Five sides looking to get their first Premier League points of the season
After a week of European playoffs and Carabao Cup games the Premier League returns this weekend with some tasty fixtures. With three consecutive defeats in all competitions, the pressure is firmly on Newcastle and manager Rafael Benitez. They host a West Ham side also looking for their first point of the season. There is a bit of a ‘Tony Pulis Derby’ at the Hawthorns as West Brom host Stoke, whilst Manchester United host Leicester City looking to make it three wins from three and continue their imperious form. Perhaps the biggest game of the weekend is at Anfield, where Liverpool, fresh from Champions League qualification, host an Arsenal side looking to bounce back from defeat versus Stoke.
So here are our bold predictions for this weekends action
Bournemouth v Man City
These two sides have met four times in the Premier League with the Manchester club absolutely dominating the fixtures. City have scored 15 goals against the Cherries conceding just one. After a pair of disappointing defeats in the league, Eddie Howe’s side gained some confidence with a Carabao cup victory over Birmingham. The Bournemouth manager admitted he wasn’t sure what was going on with his side and will have been working hard on the training ground to rediscover the form they showed at times last season. City looked good in the second half on Monday, despite being a man light after Kyle Walker’s red card. They should win this one without a problem, but they will know that too. Howe will get his boys fired up for this one and catch a complacent City side cold taking a 2-1 victory.
Liverpool v Arsenal
Two sides that look very capable of scoring goals but not all too adept at preventing them. Liverpool are devastating on the counter attack, as Hoffenheim found out midweek, but their issues on defence are well documented. In Lacazette, Arsenal have a natural goalscorer, and Sanchez’s possible return does nothing to diminish their goal threat. The last eight meetings between the two sides have produced an average of 4.4 goals and the meeting this weekend will likely be much of the same. The home side have already been involved in games finishing 3-3 and 4-2 this season whilst the visitors opened with a 4-3 win. Our money is on six or more goals in this one. A thriller for the neutral but a nail-biter for those involved.
Chelsea v Everton
Wayne Rooney announced his international retirement this week, just as England gaffer Gareth Southgate was preparing to bring him back into the squad. After a summer move back to his boyhood club, the Everton striker has started the season in the best form and shape he’s been in for a couple of years. His announcement has divided opinion throughout the nation but he always has been a bit polarising. Despite their win over Spurs at Wembley, all does not feel right within the Chelsea camp. After scoring in both games so far, Rooney will continue his good run by scoring the winner and justifying his decision.
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