Manchester City take on Bournemouth, looking to continue their excellent record against the Cherries, while all the rivals face local derbies. How will they all get on and how did I do in week’s predictions? Let’s take a look.
Cardiff v Wolves
Bottom club Cardiff are looking to climb out of the league’s bottom three as they host Wolves on Friday night. A win for the Bluebirds will take them up to 15th in the Premier League, but will first have to overcome Wolves. Cardiff have lost three of their last five, including last week’s 1-0 defeat at Everton.
Wolves have lost four out of their last five matches and have dropped into mid-table following a fantastic start to Premier League life. Last week, Wolves suffered a surprise 2-0 defeat at home to struggling Huddersfield and they will be looking to get their challenge back on track in South Wales. It’s more than possible to achieve.
Prediction: Cardiff 1-2 Wolves
Palace were unlucky not to come away from Old Trafford with three points, but their fans will be happy to have taken a point at a ground where they have never won at in the Premier League. Palace have lost three of their last five and find themselves scrapping to stay out of the relegation zone.
Burnley are one place below Palace on the same amount of points and have lost four from their last five., including last week’s big defeat at home to Newcastle, which has taken them to the brink of the relegation zone. Burnley seem a shadow of the team that took the league by surprise last season, earning them a spot in Europe.
Defeat for either side is likely to see them drop into the relegation zone, while a draw could see both slip, depending on results elsewhere. I can’t see Burnley getting anything on Saturday.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 3-1 Burnley
Huddersfield v Brighton
Huddersfield recorded a surprise 2-0 win at Wolves last week to finally take them out of the relegation zone. Town have been most people’s favourite for relegation, and for a while, they were fulfilling the predictions. But two wins and a draw in their last three matches has seen them steadily climb the table.
By comparison, Brighton haven’t won in three matches and have gone in the opposite direction and defeat for the Seagulls could see them drop further down the league. Brighton’s biggest problem is defence; they just can’t keep a clean sheet and I don’t think they will keep one on Saturday.
Prediction: Huddersfield 2-0 Brighton
Leicester v Watford
Leicester are unbeaten in four matches, but have only won one of those. Last time out, they needed a penalty from Jamie Vardy to rescue a point at Brighton and had James Maddison sent off for a dive after 28 minutes. The goal was Vardy’s first since September and his lack of presence up front has contributed to the Foxes dropping to mid table.
After a good start, Watford have again faded away like last season. They are still in contention for a top six finish, but last week’s defeat at home to Liverpool saw the Hornets challenge take a hit. They will feel a little aggrieved after they had a decent penalty appeal turned down at 0-0, before Liverpool scored. I can see Watford coming away with a point.
Prediction: Leicester 1-1 Watford
Manchester City v Bournemouth
The blues have never lost to Bournemouth home or away and have won the last two matches 4-0. City will be looking to consolidate their lead and hope Liverpool drop points at home to Everton.
Bournemouth are a solid team with a good manager, but have only won one out of their last five matches. You can read our match preview and prediction here.
Prediction: Man City 3-0 Bournemouth
Newcastle v West Ham
Newcastle’s early season woes look to be behind them as they recorded their third successive victory when they won 2-1 at Burnley on Monday. That win took them clear of the relegation zone and they seem to finally be getting into a rhythm.
Although they lost 4-0 at home to City, West Ham still gave it a go and could have scored a couple of goals, but the match was truly over by half time as City took their foot off the pedal. The Hammers need a win to stop themselves being dragged further down, but I don’t think they will get it.
Prediction: Newcastle 2-1 West Ham
Southampton v Manchester United
Southampton lost last week against Fulham after taking the lead before coming from behind to equalise. Although they did manage to score a couple, they still couldn’t stop conceding again and stay in the relegation zone.
United struggled in midweek to record the win over Young Boys after labouring to a goalless draw at home to Palace. United are blowing hot and cold and have a couple of injury problems, but there seems to be no motivation in the team to want to win. I don’t think they’ll get anything from St Mary’s on Saturday.
Prediction: Southampton 1-0 Manchester United
Chelsea v Fulham
Derby Sunday see the first taking place at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea were well beaten at Spurs last weekend as they lost their unbeaten start and there was just nothing about them that would make people think they were genuine title challengers. There’s a long way to go, but they can’t afford to drop points in that manner, especially against their rivals. It was a good result for City though.
Fulham ended their losing streak by beating Southampton 3-2 at home, but still remained bottom of the league on goal difference. Chelsea are a different opposition to Southampton, but Fulham have been known to spring a surprise in this fixture. Not in Sunday though.
Prediction: Chelsea 4-0 Fulham
Arsenal v Spurs
Derby day moves to North London as Arsenal welcome Spurs. The Gunners ended a three match drawing run by beating Bournemouth in their last match, but have lost ground on the leaders. Unai Emery has got the team playing together, but Spurs will be a huge test for the new boss.
Spurs recorded a great win against Chelsea and it was a combination of Spurs being brilliant and Chelsea just not turning up. Arsenal away will be hard, but with the Gunners still in a transition period, it is a great opportunity for Spurs to get the win. I think they’ll miss it though.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-2 Spurs
Liverpool v Everton
The final derby moves north as Everton make the short journey across Stanley Park for the Merseyside derby. Liverpool rode their luck against Watford last week and lost at PSG in the Champions League. The reds are still chasing City and are getting the results, but a match against tougher opposition than Watford will see them stutter.
Everton are that tougher opposition, but they haven’t won at Anfield since 1999, almost twenty years. The Toffees have only lost one of their last five matches and are ready to challenge Arsenal for fifth place, and a win on Sunday will consolidate their position. They will be the underdogs, but this is a better Everton team than in recent years and I think they’ll do it.
Prediction: Liverpool 0-2 Everton
Last Week’s Predictions
So how did my predictions hold up last week?
Brighton v Leicester 1-1 2-0
Everton v Cardiff 1-0 3-0
Fulham v Southampton 3-2 1-1
Man Utd v Crystal Palace 0-0 0-0
Watford v Liverpool 0-3 1-0
West Ham v Man City 0-4 0-3
Spurs v Chelsea 2-1 3-1
Bournemouth v Arsenal 1-2 2-2
Wolves v Huddersfield 0-2 3-0
Burnley v Newcastle 1-2 0-0
One spot on and a couple were so close. Not bad, reasonably happy with that. Check back next week to see how poor I’ve been this week.