Gameday – PL Gameweek 6 Preview

A repeat of the champions league final, between two of the leagues favourites and a North London derby between 2 sides who have struggled in recent times – What a weekend of football ahead.

As for the score predictions. Last week, Sam took on The High Press Media’s fellow columnist, and sports journalist Shivam Pathak in his score predictions against the football community. Sam claimed GW5 in a thrashing 70-15 outscoring, extending his lead to 75 points going into gameday 6. This week, the football community is represented by fellow High Press columnist, and Journalist Buez Hagdu. How will Buez get on in representing the football community against Sam’s predictions?

Chelsea Vs Man City

Chelsea Form: WWDWW

Man City Form: LWWWD

Key Man: N’Golo Kante

Chelsea will be looking to send out a statement to the rest of the division this weekend. The Blues are on a four game winning streak in all competitions and have only conceded one goal in the league across their opening five matches. If Tuchel gets the better of Pep here, Chelsea, and potentially Liverpool and United, could move six points clear of City. And with the Citizens travelling to Anfield next Sunday, the next couple of weeks could be a huge blow to Champion’s title hopes if they aren’t careful.

Unfortunately for them though, they’re starting on the backfoot already with several key players set to miss out: Stones and Laporte are confirmed to be injured, meanwhile Gundogan and Rodri are also major doubts. That will mean Nathan Ake will be starting at centre back which ought to be a real concern for City fans when you think back to how the domineering Lukaku ripped the less physical Arsenal defence to pieces on his debut. Ake’s been struggling for form already this season and the big Belgium will be licking his lips at the prospect of that match up.

And whilst City’s injury list grows, Chelsea are set to be boosted by the return of N’Golo Kante to the starting eleven, who was simply magnificent when brought on for the second half against Spurs, single handedly taking control of the game that up until that point was being commanded by the intensity of Nuno’s men.

So, it doesn’t look like the perfect situation for City right now and the fact they’ve lost their last three games to Chelsea will make Pep rightly nervous heading into what is almost certainly a ‘must not lose’ game for his side. Tuchel’s defence is rarely breached, and this is the sort of situation that an injury ravaged City will be punished for not having a dependable striker in their ranks. They don’t quite have the same fear factor without Aguero, and I think they will be exposed for that here.



Man United Vs Aston Villa

United Form: WDWWW

Villa Form: LWDLW

Key Man: Cristiano Ronaldo

I’ve seen enough now to come to the assumption that United will not have what it takes to surpass Liverpool or Chelsea and win the title this season. They deserved to lose to West Ham last weekend in the league and would of if Antonio had been leading the line, never mind the game against Wolves. For me, they don’t operate well enough as a team in comparison to the other big guns and over rely on individual brilliance.

Nevertheless, it is difficult to take them on against Villa, who despite their recent upturn in performances, shouldn’t have enough to stop a team of the quality of United. You get the impression that Villa are back on track but stopping Cristiano Ronaldo who’s typically scoring for fun is a whole different ball game. I feel like I end up saying the same thing about United’s prospects weekly now, they are quickly becoming the Cristiano show, which is dangerous in itself given that he’s a 36-year-old. Then again, that’s a whole different topic of debate.

Ronaldo to score, United to win.


Everton Vs Norwich

Everton form: WDWWL

Norwich Form: LLLLL

Key Man: Andros Townsend

This could prove a good opportunity for Daniel Farke’s men to score their first points of the campaign. Everton struggled badly last weekend against Villa, were booted out the EFL Cup by QPR midweek, and it’s no coincidence that their downturn in form has coincided with the injuries of DCL and Richarlison. Their attacking potency without their two key players is drastically reduced, as any team’s would be, so fans of the Canaries might fancy their chances here.

However, I just can’t see past how poor this Norwich team is. Rafa is probably counting his blessings that it’s Norwich they’re playing now and not a more challenging opponent. Sitting bottom of the league having conceded no fewer than 14 goals, I’d prefer to look at this as an opportunity for new addition Salomon Rondon to showcase what he’s about. Everton also happen to be unbeaten in their last six home league games, which suggests that even without their main men they should still have enough quality to run out victorious here.


Leeds Vs West Ham

Leeds Form: LDDLD

West Ham Form: WWDDL

Key Man: Antonio

This weekend three things are certain: Ronaldo will score, Steve Bruce will have a post-game chippy, and Leeds WILL lose this fixture. The Yorkshire outfit are missing a raft of key players: Bamford, Raphina, Harrison, Llorente and Robin Koch are all absent, which will limit them hugely going forward, and when you concede goals at the rate of this Leeds team, you need to score…

The way Bielsa sets up creates the perfect conditions for a counter attacking phenomenon like West Ham to thrive. There’s sure to be bags of space for Antonio in behind, who’s return to the side will add a more clinical nature to proceedings so you can expect plenty of goals. Furthermore, the Irons are on a high following their midweek EFL Cup dispatching of United, and so everything considered, I fully expect them to send this struggling Leeds side into the dark territories of the relegation zone on Saturday.

A thumping for Bielsa who’s sure to wake up with a few questions marks lingering over his head if things continue in the same vein.


Leicester Vs Burnley

Leicester Form: WLWLL

Burnley Form: LLDLL

Key Man: Jay Rodriguez

Nobody seems to know what’s happening with Leicester at the minute. Following their Community Shield victory over City it seemed they would go on to big things this season but it looks not be. Three losses in their first five games doesn’t make for good reading and even their two victories were edgy, one goal margins. Incredibly, they have the lowest recorded number of shots from any team in the league which is extremely concerning, and Brendan needs to get the ship going in a different direction sharpish.

Although, it’s not like Burnley are doing better. One point from five games screams relegation fight, yet, it has to be said that they were unlucky against Arsenal, racking up an impressive 18 shots on goal against the Gunners. Even against Liverpool they put on a good show for spells and they ought to be higher up the table than they are. A big win midweek in the EFL Cup that saw Jay Rodriguez score four goals, could be enough of a confidence boost to catapult the the Clarets to a shock result here.

I’m going to be brave and back Burnley to get something from this with Rodriguez the key man.


Watford Vs Newcastle Form: 

Watford Form: WLLLW

Newcastle Form: LLDLD

Key Man: Saint Maximin

Now, I don’t want to say these two are one-man teams but let’s face it, they pretty much are. Saint Maximin has been scintillating this season and Ismaila Sarr has displayed spells of sheer brilliance. Much of the outcome of this match is going to be dependant on who can wield more influence, and in truth, I have no clue which way this one will go…

Watford were top draw last time out against Norwich. And although it was Norwich, Newcastle have a very similar defensive record to the Canaries- conceding 13 goals so far this season, so they could be vulnerable here. Fortunately for Newcastle though, Saint Maximin’s brilliance gives them plenty of opportunities for goals and his form looks like it’s heading in one direction only.

It’s likely to be an open game with plenty of goal mouth action at either end, Newcastle will see it as a great opportunity to notch their first win, but I think they’ll have to wait a little while longer until they can sort out their leaky defensive problems.


Brentford Vs Liverpool

Brentford Form: WDDLW

Liverpool Form: WWDWW

Key Man: Mo Salah

Ah, the well-oiled machine that is Brentford. They’ll have racked up more clean sheets than Dunelm by the time this season is done and dusted. Although, they won’t get one here. The main title protagonist alongside Chelsea for me, Liverpool have been in a rich grain of form of late and I’d fully expect them to cast this Brentford team to one side.

They probably won’t do it as easily as they did against Palace last weekend though. Home advantage will play into Brentford’s hands as the atmosphere will surely be electric now the big boys are in town. And the stat of just two goals conceded in their last five games makes Thomas Frank’s side the second strongest defence in the league. Statistically at least…

Whilst they’ve come up against some decent opposition, they certainly haven’t faced anyone of the calibre of Liverpool. The Reds have been attacking with so much more energy and purpose than they were last season and have become truly exciting to watch again. You’d expect the team to demand control of the game here. It’ll be wave after wave of attacking onslaught and eventually Liverpool will surely find their way through.

Liverpool to win to nil.


Southampton Vs Wolves

Southampton Form: LDDDD

Wolves Form: LLLWL

Key Man: Bednarek

What can be said about these two. One win from ten between the two of them and they’re both so unpredictable that in terms of betting it’s practically impossible to decide which way this one goes. Southampton have put in some commendable performances, none more impressive than holding City to a draw last time out which saw the reigning champions muster just one lonely shot on target.

However, Wolves are surely the better team, and if it wasn’t for their troubles in front of goal would be flying. Significantly, their goal troubles are so severe that it’s becoming laughable now, having scored just twice in 82 attempts, which instantly turns me off at the thought of backing them.

Rather boringly, this has all the hall marks of a stalemate. Southampton’s dry streak for wins will continue and Wolves will yet again fail to find the back of the net.


Arsenal Vs Tottenham

Arsenal Form: LLLWW

Spurs Form: WWWLL

Key Man: Harry Kane

Plenty will fancy Arsenal here; Spurs have lost their last two league games and were blown away in the second half at Chelsea. Whereas, Arteta has steadied the ship and guided the Gunners to back-to-back victories without conceding. It makes sense, however those people would be forgetting the way Spurs suffocated Chelsea in the first half last weekend. They should have gone in leading at the break and that suggests that they have the tools to bounce back against this Arsenal side.

Furthermore, whilst Arsenal may have kept two clean sheets, the opposition were of nowhere near the calibre that Kane and Son can bring to proceedings. Admittedly, Kane’s performances have been well below par this season, but a striker of his class will eventually turn things around, and the North London Derby seems the perfect place to do just that. Kane’s bagged 11 goals in 15 appearances against the Gunners and that’s all the encouragement I need.


Crystal Palace Vs Brighton

Crystal Palace Form: LDDWL

Brighton Form: WWLWW

Key Man: Wilfried Zaha

The Brighton train marches on after their big victory over the Foxes last weekend and the good times just keep on rolling for Graham Potter. The Seagulls currently occupy the final Champions League spot and whilst they won’t be there come the end of the campaign, they are well in with a chance of securing the Europa Conference League. Keeping it tight at the back will be key if that’s their aspirations and we can expect plenty more of that at Selhurst Park on Monday evening in what’s sure to be a tight encounter.

Viera’s men on the other hand can scrap the 3-0 demolition they suffered at Anfield last Saturday and pick up where they left off previously- unbeaten in three and having dispatched of Spurs in impressive fashion. The increased focus on possession from Viera seems to be paying off and fans of the Eagles certainly seem to be getting behind their new manager despite their previous doubts.

A major concern for Brighton here will be the potential absence of Yves Bissouma. He’s been key for them in the middle of the park and if he misses this match, they could be in for a long difficult night. Given this derby always produces an electric atmosphere, I fancy home advantage to play its part and boost Palace to a well earnt draw.


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