By Britwatch Team
- The Britwatch Football Team give their preview and predictions for the eighth weekend of the season
- Follow their progress throughout the season and see which writer takes up the Premier League Prediction cup
- Correct result gets one point, correct result and score gets three points.
The Premier League returns from the International break with a great line-up of matches for match-week eight, and our writers have given their thoughts and predictions for the weekend.
||Actual Score||Neil (47)
|Liverpool 1-1 Man United||Liverpool 2-2 Man United|
|Burnley 1-0 West Ham||Burnley 1-1 West Ham|
|Crystal Palace 0-2 Chelsea||Crystal Palace 1-3 Chelsea|
|Man City 3-0 Stoke||Man City 3-0 Stoke|
|Swansea 0-0 Huddersfield||Swansea 1-1 Huddersfield|
|Tottenham 3-1 Bournemouth||Tottenham 2-0 Bournemouth|
|Watford 1-1 Arsenal||Watford 2-2 Arsenal|
|Brighton 1-1 Everton||Brighton 1-2 Everton|
|Southampton 1-0 Newcastle||Southampton 1-0 Newcastle|
|Leicester 2-1 West Brom||Leicester 2-0 West Brom|
Liverpool vs. Manchester United (Saturday, 12.30)
Niall: The Premier League is back with a bang with the main event of the weekend opening proceedings for match-week eight.
Liverpool are known as a side with a better front line than backline, but they are going against one of the best defensive units in the league. Manchester United have only conceded two goals this season, less than any other side in the division.
Anfield will be rocking for this game between two of the biggest rivals in World football and that should boost the performance of Jurgen Klopp’s side, but United are functionally a great side and will likely set up defensively to frustrate the Reds. It is hard to call a winner from this one, so a score draw might be the best bet.
Prediction: Liverpool 1-1 Man United
Neil: The Premier League returns after the international break with a bang this weekend and first up on Saturday lunchtime sees old foes clashing in what their fans still say is the most heated English league rivalry. Last time out, Liverpool drew 1-1 away to Newcastle United and old boss Rafa Benitez, now seeking to inflict maximum damage to Manchester United at Anfield. They will however, have to attempt to do so without Sadio Mane on the right wing. The Senegalese suffered a hamstring injury for his country and will could be out until late November.
The Red Devils remain unbeaten in their opening seven league games and have dropped just two points thus far. Jose Mourinho’s men have their own absentees for the trip to Merseyside, with Paul Pogba stand-in Marouane Fellaini now ruled out for Saturday. The last three games between the duo have all been drawn and with the hosts possessing the ability to both attack and defend in polarising fashion, coupled with the absence of United’s spine in midfield, I can see the spoils being shared once more.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-2 Man United
Burnley vs. West Ham United (Saturday, 15.00)
Niall: Burnley have had a great start to the season and currently find themselves sixth in the table after seven games. Surprisingly their away form has been better than their home form, but Turf Moor is still a difficult place to go.
After a poor start, West Ham have somewhat found their groove this season and are now a much more difficult proposition than they were four games ago. An away win at Burnley will be a big boost, but the Clarets are such a good unit and so difficult to beat, so I believe we will see a typical Burnley home win.
Prediction: Burnley 1-0 West Ham
Neil: Burnley continue to be the surprise package of this season. With an away record that has seen the Clarets take eight points on the road with wins away at Chelsea and Everton, as well as draws against Spurs and Liverpool, Burnley return home to face West Ham United at Turf Moor. The hosts have not only been more formidable in defence, but with the presence of Chris Wood up front, Burnley’s wide players have been able to influence the outcome of games to a greater degree.
Slaven Bilic’s West Ham have begun to turn around their early poor form, taking seven points from their last four outings. They however needed a late goal from substitute Diafra Sakho to rescue them with goals in short supply for the Irons. That could be a continuing issue this weekend in Lancashire but with the unpredictability of the first game after a hiatus, I am tipping Bilic’s men to take a point back to East London.
Prediction: Burnley 1-1 West Ham
Crystal Palace vs. Chelsea (Saturday, 15.00)
Niall: Poor Crystal Palace. They are scoreless and pointless so far this season, and after back to back thrashings in Manchester, the Eagles now have to host the Premier League Champions.
The good news for Roy Hodgson is that Alvaro Morata and N’Golo Kante will miss the match due to injury, but Chelsea still have a lot of quality, even without two of their key players. Antonio Conte’s side will be keen to get back in the win column after a disappointing loss to Manchester City in their last outing so may aim to make a statement with this match.
Without Morata, the Blues will not be as much of a goal threat as they are at full strength, but there are still plenty of goalscorers in the side, and with Palace to shot of confidence, it will surely be an easy win for Chelsea.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 0-2 Chelsea
Neil: Seven games in and the threat of relegation for Crystal Palace grows by the day. Despite improved performances at the Etihad and Old Trafford respectively, the Eagles fell to consecutive heavy defeats and are still to register a single goal or point this term. The task becomes no easier as Chelsea travel across London to Selhurst Park. Hodgson however, will be able to call upon the services of Wilfried Zaha for the first time.
The Blues went down to a narrow defeat to title rivals Manchester City a fortnight ago, but Conte’s men were in truth comprehensively outplayed in midfield. With Eden Hazard returning to full fitness, the visitors have nevertheless been dealt a double blow with both Morata and Kante set to miss the next month of action at least. I can finally see Palace breaking their goal drought here, but when it comes to points tally, this weekend will sadly not their first on the board.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-3 Chelsea
Manchester City vs. Stoke City (Saturday, 15.00)
Niall: Manchester City will not have wanted an International break after finding some superb goalscoring form leading up to the fortnight away. They will look to get back into the groove at home to Stoke who have struggled away from home this season.
The Citizens have been devastating going forward and it is difficult to see them not getting a few goals here. Stoke used to set out to frustrate sides, but under Mark Hughes they play a more expansive brand of football, and that will leave them exposed.
I have a hard time seeing City being dethroned as the Premier League leaders here. They will have too much quality for a game Stoke side and take the three points.
Prediction: Man City 3-0 Stoke
Neil: The Citizens’ pace continues to pick up relentlessly after their impressive win at Stamford Bridge, as Pep Guardiola’s side entertain Stoke City this weekend. The league leaders have scored ten times in their last two games in Manchester, as the Etihad becomes somewhat of a fortress to visit, having conceded just once at home this season. As a further boost, Kun Aguero has returned to light training just 11 days after being involved in his car accident late last month.
The Potters have found goals in short supply on their travels so far this campaign. A trip across the Staffordshire border then presents a tricky afternoon for manager Mark Hughes to contemplate. A lot will depend on the fitness of their choice defensive line-up in Ryan Shawcross and Bruno Martins Indi. Jack Butland is likely to be the busier of both ‘keepers, but the Bristolian will be hard-pushed to prevent anything but a home win.
Prediction: Man City 3-0 Stoke
Swansea City vs. Huddersfield Town (Saturday, 15.00)
Niall: This is an important match for Swansea, not only for the sake of points but also for the sake of confidence. They sit 18th and look like they will be in for a long season battling against relegation.
After a dream start to Premier League life, reality has now hit Huddersfield Town and they are now seeing why the Premier League is one of the most difficult in the world. Swansea away is no easy task for the Terriers, but it is one of the matches they will be thinking they can grab three points from.
This will likely be a tightly contested game with not much separating either side. There will be not many goals if any at all and I can see them sharing the spoils.
Prediction: Swansea 0-0 Huddersfield
Neil: The phrase relegation six-pointer has been an oft-used one already at this early stage of the campaign such is the competitiveness of the bottom half of the Premier League standings. This game is no different, indeed it could be one of the best examples come May. The Swans sit in 18th spot, with their home form becoming increasingly pivotal to their chances of survival. Having bedded in his deadline day recruits fully now, Paul Clement will look to Wilfried Bony to now fire for the South Wales side.
Huddersfield Town’s honeymoon period in the top flight is now seemingly gone, with David Wagner’s men having scored just once in their last four, taking just two points from a possible twelve. The Terriers will set up for the trip to the Liberty in compact style and similarly, their hosts have become difficult to score against. Accordingly, I am going to sit on the fence, but this is perhaps the toughest game to call of the weekend and could go either way.
Prediction: Swansea 1-1 Huddersfield.
Tottenham Hotspur vs. AFC Bournemouth (Saturday,15.00)
Niall: Well it is another home game at Wembley for Spurs and another chance to show that they can perform at the home of English football. So far, home form has been an issue for Tottenham, but this is a match they will fancy themselves to win.
Bournemouth are a solid side but they have struggled so far this campaign, registering only four points and sitting in 19th. Whilst I do not expect them to be there come May, this may be too much of a tall task for Bournemouth to start turning things around.
Harry Kane will likely be in the scoresheet again as Spurs look to catch the Manchester clubs.
Prediction: Tottenham 3-1 Bournemouth
Neil: Kane has now scored in all of his last five games for club and country and continues to fire Tottenham into the upper echelons of the league standings, now in third spot. Despite this, the Wembley hoodoo will continue to plague the Lily Whites until they win their first league game in their temporary home. Mauricio Pochettino’s men have been beaten by Chelsea and been held by Burnley and Swansea respectively under the famous arch
Eddie Howe’s Cherries have just five points on the board thus far and in any other season a trip to the white half of North London would present a tough task for the visitors with just one league goal for them in their only four Premier League clashes to date. The lingering doubt remains, but with Kane arguably Europe’s most in-form marksmen right now, this will surely be the day Spurs end their winless league run at home.
Prediction: Tottenham 2-0 Bournemouth
Watford vs. Arsenal (Saturday, 17.30)
Niall: This one is a difficult one to call as Watford have started the season very well and looked very solid under Marco Silva. Arsenal have struggled in these types of matches over the past year, but they are in a decent run of form themselves.
The Hornets have gotten a result against Liverpool who are another side who are better going forward than defensively. Arsenal will control the game as they tend to do, but the threat of the Hornets will be on the counter.
This is one of the more interesting matches of the weekend, and whilst I have a had time seeing Watford completing the upset, I believe they will frustrate Arsenal enough to earn a draw.
Prediction: Watford 1-1 Arsenal
Neil: Saturday’s late kick off sees the impressive Hornets entertain Arsenal at Vicarage Road. Silva’s men sit in eighth spot in the table, but level on points with Burnley and Liverpool above them. At home, the Hornets have struggled to hold onto points, with just one from nine – despite playing Liverpool and the 6-0 thumping inflicted by Manchester City.
Arsenal’s unbeaten run of seven games in all competitions will be put to the test in Hertfordshire, the Gunners having won their last two league games on the bounce. The news that defender Shkodran Mustafi has been ruled out for six weeks with injury is a set to put a strain on a newly-resolute defensive line, with Laurent Koscielny’s fitness vital for Arsene Wenger’s hopes this Saturday evening. I am looking for to Watford’s clash with Liverpool on the opening weekend as a cursory point for this, and can see a similar outcome once more in a freely open game.
Prediction: Watford 2-2 Arsenal
Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Everton (Sunday, 13.30)
Niall: Sunday kicks off with an interesting match between Brighton and Everton which is a hard one to predict.
Everton’s bad run of form is well documented and this feels like a big game for their season and especially for Ronald Koeman. With the way the current Footballing climate is, a loss here could see him lose his job, making this a much needed win.
Chris Houghton’s position is under no such threat as Brighton look to continue a good start to Premier League life. The AMEX will be a fortress and their home form will be key to their survival chances.
This will be a tough game for Everton, but despite that I do not think they will lose. Brighton may lack the quality to grab the upset, but they may have enough to earn a respectable draw.
Prediction: Brighton 1-1 Everton
Neil: The Seagulls return home after defeat by Arsenal at the AMEX Stadium this time around, as the Toffees look to get their boss Ronald Koeman out of a particularly sticky patch. Both sides sit in the table with seven points from as many games and after a rocky start to life in the top flight, Chris Hughton has guided his side to successive home wins.
The visitors are in desperate need of some away comfort, with the international break arguably coming at the best time for the Toffees. Having scored three times in all of their last eight games, the predicted view that goals were to be an issue with the departed Romelu Lukaku, has come to a rather stark light. Without striker Tomer Hemed however, I am going to stick my neck on the block and go with a much-needed away win for Koeman.
Prediction: Brighton 1-2 Everton
Southampton vs. Newcastle United (Sunday, 16.00)
Niall: It is North vs South as Southampton welcome newly promoted Newcastle to St.Mary’s on Sunday.
It may not be the most striking match of the weekend, but it is certainly one of the closest. With neither side being free scoring, one goal either way may be enough for the three points here or else we are looking at a low scoring draw.
Home advantage may be enough for Southampton who have really struggled in front of goal. They are also slightly more solid than Newcastle at the back so I see the Saints nicking a win.
Prediction: Southampton 1-0 Newcastle
Neil: Southampton’s inability to find the target once again reared its ugly head at the Bet 365 last time out, as Mauricio Pellegrini’s men wasted a number of chances to take a point away from Stoke. If anything, their problems in front of goal are worse at St. Marys, with the Saints having scored in just one of four league games at home this term.
Rafa Benitez’s men have now taken ten out of a possible 15 points in total in recent games as the Magpies sit comfortably in the top half of the table. Newcastle lost their last encounter on the road at Brighton to a single goal three weeks ago and I would not be surprised to see a similarly tight game this Sunday, with Southampton scraping another narrow win.
Prediction: Southampton 1-0 Newcastle
Leicester City vs. West Brom (Monday, 20.00)
Niall: Monday night football returns with an interesting stylistic battle between two sides expected to finish in the mid-table region.
Leicester have not enjoyed a good start to the season, but the difficulty of their fixtures must be taken into account. It can only get better from here and a win against one of the Premier League’s most solid sides.
West Brom have done what Tony Pulis’ side tend to do so far this season. They will be disappointed though that they uncharacteristically let a two goal lead slip against Watford last time out, and the players will have been well grilled by the manager for that collapse.
Leicester will have to see more of the ball than they are used to as West Brom will be the counter attacking side this time. Will the Foxes have enough to break down the Baggies’ defence? That very much depends on the form of Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy, and I can see them having a good game here.
Prediction: Leicester 2-1 West Brom
Neil: The Matchweek’s final encounter sees Leicester City entertain West Brom at the King Power. The Foxes sit precariously above the drop zone after seven games, but having played four of the top seven already, their position is perhaps a false one. With Vardy set to be unleashed after being rested for England, the hosts will look to their Premier League goal-scoring record holder to set them back on the right track.
Against the Baggies that may not be so easy, however Pulis’ men have suffered back-to-back losses on their travels after an opening day victory over Burnley – one of the few teams to topple to Clarets so far. Having been denied the full three points last time out via Abdoulaye Doucoure’s leveller at the Hawthorns, the visitors will look for their first win in six – at Turf Moor. However, I can see Leicester upsetting their ambitions and winning out instead.
Prediction: Leicester 2-0 West Brom
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