The Premier League restarted with a bang this week after the COVID-19 break and some teams were definitely sharper than others. That being said after one game it’s hard to tell who has used this time effectively and who’s been cramming down cake and beer. (It’s definitely David Luiz). With all the games being played in such a short space of time the question really is who’s legs are going to buckle first. With Liverpool more than likely having wrapped up the league it comes down to the top 4 places for Champions League and who will be relegated back to the Championship.
This week holds a lot of key games in different areas of the table and I’m going to do my best to predict the winner of each game and more importantly predict more correct than co-Futbol writer Daniel Bakley.
Leicester VS Brighton
Leicester dropped valuable points against Watford this week which they needed to keep Chelsea at a distance. Still pushing for their second Champions League qualification, they sit in third only 3 points ahead of them. Brighton on the other hand came out victorious against Arsenal with a 2-1 win after a 95th winner by French striker Maupay. There are only 5 points between Brighton and Aston Villa in the 19th. Brighton will be desperate to pick up a win here to solidify their place in the Premier League next season. However, the quality that Leicester has upfront with Jamie Vardy, James Maddison, Ayoze Perez, and Harvey Barnes I cant see Brighton finding a way to keep the foxes out for long in this game.
My prediction – Leicester City
Daniel’s Prediction – Leicester
Tottenham Hotspur VS West Ham
Being a Man United fan I was happy to walk away with a point against the Spurs last Friday. However, during the second half, they began to tire and lose concentration at the back. Eric Dier playing CB was a strange choice for me however Mourinho is a special one and knows how to grind out a point like his life depends on it. West Ham lost 2-0 to Wolves who looked frustrated against the Hammers until the introduction of Adama Traore. Declan Rice played very well at CB but the team lacks creativity going forward. Filipe Anderson seems like a shadow of the player he was last year and new signing Jarrod Bowen hasn’t been able to hit the ground running due to the untimely break. In my opinion, the Spurs will have a field day with this game and should show some true class on the counterattack.
My prediction- Spurs
Daniel’s prediction – Spurs
Manchester United VS Sheffield United
I don’t think I’d be a true Man United fan if I didn’t find something to complain about when it comes to our last performance. De Gea hasn’t looked like the keeper he once was since the 2018 World Cup. He makes lots of silly errors costing us valuable points and Friday was no exception. If you are Solskare you must be considering replacing him with Romero. Romero is a keeper who hasn’t played a lot for United since joining however shows real class when he is given the opportunity. Sheffield United haven’t had the best of times since coming back. They were robbed of all three points against Villa and they were beaten 3-0 by Newcastle. You know the break hasn’t helped you when Joelinton is scoring his second Premier League goal against you on his 30th game. With Irish’s international Egan getting sent off in that match I believe that Bruno, Pogba, and Rashford will go all out to get 3 points.
My prediction – Manchester United
Daniel’s prediction – Manchester United
Newcastle United Vs Aston Villa
Newcastle needed that win. With all the talk about them being sold and becoming the richest club in English football, they needed a result on the pitch to quiet the doubters. Saint-Maximum looks sharp and ready however Newcastle isn’t known for their back to back performances and more than likely their form will dip again. Aston Villa however hasn’t had a good time at all. They narrowly escaped with a point against Sheffield and then lost 2-1 to Chelsea. Although being up 1-0 in the game against Chelsea they were always the worse side and an equalizer always looked on the cards. I can’t see Villa picking up the points needed to avoid relegation, however, I believe this will be game to take a nap in with both sides willing to take a point each.
My prediction- Draw
Daniel’s prediction – Newcastle United
Norwich City VS Everton
Norwich was battered by Southampton, rarely looking like there were going to threaten their goal. They were in no shape ready for their first game back. Pukki hasn’t had the service upfront for him to replicate his goalscoring tally from last season and sitting on the bottom of the table I imagine that Norwich will have their team picked at once they are relegated. Everton claimed a point against soon to be Premier League Champions Liverpool in a very boring game. Everton has the firepower going forward with Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison but lacked the creativity in midfield to ever look like creating a chance. However, against a lower table side like Norwich, they will push on and show that quality in this game.
My prediction – Everton
Daniel’s prediction – Everton
Wolverhampton Wanderers VS Bournemouth
There only seems to be one thing to say about Wolves at the moment and that is Adama. He has been world-class this season finally showing that final third pass and finish that his game has lacked for a few years. He has been the key to a very positive Wolves side that has been knocking on the door of the Champions League space. They have gone from strength to strength and I don’t see them stopping any time soon. Bournemouth hasn’t had the best of seasons, sitting in 18th they have been my surprise (excluding Sheffield United) of the season. Eddie Howe has proven to be a good manager but the team he is working with just isn’t up to Premier League standard. They lack the finesse needed in this league and will struggle even if they are relegated back to the Championship. I can see a big summer transfer window for them this year. They won’t be able to stop Wolves from taking all 3 points.
My prediction – Wolves
Daniel’s prediction – Wolves
Liverpool VS Crystal Palace
The best team in England this year by a country mile, that’s hard to say as a Red Devil. Liverpool has been nothing short of brilliant and can afford to test players since they only need 2 wins out of 8 games to win the League. Salah didn’t play in the 0-0 draw against Everton but I imagine he will play this game and cause Palace a lot of problems. However, Palace has always been Liverpool’s boggy team. Struggling to pick up points against them, Palace is a very defensive-minded team looking for the counter-attack and using the pace of Andros Townsend and Wilfred Zaha. I didn’t see enough from Liverpool in that game against Everton to suggest that they can break down Palace but Salah maybe the deciding factor. Might be a bit of a shock I’m going to say they split the points.
My prediction – Draw
Daniel’s prediction – Liverpool
Burnley Vs Watford
As I’m writing this Burnley is the only team to have not played a game since the restart of the league. So it’s hard to predict a team that you haven’t seen play yet but even harder when the team they have to play tonight is Man City. Burnley isn’t known for their flashy skill set, more for their tough tackling and set pieces. But with the emergence of Dwight McNiel all that could change. The youngster seems to be bringing an all-new approach from Burnley and maybe is the game-winner they need. Watford scraped a point against Leicester with a fantastic equalizer however much like Newcastle they have struggled for consistent performances. Deaney a clinical finisher won’t have the same effect against a strong Burnley defense that are built to out muscle strikers. Not often a choice I go for but I think Burnley wall away with all three points.
My prediction – Burnley
Daniel’s prediction – Watford
Southampton VS Arsenal
A performance that was needed by the Saints earned them all three points against a poor Norwich side. Every time they went forward they always looked like they could score and I don’t think this game will be any different. Arsenal has had the worst 2 games for them they could have dreamt of. Poor displays defensively have cost them 6 points. David Luiz should never play for them again after the awful 25-30 minutes he played against Man City and their only shining light, Leno has now been ruled out due to a horrible knee injury picked up at Brighton. With no goalkeeper and barely any defense I can’t see them causing Southampton too many problems.
My prediction – Southampton
Daniel’s prediction – Southampton
Chelsea VS Manchester City
Although Chelsea went down 1-0 to Aston Villa they always looked like a side that believed they could score. Tammy Abraham was on the bench for that game which makes me believe Frank Lampard was resting him for this game. And with the wide players of Pulisic and Willian, they may cause City a few problems when breaking down the wings. However, City has shown that even after a 2-3 month break that class is permanent. Sterling picked up his first goal of 2020 against Arsenal and Aguero showed that even coming off the bench he is always a threat in front of goal. Chelsea hasn’t got the defensive ability to keep this Man City side out for 90 minutes and with David Silva leaving at the end of this season I feel like he will do everything in his power to close the gap on Liverpool as much as possible.
My prediction – Manchester City
Daniel’s prediction – Manchester City
I feel that if you do agree with my predictions and liken me to Paul the Octopus from the 2010 World Cup then let me know!! Heck, even stick a 10 fold accumulator on it. It’s worth 3023.54/1 for my predictions and 419.85/1 for Daniel’s predictions so it might be worth a punt?
If you disagree then let me know below what your predictions are for this week’s set of games.