It seems like an all too frequent statement, proclaiming that ‘the Premier League is back, baby’ but it is factually correct once again. Granted, the international break was actually alright this time around if you forget the fact England played in front of nobody at all on Friday night and focus on the fact they became the greatest team in the world by beating Spain 3-0 in just 30 minutes on Monday.
What is better than the Premier League returning? An almost full card of matches on the Saturday. There won’t be many weekends where six Premier League matches kick-off at 3pm on Saturday, so traditionalists, fill your damn boots whilst you can.
Chelsea vs Manchester United
Right then. So it says here that this could be Jose Mourinho’s last match in charge of Man United. No, I am not cutting and pasting this from the last time I knocked out a Terrible Tips. Conspiracy theories are rife right now with people (probably us, somewhere) suggesting that Mourinho staged the classic comeback last time out to save his job.
By the time I started tapping all this on to virtual paper, there was no word from the United press conference or Chelsea’s leaving me alone in this void of having to work out what might happen at Stamford Bridge.
My guess is simple. United will have no option other than to stick either Herrera or Fellaini on Jorginho (or both of them) and then put Herrera and Fellaini on Hazard at the same time. Oh, wait. There is a flaw in this plan. United will try and park the bus and Chelsea will try and play football properly.
And for that reason, I’m calling a narrow Chelsea win.
That said, there is every chance we could be seeing the beginning of Mourinho’s second coming.
And, if nothing else, at least Jose still has the respect of Zlatan and that’s what really counts.
Chelsea 2 – 1 Manchester United
AFC Bournemouth vs Southampton
There cannot have been too many derby matches between these two clubs where Bournemouth are clearly the better side. How has this happened?
Eddie Howe thinks Nathan Ake and Chelsea’s stupidity around players they keep might have something to do with it;
“I think that’s a compliment to Nathan and how he’s played since he signed for us permanently. He’s been a model of consistency. He picked up all the player awards that he did at the end of last season and he’s carried that form into this [campaign], so I have been really pleased with him”
Tottenham are sniffing around Ake, apparently, and Howe is not keen on letting him go to a Champions League spot rival. I know, let those words sink in.
Southampton are suffering but hey, they appointed Mark Hughes and then turned it from a short-term deal to a long-term one so that’s their lookout.
You know what will happen though, Southampton will nick this one.
Bournemouth 0 – 1 Southampton
Cardiff City vs Fulham
If this one ends up a draw you can pretty much write both teams off as relegation certainties.
The bookies already have that label on the Welsh side but Warnock does not agree;
“I think we’re 4-1 on to [go down] and they’ve thrown us to the wolves. No, I wouldn’t, if I was a betting man, put money on [Cardiff staying up]. But I wouldn’t have put a penny on us getting promotion last season. I would have said, ‘Keep your money in your pocket, don’t be stupid.; But some people won quite a lot of money and might do so again this year”
As for Fulham, they need to learn how to defend and what better place to start against a pretty toothless Cardiff attack?
Cardiff City 1 – 0 Fulham
Manchester City vs Burnley
Burnley seem to have woken up in the last couple of weeks. City, well City find themselves in the shocking position of having to share a place at the Premier League top-table with Liverpool and Chelsea.
By the time this kicks off at the Etihad, Peppy G will know whether a win keeps them level with Chelsea or whether it opens up a gap on one of their rivals.
And they will win. Of course, they will.
Manchester City 3 – 0 Burnley
Newcastle United vs Brighton
Chris Hughton makes the long trip up to the North East to play the club where he was treated pretty badly by the Mike Ashley regime. Not that that fact makes Hughton much different to Rafa Benitez, really. If anything, Hughton did OK out of it considering he ended up at a club that is well-run, has ambition and is prepared to put a little cash in the pot to strengthen the team once in a while.
Newcastle shocked everyone against United. No, they didn’t win but they dared to play attacking football for ten minutes and scored twice. Add that to the three minutes of attacking football against Chelsea, in which they scored, and I make that three goals from 13 minutes of attacking football. That’s not a bad ratio and seems like their most likely route out of the relegation mess they could soon be permanently in.
Newcastle United 1 – 1 Brighton
West Ham United vs Tottenham Hotspur
We all knew the Hammers would let their fans down against Brighton. Having stopped Chelsea in their tracks and then stuck it to United all signs pointed to West Ham losing the one people expected them to win, away at Brighton under the lights on a Friday night.
Now they are underdogs once more. Spurs come to the Athletics Stadium with a new knight in their realm, Sir Eric Dier of Sevilla. That tackle will go down in folklore and utterly hide the fact that Dier has gone from very, very good to very, very average in the last 24 months which is rare for a player under the Poch.
Spurs should win this given that several of their players hit the highs of beating Spain on Monday so I am backing West Ham to upset the applecart with at least a draw.
West Ham United 2 – 1 Tottenham Hotspur
Wolves vs Watford
Got to be a home banker this, no? Watford are garbage far sooner than they normally turn to garbage in a season. Gracia will be gone by Halloween if they lose this one and lose it they will.
Nuno’s Wolves side are playing well and the fans will be super excited at the prospect of them chasing down Bournemouth at the top of the Premier League Two.
Wolves 3 – 1 Watford
Huddersfield Town vs Liverpool
Ah, the mates can get together for Saturday night just like the good old days. But, there is work to be done first.
Huddersfield are at home meaning there is little chance of a shot on goal let alone one going in the Liverpool net.
Will Mo Salah be fit after scoring direct from a corner for Egypt? Of course, he will.
Huddersfield Town 0 – 2 Liverpool
Everton vs Crystal Palace
Who would have thought the answer was a footballer called Bernard, eh? Everton looked like a different team from an attacking perspective with the little Brazilian making his first start.
Palace are even losing matches with Wilf Zaha in the starting XI and that cannot be a good sign.
Everton to continue their resurgence, I feel.
Everton 1 – 0 Crystal Palace
Arsenal vs Leicester City
Cynics say that Arsenal winning nine matches in a row isn’t that impressive given that even Arsene Wenger managed that a couple of seasons ago. More cynics suggest it’s not that impressive given they lost back-to-back games at the start of the season against sides better than them.
So, they play Leicester on Monday night. A team not as good as them, really.
Simple home win? Ten in a row? Time for the Gooners to start dreaming of 4th place?
Arsenal 3 – 1 Leicester City