5 games in and the 2017/18 Premier League season looks set to be another cracker. Let’s take a look at who plays who and how different the table can look come Monday evening.
West Ham vs Totteham
A London derby gets the weekend underway with Spurs visiting the London Stadium at lunch time. With this the first meeting since Slaven Bilic’s team destroyed any hopes Spurs had last season of clinching the title. The Hammers didn’t have the best of beginnings this season, having done their transfer business early in the window, it was expected that they would hit the ball rolling from the off. Waiting until their 4th game against league new boys Huddersfield for their first win, Bilic was under real pressure however the pressure has eased a little on the Croatian with two impressive displays in the win at the Olympic Stadium against the Terriers and clinching a point against West Brom at the Hawthorns. Tottenham on the other hand have had a nonplussed start to the season with away wins at both Newcastle and Everton, Spurs have looked disappointing at home, losing to last seasons champions Chelsea and conceding a last minute equaliser in a disappointing demise against Sean Dyche’s Burnley. Their last league outing was a 0-0 draw at the Liberty Stadium against an ever resolute Swansea outfit. Being away from home will suit Spurs at the moment, and West Ham have never looked really settled since moving from the Boleyn Ground over a year ago so my prediction for this game is a Tottenham win.
Burnley vs Huddersfield
Sean Dyche has lead his team to an impressive start to the new campaign. With the 3-2 win at Stamford Bridge on the first day of the season, Burnley have gone on to collect eight points from a possible 15. Drawing away at both Spurs and Liverpool, Dyche’s men have shown how they can mix it with the big boys, and having been tipped for relegation by many, perhaps the surprise package of the season. But to be given that title they’ll have to fight off other surprise candidates Huddersfield Town, the Premier League first timers visit Turf Moor in similar form to the hosts, with two wins, two draws and a loss under their belts, Huddersfield come with a sense of optimism about a season seen as others that could have been a waste of time. David Wagner looks to have settled on a sale of football that gets results and facing this Burnley side could arguably be one of the toughest challenges they’ve had yet. With Burnley being at home and the Terriers not having won in their last three games I’m going with a narrow Burnley win.
Everton vs Bournemouth
Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth visit Goodison Park on the back of their first Premier League win of the season at home to Brighton. Jermain Defoe’s first goal since returning to the seaside bought to an end a somewhat abysmal start to the season by the Cherries. Everton began the season in good stead with a 1-0 home victory against Stoke in early August but their form of late has left a lot to be desired for, especially coming from Old Trafford with no points and another four goals conceded to add to the three conceded against Spurs without reply. This game has seen Bournemouth finish victors just once since their introduction to the top league, and that came 364 days before the Goodison Park clash. Koeman’s side return to Goodison Park in hope that they can show the fans they really are European contenders, having made it into the group stages this season. With the game being played on Merseyside you would expect an Everton win, but low on confidence I would suggest the now optimistic Eddie Howe will think his team can match the Toffee’s and as do I. I’m going with a score draw.
Manchester City vs Crystal Palace
Recent 6-0 victors City head into the weekend level on points and goal difference with local rivals Man United and will hope this weekend can create a tap between the two sides. Crystal Palace on the other hand head into the game yet to win a Premier League game and yet to score a Premier League goal, creating a new record for themselves. The first team to not score and lose all five of their opening games in the Premier League. Former England gaffer Roy Hodgson has taken the reigns from Dutchman Frank de Boer, and didn’t have the instant impact he had perhaps hoped for in his first game at home to Southampton. Guardiola’s side return to the Etihad on the back of their 6-0 win away at Watford where Sergio Aguero ran the show, scoring a hat trick and City fans will be hoping for much the same not just in this fixture but throughout the season, providing he stays relatively injury free. But if Aguero does get injured, the Brazilian apprentice is more than capable of stepping up, as he’s showed playing alongside the Argentine already this season. With Palace showing no signs of scoring a Premier League goal and City in rampant form of late, I’m going with a comprehensive City win.
Southampton vs Manchester United
The Saints return to St Mary’s having beaten struggling Palace at Selhurst Park last weekend and Pellegrino’s men look set to have a better season than last terms disappointment under Claude Puel. With two wins, two draws and just the one loss, Southampton are currently sitting pretty in 9th, a position they will hope they can cement as their own come May. They face a United side who are in a rich vein of form currently on the back of their 4-0 trouncing of Everton. United have, this season, made a name for themselves scoring multiple goals in the final moments of games. Shown best against Everton last week scoring three in the final 10 minutes. Mourinho has put his stamp on the Salford side and looks set to march them towards quite a comprehensive title charge. This game is a repeat of last season League Cup final, where United ran out 3-2 winners, but St Mary’s hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the Reds of recent, and I can see a repeat of the Stoke game where United are held at arms length. A draw in my opinion.
Stoke City vs Chelsea
Antonio Conte takes his Chelsea side to the bet365 Stadium having played three games since his last Premier League win, all three games in different competitions. Last time out against Arsenal they were perhaps a little disappointed by not getting the win, but there is still plenty of signs that Chelsea can keep hold of the Premier League trophy come the end of the season. Stoke head into the game with a lack of available central defenders. Kurt Zouma can’t play against his parent side, Shawcross and Wimmer are both doubts, leaving Bruno Martins Indi as the only senior centre back available to Mark Hughes. The Potters have looked better against the ‘top four’ oppositions they’ve faced this season, having not won away from home yet they’re showing that home really is where the heart is. With the support the fans of the Potters offer, and the approach they take against the big teams, I can see this being a home win.
Swansea City vs Watford
The side from South Wales have created some waves over the summer with their transfers. Hot prospect Renato Sanches didn’t impress like everyone had hoped on his debut and the return of Wilfred Bony hasn’t paid immediate dividends but patience is a virtue and the Ivorian will surely return to his former glories. Watford had a crushing defeat at home last weekend conceding six with no return to Manchester City. Paul Clements will be hoping that his side can perform better than they did in their previous home game to Newcastle. Marco Silva is somewhat over performing with his new side, although Watford do always seem to get off to a flying start in the league. At one point he had his side reaching the dizzy heights of the top six, but come the end of the season I’m sure he’ll be happy with a top 10/12 place. This is a tough game to call but I think it’s only a matter of time until Bony comes up trumps for the Swans so I’m going with a home win.
Leicester vs Liverpool
A repeat of the recent Carabao Cup tie that saw Shakespeare’s side run out winners after a Shinji Okazaki goal and an Islam Slimani stunner. The one time Premier League champions don’t look like they’re going to flirt with relegation but will probably not be fighting for Champions League football again any time soon (but I will NEVER write them off again). Jurgen Klopp is under some pressure from the Kopites, especially after the recent performances and whilst new signing Mo Sarah has hit the ground running the same can’t be said for former Gunner Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Sadio Mane is the key to Klopp’s side performing this season and if they want to mount a real title challenge or top four challenge, this is the sort of tie they should be winning. All things considered I’m predicting a draw in this tie with Liverpool having learnt from their midweek mistakes.
Brighton vs Newcastle
Premier League new boys face fellow promotion successors Newcastle in this 1st vs 2nd game of last season. Brighton have won just one of their games in this, their introductory season to the Premier League. Hughton’s side failed to score in their first three games this term before netting three in a home match against Tony Pulis’s usually resolute West Brom. The AMEX Stadium plays host to visitors from the North East in Newcastle United. Benitez’s players beat Stoke last time out in a comprehensive 2-1 win. Brighton still look as though they are struggling for goals but look a lot better in their home performances than in visits to other grounds. Newcastle may have won their last away game at Swansea but look shaky away from home, having failed to win away at Huddersfield, who finished below the Geordies last season. I’m going with a goalless draw.
Arsenal vs West Brom
Monday Night Football on Sky Sports shows Tony Pulis taking his West Bromwich Albion team to the Emirates to face an Arsene Wenger side who look as decidedly average as they have in the past. With Alexis Sanchez looking reluctant, a still shaky defensive line and a fan base who harbours no trust within the Frenchman at the helm of the club, could Arsenal be set for their worst season yet. The Baggies are searching for their first win in three and you can expect Tony Pulis to set up a wall in the shape of his defence to stop Alexandre Lacazette and co. from breaching his goal. However, I don’t think that will be enough and Pulis and his players will go a fourth straight game without a win, with Arsenal taking all the points in this fixture.
How do you think your team will do this weekend?