Premier League Predictions Week 7

Reporter:

Thomas Norris

The end of the international break heralds a welcome return to Premier League action this weekend.

Perhaps you were lamenting Wales’ failure to reach a first World Cup since 1958 or cheering England to an unconvincing victory against Lithuania, but most of us will be glad to see the back of a pretty dire fortnight of football.

Once more, the Leader sports desk try their hand at forecasting the correct scores of 10 top-flight matches and try to improve on their indifferent starts to the season.

With three points for predicting the correct score, or one for the correct match outcome (win/lose/draw), let us know your thoughts on this weekend’s action.

LIVERPOOL v MANCHESTER UNITED

NICK HARRISON: Mane’s out again for Liverpool; Rashford was over-used on England duty and United match-winner Fellaini is crocked too. Look’s like a match made for Lukaku now on his return to Merseyside. 1-2

TOM NORRIS: What a way to welcome the Premier League back. Give me this over Lithuania v England any day of the week. Mane’s absence will be a blow for Liverpool, who could find United tough to break down. 0-1

DAN HEALD: It’s a shame that one of the biggest Premier League fixtures on the calendar comes immediately after the disruption of an international break. I suspect this won’t be a classic with one goal to settle it. 0-1

 

BURNLEY v WEST HAM UNITED

NH: Could be a very tight affair where again one goal may be good enough to win it. The Hammers will enjoy being away from home with Hernandez sneaking the winner to silence the Turf Moor faithful. 0-1

TN: With Dyche’s men now thriving on the road the concern is that teams will head to Turf Moor looking to frustrate Burnley. The Hammers look incapable of frustrating anyone but themselves. 1-0

DH: Defensive solidity has been the cornerstone of Burnley’s success so far, conceding just once at Turf Moor this term. Contrast that with a Hammers side that has shipped 10 goals in four away games so far and it’s difficult to see past a narrow Burnley victory. 1-0

 

CRYSTAL PALACE v CHELSEA

NH: Is this the game when Palace come to the party? Can’t see it although I do think they’ll score their first goal of the season. Shame that Chelsea will treble that. 1-3

TN: Old Roy has had two weeks to prepare himself for what looks destined to be yet another defeat. Will Palace at least score a goal? It would be a brave man to say yes. Hazard and company should have too much. 0-2

DH: The loss of Kante is a massive blow for Chelsea, but his absence will have no bearing on this game. Roy Hodgson has targeted ‘long-term’ improvements at Palace but I doubt the former England boss will last the season. Another defeat on the cards here, Hazard on target. 0-2

 

MANCHESTER CITY v STOKE CITY

NH: Sparky won’t enjoy his return to The Etihad one bit. City are looking very good this season with Guardiola at last beginning to show his worth as a coach in the Premier League. Sane’s in top form and Sterling’s in good goalscoring form too. Back both to score. 3-0

TN: There’s a theory that Mark Hughes is under pressure, but won two, drawn two, lost three seems about right for Stoke. Hughes will be determined to try and derail his former club, although that’s unlikely to happen. 3-0

DH: No side relishes a trip to the Etihad these days, particularly when the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva are in such scintillating form. After netting twice for Brazil last weekend, Jesus must be relishing the prospect of spearheading City’s attack in Aguero’s absence. 4-0

 

SWANSEA CITY v HUDDERSFIELD

NH: Huddersfield looked totally out of it against Spurs two weeks ago. Swansea have looked totally out of sorts all season but this is a must-win match for Paul Clement, who needs to lift the spirits of fans in South Wales. 2-0

TN: Huddersfield are starting to realise what life in the Premier League is all about while Swansea look destined for another season of struggle if they aren’t careful. Too early for it to be a ‘six-pointer?’ 1-1

DH: Dire is a fair summation of Swansea’s start to this season. Seriously limited in attack and defensively suspect, the hosts could be outfought by David Wagner’s well-drilled Huddersfield side. 1-1

 

TOTTENHAM v BOURNEMOUTH

NH: The way Bournemouth play will suit Spurs. Kane enjoyed a September to remember and I’m sure he’ll be on the scoresheet again in a Wembley walkover for the home team. 3-0

TN: It’s about time Spurs ended their Premier League Wembley hoodoo once and for all. Draws with Swansea and Burnley increased the pressure, but this should be the game they finally get the win they crave. 2-0

DH: Spurs are blessed with a wealth of attacking talent, all of whom can be matchwinners on the day. Whether it’s Kane, Alli or Eriksen or all three who finds the net , I can see them cruising past Bournemouth here. 3-1

 

WATFORD v ARSENAL

NH: Watford have been better away this season so Arsenal should fancy themselves at Vicarage Road. Sanchez has yet to find that spark but could this be the day he bounces back to his best? 1-3

TN: Watford have been the surprise package of the season to date, while Arsenal have been their usual self, winning the smaller games and losing the big ones. The Hornets could cause some trouble here though. 2-2

DH: After missing out on World Cup qualification with their respective nations, Sanchez and Ramsey can at least focus solely on their club football from now on. Watford continue to surpass my low expectations of them though and the Gunners will have to work very hard for a win here. 1-2

 

BRIGHTON v EVERTON

NH: Everton need to go back to basics and work on their defence. A change of keeper might do the trick too because the over-rated Pickford has hardly had a dream start to life on Merseyside. This will be a dour struggle but one The Toffees may just get their teeth into. 1-2

TN: The fact that Brighton head into this game ahead of Everton says everything you need to know about the pressure on Ronald Koeman. He’s got to inject some pace into his side – and fast as Brighton won’t roll over. 1-1

DH: What Chris Hughton’s side lack in attacking flair they make up for in defensive resilience. Everton have looked shorn of confidence of late with Koeman struggling to conjure the answers to their problems. They might just put that right here though with a Sigurdsson winner. 0-1

 

SOUTHAMPTON v NEWCASTLE

NH: Super Sunday! I think not. Two teams who are backwards in the forwards stakes. The Saints have the players in their ranks to perform but The Magpies have momentum under Benitez and could take a point. 1-1

TN: Don’t expect goals. Southampton have scored five and conceded seven, while Newcastle have scored seven and conceded six times. It wouldn’t be a surprise if this was decided by a set-piece. 0-1

DH: Southampton have disappointed so far and have dropped points they shouldn’t have in some favourable fixtures. Conversely Rafa Benitez’s Magpies have impressed me with their steady improvement and can take the points here. 1-2

 

LEICESTER CITY v WEST BROM

NH: Can’t see it being a classic. The Foxes need a fit-Vardy and if he fires then the Baggies back line could be in for a rough ride. 2-1

TN: This caps off what looks like a fairly low scoring weekend. Leicester do have goals in them, but the Baggies know how to strangle the life out of games. Both managers could do with a win. Neither will get it. 1-1

DH: Vardy should benefit from his lack of exertion in Southgate’s England squad and can settle a tight contest in the hosts’ favour. 1-0

Email:

thomas.norris@nwn.co.uk

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