After some European adventure’s midweek for some clubs with the Champions League and Europa League its back to the Premier League which has two huge derbies on offer with a London derby thrown in for good measure.
On Sunday there is the Manchester derby as Manchester City travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United and try to escape from their shadow while earlier in the day there is the Tyne-Wear derby as Newcastle head to the Stadium of Light to face Sunderland and try to avoid losing six derbies in a row.
As ever we are here with our predictions for all the weekends action.
Aston Villa vs Swansea
All the pressure is on Tim Sherwood and Aston Villa, as if they don’t win, word is that Sherwood is gone.
Swansea started well and have dropped off in recent weeks, but I think the game against Aston Villa is the game to get them back on track,
If the rumours are true a loss here could spell the end of Tim Sherwood’s time in charge of Aston Villa who having only won one game this season, all the way back on the opening weekend. There only other point also came all the way back in August.
After a good start to the season Swansea have tailed off somewhat in recent weeks so a game against ASton Villa is just what they need to get back to winning ways.
Anything but a win for Swansea will be a poor result for them.
Leicester vs Crystal Palace
This games will have goals. Both have made very good starts to the season and I think this will end in a draw.
Jamie Vardy could become just the eighth player to score in seven consecutive games, what an achievement if he manages it.
Both these sides have made a great start to the season and find themselves up in 5th and 6th respectively.
Leicester have the Premier League’s top goalscorer in Jamie Vardy who has managed 9 goals so far this season, Palace will need to find a way to stop him if they want to win.
Palace have been better away from home with their quick counter attacking style while Leicester have a work hard never say die attitude. For that reason I think this match might end up a draw,
Norwich vs West Brom
Norwich will look to bounce back after their away hammering against Newcastle last week. West Brom at home isn’t a bad game to have to bounce back, because West Brom struggle for goals, so if they can break West Brom down, they stand a good chance of winning.
It will be close.
Norwich lost 6-2 to Newcastle last weekend. 6-2. They conceded 6 against Newcastle. Just let that sink in. That probably means it is a bad time for West Brom to be playing them, they’ll have a point to prove this weekend at home and West Brom are the second lowest scoring side in the league.
I think Norwich will bounce back with a win here.
Stoke vs Watford
Watford put in a good display against Arsenal and were able to create chances, while Stoke did get off to a slow start but have since recovered.
I am going for a Stoke win, they are very good at home.
Watford were unlucky last weekend against Arsenal when they lost 3-0. They played well for about an hour and created plenty of chances, they were just unable to finish them off which probably explains why they are the league’s lowest goalscorers.
After a slow start to the season Stoke are on a run of three successive wins, all by a one goal margin.
I think Stoke will continue their winning run but I don’t think there will be many goals.
West Ham vs Chelsea
Chelsea played well for an hour midweek, and have back to back clean sheets, which has been a plus for them.
West Ham have started the season incredibly well, beating Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City all away from home. Chelsea will be pleased that they aren’t at home, and away, because West Ham haven’t been as good at home, as they have been on the road. Of course though they will have to be wary because West Ham could just be incredible against the top sides, as they play a different way in those games.
I am going to go for a narrow Chelsea win.
Probably the two hardest teams to predict. Which West Ham and which Chelsea will show up here?
West Ham have beaten Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester City all away from home which would suggest it will be a difficult afternoon for Chelsea, but at home West Ham look a completely different side to that team which might give Chelsea some hope.
Against Aston Villa last weekend and Dynamo Kiev midweek Chelsea showed signs of getting back to their best – pressing high, looking more solid at the back, and creating chances. Their main concern could be the travelling back from Ukraine.
Chelsea need to win. They need to go on a run and close the gap on the teams in the top four. Will they do it? It’ll be tough but they should be able to if they play like they did in the first half against Kiev.
Arsenal vs Everton
I am going for an Arsenal win, confidence and the fact that Everton don’t have a great recent away record at Arsenal.
Having beaten Manchester United 3-0 and Bayern Munich 2-0 in recent weeks at the Emirates Arsenal won’t end their brilliant winning run with a slip up against Everton will they? No, I don’t think so.
Arsenal will win this to continue their run and give their fans false hope.
Sunderland vs Newcastle
Newcastle will have confidence from last week after a fantastic home performance against Norwich. You would have to say they are favourites, but Sunderland have had the better of Newcastle in recent years, so you can’t rule them out.
Also Sunderland are now managed by ex-Newcastle manager, Sam Allardyce, who will want to get one over on his former club.
I think it will be a close game, but I expect Newcastle to just edge it by a goal.
What a difference a week makes for Newcastle fans. Before their 6-2 win over Norwich they would have been going into this game full of dread because Sunderland have had the better of them in this fixture in recent years, but now they have some confidence.
Sunderland are the only side in the Premier League without a win this season and it’s hard to see that changing here.
I’m going for a Newcastle. They can’t let Sunderland make it six derbies wins in a row plus they should be full of confidence after Norwich.
Bournemouth vs Tottenham
Bournemouth have had a few injuries this season and for that reason I think Tottenham will win.
Tottenham had a disappointing night in the Europa League on Thursday losing 2-1 to Anderlecht but that is nothing compared to the hammering that Bournemouth suffered last weekend at the hands of Manchester City where they lost 5-1.
Both sides will want to bounce back with a win but with the injuries that Bournemouth have I think Tottenham will win this despite the awful form of Harry Kane who just can’t seem to score at the moment (and now that I’ve said that watch as he scores this weekend).
I think Spurs will win this.
Manchester United vs Manchester City
If Sergio Aguero was fit, then I probably would have gone for a Manchester City win, but as he isn’t I think it will be a draw.
Manchester United were in Moscow midweek for the Champions League, while Manchester City played at home, so this could play a part.
The big game of the weekend – The Manchester derby. Will Manchester be red or will it be blue? Can City stay at the top of the league and open a gap over United or will United leapfrog them?
Neither. I think it’ll be a draw. A score draw but still a draw. United will be tired from having to travel back from Moscow midweek but Louis van Gaal looks to be getting his tactics right, something that I feel Manuel Pellegrini is always lacking. Plus City will be without Sergio Aguero which is a big miss for them.
Liverpool vs Southampton
I am going for a draw. Liverpool are still getting used to Jurgen Klopp’s system. I also think the fact that they played on Thursday could help Southampton.
With all the players Liverpool have bought from Southampton, this is a game that has a bit more meaning that a couple of years ago. So I think even though at times not looked like the team from last season, I think they will get a draw.
Jurgen Klopp’s first home Premier League game and it’s against the side Liverpool sign all their players from, I suppose it gives Klopp an early chance to see what Southampton player Liverpool should sign next.
Liverpool were disappointing Thursday night in the Europa League as they only managed a 1-1 against 10-man Rubin Kazan. They really struggled to break them, apparently they had some 30+ shots but 80% were off target.
Southampton don’t look like the side they were last season but that’s not surprising when you consider the amount of players they have sold. Despite that however I still think they will come away from Anfield with something.