The International Break is over – to be honest it puts a real dampner on the weekends without the Premier League but it’s back and we have a couple of whoppers too!
It all starts with the Merseyside Derby of course and that’s blinding. There might not be a lot of football played in the first few exchanges, crash bang wallop at the beginning but when it settles down I expect Liverpool to have too much. They will miss Lallana but Everton have bigger problems with missing players. Sad for Seamus Coleman, a top player who has had some awful luck with the leg break and I wish him well in his recovery.
This will be hostile but that won’t be enough to make a case for Everton and to be honest I expected more football to be played by Everton under Koeman, they are a bit in and out in terms of style and identity so you can’t yet rely on that team to produce. I’m going for a home win, the sun is shining and the momentum is with them so the buzz should still continue for Liverpool and the Klopp army. I’ll take a 2-1 and a good game.
Burnley have been good at home but that’s not enough to stop a side like Tottenham this weekend. They don’t have Kane but man for man there isn’t a player in the Burnley team that would get into the Tottenham side and they will be too good. If I’m a Spurs fan I’d want to see two or three goals here and cement their place in second. The League title is out of their reach but the reigns and shackles are off, they can play their game and I think they will get a few goals in a 3-1 win at Turf Moor.
Chelsea have the League won, they know that and it’s just a case of finishing the job. Crystal Palace could be on the end of a drumming, good night.
I don’t think they are capable of breaking down this Chelsea team, anyone can nick a freak goal but that’s the only hope of a Palace goal in this game and I think Chelsea will get 3 or 4 in a romp. Even if they miss Hazard they have Pedro, Fabregas etc to cause aggro and get amongst it up top with Costa. Way too good and a nail in the coffin for any team still thinking of a title chance.
It’s hard to call Hull at home against West Ham. Which team turns up on the day but it will mean a lot more to the home side and when it rocks at Hull it properly rocks. I’d say it is the most hostile ground I’ve played at and that makes the difference in these games, the twelfth man is needed. I’m going with Hull to get a result and West Ham are so up and down it’s almost holiday time for them if they get a couple more wins then the season will just peter out, that should happen soon enough.
Leicester made a brave decision to get rid of Ranieri but as a business decision, for the team and the club it looks to have been correct.
Momentum is everything and they have now changed theirs to be upwards rather than downwards so I think with another win or two they are away and looking forward as they should. If they could have picked a team to carry that on in their next game they would have picked Stoke to play now. A team that if you match the aggression then you can out manouvre them and I think Leicester will do both of those things and win by a couple of goals.
Man Utd welcome West Brom this weekend to Old Trafford and this might shock a few but that’s a proper slippery game for them.
With Zlatan out, Jones, Smalling and Pogba then if they are going to have an off week it is this one. West Brom will be aware that it’s a right opportunity to nick something and a Pulis side is not one to play with a few missing. You’d look at this game and go 2-0 Utd job done but I think this will be tight and not the prettiest game to watch. I’ll go for the 1-1 draw and a little blip for Man U.
Watford at home to Sunderland looks like the “call it a day” fixture for Sunderland if they don’t get three points. I think Watford will win too, the momentum is with them and the reality is dawning on Sunderland that it’s all a bit too much to reel back. We’ve said a few times if they win this one then they have a bit of light, I can’t see it though. Too much power in the Watford team and the pressure is really all on Moyes’ men, that will not be easy to play the way they need to to get a result.
Southampton and Bournmouth are very similar aren’t they. The table says as much even if Southampton have played a game or two less, they both like to play a bit but come unstuck against the juggernauts of the league. Nothing much between them and if there is a stand out draw of the weekend games this is it – 1-1.
Momentum counts for a lot at this stage of the season and Swansea have that over Boro’ on Sunday. They have made a good chance in the manager, players have perked up and a few results have come their way. This is the real 6 pointer of the weekend. Swansea win for me and then they are away and looking like they will get safe and beyond, Boro could be in trouble after it. I’m going 2-0 to the Swans.
Best for last possibly with Arsenal at home against Man City but that would be the case if Arsenal were at it properly and they are no where near.
They are a bit like boys v men sometimes, a lot of technical players who can do it all but can’t mix it with the best when they need to. They really miss a few that will get stuck in and grind for the team, Sanchez was doing that before he had his issues there and that’s sinking through the team. Man City are men, make no mistake and I just think they will turn Arsenal over when it matters. It could be boo city down at the Emirates this weekend, the pressure is right on Wenger and he deserves respect, of course he does, but it’s stale at Arsenal now and I think it is the end sooner rather than later.
The fans are either wanting him out or scared of what the change might mean, it’s time probably for a bit of freshness at the club. City to win here for me.
Good luck all, great to have the Premier League back in full flow!
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