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GAMEDAY – PL GAMEWEEK 5 PREVIEW


Since the battle of the bridge, and Mourinho’s crossing from West to North London, things haven’t quite been the same between Chelsea and Tottenham with the rivalry worsening by the game. Fast forward to new beginnings, with Spurs headed up by Nuno and Chelsea reformed under Thomas Tuchel – The teams may have changed but the rivalry remains just as fierce as they clash for the first time this season over the weekend.

Last week, Sam took on EOTB host Darren Balogun in his score predictions against the football community. Sam claimed GW3 55-35, extending his lead to 20 points going into gameday 5. This week, the football community is represented by fellow High Press columnist, and sports Journalist Shivam Pathak. How will Shivam get on in representing the football community against Sam’s predictions?

Newcastle Vs Leeds

NUFC Form: LLDL

LUFC Form: LDDL

Key Man: Saint Maximin

Sky TV must have heard that we wanted goals this Friday night because this looks set to be a free for all! In just four games, these two have shipped no fewer than 23 goals to their respective opposition. So, it’s hardly a surprise they’re both still hunting their first win of the campaign.

For Steve Bruce in particular, the importance of this game can’t be understated. The pressure is mounting for the Newcastle manager and he needs results to appease a fan base that is growing increasingly uneasy with the brand of football they’re seeing. To make things worse, Callum Wilson and Martin Dubravka will miss out and can be added to an already extensive injury list, which is leaving them short on options across the pitch.

So, it’s not looking good at Newcastle. Although, if they play their cards right then they could get something from this game. Saint Maximin has been the shining light for the Magpies, and he can hurt this Leeds side that could be described as ‘vulnerable’ at best. The supposed effectiveness of the Bielsa style is quickly being proven a fallacy and whilst they might create plenty of opportunities, the gaps they leave to be exploited is becoming ridiculous. If they don’t begin to tighten up ship, they could find themselves not far above a relegation scrap.

Both teams to score is a certainty in a game that could still leave both sides winless this season.

SAM’S PREDICTION: 2-2

SHIVAM’S PREDICTION: 1-3

 

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Wolves Vs Brentford

WWFC Form: LLLW

BFC Form: WDDL

Key Man: Hwang Hee Chan

This should be an interesting match-up. Despite their tricky start to the season, Wolves got their first three points on the board last time out and are now due a very favourable run of fixtures, so I’m expecting them to begin to gather some momentum now. However, Brentford are proving a tough nut to crack given Thomas Frank’s emphasis on clean sheets and boast the second lowest expected goals conceded ratio in the league to date.

Bruno Lage might be sweating a bit over that, considering that his forwards would have needed a handful of attempts to score in an open net before last weekend, but it’s surprising what an important three points can do for a team’s confidence. Similarly, the Bees have only managed to score once since their opening day victory against Arsenal, so all roads lead to a one goal winning margin here.

The new signings have been on fire this season and Wolves new man- Hwang Hee Chan, bagged last weekend. I fancy a narrow home victory with Chan to score the winner.

SAM’S PREDICTION: 1-0

SHIVAM’S PREDICTION: 1-1

 

Liverpool Vs Crystal Palace

LFC Form: WWDW

CPFC Form: LDDW

Key Man: Trent Alexander Arnold

Liverpool are in a brilliant spell at the minute. They’re unbeaten in 15 in the league. Have kept five clean sheets in their last six. Yet more than that, they’re looking more imposing going forward again. The consistent presence of Jota has greatly attributed to that, he’s so sharp and intelligent in his movements around the box and I think he’ll have some joy this weekend as you’d expect Alexander Arnold to get plenty of space in behind Wilfried Zaha.

Although, what goes around comes around and we all know Zaha will be waiting to pounce if Trent ventures too far into attacking territory. New boy Ibrahima Konate is being tipped two start alongside VVD so it will be interesting to see how he would fair 1 vs 1 with the lively Ivorian, as in truth, counter attacking will be Palace’s only hope.

Liverpool at Anfield will be the hardest game for anyone in the league this season. So, even though Viera’s men were superb against Spurs, I don’t give them much chance at all. VVD and Fabinho will ensure the game runs like clockwork for the home side, and it will be the job of Liverpool’s various creators to wear Palace down.

SAM’S PREDICTION: 3-0

SHIVAM’S PREDICTION: 4-0

 

Burnley Vs Arsenal

BFC Form: LLDL

AFC Form: LLLW

Key Man: Gabriel

Finally, things are looking up for Arsenal. It wasn’t a vintage home victory over Norwich, but it got the job done. The injury list is beginning to thin out and things are starting to look up, so taking on this poor Burnley side provides a good opportunity for the Gunners to march up the league. The Clarets are winless in their last twelve home fixtures and have so far racked up just one point this season. Fears of a relegation battle are looming…

Gabriel will be key in this fixture. The Brazilian truly is a brilliant defender and brings so much to Arsenal’s defensive prospects. Burnley love to bully teams when allowed, so he’ll need to be a powerful presence alongside the young Ben White and provide the Gunners with a platform from which their extra quality can shine through.

It will be a difficult slog; however, Arsenal should run out eventual winners if they maintain their composure. Keep a keen eye on Aubameyang because despite his goal last week, their talisman has been so below par this season and needs to step it up here.

SAM’S PREDICTION: 0-1

SHIVAM’S PREDICTION: 1-1

 

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Manchester City Vs Southampton

MCFC Form: LWWW

SFC Form: LDDD

Key Man: Ferran Torres

An easy one to call this. One way traffic will be the name of the game, all coming from the Manchester direction. As Pep Guardiola alluded to, (whilst he pleaded for more fans to turn out after their Champions League fixture on Wednesday), City have scored sixteen goals in their last three home matches, and whilst Southampton have improved in recent weeks on their way to earning three consecutive draws, they won’t have enough here.

Kevin De Bruyne is expected to start, along with Ferran Torres up top, so I’d be inclined to suggest that duo could produce several goals and assists. Whether Southampton could hurt City at the other end? The lackadaisical performance that saw City ship three to Leipzig might suggest that to be the case, but I’m happy to back Pep’s men to tighten up again in what should be a comfortable victory.

SAM’S PREDICTION: 4-0

SHIVAM’S PREDICTION: 5-2

 

Norwich Vs Watford

NFC Form: LLLL

WFC Form: WLLL

Key Man: The Ref

Norwich really, really need this win. Admittedly, the fixture list hasn’t been kind to Daniel Farke, however it won’t be getting better anytime soon. Three out of their next four games are against top half teams and given the fact Norwich’s Premier League losing streak stretches back fifteen matches, you worry for them.

Meanwhile, Watford’s great start to the season against Villa has capitulated also. I’ve raised doubts over the level of quality players in their side previously. It’s simple, keep Ismaila Sarr quiet and they don’t have an answer. They’ve got the lowest total XG in the league over the past three game weeks and it seems like everyone’s got them sussed already.

It’s a massive game for both clubs and tensions could easily boil over by the time the final whistle comes. I can’t split them, so honours even, with a red card prediction thrown into the mix.

SAM’S PREDICTION: 1-1

SHIVAM’S PREDICTION: 2-0

 

Aston Villa Vs Everton

AVFC Form: LWDL

EFC Form: WDWW

Key Man: Doucore

Villa might have lost 3-0 to Chelsea last weekend but they showed the first signs of the potential everyone expected from them this season. Dean Smith’s decision to switch to a back three seemed to help them creatively as they mustered 18 shots on Edouard Mendy’s goal and despite what the score line suggests, it was more defensive lapses in concentration that allowed Chelsea to punish them than anything else.

Another performance like that and Rafa’s toffees could be in for a serious game, but I can’t side with Villa over this Everton side. I waxed lyrical about the effect Rafa has had on this team previously and he proved it again last week against Burnley. Villa have kept just two clean sheets in their last 16 games and the goals have been flowing even without DCL.

I’m banking on away win here at a shockingly big price of 2/1.

SAM’S PREDICTION: 1-2

SHIVAM’S PREDICTION: 1-2

 

 

West Ham Vs Manchester United

WHU Form: WWDD

MUFC Form: WDWW

Key Man: Cristiano Ronaldo  

Well, this could be interesting. The Hammers are flying high following their European triumph, whilst United need to bounce back following their recent embarrassment at the hands of Young Boys. This is the sort of match up that will truly test their title credentials and they need a response. Fortunately for them, the loss of Michail Antonio will be felt heavily by West Ham. The talisman has notched 7 goal contributions in four games and is irreplaceable in their front line.

In truth, I would 100% take on United here if Michail Antonio was fit. This David Moyes side seems the perfect formula to combat the way they play. Statistically, Man United have played with the highest defensive line in the league this year and where West Ham excel is on the counter-attack. It makes sense.

Yet, there’s no telling how they will adapt without their star man. Ronaldo is hungry to keep churning out goals and that’s enough to turn me off to the idea of backing the London side for a win with him in the equation. Beyond that, West Ham will have had just two days to recover from their tricky away European encounter. Too many factors point away from the Hammers to back the underdog, even though it was tempting.

SAM’S PREDICTION: 1-2

SHIVAM’S PREDICTION: 0-3

 

Brighton Vs Leicester

BHA Form: WWLW

LCFC Form: WLWL

Key Man: Yves Bissouma

Brighton remind me a lot of Leicester in some ways, albeit a few years back in terms of development. They are a top footballing team, with no nonsense defenders and a brilliant enforcer in midfield. Leicester have more quality throughout the ranks and the added bonus of Jamie Vardy, but Brighton are in a better moment.

Not to mention the fortress that is the Amex. They have a brilliant Premier League record there in recent times, losing only once in their last seven home games, which suggests it will be a tough day at the office for Leicester who have been desperately struggling for goals. My only concern for the Seagulls is how susceptible the likes of Shane Duffy and Adam Webster could be to the pace of Harvey Barnes and Jamie Vardy, otherwise I’d be looking to back them for a win.

It should be a closely fought affair and could well end up honours even.

SAM’S PREDICTION: 1-1

SHIVAM’S PREDICTION: 0-2

 

Tottenham Hotspur Vs Chelsea

THFC Form: WWWL

CFC Form: WWDW

Key Man: N’Golo Kante

Spurs were humbled last weekend and it confirmed everyone’s beliefs that they certainly will not be challenging for the Champions League places this year. In a one-off game however, they could prove a real problem for the top sides, as they demonstrated on the opening day against Man City. The defensive nature of the way Nuno sets up his teams will make them stubborn opposition for Chelsea, who certainly won’t have it all their own way.

Heung Min Son also looks set to return to the ranks, which should concern a Chelsea defence that surprisingly conceded plenty of chances to Villa in their last game. They’ll need to tighten up ship for this affair with Harry Kane leading the line, although, you would expect them to do just that. Tuchel has an exemplary away record, losing only once on the road since his appointment, and the expected return of N’Golo Kante can only mean great things for the Blues.

The bookies certainly seem to agree, with Spurs currently sitting at 17/4 to win the fixture. And whilst I think they do seem rather big odds given what they did to Man City a few weeks back, I rate Chelsea more as a team than their Manchester title rivals. It’s bound to be tight, ultimately though, Chelsea will run out winners.

SAM’S PREDICTION: 1-2

SHIVAM’S PREDICTION: 0-2

 

 

 

 

This article was written by highpress. To check out their other work click here or you can leave them a comment below.

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