Premier League Matchday Six: Can Reds Maintain The Gap?10 min read
Liverpool travel to Stamford Bridge on Sunday and Jurgen Klopp’s side begin the weekend five points clear at the top of the table following the shock defeat of champions Manchester City at Carrow Road last weekend. Here are my Premier League Matchday Six predictions and tips.
Southampton v Bournemouth
Excellent wins for both sides last weekend, but I feel it will be the Saints who go marching on in Friday’s south coast derby.
Moussa Djenepo’s brilliant individual effort was enough to give Southampton a well-deserved three points at Bramall Lane and the suggestion is that their other summer recruit, striker Che Adams, will soon break his Premier League duck after hitting the post with a stunning volley against Sheffield United.
Tip: Southampton to win
Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur
I was slightly disappointed with Leicester’s performance at Old Trafford at the weekend even though they had the lion’s share of possession against the hosts. Brendan Rodgers will be looking for more of a cutting edge when Spurs are the visitors in Saturday’s early kick-off.
Spurs eased their way past Crystal Palace after a scintillating first-half display at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday, but they may have to settle for a point at the King Power in what promises to be a terrific game.
Tip: Game to finish in a draw
Burnley v Norwich City
Norwich gained a famous win at home to champions Manchester City on Saturday evening, but I think Burnley, who have not won since the opening day of the season, will take all three points.
The Canaries have shown that they can score goals in the top-flight and it would not surprise me if they found the back of the net at Turf Moor, but this is a game Sean Dyche and all Clarets’ fans will be targeting three points from. I take the hosts to gain a vital win.
Tip: Burnley to win
Crystal Palace v Wolves
Despite their Europa League heroics, Wolves have yet to win in the Premier League so far this season and they conceded five against a rampant Chelsea at the weekend. They are too good a side to be down near the foot of the table for too long, however, although they may have to settle for a point at Selhurst Park.
Palace were also well beaten at the weekend, conceding four in the opening 45 minutes at Spurs in their London derby. The Eagles are unbeaten at Selhurst Park so far this term, however, and I believe Roy Hodgson’s side will extend that record in a tight, close game on Sunday.
Tip: Game to finish in a draw
Everton v Sheffield United
Everton’s away-day blues continued at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday, but they have picked up maximum points at Goodison Park so far this term from the visits of Watford and Wolves. I believe the Blues will maintain their unblemished home start to the season when Sheffield United visit at the weekend.
The Blades have come from behind to pick up valuable points at both Bournemouth and Chelsea so far this campaign, but they had their limitations, seemingly, exposed by Southampton at Bramall Lane at the weekend and I expect the hosts to pick up maximum points.
Tip: Everton to win to nil
Manchester City v Watford
Pep Guardiola is likely to be rueing the fact that he did not sign a central defender in the recent transfer window with the news earlier in the week that England international John Stones had joined the outstanding Aymeric Laporte on the sidelines.
Watford had 31 shots against Arsenal at Vicarage Road on Sunday and thoroughly deserved their point against the Gunners. New manager Quique Sanchez Flores will have been encouraged by the quality and fight of his side although they will do well to get anything at the Etihad – although we said much the same about Norwich when they entertained the champions last weekend!
Tip: City to win and both teams to score
Newcastle United v Brighton
Newcastle were eventually well beaten at Anfield on Saturday, but Steve Bruce will have taken several positives from the game although they continue to struggle to create opportunities.
I don’t expect to see many goals or chances when Brighton – who have only scored twice in the league since the opening day of the season – visit St James’ Park in what is likely to be a tight, tense, close affair.
Tip: Under 1.5 goals
West Ham v Manchester United
West Ham have lost just one of their last nine Premier League games after picking up a point at Villa Park on Monday from what was a disappointing goalless draw. There is likely to be more goalmouth action on Sunday when Manchester United visit the capital.
United gained what was only their second win in their last 10 league games when they ground out a narrow win over Leicester at Old Trafford. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have drawn on the road at both Wolves and Southampton so far this season and this will be another severe test of their top four credentials. If there is to be a winner at the London Stadium I believe it will be the Irons from what promises to be a hugely entertaining game.
Tip: West Ham draw no bet
Arsenal v Aston Villa
Having come from two-goals down at home to Spurs to rescue a point, Arsenal squandered a 2-0 lead themselves against Watford on Sunday and the Gunners must put an end to the defensive mistakes which have blighted their recent campaigns – although we do seem to say the same thing every week.
The Gunners face a difficult looking Europa League tie in Frankfurt on Thursday, but they possess such attacking quality that I expect the hosts to run out comfortable winners back at the Emirates.
I thought Villa were slightly disappointing, despite picking up a point, against West Ham earlier in the week and need to improve if they are not to face a relegation battle this season.
Tip: Arsenal halftime/fulltime
Chelsea v Liverpool
Despite both sides suffering midweek Champions League reverses, this is the game of the weekend and, arguably, the first serious test so far this league season of Liverpool’s title aspirations.
There was little between the sides in the European Super Cup in Istanbul last month, and I don’t expect there will be much between the sides at Stamford Bridge although I do think the Reds will gain their 15th successive league win.
Chelsea’s exciting young English players continue to go from strength-to-strength and I’m particularly looking forward to seeing how Tammy Abraham fares against Virgil Van Dijk and Joel Matip. At the time of writing it looks doubtful whether Mason Mount will have recovered from injury, however, having been on the end of a poor tackle from Valencia’s former Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin on his Champions League debut midweek.
It promises to be an absolute cracker, but Liverpool are taken to maintain their perfect start to the domestic season.
Tip: Liverpool to win and both teams to score
Michael’s weekend wager: Everton, Manchester City and Burnley