Is it me, or is this Premier League season just blowing by? We are already into matchday six meaning that the league’s alignment is starting to become more clear. Most of the teams expected to play well, like Chelsea and Liverpool, have, while some that many thought would struggle, like Huddersfield and Cardiff City, have as well.
Now that doesn’t mean that there haven’t been any surprises, for better or worse. Watford (4th) and Bournemouth (5th) have both exceeded every expectation while West Ham (16th) and Burnley (20th) need to pick it up.
With all that being said, the season is still young and things in the EPL can change like just like that. And I am here to give you my thoughts on what teams are going to run away with three points this weekend, and what teams are going to gain nothing but grief.
Fulham vs. Watford
Watford has undeniably been the surprise of the season thus far. They currently sit fourth in the table having only lost to Manchester United last weekend. With all that being said, they’ve truthfully only defeated one tough opponent in the league so far, that being Tottenham. But that’s not a negative, per say, because they have also looked sharp all the way through. Not bad for a team many picked as a relegation risk in the pre-season.
Fulham, on the other hand, has started their first season back in the English top flight sporting a 1-1-3 record. It’s taken most of their young players, namely Ryan Sessegnon, a little time to adjust to the riggers of the league.
While I am a huge fan of the team’s leading scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic and believe he could even score, I do not think that the Cottagers have what it takes to stop the Watford train. The Hornets will continue their stroll down the Yellow Brick Road and win this contest 2-1.
Burnley vs. Bournemouth
This is not the Burnley team that I thought was going to show up this year. The Sean Dyche-led side that stole their colors from West Ham currently sit in last place and were recently kicked out of Europa League competition. This is all to say that if they don’t pick up the pieces, they’ll be going down to the Championship next season.
Their main issue up to this point has been their defense. Five games into last season, Burnley had conceded five goals, a phenomenal mark. This season, they have given away ten in that same span. Something has got to give for this defense to wake up once again.
On the other end, we have Bournemouth, a team that has been fantastic up to this point. The Cherries recovered after losing 2-0 against Chelsea before the International Break by crushing Leicester City 4-2 at home. They look as dangerous as a Watford or even a Tottenham right now.
Bournemouth will roll over the Clarets with a decisive 2-1 victory, thus burying Sean Dyche closer and closer to the worms underneath Turf Moor.
Liverpool vs. Southampton
There isn’t a hotter team in soccer right now than Liverpool. They are currently in the middle of a marathon right now where they are taking on tough challengers in the Premier League, Carabao Cup, and Champions League, and so far, they haven’t lost one. Heck, they haven’t even drawn yet.
Southampton have also been on a solid run of late. Since losing to Leicester City 2-1 at home, they have gone 2-1-0 with a plus three-goal differential. But can they stop the Anfield juggernaut? Heck no.
Liverpool is going to win this game and continue their good fortune. Look for any combination of Bobby Firmino, Sadio Mane, and Mo Salah to find their way on the scoring sheet and for Alisson to finish with another clean sheet. Liverpool will walk on to a 2-0 victory.
Cardiff City vs. Manchester City
Let me make this perfectly clear, there is absolutely no way on God’s green Earth that Manchester City won’t win this match. First of all, they’re Manchester City, probably one of the most dynamic soccer teams in any league. Secondly, they’re taking on lowly Cardiff City, a team that was just dismantled by Chelsea 4-1 last weekend.
Finally, City just lost a couple days ago to Lyon at home in the Champions League and you know that they don’t take losing lightly over at the Etihad. It’s just unfortunate that the boys from Cardiff are going to have to be the sacrificial lamb in this case. I have City winning 4-0, but heck, it could be even more lopsided.
Crystal Palace vs. Newcastle United
Crystal Palace are riding high after they defeated Huddersfield Town last weekend while Newcastle continued their free fall down the Premier League table with a 2-1 loss to Arsenal. This match won’t be anything to write home about but look for Palace talisman Wilfried Zaha to have himself another big day.
Unless Zaha goes down with an injury, he will lead the blue and red to a 2-1 win over the imploding Newcastle. Somethings got to give for the Magpies or they will be one step closer to potentially challenging Sunderland in the Championship next season, that is if Sunderland gets promoted from League One.
However, it has to be said that more people need to score for Palace. Zaha has scored three of the four goals for the Eagles.
Leicester City vs. Huddersfield Town
The Foxes from Leicester have had an uneven season so far. They started out with a gutsy 2-1 loss to Manchester United that they very well could have won if the chips fell in any other direction. They then dismantled Wolverhampton and Southampton in consecutive weeks. And then they fell apart against both Liverpool and Bournemouth after that. This is all to say that I don’t really know what this Leicester team is.
That would be disconcerting if they were playing a top-six club this weekend, however, they are in luck because they are hosting Huddersfield instead. The Terriers have been atrocious so far this season. They are currently 0-2-3 and have scored a less than impressive two goals.
Leicester may not completely obliterate David Wagner’s side, but they will most certainly win. I foresee a 2-0 Leicester City win.
Manchester United vs. Wolverhampton
Talk about what should be a fun matchup. Manchester United have looked really strong since losing to Tottenham a few weeks back. They have won three straight contests including a 2-1 road win at Watford and a 3-0 victory over Young Boys to open up Champions League play.
Wolverhampton, on the other hand, have successfully stabilized after losing 2-0 against Leicester City. They defeated league bottom feeders Watford and West Ham and even drew Manchester City 1-1 at home. At their best, these guys can be pretty dangerous.
With all that being said, I believe that United is just too strong at this point in time. They’ve gone from a discombobulated group of players to a solid, dare I say “united” team in no time at all and there are very few squads in Europe that could stop this train from moving on. Manchester United will defeat Wolverhampton 2-1.
Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Tottenham Hotspur
It’s felt that ever since Manchester United found their groove again, Tottenham have lost theirs. They are currently sitting on a three-game losing streak since they decimated Man U inside Old Trafford 3-0. They lost to Watford 2-1, Liverpool 2-1, and Inter…2-1. There seems to be a pattern here.
On the other side, we have Brighton, a team that is currently sitting on a two-game draw streak. They have had no issues scoring, but they can’t seem to stop shots from going in. While this ordinarily seems like good news for Tottenham, I do not think that these guys are capable of beating the Seagulls inside the AMEX.
I will be nice, though, and give Spurs a 1-1 draw. But they need to do some serious soul-searching and find out what is going on with Harry Kane’s knee. Reports indicate that it could be bad enough that he misses substantial time, which would be an absolute disaster for Mauricio Pochettino.
West Ham vs. Chelsea
Maurizio Sarri has done an excellent job so far leading Chelsea. He has yet to lose a league game up to this point, and he’s also started his Europa League season with a gutsy 1-0 victory on the road at PAOK.
On the other hand, West Ham have appeared to be in absolute shambles so far this year. The Hammers finally won their first match last weekend against Everton, but they did lose midfielder Jack Wilshere in the process.
The Hammers might also be without their leading scorer Marko Arnautovic this weekend after he sustained a knee injury. With him, they might have a chance, but without him, they’re doomed.
With all that being said, Chelsea will have no issue defeating their crosstown rivals. The Blues will continue their perfect season winning 3-0.
By the way, Eden Hazard will bag a brace.
Arsenal vs. Everton
Arsenal are entering this matchup with a four-match win streak in all competitions. They stomped West Ham 3-1 at home, survived successive road games at both Cardiff City and Newcastle, and opened up Europa League play with a 4-2 thrashing on Vorskla.
Everton, on the other hand, have cooled down considerably since the beginning of September. They drew lowly Huddersfield inside Goodison Park, and then they were dismantled by West Ham 3-1.
Based on current form alone, it is clear to me that Arsenal are going to win this game. The question is by how much? I believe the Gunners are going to end up defeating Everton 2-1.
Thank you guys for taking a look at my Matchday Six picks. How do you think your team will fare this weekend? Do you think that I’m way off base on a match or two? Please, let me know on Twitter (@IFoundAndrew) or on the Game Changer Sports Network Facebook page!
Here are my quick picks for those who are only interested in that.
Fulham 1 vs. Watford 2
Burnley 1 vs. Bournemouth 2
Liverpool 2 vs. Southampton 0
Cardiff City 0 vs. Manchester City 4
Crystal Palace 2 vs. Newcastle United 0
Leicester City 2 vs. Huddersfield Town 0
Manchester United 2 vs. Wolverhampton 1
Brighton & Hove Albion 1 vs. Tottenham Hotspur 1
West Ham 0 vs. Chelsea 3
Arsenal 2 vs. Everton 1
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