Premier League Predictions Week 9

Reporter:

Daniel Heald

Once more, the Leader sports desk try their hand at forecasting the correct scores of 10 top-flight matches and try to improve on a poor weekend of scoring last time out.

An intriguing fixture list begins with Tottenham’s trip to Old Trafford, where United fans will be expect to see some attacking flair from Mourinho’s men after recent toothless displays.

Elsewhere Claude Puel takes charge of a Leicester side who host managerless Everton, while Liverpool’s defence will be under scrutiny against Huddersfield after a shambolic performance at Wembley last week.

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.

MANCHESTER UNITED v TOTTENHAM

NICK HARRISON: United were flying and all was quiet on the Mourinho front. A couple of iffy displays and the moaning has inevitably started again. He might have to face the music again after Spurs return from Manchester with all three points. 1-2

TOM NORRIS: A look at the table suggests this one will be very tight. But Tottenham went for Liverpool and it will be interesting to see if they go at United, who could crumble under pressure. Kane will want to prove a point. 1-2

DAN HEALD: United fans will expect a reaction from their side after an underwhelming showing at Huddersfield. Spurs have the firepower to win this but I expect Jose will set United up to contain and nullify once more. 1-1

ARSENAL v SWANSEA CITY

NH: An early goal is key for The Gunners, for whom Sanchez looks to be back to his brilliant best. The Swans will be more than a test than Everton were but this should be very comfortable for Wenger’s boys. 2-0

TN: If it’s one thing Wenger’s team are usually good at it is beating teams lower down the food chain at home. Ozil, Sanchez and Lacazette should have too much for the struggling Swans. 3-0

DH: Arsenal’s first choice XI were spared the ignominy of playing in the Carabao Cup in midweek and will be fresh for this one. Swansea could find themselves on the end of a hammering here if the Gunners’  mercurial talents come to the fore. 4-1

 

CRYSTAL PALACE v WEST HAM

NH: Away from the London Stadium, The Hammers will play with a bit more freedom where the players need a win to show they’re totally behind boss Bilic. The Chelsea win was a freak result for Palace, who will do well to bounce back from League Cup calamity at Bristol City. 1-1

TN: A crunch clash for both sides. Palace need the points to try and close the gap to the teams just above them, while the Hammers need the points to keep Bilic in a job. Zaha could prove to be the difference. 2-1

DH: If beating a decent Spurs XI at Wembley hasn’t bolstered the Hammers’ fragile confidence then nothing will. Hodgson will hope that omitting nine players from their League Cup defeat at Bristol City wasn’t in vain. 2-2

LIVERPOOL v HUDDERSFIELD

NH: All eyes will be on the back fours. Wagner knows exactly how to defend while Klopp’s a flop when it comes to keeping it tight. The good thing for Klopp is that Liverpool have plenty of threats going forward and Salah and Coutinho will see them home at Anfield. 4-1

TN: It’s a case of master versus apprentice. Klopp and Wagner are best mates, but only one – the former – has something to lose from this contest. Liverpool really shouldn’t lose but their defence is always a concern. 3-1

DH: Liverpool fans will hope their defensive horrorshow at Spurs provided a long-overdue wake-up call for Klopp. They won’t keep a clean sheet against the buoyant Terriers but might just edge it with a Coutinho goal. 2-1

 

WATFORD v STOKE CITY

NH: This is the game Watford should win while this is a game Mark Hughes surely has to win to silence his critics in The Potteries. Silva’s teams always look like scoring but I think Stoke will get it right and grab a point. 2-2

TN: Watford will have counted themselves to have been more than a touch unlucky to have lost at Chelsea. Stoke are nowhere near the level of Chelsea and Watford will go into the contest expecting to win. Mark Hughes could do with a positive result. 2-1

DH: Too often this season I’ve written off Watford’s chances, but Marco Silva has instilled a bold expansive style to the Hornets’ game. Stoke may have the ‘cojones’ for the battle, but I’ll back Watford to take the points with Doucoure to score. 2-1

 

WEST BROM v MANCHESTER CITY

NH: City could have done without extra-time in the League Cup against Wolves but they have enough quality and depth in the squad to take another three points and grab a few more goals against a West Brom side who don’t defend as well as they used to. 1-3

TN: The Baggies try their best to spoil most football games but they will have to go some to knock City out of their stride. Pulis might decide to treat this as a free hit, although this is more about what City do. 0-3

DH: Pulis and Guardiola are poles apart in their footballing philosophies. But I think a goalless draw with Wolves might have provided a dose of realism for City after dominating so many of their recent contests. Pep will be pragmatic rather than gung-ho and should be happy with a narrow victory. 0-2

 

BOURNEMOUTH v CHELSEA

NH: Should be a decent game. Bournemouth are slowly getting their game back into shape will it’s only going to be a matter of time before Chelsea start to click week in, week out. Hazard may be the man to rescue them on the South Coast. 1-3

TN: A win at Stoke will have Bournemouth feeling that they can land another blow to Chelsea’s faltering campaign. A look at the front three of Morata, Hazard and Pedro indicates how tough it will be for the Cherries. 1-2

DH: Expect goals at both ends with the defences of both sides looking pretty porous so far. Chelsea’s superior attacking options will prove the difference here with Hazard to hit the goal trail. 2-3

 

BRIGHTON v SOUTHAMPTON

NH: Couldn’t believe Brighton’s result at West Ham last Friday. But will they follow it up with a home win against The Saints? Both sets of supporters will be desperate for a victory but they may have to settle for just a point. 1-1

TN: If you’d told Brighton they would be a point behind Southampton with nine games played they would have taken it. This game gives Hughton’s men the chance to show they are better than that though with one goal likely to decide the contest. 1-0

DH: Brighton swept the Hammers aside last time while Southampton were dull and uninspiring in their 1-0 win over West Brom. A Murray effort to prove decisive. 1-0

 

LEICESTER CITY v EVERTON

NH: Maybe more interesting to see who’s off the field than on it. Leicester should win this with ease, especially with the way Everton are defending this season. Mahrez has got his magic back and back him to score. 3-1

TN: Will Claude Puel have much of an impact in three days? We will get a good gauge by how negative Leicester are. Everton were better under Unsworth at Chelsea on Wednesday by all accounts and this will be a game neither wants to lose. 1-1

DH: I don’t expect much fluency from sides who are both in transitional periods. Everton showed more fight in their cup clash with Chelsea, while Claude Puel will have a point to prove with the Foxes after being shown the door by Southampton. 0-0

 

BURNLEY v NEWCASTLE UNITED

NH: Could be a long, long 90 minutes. The clock’s going back on Saturday night might just help because I can see a few nodding off at half-time at Turf Moor. One goal might win it but I’ll go for a draw. 1-1

TN: The pre-match analysis is likely to be more entertaining than the game itself. Both teams are doing exactly what they need to stay up, however, and that should be applauded. It won’t make for an exciting game. 1-0

DH: Two sides who know all about grinding out narrow wins and defensive solidity. Expect an attritional contest with both sides cancelling each other out. 1-1

Email:

daniel.heald@nwn.co.uk

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