Premier League Weekend Preview: After a tricky start, West Ham have eased the pressure on boss Slaven Bilic, picking up 8 points from their last 5 matches. Building from the back, West Ham have kept an impressive five clean sheets from their last seven home matches in the league and managed to escape with a point last time out at Turf Moore despite Andy Carrolls first-half red card.

West Ham v Brighton – Friday 20th October, KO 8:00 PM, London Stadium

Brighton have made a promising start to life in the top-flight and were unlucky to concede a last-minute equalizer last time out at Everton. They are struggling to pick up points away from home this season and have only scored once away from the Amex, they will need to rely on Pascal Gross being on form, he has been involved in 83% of their goals this season.

Advertisements
Advertisements

With Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho out, West Ham should still find themselves too strong at home for Brighton, however, it will not be as easy as it was last time these two teams met when West Ham ran out 6-0 at Upton Park in the 2011-2012 season.

Chelsea v Watford – Saturday 21st October, KO 12:30 PM, Stamford Bridge

Watford will be buoyed by their last-minute victory against Arsenal last week and their electric start to life under Marco Silva, where they find themselves in a Champions League place after 8 games. Champions, Chelsea, on the other hand, find themselves in a mini-slump following their surprising loss at winless Crystal Palace last week, followed by their draw with Roma in midweek, where they led 2-0.

With Chelsea’s growing injury list, they appear light in the middle of the park with Luiz playing in that position midweek.

Advertisements

Murmurs of discontent over Conte’s intense training methods starting to surface, Conte needs to get a win to get their season back on track. Watford meanwhile will fancy their chances with their dynamic midfield three in Cleverley, Doucoure, and Pererya they should create chances. Watch out also for Richarlison, who has won plaudits after his £11m transfer in the summer.

This should be a tight game and will be a test to see how far Silva has bought Watford on this season. However, Chelsea should never be written off and have the quality to win any game this season.

Huddersfield Town v Manchester United – Saturday 21st October, KO 3:00 PM, John Smith Stadium

After an amazing start to their debut season in the #Premier League, Huddersfield are now finding out just how tough this division can be. They were easily beaten by Tottenham in their last match and have now failed to score in their previous four. David Wagner will hope their record signing Steve Mounie will be fit to feature against a Manchester United side that played away at Benfica midweek.

Advertisements

Jose Mourinho was widely criticized for United’s performance at Anfield last week and with city rivals in free-scoring mode, calls have been made for Jose to play more attractive football. With key midfielders still out injured and with Rashford coming off midweek with a knee injury, Jose may play a similar way again this weekend to grind out a result against a Huddersfield team that will be motivated to get their first major scalp of the season.

With Martial and Lukaku in sparkling form in the league, Man Utd should be too strong for Huddersfield and take the 3 points back to Manchester with them.

Manchester City v Burnley – Saturday 21st October, 3:00 PM, Etihad Stadium

Manchester City and Pep Guardiola have been winning plaudits from across the footballing world this season for their style of play and for their ruthlessness in front of goal this season. Last time out they put 7 goals past a Stoke team who were at one point only trailing 3-2. With Kevin De Bruyne in the form of his life and a wide variety of forwards that would get into any other team in the league, teams will not relish a trip to the Etihad this season.

Sean Dyche and his Burnley team continue to surprise and have built on an impressive season last year to find themselves in the top 8 of the table. Unlike last season, they have built a solid foundation away from home and remain unbeaten with impressive results at the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool, and Everton. Many thought their defence would struggle after losing Michael Keane in the summer, however, Tarkowski has built a solid partnership with Ben Mee and their record signing Chris Wood is proving a suitable replacement for Andre Gray.

Regardless of their away form this season, Dyche will know that they are facing an uphill battle at the Etihad this weekend and will want to get out without receiving a hammering that most teams find themselves with from City this season. Cities attack should prove too strong, especially if Aguero wins his race to be fit. Expect Man City goals.

Newcastle United v Crystal Palace – Saturday 21st October, 3:00 PM, St. James Park

In the week, Mike Ashley publically put Newcastle up for sale as more upheaval off the pitch lies ahead. This could be a welcome relief to manager Rafa Benitez who publically stated his unhappiness at the lack of backing he received in the transfer market in the summer. On the pitch though, Newcastle have made a good start back in the top flight and since their opening weekend loss to Tottenham, they remain unbeaten at home. Last time out, a helter-skelter 2-2 draw with Southampton was a fair result, but they will expect to go one better this week and get the 3 points in front of their home fans.

Crystal Palace meanwhile will be buoyed by their first win of the season and the first win under new manager Roy Hodgson. With Wilfried Zaha returning and making a big difference last time out at Chelsea and their tough run of fixtures against the top clubs over, Crystal Palace can look forward to the next run of games. Newcastle will be a tough outfit but Palace have the pace to scare teams down the wings.

This match has the potential to go either way and a bit of magic from either team could be enough to win it.

Stoke City v AFC Bournemouth, Saturday 21st October, 3:00 PM, Bet365 Stadium

Having been mauled by Man City last week, Mark Hughes will want a reaction from his side but will also be wary of a negative impact that last week may have left on his players. Stoke have been useful at home this season, bar a 4-0 drubbing from Chelsea, and they will want to make the Bet365 a fortress again if they are to improve on last seasons 13th place finish.

Bournemouth meanwhile find themselves in 19th place this season and having spent £30m+ in the summer, Eddie Howe will be demanding better performances. They are yet to pick up a point away from home and must change that soon if they want to start moving up the table. They will be hoping that Stoke City still have their heads down after last weekend and Jermain Defoe gets back to his goal scoring ways otherwise pressure may start to mount on them.

Swansea City v Leicester City, Saturday 21 st October, 3:00 PM, Liberty Stadium

After the dismissal of popular manager Craig Shakespeare this week, Leicester players were said to be ‘shocked’ and ‘unhappy’ at his treatment. Leicester demanding owners have no problem with making big managerial decisions, as they did last year sacking Ranieri if they feel the team’s performances and results need to improve. With Michael Appleton placed in charge, he will hope for a positive response from the players at the Liberty Stadium, a match they lost last year that proved to be Ranieri's last in charge.

Swansea meanwhile will feel a sense of pressure lifted this week after last weeks 2-0 victory over Huddersfield, in a match where they completely dominated the opposition. With Tammy Abraham scoring 4 goals so far this season, they have a genuine goalscorer upfront whose runs will cause any defence trouble.

Leicester followed up Ranieri’s sacking last year with a win against Liverpool and a performance many got used to under their title-winning season – will they do the same tomorrow or can an unpredictable Swansea get their first back-to-back win of the season?

Southampton v West Brom, Saturday 21st October, 3:00 PM, St. Mary’s Stadium

Southampton midfielder Dusan Tadic this week admitted that Saints are “nervous hosts” this year, which is something that they need to improve on if they are to make an impact on the top 10 this season. With Gabbiadini getting back on the scoresheet with his brace last week, they will need to rely on him for goals as Shane Long continues to struggle. With Van Dijk getting back to full fitness following, Saints should start to show more solidity at the back.

They face a West Brom team that struggle to see games out as they conceded a late equaliser for a 3rd game of the season in which Tony Pulis blamed on a lack of “killer instinct” at putting games to bed. With four draws in their last six matches, it is clear to see they are tough to beat, but much like Southampton, they need to turn these draws into wins, especially at Home if they are to mount a top-10 challenge. Don’t be surprised if these two teams draw this weekend.

Everton v Arsenal, Sunday 22nd October, 1:30 PM, Goodison Park

A clash of two sides whose managers are under real pressure from the fans. After the last minute loss to Watford last week, Wenger came under more scrutiny from Arsenal fans, with half of the fans chanting for him to leave. After only bringing in one major signing this summer and with Ozil and Sanchez seemingly on their way out for free, things are not going too well for Wenger or Arsenal this season, as they sit 9 points behind the leader already. Champions League qualification is essential this season and 3 points against struggling Everton is vital.

After spending over £142m this season and bringing in 9 new players, many thought that Everton would have an assault on the Top 4 this season, however, things have not gone according to plan for Ronald Koeman. Struggling in 16th in the Premier League and also in Europe, fans are calling for him to be sacked after a run of just 2 wins out of 12. Having lost in Europa League this week to Lyon and with nasty scenes involving captain Ashley Williams and Everton fans, this is a must-win game for Koeman as Moshiri and Kenwright may not be able to ignore the fans pleas much longer.

Off the back of a solid away win in Belgrade in comparison to Everton's loss at home to Lyon, Arsenal should feel more confident of taking home the 3 points this weekend.

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool, Sunday 22nd October, 4:00 PM, Wembley

Tottenham come off the back of an impressive draw at the Bernabeu against the European Champions and last time out in the league were able to shake off the Wembley hoodoo after victory against Bournemouth. With Harry Kane carrying on where he left off last season, they pose a considerable goal threat with all their midfielders chipping in with goals. They will fancy themselves up against a struggling Liverpool defence.

Liverpool meanwhile have struggled with goals and clean sheets this year, leading to an underwhelming start to the season. With two clean sheets in a row now and having scored 7 away at Maribor, Klopp will hope that they have turned the corner and are now able to transfer chances into goals. They will need to be at their best if they are to get anything from Wembley and they will need their midfielders of Henderson, Wijnaldum, and Emre Can to take control of the tempo and not let Tottenham's midfield dictate. #League Match