The two Manchester clubs and Chelsea will be keeping their eyes on each other’s fixtures this weekend as they all try and vie for the top spot, and United may be usurped should they drop points in their Sunday home match. Elsewhere, Liverpool will be without the contributions of Sadio Mané after their catastrophic loss last time out.
Liverpool v Burnley
Despite not having their top scorer Mané available, Liverpool still have a lot of attacking potential to utilise – but the major question will be how their confidence was affected by their heavy defeat to Manchester City. Klopp will need his players to step up and put that behind them if they are to compete with the league’s best. Burnley managed a surprise victory against Chelsea on the opening day, and managed a win against Crystal Palace in their prior game, but Liverpool should have too much attacking threat for Burnley to contain.
Prediction: 2-1 to Liverpool. Place your bets on Liverpool v Burnley.
Watford v Manchester City
After their resounding victory against Liverpool, Guardiola’s players will likely be flying high on confidence, but Watford may make for combative opponents as they’ve historically had a high work-rate and pose a physical threat at set pieces. Despite having a decent work ethic, Watford suffered a 5-0 defeat to Manchester City on the final day of last season, so City’s free-scoring front line of Gabriel Jesus, Aguero, Sané, and De Bruyne should manage to navigate this game with ease and they’re likely to put away a number of goals.
Prediction: 0-3 Manchester City. Place your bets on Watford v Manchester City.
Tottenham Hotspur v Swansea City
Spurs put in a dominant performance against Everton in their previous Premier League game, making the Toffees look like amateurs and locking down every aspect of the game from defence to attack. Swansea put in a spirited performance against Newcastle but still lost, and judging by that previous game, they afford their opponents far too much space – a fact that will get them punished against the well-drilled and confident Spurs attack. Additionally, they have little attacking threat and Spurs possess a formidable defence, making it highly unlikely that Swansea will get anything from this game.
Prediction: 3-0 to Tottenham. Place your bets on Tottenham v Swansea City.
Chelsea v Arsenal
Arsenal’s woes were temporarily forgotten when they managed a comfortable 3-0 win against Burnley in their previous game, but they’re coming up against a hardy Chelsea side that will put up a far greater fight – and Wenger’s poor record against top 6 teams points toward a victory for Conte. Unfortunately, Chelsea simply have more quality throughout their squad and have shown more desire to rectify the problematic elements of their play, while Arsene Wenger doesn’t seem to learn from his mistakes. With that said, Arsenal have a gifted attack capable of punishing any defence, and if their forwards perform well they could still threaten Chelsea’s goal significantly.
Prediction: 2-1 to Chelsea. Place your bets on Chelsea v Arsenal.
Manchester United v Everton
Manchester United’s defence performed poorly away at Stoke, but their home form has been impressive this season as no team has managed to threaten their goal significantly. From Everton’s perspective, United is the last team they’ll want to play after suffering a sobering 3-0 loss at the hands of Spurs, and if they put up a similar show against United the powerful and quick United attack is likely going to punish them. United also managed a confidence boosting 3-0 win in the Champions League so they’ll feel good about their chances of dispatching any sides visiting the Theatre of Dreams.
Prediction: 2-0 to Manchester United. Place your bets on Manchester United v Everton.
The match of the weekend will be the London derby being contested by Chelsea and Arsenal – where a Chelsea victory will put them firmly back in line as title contenders, while an Arsenal loss is going to put even more unwanted pressure on the Arsenal establishment. Can the likes of Lacazette, Sanchez, and Ozil buy Wenger some peace by getting a win at Stamford Bridge?