Dan Burke·26 November 2021
Dan Burke·26 November 2021
After another epic midweek of European action, attention turns back to domestic matters this weekend, and there’s an enticing round of Premier League fixtures coming our way.
It’s predictions time.
The post-Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era began with a decent performance and a very good result for Manchester United against Villarreal on Tuesday and Michael Carrick will be hoping for more of the same this weekend before handing over the baton to his successor.
But if the interim boss has started to think this management lark is easy, he could be in for a rude awakening when his side travel to face Chelsea on Sunday.
There was a time when the Blues beating Juventus 4-0 would have been earth-shattering news but Thomas Tuchel’s side are in such good form at the moment that it barely registered on the Richter scale in midweek.
The league leaders put Leicester to the sword with a beautiful machine-like performance last weekend but with the interim manager bounce in full effect at Old Trafford, it could be a different story this weekend.
🔮 Our prediction: Chelsea 3-1 Manchester United
Leicester missed out on the top four last season but after doing some exciting business in the summer transfer market, it seemed everything was set up nicely for another assault on the Champions League places this season.
Are they struggling to cope with the Europa League schedule? Does Brendan Rodgers have one eye on another job? Or has he simply taken this team as far as he can?
It’s difficult to put a finger on precisely where it’s going wrong for them, and this weekend they welcome an old friend back to the King Power when title-winning former boss Claudio Ranieri brings his Watford team to town.
The Hornets were excellent in their win against Manchester United last weekend but Ranieri is yet to find a formula that works consistently and in his five games in charge so far, they have either scored loads of goals and won, or scored no goals and lost.
Which will it be this weekend?
🔮 Our prediction: Leicester 1-2 Watford
While their 3-2 defeat at West Ham before the last international break raised concerns about Liverpool’s defending and their title credentials, last week’s 4-0 pasting of Arsenal gave Jürgen Klopp’s side a timely confidence boost.
They will carry that confidence into this weekend’s meeting with a very inconsistent Southampton side who earned a point away at Manchester City earlier in the season but have also scored the second-fewest number of goals in the league this term.
It’s the real Klopp vs the Alpine Klopp, and we’re having difficulty seeing past a home win.
📊 Fun fact: Liverpool are the only team to have scored in all 12 of their Premier League matches this season.
🔮 Our prediction: Liverpool 3-0 Southampton
An unfortunately timed bout of Covid meant Eddie Howe had to delay his debut in the Newcastle dugout last weekend but while working from home, his team played out an entertaining 3-3 draw with Bournemouth.
The good vibes are back at St James’ Park but they won’t last too long if the Magpies don’t start winning and as the only side yet to win this season, they head to the Emirates this weekend bottom of the table.
But the manner of that collapse at Anfield may well have dented this young team’s confidence and against a Newcastle side who will be eager to impress their new manager, we have a feeling this could be a tight contest.
📊 Fun fact: Newcastle are the only side in the top four tiers of English league football still without a win this season (D6 L6).
🔮 Our prediction: Arsenal 2-2 Newcastle
It’s a vintage year for full-backs in the Premier League with the likes of Cancelo, Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold and Chelsea’s Reece James being some of the league’s most creative players this season.
Cancelo’s sublime pass in the win over Everton last weekend was his fifth assist in three matches and Manchester City may need another one from him this weekend if they’re to overcome West Ham at the Etihad.