ham
Leicester v Burnley
After a very difficult and emotional week, Leicester get back down to business in the Premier League. The team travelled to Thailand for the funeral of their owner who was tragically killed in the awful helicopter crash outside the King Power Stadium, and it remains to be seen how it will affect them in their first home game since the tragedy.
Burnley have just two wins from eleven matches and are only outside the relegation zone due to the even poorer form of their rivals. After clawing their way back from 2-0 down, the Clarets blew it and conceded two late goals. Sean Dyche is going to have to get his team working together soon, with them sitting just three points ahead of bottom club Fulham. I can’t see them getting anything from this match though and think Leicester will thump them.
Prediction: Leicester 4-0 Burnley
Newcastle v Bournemouth
There was relief around St James’s Park last week as Newcastle finally got three points by beating Watford, but there’s still work to be done for Rafa Benitez’s men. One win doesn’t fix the problems, but it does give the team confidence for their next match. Newcastle’s problem is scoring; seven goals in eleven matches is simply not good enough for a team of Newcastle’s stature, and a striker should be on the boss’s January wish list if the board allow him to have one.
Bournemouth on the other hand are still flying high despite their unfortunate last minute defeat at home to Manchester United, and in the first half threatened to overrun the visitors. They have won six out of their eleven matches and are on the edge of the top five. A win won’t be enough to dislodge Arsenal, but it would keep the pressure on. I can see them doing it too. Sorry Newcastle.
Prediction: Newcastle 0-2 Bournemouth
Southampton v Watford
For a while at the Etihad, it looked like Saints would lose by a cricket score. They were conceding goals every six minutes to start with and were 3-0 down after just 18 minutes. 4-1 at half time and it was a case of damage limitation for Mark Hughes’ men. Goal-shy Saints managed to score only their 7th goal of the season and they will need to tighten their defence against the Hornets.
Watford are not far off a top six spot, and have won six of their eleven games so far this season. However, they have lost three of their last five matches and their unwanted statistic is that they were the first team to lose to Newcastle. If Saints play like they did in patches against City, they may well stand a chance of winning, and I think they might just do it.
Prediction: Southampton 1-0 Watford
Crystal Palace v Spurs
South London takes on North London at Selhurst Park where Palace will be hoping to put last week’s defeat at Chelsea behind them. For a brief spell in the second half when Andros Townsend equalised, there was a belief that Palace could get something out of the game. Sadly for Palace, and for City, Chelsea had too much and won the game. Palace held Arsenal last time out at home, and the fans may feel there’s a chance against the other North London team.
Spurs meanwhile looked very comfortable when they were 3-0 up at Wolves. So comfortable in fact, they forgot how to defend and conceded two penalties that led to both Wolves goals. It was careless from Spurs and they will need to step up their game to get anything out of this match. I think they’ll do just enough to get a point.
Prediction: Palace 1-1 Spurs
Liverpool v Fulham
Second in the league at home to the bottom club, what could possibly go wrong for Liverpool? They lost to Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League, but since that was on Tuesday, they have had plenty of time to recover. But after a storming start, Liverpool have won two of their last five matches, and even though they are still unbeaten, there’s a feeling of discontent in the stands. Klopp is under pressure to deliver a trophy, and right now, it seems that pressure is transferring to the players.
Fulham seriously look like relegation fodder. One win in eleven epitomises their season so far and a trip to Anfield, while not as bad as going to City or Chelsea, is a fixture they will not want this weekend. Fulham have the potential to be organised and cause problems, but they just can’t put it together right now. They will have to be disciplined at Anfield, but I can’t see them being as such and can only see defeat. I hope I’m wrong though.
Prediction: Liverpool 3-0 Fulham
Chelsea v Everton
Chelsea overcame Palace last weekend to keep the gap with City at just two points. They are the third unbeaten side in the league so far this season and are looking good to chase City for the title. They do seem to rely in Eden Hazard a lot though and that could be their Achilles heal. An injury to Hazard and the team is not as good, so they will be hoping he stays fit for the while season.
Everton are on a bit of a run despite their 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford two weeks ago. They have won four out of their last five game, and in Richarlison, they have the potential to cause Chelsea a few problems. They are steadily climbing the table and could pull off a surprise result here.
Prediction: Chelsea 1-1 Everton
Arsenal v Wolves
Arsenal’s run of seven straight wins ended at Palace and continued at home to Liverpool last weekend, where they had to come from behind to save a point. The new boss is likely to still be working out his team and Gunners will have to be patient with him – he will work it out and Arsenal will be challenging for honours again soon.
After a very good start to the season, it seems Wolves bubble has burst. Three straight defeats has seen them plummet down the league as teams have realised how to play against them. Wolves now need to adapt if they are to stop the rot before it goes any further, but a win at Arsenal looks highly unlikely.
Prediction: Arsenal 4-1 Wolves
Manchester City v Manchester United
The first Manchester derby sees City entertain their neighbours and rivals, and the blues will be eager to get revenge for that 3-2 home defeat last season that prevented them from clinching the title in front of both City and United fans. The blues have knocked in 12 goals in the last two matches and have scored six goals in one match three times already this season.
United will go into the match as underdogs but they should never, ever be written off (unless david Moyes is still in charge). They seem to be strongest in the second half, allowing teams to attack them in the first half, then hit their opponents later. That won’t work against City as the blues are scoring at will at the moment, but even so, I think it will be a close affair. Either that or City will crush them.
Prediction: City 3-1 United
Okay, it’s that time of the week where we look at last week’s prediction and laugh at the feeble attempt to become the next Nostradamus.
Result My Prediction
Bournemouth v United 1-2 2-1
Cardiff v Leicester 0-1 1-4
Everton v Brighton 1-1 3-1
Newcastle v Watford 1-0 0-2
West Ham v Burnley 4-2 2-1
Arsenal v Liverpool 1-1 1-0
Wolves v Spurs 2-3 0-3
City v Southampton 6-1 4-0
Chelsea v Palace 3-1 4-0
Huddersfield v Fulham 1-0 2-0
One word…abysmal, but if I get just one prediction right this weekend, I hope it’s City’s. Come on you blues!!!