We’re nearly two months into the Premier League campaign now, and with teams starting to show their credentials, I think that my tips are only going to get more terrible from now on.
Sheffield United vs Liverpool
Sheffield United almost shocked Everton fans when they came away with a 2-0 victory at Goodison Park last weekend. This weekend they host the early pacesetters in Liverpool at Brammall Lane. Liverpool cruised to a comfortable win at Chelsea in their last fixture, but the Blades could prove a sterner test for Jurgen Klopp’s men. Liverpool will hope to continue their impressive winning run, but I think the hosts could cause serious problems for the Reds.
Sheffield United 1-0 Liverpool
Aston Villa vs Burnley
Battle of the claret kits at Villa Park as Burnley travel to Dean Smith’s Villa on Saturday afternoon. Villa completely bottled a lead at Arsenal last weekend and will be hoping to make arrears when they face Sean Dyche’s men. Burnley have looked much more impressive on their travels this season than previous years, and I expect Burnley’s premier league know how might be enough to see them past a disjointed Villa side. Jack Grealish will do his best to inspire the rest of his new teammates, but I’m sure he will treasure his time with them before they bring in another entirely new squad in January.
Aston Villa 0-3 Burnley
Bournemouth vs West Ham
West Ham might be up there with the most inconsistent sides in sporting history. Fresh from their 2-0 win over early strugglers Manchester United at the weekend, they managed to lose out 4-0 to League One Oxford in the cup on Wednesday. Bournemouth also lost out to League One opposition in Burton, so you’d expect both teams to fly out of the traps in this one. There should definitely be goals in this one, with both teams’ strengths being in attack and not defence, but I think it might finish in a draw.
Bournemouth 4-4 West Ham
Chelsea vs Brighton
I had my doubts about Frank Lampard returning to Chelsea as manager, but he looks to be slowly improving the youthful side he has available to him. They were poor against Liverpool in truth, and still look shaky at the back, but Mount and Abraham are quickly becoming Chelsea, and fantasy football team, favourites. Brighton meanwhile, have been solid if unspectacular under their new manager Graham Potter, but are doing exactly what they will need to do to stay up. Chelsea are big favourites for this one, but their defence will be their undoing in this one.
Chelsea 1-2 Brighton
Crystal Palace vs Norwich
Not exactly one for the neutrals at Selhurst Park, as Palace meet Norwich City. Norwich went from one extreme to another after they lost out to Burnley last week following their previous victory over last year’s champions Man City. If Norwich’s injury list has shortened somewhat in the last couple of weeks, then I’d expect them to beat a poor Palace side. Roy Hodgson’s team have won just twice all season, against two lower league sides in Man United and Aston Villa. These are the sorts of games that Palace need to win, so in typical Palace fashion, I think they will lose.
Crystal Palace 1-3 Norwich
Tottenham vs Southampton
If memory serves right, Spurs always smash Southampton. The North London side suffered an embarrassing loss to Colchester in the cup in midweek, whilst the Saints picked up a morale-boosting win over local rivals Portsmouth. Still, I expect a full-strength Spurs side will have too much for Southampton and will be keen to get supporters back on side following their exit from yet another competition. Harry Kane will get a few against this Southampton defence.
Tottenham 5-0 Southampton
Wolves vs Watford
Two of the worst performing sides of the season meet at Molineux on Saturday, with Wolves disappointing and seemingly unable to cope with the added pressure of their European campaign. Watford however, set a new low with their 8-0 thrashing at Manchester City last weekend. That being said, I expect them to respond well to that and could do well against an out of sorts Wolves side. I’ve already written this off as a terrible game, so it’ll probably be a classic.
Wolves 2-4 Watford
Everton vs Manchester City
Goodison Park is no longer feared as a tough place for away sides to go. Sheffield United picked up all three points, if a little, fortunately, in Everton’s last game at home, so Marco Silva will not be looking forward to hosting Pep Guardiola’s men with his job potentially on the line. City managed to rest Raheem Sterling in last week’s goal bonanza, and I genuinely think this game could go a similar way if Everton aren’t careful. Get some City players in your fantasy team for this one.
Everton 2-5 Manchester City
Leicester vs Newcastle
James Maddison said that he thought Leicester could challenge for the top four after he grabbed the winner in their game against Spurs last weekend, and I expect that optimism to come crashing down in their game against Steve Bruce’s Newcastle. Newcastle, without wanting to cause offence, are a team who at the moment suck all the joy out of football and do everything they can to grind out points. Andy Carroll epitomises this route one style of football, and I expect it to be annoyingly effective in this game.
Leicester 0-1 Newcastle
Manchester United vs Arsenal
This one is being deemed ‘el sackico’ as two under-pressure managers meet at Old Trafford. I personally think Unai Emery is being a little too much stick for the job he’s doing with a fairly poor Arsenal side, and their defensive problems remain clear. However, this is far better than the situation Manchester United find themselves in, with a squad full of players who don’t want to play mixed with youngsters and those who aren’t good enough. I had the personal joy of seeing United grind out a penalty victory over my team Rochdale in midweek, and if that showing is anything to go by, Arsenal will win this game comfortably.
Manchester United 1-3 Arsenal