Harry’s Picks: Week Seven7 min read
We welcome the Premier League back this weekend after an International break which saw England cement their place at the top of Group A following two comfortable victories with plenty more goals. The Three Lions have hit the net an incredible nineteen times in just four qualifying games and hopefully will be one of the leading fancies at next summer’s finals.
Tottenham to get back on track
Tottenham would be disappointed to see a two-goal lead evaporate at North London rivals Arsenal in their last match but a point was useful never the less. They face another local opponent with Crystal Palace the visitors on Saturday.
The Eagles have made an encouraging start to their campaign and won 2-1 at Manchester United recently, finding themselves in the dizzy heights of fourth place. Spurs know they can’t afford a slip-up, especially after a 1-0 home loss against Newcastle and I expect them to get back on track here.
Star forward Harry Kane has looked sharp on International duty where, following a hat trick against Bulgaria, he netted again against Kosovo. He will be looking to add to that tally domestically and with Christian Eriksen back in the fold, the hosts should have far too much attacking quality for Palace.
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Swans flourishing in the Championship
Swansea have made a terrific start in the Championship and sit two points clear at the summit. A crucial 1-0 win at title favourites Leeds last time out saw their own odds shorten, and a home game with Nottingham Forest gives them an opportunity to maintain that momentum.
Admittedly, the Tricky Trees have lost just once but tend to be frustratingly difficult to call and find it hard to remain consistent. Despite losing key personnel in the summer, City have recruited well with Spanish striker Borja Baston catching the eye with some sparkling early season performances which have seen him net five times already.
Playing attractive free flowing football, Swansea should be able to secure another three points and announce themselves as genuine promotion contenders.
Big performance due from Boro
Middlesbrough will not be happy to have only managed a solitary victory from six outings and new manager Jonathan Woodgate knows his team must improve to start climbing the table. In forward Britt Assombalonga, the Boro have one of the most feared marksmen in the division and he netted in a 2-2 draw at Bristol City in their latest match to take his seasonal tally to three.
Middlesbrough really should have beaten Luton on opening day after dominating and they look a team ready to burst into action . Visitors to the Riverside Reading are just a point better off but arrive on the back of a surprise 2-0 home loss against Charlton and defensively look vulnerable. I expect a home win and the start of an improved run of results now for the North East men.
Sunderland too strong for Stanley
Sunderland were brought back down to earth following a shock 3-0 defeat at Peterborough when nothing went right for the Black Cats. Two red cards didn’t help and it was certainly a day to forget. A rest last weekend and a visit to Accrington gives them an excellent chance of getting back on the promotion trail . The Mackem’s are still well poised to challenge for the title and remain favourites for League One.
Stanley look likely to have a tough season ahead and after just the one success, remain towards the bottom. They were defeated 3-1 at home against Sunderland in the League Cup earlier in the season and do find it difficult keeping a clean sheet. Another three goals were conceded at Bristol Rovers last Saturday and against a strong Sunderland attack, I just can’t see them preventing another defeat.
Tractor Boys to plough on
Ipswich have reacted well to relegation from the Championship last season and are unbeaten back in League One, sitting just a point off the top but with a game in hand. A strong defence has conceded just four goals and at the other end, James Norwood has netted five times after arriving from Tranmere. Strike partner Kayden Jackson has four and the duo have been in sparkling form together.
Town have averaged over twenty thousand through the gate in their opening three home games and with optimism high, will be expected to account for Doncaster at Portman Road.
Losing star forward John Marquis to Portsmouth was a blow for the Yorkshiremen but in fairness, they have started well with three wins and two draws. A late comeback saw a 2-1 victory over rivals Rotherham last weekend but their squad still looks far inferior to such as Ipswich.
The Tractor boys will be a step up in class and I envisage the hosts having too much quality and should send the home fans away with three more points.
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