Premier League Gameweek 9: Arsenal Are Gunning for 10th Win in a Row9 min read
The Premier League returns this weekend and the big game, arguably, is the visit of Manchester United to Stamford Bridge in the early kick-off on Saturday.
Chelsea v Manchester United
Chelsea have lost just one of their last 16 home league games with Manchester United and I expect to see the hosts improve on that proud home record.
Jose Mourinho has lost all three games as United boss at Stamford Bridge, and the visitors will certainly have to defend better than they did against Newcastle in the first 45 minutes at Old Trafford last time.
United deserve plenty of credit for their second half comeback against the Magpies, but this will be a severe test of their top four credentials.
I feel the Blues will edge what promises to be a great start to the weekend.
Tip: Chelsea to win at
Bournemouth v Southampton
Bournemouth have collected 22 of the last 30 points available in the PL and are worthy favourites, but it might be worth noting that only Manchester City (174) and Chelsea (142) have had more shots at goal than Southampton (116) so far this term.
That said Southampton have not scored in their last three PL games and cannot continue to rely almost exclusively on Danny Ings who has hit half of the eight goals they have scored so far this season in all competitions.
We know Bournemouth are in form and Saints are creating opportunities – I expect to see goals at the Vitality Stadium.
Tip: Both teams to score at
Cardiff City v Fulham
A massive game near the foot of the table and Fulham – for all their flair and attacking threat – have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 22 PL away games.
Cardiff, meanwhile, are without a win in their last 12 PL games and it would be no surprise to see a nervous error-strewn encounter although I expect to see plenty of opportunities at both ends.
Tip: Game to finish in a scoring draw at
Manchester City v Burnley
Burnley have beaten the reigning champions at least once in the last four seasons, but they may have to wait for the Turf Moor clash later in the season for the chance to improve on that record.
City are unbeaten in their last 33 PL games that kicked off at 3pm on a Saturday and will create a new record if they avoid defeat against the Clarets. City travel to the Ukraine to meet Shakhtar on Tuesday in the Champions League and could be forgiven for having one eye on that trip.
That said they should have more than enough to keep the points.
Tip: City to win 2-0 at
Newcastle United v Brighton
Had referee Anthony Taylor been looking at the ball, and not what was happening in the penalty area, then Newcastle would likely have been 3-0 up at halftime at Old Trafford last time. It wasn’t meant to be, however, but I thought the Magpies played some terrific football in the first 45 minutes.
I was particularly impressed with Yoshinori Muto against Manchester United and am looking forward to seeing more of the Japanese striker. I appreciate it is early days, but it was a very favourable first impression.
United have, however, lost their first four home games this season and were disappointing against Leicester last time. They may have to settle for a point in a low-scoring game against the resilient Seagulls.
Tip: Under 2.5 goals at
West Ham v Tottenham
Spurs have won their last four London derbies and I feel they can edge what promises to be a terrific derby at the London Stadium.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side have won four of their five away league games so far this season and eight of their last 11 on the road. West Ham have not won back-to-back home league games for almost two years and they were disappointing at Brighton last time. They are better judged on their improved home form of late, but I just feel Spurs will take the points in a thriller.
Tip: Spurs to win and both teams to score at
Wolves v Watford
Wolves have picked up 15 points from their eight PL games to date and you must go back a decade for the last promoted side (Hull 17 in 2008-09) with a better record at the corresponding stage of the season.
Wolves have conceded just one goal in their last seven games in all competitions and I feel they can maintain their excellent start to the campaign against a Watford side – without a win in four – who have gone off the boil in recent weeks.
Wolves have not won three successive top-flight games since November 1980 – they won’t have many better opportunities to do so.
Tip: Wolves to win at
Huddersfield Town v Liverpool
Liverpool have concerns over the fitness of Virgil van Dijk and Mo Salah ahead of their trip to West Yorkshire, but I expect Jurgen Klopp to field a side with too much quality for a Huddersfield team who have failed to score in their last six home PL games.
Daniel Sturridge has scored four times in his nine appearances so far this season and, with the Reds in Champions League action midweek, it would be no surprise to see the former England international get a start against the Terriers.
Tip: Liverpool halftime/fulltime at
Everton v Crystal Palace
Palace boss Roy Hodgson has never won at Goodison Park in his eight previous visits (L7 D1) and I think the wait will continue at the weekend as the Blues chase a third successive league win for the first time since January 2017.
Everton played well at the King Power Stadium last time and were good value for the win. Palace have only won one of their last seven games and will need to be wary of the threat of Gylfi Sigurdsson who has been in great form of late and has three goals and four assists in his last six PL games against the Eagles.
Tip: Gylfi Sigurdsson to score at any time at
Arsenal v Leicester City
Leicester haven’t won at Arsenal in their last 25 visits and I expect to see Unai Emery’s side maintain their excellent recent run.
The Gunners are looking for their 10th consecutive win in all competitions for the sixth time in their history but first since October 2007. Arsenal have goals in their locker and I expect to see another open, entertaining contest with the points staying in the capital.
Tip: Arsenal to win and both teams to score at
Michael’s weekend wager: Chelsea, Wolves and Liverpool at