Manchester City v Fulham
The Premier League champions host Fulham on Saturday, with an opportunity to go top (at least for a short while) if they can beat Marco Silva’s men. But with Fulham only 4 points away from a European spot – this could be a tougher game than many people think.
Star man Erling Haaland is still a doubt for this fixture which will put a smile on those Fulham defenders faces along with the rest of the squad if the big Norwegian doesn’t feature. Although they were victorious last week against Leicester (1-0), Pep Guardiola’s side do not look half as dangerous as when their Number 9 is playing.
City will want to make this their 15th successive win at home in all competitions, with Fulham looking to become unbeaten in their previous 5 games and continue their impressive life back in the Premier League. During their 0-0 draw last week with Everton the London side failed to convert any of their 24 opportunities which is a worry coming up against a side who will dominate possession and drastically limit any shots on goal.
Previous years have shown that Fulham have lacked any quality and fought against Pep’s men at the Etihad losing the last 8 meetings while only scoring once during that time. The only shining light for Fulham is that they have found the back of the net in each of their last 5 away games but while conceding an average of 1.69 goals per game against City’s 3.08 goal average I can only see this game ending in the home side’s favour.
Chelsea v Arsenal
Possibly the stand out fixture of the Premier League weekend will take place at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Chelsea host Arsenal in a game that has all the ingredients to be an absolute classic! Firstly, ex Gunner, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang is set to face his previous club which will no doubt spice things up. This game has a history of boiling over and I can envisage this happening once again. Anyway, Chelsea come into this one having been hammered on the south coast last weekend, losing 4-1 at Brighton. The result came as a slight surprise, as Graham Potter did remain unbeaten until this point. However, the Blues bounced back midweek in the Champions League, running out 2-1 winners at home to Dinamo Zagreb. On the flip side, the Gunners dished out a 5-0 thumping to the leagues bottom ranked team Nottingham Forest last Sunday. This was backed up with a 1-0 win at home to FC Zurich in the Europa League to secure top spot in the group.
So, Chelsea have now managed to find the back of the net in every single home game this season, under the leadership of both Tuchel and Potter. It’s now 8 games on the trot in all competitions they’ve managed this feat and I expect them to do so again here. There has been no clear goalscorer in this Chelsea team, however they have still asserted themselves in front of goal, especially on home turf. The home team have numerous options in attack but I believe the previously mentioned Aubameyang is set to start. The Gabonese striker will be desperate to prove a point against his former club and he’ll no doubt be fired up for this. Raheem Sterling, Mason Mount and Kai Havertz have chipped in with eight goals between them so far. Hence, I feel there’s more than enough talent to see them on the scoresheet once more. If last season’s H2H matchup is anything to go by, then we can certainly expect goals! Arsenal secured a 4-2 victory in a goal heavy victory back in April.
The visitors are the form team in the country right now and sit at the top of the table as we approach the winter break. Arteta has his side playing exactly how he wants and the settled XI will be set to go in this potentially feisty London derby affair. Although Gabriel Jesus hasn’t been firing of late, numerous others have stepped up to the plate in front of goal. Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Martinelli are just a couple to mention who have been in outstanding form of late. The pair both notched in the League win last weekend and will be ready to go again, only the Norwegian played a small part in the midweek game against FC Zurich.
The Gunners have now scored in every single game this campaign in the Premier League. This red hot scoring streak is now 12 games long. Much like Chelsea, I expect them to find the back of the net with the ammunition Arteta has at his disposal. The rejuvenated Granit Xhaka has been in fabulous form for the away side in recent months, he could even be the key to unlock the Chelsea defence. The Swiss International has 2 goals in his previous 5 in the PL.
In summary, I can comfortably see both sides managing to score at least once each in this game with both sides on such strong goal scoring form. Consequently, BTTS is my strongly fancied pick here.
Southampton v Newcastle United
Newcastle make the long journey to the south coast on Sunday to face Southampton at St Marys. The Toon Army have been in magnificent form of late and I see this continuing here. This is a real hunch of mine this weekend and I’m backing the away side to grab all three points. Newcastle now look the real deal under Eddie Howe having picked up some superb results throughout the season. They’ve picked up 16 points from a possible 18 and their 4-0 demolition at home to Aston Villa last weekend was an astounding one at that. Contrastingly, their opponents are on a real mixed run of late, picking up just a single win in eight attempts. Hassenhuttl is no doubt under fire at the moment and is currently the Even money favourite for the next PL manager to go. A big reason behind their struggles is the lack of goals; the Saints have bagged 2+ in just 2 of their previous 12 games in the Premier League.
With the Geordies in red hot form, I’m happy to back them to win again just like last weekend. The impressive Miguel Almiron just cannot stop scoring, he’s notched 6 goals in his last 6 and could well make it 7 in 7. Confidence is oozing at the moment and the Paraguayan is just one of a number of weapons Newcastle possesses. Callum Wilson is doing his utmost to guarantee a spot in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the upcoming World Cup. His brace last week, along with the superb lob scored at Spurs the week before puts him on 3 goals in the last 2 games. There’s every reason to believe he will be a handful for the Saints defence on Saturday afternoon. I’ve also been hugely impressed with the Newcastle backline as well this season. The preferred back five of Pope, Burn, Trippier, Schar and Botman seem to have built a platform to build on for the rest of the season. With 3 clean sheets achieved in 4, they could well be difficult to break down. Especially, with the misfiring Southampton attack in the last month or so.
The Saints have been hard to predict in recent times but with just one win at home all season, I’m happy to oppose them. Che Adams has just one goal in his last ten and the first choice striker hasn’t had any support in his absence of goals. Joe Aribo has chipped in with 2, but besides the Nigerian, nobody has been firing whatsoever. Regardless, I can still see the home side making this a tricky fixture for Newcastle to overcome but I feel they’ll have enough in the tank on Saturday. The ever present James Ward Prowse is set to feature and his quality in the midfield can always make it tough for any opponent. However, influential full backs Tino Livramento and Kyle Walker Pieters remain sidelined. Armel Bella Kotchap, who has been vital to the Saints defence, could be missing too, as he recovers from a shoulder injury.
An away win is never easy in the Premier League but I’m backing the ball to keep rolling on Saturday for Eddie Howe’s men. Newcastle to win is my selection!
Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool
10 points separate these two sides coming into this one with Tottenham sat pretty in 3rd with Liverpool sat in 9th and ‘playing for a Champions League place’ this season according to manager Jurgen Klopp after a somewhat disastrous opening third to the season.
The Red’s have the joint worst away record in the league this season, picking up only 2 points on the road in 5 games. Scoring 5 and conceding 8 – stats you don’t usually associate with Jurgen Klopp’s team.
In recent years this fixture has given us goals with both sides finding the net in the previous 4 games. Tottenham, who managed to get back to winning ways last week in their 3-2 victory at Bournemouth, had suffered back-to-back losses against Manchester United and Newcastle in their two previous game weeks. Whereas Liverpool followed up their back-to-back 1-0 victories over Manchester City and West Ham with back-to-back losses to relegation threatened Nottingham Forest and Leeds United.
Injuries once again proving an issue for Jurgen Klopp, and a lack of depth is clearly an issue for the German but his record in London will give Liverpool fans some hope of a positive result in this one as they are unbeaten in 5 games vs Spurs (4W, 1D). Liverpool have never struggled to find the net against Tottenham as they have only failed to score once in the previous 22 attempts – showing the dominance the reds have had in previous years.
But Spurs have only dropped points once at home this season losing one and winning the other 5. Scoring 16 times in those games created a rather hostile atmosphere in their new ground. Liverpool have leaked goals on the road conceding 8 in 5 which will have Harry Kane and co licking their lips.
This should be another entertaining encounter with both teams finding the net again!
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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