After a disappointing in week in Europe for the English clubs it’s back to the Premier League with not one but two London derbies this weekend as Chelsea host Arsenal and Tottenham host Crystal Palace.
As ever we are here with our predictions for all the weekends action.
Saturday 19th September
Chelsea vs Arsenal (12:45pm)
The Champions League midweek could have changed momentum for both sides, Chelsea for the better, Arsenal for the worst, as Chelsea got a win and a clean sheet, while Arsenal made some changes and lost.
I think this will be a close game, even this fixture at Stamford Bridge was a close affair, with two real moments of quality winning it for Chelsea, and it raises the question can they do it again?
I am going to go for a narrow win for Chelsea.
What a difference a week can make. Before the Champions League ties midweek the momentum was firmly with Arsenal but after their 2-1 loss to Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia and Chelsea’s 4-0 home win over Maccabi Tel Aviv (match review here) that looks to have shifted.
Chelsea still have issues with their defence as was seen at times on Wednesday night but that win, with Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas getting on the scoresheet, appears to given the players and the club the confidence booster they needed. Injuries to Pedro and Willian could be an issue however.
Arsenal won’t be happy about having the early kickoff on Saturday after having had travel back from Croatia. Add to that the fact that they had to play the second half with only 10 men after Oliver Giroud’s sending off for stupidity with no rest for Alexis Sanchez and tiredness/fatigue could be an issue/excuse for Wenger’s side.
I’m going for a Chelsea win on this one. Wenger has never beaten Mourinho in a competitive fixture (the Community Shield is a charity match not a competitive fixture) along with Arsenal’s record in early kickoffs on Saturday after Champions League games, it all just points to a Chelsea win.
Aston Villa vs West Brom
Aston Villa let a 2-0 lead slip away against Leicester last week, losing the game 3-2 at the very end, while West Brom got a point against Southampton.
I think Aston Villa will win this, they won the previous two games between these two sides, they are at home and they seem to have more goals in them at the moment.
You have to wonder what effect losing that 2-0 lead against Leicester last Sunday will have on Aston Villa when Nathan Dyer scored that dramatic late winner, while West Brom managed to get a 0-0 draw with Southampton in their last game.
Tim Sherwood seems to know how to get his players fired up and get them to attack while Tony Pulis is very good at setting his teams up not to lose, as a result I think this one will be a draw.
Bournemouth vs Sunderland
I am going for a Bournemouth win, they are at home and Sunderland have not been good this season.
Oh dear. If Bournemouth are to have any hope of staying up this is exactly the sort of game they need to win.
Sunderland look to be going through their usual routine of starting a season poorly to get the manager sacked, bring in a replacement before pulling off their annual miracle and avoiding the drop.
Bournemouth are good at attacking and Sunderland can’t defend so I’m going to go for a Bournemouth win in a game with a lot of goals.
Newcastle vs Watford
I am going for a Newcastle win, partially because it would be typical of them to win and score the week before they play Chelsea at home in the league.
In seriousness though, Newcastle were brilliant against Manchester United at Old Trafford and only lost 1-0 to Arsenal at home after playing the majority of the game with ten men, and the goal was a deflection as well.
Watford did get a very good win against Swansea last weekend, so they will threaten Newcastle. I don’t’ think there will be a clean sheet.
Watford pulled off a shock win over Swansea last weekend winning 1-0 while Newcastle haven’t scored since the opening weekend, they have however managed to keep a clean sheet against Manchester United at Old Trafford since then and were unlucky to lose against Arsenal a week later.
Against any kind of logic I am going to go for a Newcastle win here. Surely they have to find the back of the net again soon? The pressure must be mounting on Steve McClaren so he’ll be desperate to pick up his first win.
Stoke vs Leicester
Leicester have started the season off brilliantly, while Stoke haven’t and find themselves in the relegation zone.
Stoke are very strong at home, so I think this will be a draw.
Unbeaten Leicester travel to the Britannia Stadium to take on a Stoke side who find themselves in the relegation zone here. Don’t think many would have predicted that for either of these sides after five games.
I’m going for a draw here. These are two very good sides with some very good players, I think it’ll be tight with not many goals.
Swansea vs Everton
I expect Swansea to bounce back from their defeat to Watford with a win. They have looked very good so far this season and I think they will win.
Everton have started the season well too, and it is a shame this game isn’t on television as it could be a really good game.
I think this will be a great match full of goals and some brilliant, it’s just a shame it isn’t on TV.
Everton got a fantastic result last weekend beating a very poor Chelsea 3-1 thanks to a hattrick from Steven Naismith while Swansea lost 1-0 away to Watford.
Despite their loss last weekend I think Swansea will win this. They are a great side and with home advantage could prove too much for Everton.
I’m looking forward to see what Andre Ayew and Jefferson Montero can do against the Everton defence.
Manchester City vs West Ham (5:30pm)
I expect Manchester City to bounce back from their Champions League defeat against Juventus with a win.
They have been impressive so far this season, and they still have confidence in the league and won’t panic as they haven’t dropped points yet, while all their rivals have.
West Ham have put in good performances away at Arsenal and Liverpool, but Manchester City are a different animal.
Manchester City suffered their first defeat of the season midweek when they lost 2-1 to Juventus (match review here) while West Ham got their first home win of the season Monday night as they beat Newcastle 2-0.
West Ham have picked up away wins over both Arsenal and Liverpool so far this season, if that West Ham side show up Manchester City could be in for a difficult afternoon.
However despite all that I am going for a Manchester City win. They need to bounce back from that Juventus defeat, they are at home, and just look at home much money they’ve spent.
Sunday 20th September
Tottenham vs Crystal Palace (1:30pm)
Crystal Palace are great away from home and Tottenham haven’t really started the season well, so I am going for an away win.
Crystal Palace are frightening on the counter attack, and this is where they will punish Tottenham.
The second London derby of the weekend and as is Spurs usual tradition of failing horribly to cope with the Europa League I am going to go with a Crystal Palace win.
Harry Kane is yet to score for Spurs this season which is one of the main reasons they appear to be struggling and haven’t scored many goals. Last weekend they struggled to overcome Sunderland, they had to rely on a late winner from Ryan Mason to record their first win of the season.
Crystal Palace were unlucky to lose to Manchester City last weekend falling to a late late winner, they were also unlucky when they lost at home to Arsenal (match review here) but they did manage to become the second side to beat Jose Mourinho at home in the Premier League when they beat Chelsea 2-1.
If Palace like they did in those games they can get a result against Spurs at White Hart Lane.
Liverpool vs Norwich (4pm)
Brendan Rodgers has got to get his side to deliver on the weekend after resting so many players in the Europa League this week, and I believe they will.
Liverpool are at home, have done very well against Norwich in previous fixtures, albeit Suarez loved scoring against them- A LOT and they no longer have him, but I believe that they will still be too much for Norwich.
Brendan Rodgers rested a lot of his players on Thursday night in the Europa League ahead of this game and despite some lacklustre performances so far this season they should easily have more than enough to deal with Norwich.
Norwich seem to have one good week followed by bad one week and since they won last weekend are due a loss it seems.
I’m going to go for a comfortable Liverpool win.
Southampton vs Manchester United (4pm)
I am going for an away win. Wayne Rooney is expected to be back and I think they will look to bounce back after disappointment in the Champions League midweek.
Southampton have also not started the season as well as expected, and I feel given Man United’s attack that at the moment they will cause a lot of problems.
Southampton aren’t the team they were last season but you have to wonder what kind of effect the leg break to Luke Shaw will have on the Manchester United players.
Manchester United are another team who are playing below average this season and they are really struggling for goals at the moment. Losing Luke Shaw is a big blow for them made even worse by the fact that they finally looked like they had a settled defence.
I’m going for a Southampton win, United struggle for goals and they are going to have to make changes to their defence which could unsettle it.