Hallelujah!!! The Premier League returns today after the international break, and the blues travel to East London to face West Ham United. It will be the first time Manuel Pellegrini has faced his old club, and will be looking to put one over the man who replaced him. The blues will remain two points clear at the top of the league with a win, however if results go their way, they could be four clear going into the last week of November.
But who do their rivals face and how will they get on? It’s that time of week where I fail hopelessly with predictions again.
Brighton v Leicester
Brighton lost at Cardiff last time out to make it two losses in a row after winning their previous three, but their previous form has kept them out of the relegation zone. Even so, they will be eager to use their home advantage to beat Leicester to ensure more daylight between them and those below.
Leicester toiled to a 0-0 draw at home to struggling Burnley, meaning their victory at Cardiff is their only win in their last five matches. The Foxes have won and lost five matches and have been an indifferent team all season. I don’t think they will get anything from Brighton today.
Prediction: Brighton 2-0 Leicester
Everton v Cardiff
Everton are another team that you just don’t know what you’ll get from them. One week they can be great, the next extremely poor, and it all depends on which Everton side turns up against Cardiff. They have lost one from their last five, winning three and they sit just one point from the top six.
Cardiff recorded only their second win of the season at home to Brighton but remain in the relegation zone on goal difference from Southampton. Only scoring 11 and conceding 25, Cardiff are likely to struggle against Everton, and I can’t see them coming away with anything from Goodison Park.
Prediction: Everton 3-0 Cardiff
Fulham v Southampton
This is a big six pointer for both teams. Bottom club Fulham have lost their lost five matches and are already three points from safety. While goal scoring remains a big issue for the Cottagers, their defence is leaking goals and have failed to keep a clean sheet in the league all season. That will have to change soon if they want to survive.
But against Southampton, they might have a chance to plug that defence. The goal shy Saints have only scored eight goals in twelve matches and have scored just two goals in their last five matches. But they sit just above the relegation zone on goal difference, but they may find themselves in it if they don’t get a result.
Prediction: Fulham 1-1 Southampton
Manchester United v Crystal Palace
United were outplayed, outclassed and outgunned in the derby two weeks ago, and they will still be smarting from that defeat. They just didn’t perform and let City dominate. Even when they scored, they never looked like adding any more. That is likely to be different against their south London opponents.
Palace have dropped down the table and are only outside the relegation zone on goal difference. The Eagles have lost four out of their last five matches, drawing the other and were beaten 1-0 at home to Spurs last time out. Palace usually raise their game against the top clubs and they may well do it again at Old Trafford.
Prediction: Man United 0-0 Crystal Palace
Watford v Liverpool
Watford are going great guns and have only lost one out of their last five, which has taken them to the brink of the top six, edged out only by Bournemouth. The Hornets are more than capable of springing a surprise.
Liverpool have been a bit lacklustre recently and, after a great start, have now drawn two of their last five. Still unbeaten but it seems like teams are working them out and how to play against the. The fans are getting restless with the manager and it might be starting to show in the team. It’s a tricky one for Liverpool and here’s my crazy prediction of the week.
Watford 1-0 Liverpool
West Ham v City
Manuel Pellegrini’s side is starting to find a bit of a rhythm and are unbeaten in their last three matches. The Hammers have moved away from the relegation zone, but have lost their last three home matches against the blues.
City cruised to a derby win last time out, and really should have put more than three past United. But once David Silva had given the blues the lead, they never looked like surrendering it like they did last season. Manager Pep Guardiola won’t allow them to lose focus and I see City making it four wins at the Hammers.
Prediction: West Ham 0-3 Man City
Spurs v Chelsea
Spurs scored a win at Crystal Palace two weeks ago to fend off the fight from Arsenal and stay in fourth place. Spurs have been known for bottling games against the top teams, but if they get into a rhythm early enough, they could pose some problems for Chelsea.
Chelsea re still unbeaten in the league and were surprisingly held at home to Everton in their last outing. After a solid start to the season, Chelsea are another team that the opposition are working out how to play against and they go into the match already four points behind City. A win for Spurs will see them pass their opponents. And I think they might just do it.
Prediction: Spurs 2-1 Chelsea
Bournemouth v Arsenal
Bournemouth are a bit of a surprise package this season and are challenging the Gunners for fifth place in the league. They won’t get it if they win on Sunday, but it will put them within one point of their opponents. But the Cherries have lost their last two, including being the second team beaten by Newcastle, and Sunday’s game will be a tough test for them.
Arsenal left it late to get an equaliser at home to Wolves last time out as they lost ground on Spurs who sit in fourth place. After winning seven in a row, they have drawn their last three and desperately need to win to stay in touch with the top four.
Prediction: Bournemouth 2-2 Arsenal
Wolves v Huddersfield
Wolves are going through a bit of a sticky patch, losing three and drawing one of their last four and scoring an average of one goal a game. They have dropped down the table considerably, however they did enough at the start to be well clear of the relegation zone.
Huddersfield are the league lowest scorers with just six goals in 12 matches. One win in those twelve have made the Terriers relegation fodder and it is difficult to see them doing anything other than being relegated at the end of the season. I can’t see them getting anything from Wolves on Sunday.
Prediction: Wolves 3-0 Huddersfield
Burnley v Newcastle
Burnley have not won in their last five matches and lost three on the trot before drawing at Leicester last time out. They have struggled throughout the season and if they don’t start winning soon, they will be dragged firmly into the relegation battle.
Newcastle recorded their second win of the season at home to Bournemouth last time out, but are only outside the relegation zone by one point. The losers of this match could find themselves back in the relegation zone, while the winners could potentially move just one place higher.
Prediction: Burnley 0-0 Newcastle
It’s been two weeks since the last predictions, so let’s take a look at how I did.
Cardiff v Brighton 2-1 1-1
Huddersfield v West Ham 1-1 1-2
Leicester v Burnley 0-0 4-0
Newcastle v Bournemouth 2-1 0-2
Southampton v Watford 1-1 1-0
Crystal Palace v Spurs 0-1 1-1
Liverpool v Fulham 2-0 3-0
Chelsea v Everton 1-1 0-0
Arsenal v Wolves 1-1 4-1
Man City v Man Utd 3-1 3-1
One spot on, and if I can use this text from last time
One word…abysmal, but if I get just one prediction right this weekend, I hope it’s City’s. Come on you blues!!!
I’ll take that.
See you next week