With World Cup qualifying now over the Premier League returns this weekend with some vital matches set to take place.
The much anticipated North-London derby is the first game of the weekend with the Gunners desperate to get one over on their main rivals.
Unbeaten Man City travel to Leicester who have made a promising start under Claude Puel, while their title rivals Man Utd, looking to bounce back from defeat at Chelsea, face a visit from Newcastle.
Other match ups include David Moyes’ first game in charge of West Ham against Watford, whose manager is being chased by Everton, who themselves visit bottom of the league Crystal Palace.
Arsenal vs Tottenham
The North London derby is always an entertaining clash, but this weekend is extra important for the hosts, as they trail their opponents by four points in the league. Wenger is still under great pressure, meaning defeat at the Emirates to Tottenham would not go down well with Gunners fans. They were well beaten by Man City last time round, meaning a much better performance is needed this weekend. Spurs are still going very strong in the league. They sit in 3rd place in the league – still a way off City though. Against Crystal Palace, they struggled, only scraping a win. If Pochettino’s side can repeat their performance against Real Madrid they will be confident they can take the full three points. I expect a close feisty affair here though, which is likely to end in a draw.
Prediction: Arsenal 1 – 1 Tottenham
Leicester vs Manchester City
Man City continue to look dominant this season, picking up a 3-1 win over Arsenal in their last game. They remain unbeaten after 11 games so far, having scored a remarkable 38 goals, fifteen more than the second highest scorers. Their attack and passing is by far the best in the league – the only worry for City fans being that they had a similarly promising start last season before losing form throughout the season. They are comfortable favourites this year though, but face a tricky task away to Leicester, who look much better under Puel then they did under Craig Shakespeare. City should still get a comfortable win here though.
Prediction: Leicester 1 – 3 Man City
West Brom vs Chelsea
Champions Chelsea bounced back from recent criticism to defeat Mourinho’s Man Utd at Stamford Bridge in their last outing – with striker Alvaro Morata getting a much needed goal. The Blues were boosted by the return of Kante, but will be disappointed to lose midfielder Bakayoko to injury. Antonio Conte will know that they still need to score more goals, having scored the fewest out of all the top six. Against West Brom, Blues fans will hope they can bag a few goals – with the Baggies having failed to win a game since August, meaning Tony Pulis will be feeling the pressure. Chelsea should win this one though – on the same ground they clinched the title last season.
Prediction: West Brom 0 – 2 Chelsea
Manchester United vs Newcastle
Mourinho will be quite frustrated with how recent games have gone for his side. Their performances haven’t been as exciting or as positive as their first few games. Pogba’s injury certainly seems to have had a negative impact, while Lukaku seems to be struggling to find the net – having not scored for United in their last eight games in all competitions. United fans will want a far more positive display from their side at Old Trafford this weekend, as they face a Newcastle team who have been poor away from home. They currently sit in a 11th, but face a tough ask to get anything from Old Trafford, in what should be a relatively comfortable win for Mourinho’s men.
Prediction: Man Utd 3 – 0 Newcastle
Liverpool vs Southampton
Saints fans will desperately want a win at Anfield, considering nearly half of Liverpool’s squad seem to have come from Southampton. A number of Reds players will face their former club this weekend, while Saints boss Pellegrino will want a much needed three points away from home. Klopp’s side continue to look good in attack with the return of Mane, but also still look shaky at the back. Saints have the opposite problem, with their attack coming under scrutiny having only scored nine goals this season. Meanwhile their captain – Virgil Van Dijk will want to put in a strong shift against the club that almost signed him over the summer. At Anfield, Liverpool should have enough to beat the Saints.
Prediction: Liverpool 2 – 0 Southampton
Watford vs West Ham
Many West Ham fans were disappointed to hear that David Moyes would be their new manager following from the sacking of Slaven Bilic. Moyes has previously been sacked by Man Utd, Real Sociedad, and then resigned from the Sunderland job – after they were relegated from the PL. Hammers fans will be hoping that Moyes’ first game in charge will lead to a win, with the main objective for the Scotsman being for his side to concede fewer goals – having shipped the most by any club this season. After such a good start to the season, Watford have come down to earth recently, losing three in a row. Marco Silva is apparently being chased by Everton at the moment, but Hornets fans will hope Silva stays put at Vicarage road.
Prediction: Watford 2 – 2 West Ham
Crystal Palace vs Everton
Roy Hodgson will be so frustrated after the Eagles 1-0 loss at Wembley. Palace had played really well, and looked set for a well deserved point, with their failure to take their chances costing Palace. Despite the positive performance, the Eagles remain bottom of the league, and need to start converting their chances if they want to survive this season. Everton meanwhile have had a torrid start to their campaign – still looking for a permanent manager. Against Watford, the Toffees showed great character, coming from two goals down to win 3-2, shows great character from David Unsworth’ side. I get the feeling that the comeback against Watford may have been a turning point for Everton, and back them to get the win at Selhurst Park.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 1 – 2 Everton
Burnley vs Swansea
Burnley’s dream start to the season continued with another away win at Southampton. The Clarets have lost just two games so far – with Sean Dyche delighted that his side are on the same amount of points as both Arsenal and Liverpool. Paul Clermont’s Swans in the other hand are on a bad run. The Welsh side having lost three in a row, sitting in 19th. They need to start picking up the wins soon, but I can’t see them beating a confident Burnley side this weekend.
Prediction: Burnley 2 – 0 Swansea
Brighton vs Stoke
Brighton have had a really good start to life in the Premier League. The Seagulls have surprised many, currently in 8th. At home, they’ve been really positive – with every team travelling away to Brighton struggling so far. Stoke have not quite been as good as many teams would have thought. Just three wins so far this season is not what Mark Hughes would have hoped for – with players such as Jese and Shaqiri in his squad. Stoke are not in real danger of relegation, but Hughes will certainly know that better results need to come. Away to Brighton though, I have to back the home side.
Prediction: Brighton 1 – 0 Stoke
Bournemouth vs Huddersfield
Eddie Howe will be thrilled with his side picking up all three points away to Newcastle. Cherries fans would have been concerned with the form of their side – but picking up a crucial away win will give Bournemouth fans and players a lot of confidence. Huddersfield are still enjoying life in the Premier League – with victory over United still being their best result of their season. The Terriers do need to score more goals though; the fact that they are in the top half of the league is a great achievement, but what will concern Terriers fans the most is the fact that they have only managed eight goals this season. I expect a close, error-strewn affair here though.
Prediction: Bournemouth 0 – 0 Huddersfield