By Niall Clarke
- Five questions on our minds ahead of match-week 10 of the Premier League season
- Predictions for all 10 of the weekend’s games.
With the title race wide open, there are plenty of questions heading into match-week 10 of the Premier League. Here are five burning ones in our minds leading into the weekend’s action.
Will Manchester City stop their winless run?
Pep Guardiola is currently enduring his longest winless spell as a manager. Manchester City have not won a game in their last six attempts, with their latest defeat coming against Manchester United in the EFL Cup.
The Citizens still sit at the top of the table, albeit very precariously, and will travel to West Brom for a tricky encounter on Saturday. The way Tony Pulis sets up his sides makes them difficult to break down and that is why they are a potential banana skin for the top clubs.
Guardiola still remains positive despite the rut his side are currently in. City have the talent to beat anyone in the league in any match, but they still need time to adjust fully to the Spaniard’s style. Nothing but a win will be accepted on Saturday. That is the expectation, and that is what they need.
Is this David Moyes’ last game in charge?
Only time will tell if this is the case, but the pressure is on the Scot to deliver a win. Nine games in and the Black Cats are at the foot of the Premier League table with a measly two points. Something has to change and quick or they will find themselves enduring the same fate as local rivals Newcastle United.
Sunderland host Arsenal in the lunch-time kick-off on Saturday. It would be foolish to expect anything against one of the Premier League’s in form sides, but managers have been sacked for less. A result here for David Moyes could be the boost they sorely need at the moment, but a loss would add further misery to an already disgruntled fan base.
Will we have a new leader at the end of the weekend?
Three teams sit on 20 points at the top with a further two clubs only a point behind the leaders, and any of them could be clear at the summit come the end of the weekend.
Arsenal are only second on goal difference, and that could change with a win at Sunderland. Liverpool too are held back by goal difference and travel to Crystal Palace in Saturday’s evening kick off.
Tottenham are only a point behind and host champions Leicester on Saturday in the pick of the 3PM kick offs. If all goes well from Chelsea’s point of view, the Blues could go top with a win at Southampton on Sunday.
It is promising to be one of the tightest title races in years, and with the standings so close at the moment, this weekend could be pivotal to the end result. For the meantime, the question remains: who will be top at the end of week?
Will the Champions League once again affect Leicester?
With Europe’s premier club competition returning on Tuesday, it will be interesting to see how the clubs taking part will be affected.
There are some big games on the horizon for the four sides that represent the Premier League, but only one of them is in unfamiliar territory. Leicester are competing in the competition for the first time, and so far they have been perfect with three wins out of three.
However, their good Champions league form has come at the expense of results in the Premier League. The Foxes have lost every game prior to a Champions League match as the focus has been on Europe rather than domestic matters. Consequently, they sit 12th in the table and have looked a shadow of the side that shocked the world last season.
Tottenham away is a difficult game in any circumstance, but it will be interesting to see if Claudio Ranieri considers resting a few big names ahead of a potentially qualification-sealing match on Wednesday.
What else is happening?
The weekend kicks off with Arsenal’s away trip to Sunderland as the Gunners aim to go top of the table. Manchester United host Burnley in the first of the 3PM kick offs as Jose Mourinho looks to bounce back from the Chelsea defeat.
Middlesbrough have had a disappointing start to the season, but they will be hoping to get a win against Bournemouth. Hull are in terrible form at the moment, and Watford will not be willing to welcome them to Vicarage Road with open arms.
Sunday kicks off with Everton hosting West ham in a match between two possible contenders for the European spots. That is followed by Southampton vs Chelsea in another key game.
Monday night’s offering will have big implications at the foot of the table as the surging Stoke face Swansea City at the Bet 365 stadium.
Sunderland 0-2 Arsenal
Man United 2-0 Burnley
Middlesbrough 1-1 Bournemouth
Tottenham 2-1 Leicester
Watford 1-0 Hull
West Brom 1-1 Man City
Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool
Everton 2-1 West Ham
Southampton 1-1 Chelsea
Stoke 2-0 Swansea
The Premier League continues on the weekend of the 29th-31st October.
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