Premier League returns after International Break
The Premier League is back after the International Break and a couple of things have changed since Game-week Eight.
This week will see the managerial debuts for Jurgen Klopp and Sam Allardyce at Liverpool and Sunderland respectively following departures to Brendan Rodgers and Dick Advocaat.
All eyes will be on how the new managers do at their respective clubs, but with a packed schedule from Saturday to Monday, there are plenty of games to get our teeth into.
This weeks predictions sees Alex Batt take on Kieran Makin, and here are their picks for Game-week Nine of the Premier League.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool
Alex Says: All eyes will be on Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp. Usually new managers pick up wins on their first game due to the honeymood period, but I think this will be a tough introduction to the Premier League for Klopp. If Spurs play how they did against Manchester City, they could ruin Klopp’s day. Match Prediction: 2-1
Kieran Says: Jurgen Klopp will be looking to make an instant impact at Liverpool and I think they’ll start quickly and full of energy. The Reds will take the lead in my opinion but will be pegged back by Spurs, their ability to score plenty of goals at home will expose the fragility in Liverpool’s defence; something Klopp will have to improve for sure. Match Prediction: 1-1
Chelsea vs Aston Villa
Alex Says: Usually this fixture would result in a comfortable win for Chelsea, especially at Stamford Bridge, but this season they’ve really struggled. However, Tim Sherwood’s side are a mess and I’d be VERY surprised to see them get anything here. Match Prediction: 2-0
Kieran Says: Both have had poor starts to the season but I think Chelsea will have enough quality to see off Tim Sherwood’s men. However, I don’t think Chelsea will be confident or convincing in their performance and eventual victory. The manager on the losing end of this game will be under serious pressure. Match Prediction: 2-0
Crystal Palace vs West Ham United
Alex Says: Interesting game this. Palace usually solid at home and so far West Ham have been great away from Upton Park. Do I play safe and sit on the bench with a draw? Yes I do. Score draw. Match Prediction: 2-2
Kieran Says: Two teams in great form come head to head; Palace have a solid home record and West Ham’s away form speaks for itself. I can only see a draw because of the bold styles the two managers play and the attacking qualities in the two squads such as Bolasie and Payet. Match Prediction: 2-2
Everton vs Manchester United
Alex Says: What a game this promises to be. Manchester United haven’t played well this season, but they’ve been winning games until their horror show at the Emirates. As for Everton, they are consistent and have been solid so far. I can see the Toffees snatching this to be honest. Match Prediction: 3-2
Kieran Says: United have a tendency to start slowly in matches, especially away from home. Everton will look to get on top of Louis van Gaal’s men from the first minute, just like Arsenal did a couple of weeks ago. Roberto Martinez’s men are also strong at home when it comes to the big games, a great example is when they beat Chelsea 3-1 in ruthless fashion early on in the season. Match Prediction: 3-1
Manchester City vs Bournemouth
Alex Says: This should be comfortable for Manchester City, but the international break has been costly for them. Sergio Aguero and David Silva both injured. However, I still expect them to beat the Cherries. Match Prediction: 2-0
Kieran Says: Bournemouth will give it their all and play the expansive style that has worked so well under Eddie Howe, but City are extremely strong at home and De Bruyne making a big impact, I can only see a big win for the league leader. Match Prediction: 4-0
Southampton vs Leicester City
Alex Says: Another tricky game to call. Southampton are finding their feet once again after a slow start, and Leicester just continue to perform. However, I think this will be too much for Claudio Ranieri’s men and I think Saints will win. Match Prediction: 3-1
Kieran Says: Saints had a slow start but have hit a decent patch of form in recent times, including a 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge. On the other hand, Leicester have been like a breath of fresh air under Claudio Ranieri and Jamie Vardy is scoring with almost every touch. I think the Foxes willingness and work rate will take them over the line in this one. Match Prediction: 1-2
West Brom vs Sunderland
Alex Says: Just like at White Hart Lane, all eyes will be on the visiting side. Sam Allardyce has never been relegated from the Premier League, but keeping Sunderland up will be a real struggle. New manager syndrome so I will back Black Cats to get a shock win. Match Prediction: 0-1
Kieran Says: West Brom are yet to win at home this season and I honestly think Sunderland will take advantage of this statistic. I believe Sam Allardyce will have an instant impact and will be able to help the Black Cats stay up, he just has the experience to do so. Match Prediction: 0-1
Watford vs Arsenal
Alex Says: Watford have done well so far in the Premier League, but I can’t see them stopping Arsenal this weekend. The Gunners have seen their players have a phenomenal international break with goals across the team and I think they’ll win here. Match Prediction: 1-3
Kieran Says: Arsenal were rampant a fortnight ago when they demolished Manchester United at the Emirates, but we know how inconsistent Arsene Wenger’s men can be. Having said that I do think they’ll win at Vicarage Road, but it won’t be as routine as everyone thinks. Watford have been difficult to beat at home, but I think the Gunner’s quality will just get them over the line. Match Prediction: 0-1
Newcastle United vs Norwich City
Alex Says: Newcastle United have to win this game. Steve McClaren is under all-kinds of pressure and he just needs a win. Will they do it here? I don’t think so. Norwich have looked good on their travels and I think they will take a point back to Carrow Road. Match Prediction: 0-0
Kieran Says: Newcastle are really struggling and I don’t think their form will improve any time soon. Norwich, however, have got their tails up. Their return to Premier League has been a positive one so far and the work rate and passion Alex Neil has installed into the team will help them to the three points in this match and will possibly help them stay up. Match Prediction: 2-3
Swansea City vs Stoke City
Alex Says: Monday Night Football goes to Wales this week as Swansea City host Stoke City. I reckon this will be a home win with Garry Monk’s being too quick and too attacking for Mark Hughes’ men. Match Prediction: 2-0
Kieran Says: Two very similar sides in terms of quality, but I think Garry Monk’s Swansea side are good at home and this will give them the advantage in this encounter. Stoke are looking for some consistency to help them climb the table, there is no doubt they have the quality in their squad to do so but they need time to gel. Match Prediction: 2-1
So there are our predictions for this weekend.
What are yours?
Written by Alex Batt and Kieran Makin – @AlexBatt @KieranMakSports
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