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It was not a great week for the Premier League in Europe. Everton and Liverpool won but Liverpool were very lucky. Man City lost as did Arsenal. Chelsea slipped up with only a draw against Schalke. Spurs struggled as well so you can understand if the teams will be delighted to focus once more on domestic matters. Some difficult games to predict this week in what will be yet another interesting week. You wonder if Newcastle don’t win what will the future hold for Alan Pardew? Anyway here goes.
Let us know your predictions in the comments below or on twitter at @FantasyYIRMA
QPR V Stoke
QPR are certainly are going to be a race to the bottom. They have been taken apart already by Spurs and Man United. In fact against Man United they looked awful. Both sides in this fixture will struggle as always for goals and in this league that is the key. Stoke won at Manchester City and then lost at home to Leicester and Villa. Mark Hughes would love some consistency. He would also love a win but I’m not sure he will get it. I expect QPR to respond.
Aston Villa v Arsenal
This will be an interesting game. Arsenal mid week looked like the Arsenal side of seasons gone by. Going nowhere fast. It was a poor display against Borussia Dortmund. They were just second class all night and going to Villa is not a fixture to build confidence at this stage of the season. Villa are a different team this season. Paul Lambert and Roy Keane are working some magic and they will be confident going into this fixture.
Arsenal have Danny Welbeck but he is far from being a natural striker. He will get goals but only if he gets lots of chances. Ten points from four games Villa are flying and Arsenal will be hoping to restore some pride from Europe.
I fancy a draw.
Burnley v Sunderland
Burnley do exactly what it says on the tin. They will fight for every ball and work hard but to survive in this league they need goals and before the end of the season that could be their big problem. If you get a penalty in the Premiership you need to score. Burnley really should have won at Palace.
Sunderland have made a solid enough start and Gus Poyet will be happy enough at this stage. It may not turn out to be a five star but it will be a game of great effort.
Few goals and a draw.
Newcastle v Hull
Could be a strange one this. Alan Pardew is under pressure and many of the fans want him out. We can expect protests before during and after the game. They play Hull and of course earlier this week Hull boss Steve Bruce was linked with a possible move to Newcastle.
After all the rubbish and the criticism this week I presume we can expect a reaction from Newcastle. The players need to do that otherwise Pardew looks certain to be sacked. Then again the players might be happy enough with that. A bit of a leap in the dark in this one.
Swansea v Southampton
This has to be one of the hardest games to predict. Both these teams have had a great start to the season. The fans are enjoying them. They play attacking football and they score. Both teams lost lots of players at the start of the season but both Gary Monk and Ronald Koeman have shaped their teams well
It’s a real hard one to pick but I think that both will be happy enough with a point apiece. Two of the better sides in the league.
West Ham V Liverpool
Despite the win in Europe mid week I think it’s been a poor enough week for Liverpool. They lost at home to Villa and were blessed mid week in Europe. I am not convinced their last penalty was indeed a spot kick.
They lack a goal threat with no Daniel Sturridge. West Ham fans want their side to attack but their team isn’t great. They do appear to be better on the road.
Liverpool just might have enough for all three points but I wouldn’t put a fortune on it.
Leicester v Man United
United looked great last week but it was after all against QPR. They will get harder games than that. This is one of them. Leicester have impressed since they came up and striker Leonardo Ullou with three goals has led the line well. United have a lot of good players but they can’t play them all.
The poorest so far has been Robin Van Persie. Mata with eight goals in ten games has been one of their best performers.
Leicester will fight for every battle and contest every tackle. I think they might just be good enough to get a point.
Spurs v West Brom
For me the easiest of all the games this weekend to predict. Spurs were all right in Europe. They aren’t a brilliant side but they are better than West Brom.
Everton v Crystal Palace
A good week for Everton. Did well in Europe and confidence will be high against a Palace side which has lost some of it’s gloss from last season. Everton will be too good.
Manchester City v Chelsea
Only a few weeks in and we have the first meeting of the two best sides in the Premiership. The defending Champions up against the team most people expect to take their title this season. City beaten in the last seconds by Bayern Munich and Chelsea caught at home with a draw against Schalke.
This will be a very tight and tactical affair and normally Jose Mourinho wins that part of the battle. This will be a game worth watching. Two great teams and packed with great players.
I think it will be cagey all the way. Draw for me.
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