By Niall Clarke

  • Five questions on our minds ahead of match-week eight of the Premier League season
  • Predictions for all 10 of the weekend’s games.
The Premier League returns from the International break for match-week eight of the season. Here are five burning questions ahead of the next round of fixtures.

 

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How will the International break affect momentum

Ahead of the two week break we saw teams such as Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool gain momentum as they climbed the Premier League table, but such a break from Premier League action may halt their progress.

Having over a week away from the squad and playing internationals does not just affect fitness, but it also affects form and morale. A bad international break can break confidence and a player well in form for their club could lose their momentum.

Conversely, struggling clubs might get a boost from the break and come back in better form. Little things can often change the complexion of a match or a season in Football. What will be the effect?

 

Will it be Liverpool or Manchester United on Monday?

Monday Night Football returns with a blockbuster main event to the weekend’s action. It is the most heated and the most famous rivalry in English football, and with characters such as Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho adding that extra spice to the match, it promises to be one of the games of the season.

Anfield will be rocking on Monday night for a game that will have big implications in the title race and race for the top four. It is widely predicted that both these sides will be in the run in, and dropped points are ill afford at this stage.

Liverpool have found a bit of consistency recently, but they are still a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ team who can play you off the park or look toothless and clumsy. Their attack is known as one of the most devastating in English football, but there are still question marks in defence which United’s attacking talent will like to test.

The Red Devils are not in the best of form themselves, but with the likes of Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic going up against Liverpool’s defence, goals are there to be grabbed.

 

How will Manchester City bounce back from defeat?

Manchester City suffered their first defeat in the Pep Guardiola era as they were outplayed in a 2-0 defeat away at Spurs prior to the international break.

The Citizens were perfect in the league until they travelled to North London and it will be interesting to see how they respond at home to Everton on Saturday, especially with the Champions League match against Barcelona looming.

Everton had a good start to the season themselves but have recently gone off the boil. They have a big presence up front in Romelu Lukaku who will punish any City mistakes.

With the pressure of Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool right behind them,, will City bounce back from defeat with a win, or will they drop more points against a difficult Everton side?

 

Will Chelsea get themselves back into title contention?

A sting of poor results left Chelsea five points off the top of Premier League, but they are coming off a solid win away at Hull. The Blues host Champions Leicester City on Saturday in an exciting game that will kick off the weekends action.

The clash between the two Blues will also feature an Italian vs Italian tactical battle in the dugout as Antonio Conte pits his wits against Claudio Ranieri. Leicester themselves have not been able to replicate the magic of last season, but that was not to be expected. The Foxes are yet to score a win over a Premier League giant though, and that will be the aim on Saturday.

Chelsea’s defence has looked shaky with John Terry and Kurt Zouma both missing through injury. They have lacked the organisation and look vulnerable to dangerous attacks, which as we know Leicester possess.

The Blues can ill afford to fall further behind the pack so a win is a must here for Conte and his side. A victory for Leicester will go a long way or their confidence as they look to finish inside the European places this season.

 

What else is happening this weekend?

Tottenham will travel to West Brom as they try to remain the Premier League’s only unbeaten side and further pile pressure on Manchester City. Neighbours Arsenal will look to keep their own momentum at home to struggling Swansea.

Saturday’s 3pm kick-offs will also feature a big clash at the bottom of the table as Sunderland travel to Stoke. West Ham will look to move away from their own precarious position in a short away trip to Crystal Palace in Saturday’s evening kick off.

Sunday sees Middlesbrough host Watford followed by Southampton vs Burnley as the two promoted clubs look to score points.

 

Predictions

Chelsea 2-1 Leicester

Arsenal 2-0 Swansea

Bournemouth 1-0 Hull

Man City 3-1 Everton

Stoke 0-0 Sunderland

West Brom 0-1 Tottenham

Crystal Palace 1-1 West Ham

Middlesbrough 2-2 Watford

Southampton 2-0 Burnley

Liverpool 2-2 Man United

 

The Premier League continues on the weekend of the 15-17th of October.

 

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