The first international break of the season which means it’s a welcome return for the Premier League and there are two huge matches to welcome us back: Everton vs Chelsea and Manchester United vs Liverpool.
As ever we are here with our predictions for all the weekends action.
Saturday 12th September
Everton vs Chelsea (12:45pm)
This is a big game mainly because of the whole John Stones transfer saga, you know when Roberto Martinez was acting like it was the end of the World as Chelsea bid for their player and he was accusing them of all sorts.
Chelsea will be without Thibaut Courtois for at least ten weeks, but have an able back-up in Asmir Begovic.
Chelsea really need the win here to really get their season kick started, as they have had a terrible start.
I am going for a Chelsea win, I think they have a point to prove and I think the international break might have been a positive for them, players got more match time, which they looked like they needed.
What a first game back after the whole John Stones transfer saga, he will certainly be in for an interesting day and with the way the football gods work Stones will either score a winner/equaliser or be at fault for a Chelsea goal.
The big news for Chelsea is that goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is injured and is believed to be out for around two months, good thing then that they have Asmir Begovic who is a more than capable replacement.
Chelsea have had a disappointing start winning just one of their opening four games, conceding 2+ goals in each of them in the process. They will be hoping that the international break will have helped their players regain some fitness and sharpness that they have sorely been lacking.
Everton defended well in large parts during their 2-0 defeat to Manchester City, if they can repeat that here they can really frustrate Chelsea and potentially nick a win on the counter.
However I am going for a Chelsea win here, they should have improved fitness levels after the international break and I’m sure Jose Mourinho has been working on things to improve his defence.
Arsenal vs Stoke (3pm)
I am going for an Arsenal win here. Stoke will be without Charlie Adam and Ibrahim Afellay, with Adam in particular being a big miss.
Arsenal usually play well and get results in these kind of games.
Stoke continue to improve under Mark Hughes but he will be disappointed to have seen two players sent off in their last game against West Brom which resulted in them losing 1-0. The absences of Ibrahim Afellay and more so Charlie Adam could prove costly here.
Arsenal are struggling for goals at the moment having only scored one themselves while relying on two own goals to get their two wins. That’s good news for Stoke who can be difficult to break down.
I’m going to go for an Arsenal win. Alexis Sánchez should be back at full fitness now after playing in the Copa America with Chile this summer and he is a match winner, he makes Arsenal play better.
Crystal Palace vs Manchester City (3pm)
With how Manchester City are playing at the moment and the confidence they have, I think they will probably win this one. Everything at the moment is just going for Manchester City and it would be a surprise if they didn’t win.
I think Crystal Palace will give them a good game though, and won’t make it easy.
A tough one this in a game of second vs first.
Manchester City have been in great form getting four wins out of four but Crystal Palace have been playing well and they will be full of confidence after beating champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in their last match. They also beat Manchester City 2-1 here last season which should give them more belief.
Still I’m going to go for a Manchester City win. They’ve added Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne to their squad this summer at a cost of over £100 million, they should have improved.
Norwich vs Bournemouth (3pm)
This could be a close game, but with how well they have played so far this season, I am going to go for a Bournemouth win.
A very tough one this. Both sides have played some good football but haven’t perhaps gotten the results that they deserved. Norwich have home advantage and more Premier League experience and so might just edge it but I’m going to go for a draw with plenty of goals.
Watford vs Swansea (3pm)
I expect Swansea to win this game, they have been fantastic so far this season. With the form Swansea are in, it is a bad time to probably play them for Watford.
A quick shout out to André Ayew for winning Player of the Month, fully deserved.
Swansea have been fantastic so far this season, second only behind Manchester City in terms of performances and their wingers, André Ayew and Jefferson Montero, are a handful for any defence.
Watford haven’t scored since they put two past Everton on the opening day and I don’t see that changing against Swansea who are well organised and can keep the ball well.
I’m going to go for a Swansea win on this one.
West Brom vs Southampton (3pm)
West Brom beat nine men Stoke, 1-0, with Stoke down to 9 men for around an hour of the game, with Tony Pulis even brining Rickie Lambert on after the two red cards, going 4-4-2.
It was an opportunity for West Brom to really get confidence, but despite the win, 1 goal says a lot. Thankfully it looks like the Saido Berahino drama is over, with him set to return.
Southampton beat Norwich before the international break, it was the first time this season in the league they had played well, albeit Norwich went down to ten men towards the end of the first half. However, I think that was the performance that will help them get back to their performances and results of last season.
I expect a Southampton win.
Southampton seemed to struggle juggling their Europa League commitments with their Premier League ones but the good news for them is they are now out of Europe and can focus purely on the league.
West Brom have been pretty lacklustre so far this season highlighted by the fact they only managed to beat 9-man Stoke 1-0.
I think Southampton will win here.
Manchester United vs Liverpool (5:30pm)
I am going for a Manchester United win. They will have David De Gea back in-goal, him signing a new contract will probably give the team a boost, as his future is sorted for this season.
I think it will be a close match, but I think home advantage will go in Manchester United’s favour. Louis Van Gaal also does well in derby/big rival matches.
Liverpool could be without Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana through injury, while also missing Philippe Coutinho through suspension, after his two yellow cards against West Ham before the international break. These are big misses for Liverpool.
What the old timers are calling England’s biggest football match where only pride is really at stake because it’s not really going to affect much else. Manchester United will finish in the top four (because they have to after all that money they’ve spent) and Liverpool will compete for a Europa League (despite all the money they’ve spent).
He still hasn’t scored in the Premier League yet this season but Wayne Rooney broke the England scoring record during the international break which Louis van Gaal will be hoping he carries over into the league.
Liverpool though will be without Philippe Coutinho after he picked up two yellow cards against West Ham in their last match and was sent off. He will be a big miss for them as he is one of the players who can make the difference with his passing or long-range efforts.
It’s a hard one to call because of all the rumours that some of the Manchester United players have fallen out with van Gaal and then of course there is the ongoing situation with David De Gea as well.
Still I think Manchester United will win. They are at home and they have better players.
Sunday 13th September
Sunderland vs Tottenham (1:30pm)
Tottenham will win this, this could be an opportunity for Harry Kane to get back to scoring in the league.
Sunderland look awful, they look like a team that will be relegated at the moment. They look woeful, and this could be the year where it catches up with them.
Tottenham haven’t started the season well, but they have more quality in their side.
There are no excuses for Tottenham not to win this.
Sunderland are bottom of the table without a win and have looked absolutely hopeless at times. They look like a side going down.
Spurs win all the way. Hopefully Harry Kane, who scored for England during the international break, can get on the scoresheet here and find his goal scoring form of last season.
Leicester vs Aston Villa (4pm)
Everyone laughed Claudio Ranieri’s appointment, but he and Leicester have started the season very well.
I expect Leicester to win this, they are in good form and home advantage. Aston Villa have been disappointing, especially that home draw against Sunderland.
Leicester City have gotten off to a great start under new boss Claudio Ranieri having gone unbeaten in their opening four games. For Aston Villa life under Tim Sherwood is looking a lot like life under Paul Lambert, except with a few more goals.
With their home advantage and a more experienced manager I think Leicester will win this.
Monday 14th September
West Ham vs Newcastle (8pm)
I think this will be a draw. I think it will be typical of West Ham, do brilliant one week against Arsenal and Liverpool and then perform badly the next.
Newcastle played well against Arsenal, and only lost the game 1-0 thanks to a deflected goal, and bare in mind they played 75 minutes with ten men, without their main striker, Aleksandar Mitrovic. They also did incredibly well at Old Trafford, where they probably could/should have won at the end.
It depends which West Ham shows up. The one that beat Arsenal and Liverpool (both away) or the one that lost to Leicester and Bournemouth (both at home). If the West Ham that beat Arsenal and Liverpool show up they will most likely win this and cause Newcastle quite a few problems.
Newcastle are improving under Steve McClaren, the defence certainly seems to be shaping up, but there is still a long way for them to go yet.
After how many yellow cards Newcastle picked up in their last match against Arsenal and the amount of red cards that West Ham have received so far this season it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a red card or two in this game here.
As for the result I’m going to go for a draw.