Hello everyone and welcome to this weeks preview. Last weekends fixtures were a slog with many players reporting low scores, although if your weekend hinged on Ozil you did have a good end to the week at least. There are again some massive games in the upcoming game week and with European games, squad rotation will come in to play for all managers.
Lets dive in…
Brighton & Hove Albion v Wolverhampton Wanderers
With no early kick off, we are straight into the 3pm games ans that takes us to the south coast. The Seagulls picked up a good 3 points on the road at Newcastle, with a goal from Kayal. Brighton have looked better at home overall and will look to keep that going. They will have to do without Murray up top, so expect Locadia to come in. Matt Ryan continues to impress in goals, and he claimed 11 points last week. Wolves were shocked at home to Watford, with 2 goals in under a minute preceding a meek performance which is out of character with the rest of their season. Nuno will hope his men pick up their levels here, and the men who have started the majority of the games so far should be seen again. They are unbeaten on the road in the last 3, winning 2 and drawing 1. The usual suspects of Neves, Jimenez and Doherty should be the likely high point scorers here.
Prediction BHA 1 -1 WOL
Fulham v AFC Bournemouth
Fulham were very disappointing in defeat at Cardiff and the visit of Eddie Howe’s men to The Cottage gives them the chance to rectify that here. Sessengnon and Schurrle got their goals in that defeat, and the fans will hope this is the sign that these 2 players will begin to influence games more going forward. Jokanovic has 2 games to save his job if the press are to be believed, and he will be happy to have Vietto back to provide the creative spark missing last game. Bournemouth’s good start to the season was curtailed a bit with a 0-0 draw at home to Southampton, but they will travel with confidence here. They are unbeaten in their last 4 games vs Fulham, including a 5-1 win last meeting. They welcomed Fraser back to the starting XI, and should see very few changes with Lerma and Brooks also impressing from midfield.
Prediction FUL 2-3 BOU
Liverpool v Cardiff City
Anfield will be expectant of a big win here on the back of a good Champions League night on Wednesday. Salah scored his 50th goal in 65 appearances for Liverpool in that game, and the little Egyptian appears to have got over his poor (by his standards) start to the season. Mane returned from injury also in the midweek game, and Alisson continues to impress in goals with another 2 clean sheets in past 2 games. They take on a Cardiff side who will be delighted to have got their 1st win on the board, with a fine 4-2 win at the weekend. Murphy was in electrifying form, beating Fulham defenders regularly and scoring a fine goal to set up Cardiff’s victory. He will hope to supply again to the likes of Paterson and Reid.
Prediction LIV 3-1 CAR
Southampton v Newcastle United
Two sides struggling for form meet here at St Marys and both will be desperate to register here to try and save their managers jobs. Hughes side did pick up a decent point in Bournemouth and will be hopeful that the poor form of the opposition continues into the weekend. Cedric and Hoedt picked up good points at the weekend in a good defensive display, but they will hope their forwards pick up the points here and Ings will again be he focus. Rafa’s Magpies look bereft of ideas and are struggling massively as they dropped to the bottom of the table after their loss to Brighton. They need a pick me up and quickly, but it is difficult to see where that comes from. Rondon remains a doubt so his goal threat such as it is will be missing, and Joselu may come in to replace Muto. Lascelles and the rest of the defence will need to be on form too.
Prediction SOU 1-1 NEW
Watford v Huddersfield Town
Watford will be still on a high from getting back to winning ways at Wolves, and the visit of the 2nd bottom side in the league will give them confidence that they can notch another win here. The ever impressive Pereyra scored again, and his creative ability will be vital to their hopes here. Deeney was absent at the weekend but should return here and the suspended Holebas and Kabasele should come back in too. Huddersfield went down 1-0 to Liverpool but the Terriers will be encouraged by a dogged display. Huddersfield are now without victory in 13 league games, having drawn five and lost eight since a 1-0 victory at home to Watford last April and they will need to pick up that form if they are to stay in the division. Depoitre and Mounie will battle for the lone striking berth, and Diakhaby may be given another chance to impress in the wide.
Prediction WAT 2-1 HUD
Leicester City v West Ham United
The late game takes us to the Walkers Stadium and Leicester come into the game having been eventually outclassed at the Emirates on Monday night. There was enough to encourage them in the 1st half and Chilwell’s good month continued with the opening goal in that game. The 3-4-1-2 played brings the best out of him and his fellow wingback Pereira, and this formation could continue here. Vardy will hope that the only “runs” he has on Saturday are into the box and not down the back of his thighs!! West Ham were beaten by Spurs and also lost one of their big summer signings with Yarmalenko now out for months with an Achilles injury. Pellegrini has lots of injuries to contend with in midfield, so will be grateful for the steady influence of Noble and Rice in the centre of the park.
Prediction LEI 2-0 WHU
Burnley v Chelsea
Sunday kicks off at Turf Moor, with Dyches men still smarting from getting a going over at City on Saturday, which was a very unhappy return for Joe Hart. The 5-0 loss was not wholly unexpected but they will still need to pick up here against a Chelsea side still undefeated this term. The Clarets will look to Lennon to continue his good recent form in the wide and strong performances from Mee and Tarkowski will be needed. Sarri’s men will be glad to have salvaged a point from what looked like defeat on Saturday, but will come into this expecting I think to earn all 3 pts. Hazard is doubtful so that will put a dent in the 51.3% of FPL managers plans if he doesn’t make this one. Barkley continued his good recent form and Rudiger capped his good form with the opening goal.
Prediction BUR 0-2 CHE
Crystal Palace v Arsenal
Palace had their moments at Goodison last weekend, and Milivojevic missed a penalty before Everton ran out late winners. Hodgson’s reluctance to make subs may have contributed to that late collapse, with changes only made after Everton scored. The reliance on Zaha is still there but with Whickham back on the park we could see him back in after no recognised striker played last time out. Arsenal look to be purring under Emery now and the resurgence of Ozil on Monday was a delight in particular to Gooners and neutrals alike. Aubameyang again came off the bench and scored 2 goals in quick succession to underline his importance to the team. Bellerin was back to his rampaging best on the flank as well and the Spaniard could be key again here up against either Townsend or Zaha.
Prediction CRY 0-3 ARS
Manchester United v Everton
United were oh so close to a win at the Bridge and the fight shown in that game (on the touchline as well) will be something they will want to bring into the game this weekend. Disappointing as they were in the Champs Lge against Juve, Lindelof will have been encouraged by possibly his best match in Manchester Red. 2 goal Martial will be hoping to retain his starting place as he provides the goals lacking from Lukaku in recent weeks. Everton left it late to win at home last week, and have Pickford to thank for his penalty save as well, the England man notching 15 FPL points in the process. Depsite the goals coming late from the 2 subs Calvert Lewin and Tosun, I would expect few changes to the starting line up for th the Toffees. Andre Gomes started his 1st match and was neat and tidy in possession, and could find his way into a few teams this weekend.
Prediction MNU 2-1 EVE
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City
A massive MNF rounds off the weekend as the champions come to Wembley to face a Spurs side who appear to have gotten over the hum they had made for themselves a few weeks ago, They picked up a good away win at West ham and their 10 men got their 1st point on the board in the Champs Lge in Eindhoven too. The man pulling the strings in the absence of Alli is Erik Lamela, the Argentine finding the net at the London Stadium last weekend. Eriksen is back to fitness to add his sparkle as well. City eased to good wins over the past 7 days and will hope to win here to lay down yet another marker towards what they hope to be another championship in May. Both Silva’s are in good form and Fernandinho just continues relentlessly behind them, his performance against Burnley nothing short of a masterclass of modern day midfield prowess. Both teams have goals in them, but hopefully the game lives up to its billing unlike Liverpool vs City a few weeks ago.
Prediction TOT 2-4 MNC
A great week of football ahead then, and hopefully some return for us all in the men we stick out in the search for points..
Until next time….
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