After the international break the Premiership is back in full swing this weekend with the Arsenal vs Man United game the stand out fixture. I always love to see it back. It will also be interesting to see how some players and teams react after the International break.
Chelsea v West Brom
Both Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa pulled out of the Spain friendly with Germany because of hamstring worries and it remains to be seen if they will be fit for this fixture. This is the first time Chelsea are back at home since manager Mourinho complained about a “lack of atmosphere” at Stamford Bridge.
I think the fans expect Chelsea to put on a show every week and that is to be expected when you are up there as the best in the league. I tipped City to win the league but Chelsea I think have been head and shoulders above everyone else. West Brom will present a stern test in this fixture and they are in decent enough form but no matter who is fit for Chelsea I can’t see them losing any points in this one.
Everton v West Ham
I have tipped Everton so many times and they have tended to let me down. Everton against West Ham should be a good fixture. Everton’s international players from the Republic return to the club under something of a cloud after the outburst from Roy Keane. Manager Roberto Martinez described his comments as ” rubbish”. How to make friends and influence people.
Both sides are in good form. Everton haven’t tasted defeat in four games and it’s five with West Ham. West Ham are playing enjoyable football but Everton at home are always a hard nut to crack. I’m giving them another chance in this one.
Newcastle v QPR
If Newcastle win this game it will mean five league wins in a row. No one has done that this season not even Chelsea. A few weeks ago the fans were calling for Alan Pardew to be given the road and now look at the team. Pardew is still not the Belle of the Ball but he is turning things round big time.
QPR have improved in recent times and gone close against some of the bigger teams but that doesn’t translate into points. They have lost all six away games this season and they are facing a Newcastle side who are unbeaten in their last eight against the London side. Rio Ferdinand misses the game as he sits out the last of his three match suspension.
Newcastle are beginning to score goals. They have lost one game at home this season and that was to Manchester City.
Man City v Swansea
A mini crisis you could say at Manchester City. One win in their last six games in all competitions is not the stuff of Champions. They have only taken 15 points out of their last 27 and that isn’t good enough. The only bright spark it seems for them is Sergio Aguero. He is keeping the team afloat on his own. Nine goals in his last six games is proof of good form but the others around him need to start working harder. City take on a decent Swansea side before facing Bayern Munich on Tuesday. A crucial couple of days. Swansea have only tasted one defeat in their last six and in that time they have taken on and beaten Arsenal.
Having said all that Swansea can only claim one league win at City. That was a 2-1 victory back in 1951. I think they may have to wait another while for their second.
Stoke v Burnley
Not a game for the faint hearted. The chances are this will be a game of few goals. If Stoke play the way they did at Spurs in that 2-1 win it’s hard to make a case for the visitors. They did beat Hull 1-0 and for them the International break came at the wrong time. Burnley need more of those type of results if they turn around their season.
The problem for Burnley is mostly upfront. Only six goals in eleven games says it all. Form like that is not good enough to stay up. The win over Hull will have given them a great boost but it’s hard for any side to win at Stoke and I can’t see it happening here. In their last three home games Stoke have won twice with one draw and that form looks decent to me.
I think the home side will just about edge this one.
Arsenal v Man United
This is of course the Match of the Day. Oliver Giroud is back and available for Arsenal after a leg break and that will be welcomed by all the home fans. United look ok up front but terrible at the back and in this fixture they will have to deal with Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean player has been in fantastic goal scoring form in his last games for both club and country and will be a handful for the United back four.
Now having said all that the old United have a really good record against Arsenal. They have only suffered one defeat in their last 14 meetings. Against that United have yet to win away from home this season and at Arsenal is a hard place to start.
The real problem for Arsenal is that they tend to give away too many leads. Too often this season they have been in front only to be caught and that is a worry for Arsene Wenger. Danny Welbeck fresh from his two goals for England will want to impress against his former club.
I think it will an open enough affair. United have to attack. It’s the only way they can get anything out of this game. As such there will be space at the back and Sanchez is in the mood to punish that.
Leicester v Sunderland
Not a game I would like to be reporting on. This is going to be very tight and a game I think with very few chances. Sunderland are on a decent run with four points from their last two games but they are facing a Leicester side who if they are to stay up need to be getting something from games like these.. Leicester are in trouble.
It’s four games since they have even scored a goal but only one defeat at home. They have held the likes of Arsenal Everton and Burnley.
Sunderland are improving but remember they only have 2 wins out of the last 12 games.
Draw with few goals.
Crystal Palace v Liverpool
Liverpool are without Daniel Sturridge again and that means problems for Brendan Rodgers. Ricky Lambert could get a run by default with Balotelli also struggling with injury and with attitude.
Liverpool imploded here last season and you wonder will that have any effect on them this time round.
In the last 10 meetings with Palace Liverpool have won six. Palace have taken only one point out of their last five games but they face a Liverpool side who have conceded 18 goals in their last nine away games.
Both sides need to give themselves a bit of a lift.
I think this will be a draw.
Hull v Spurs
Spurs have let me and the punters down too many times this season. Unlike Costa, Soldado is a player who has struggled since his move from La Liga. You throw in Adebayor who has a lot to say about everything except for his poor form and lack of effort and you have a Spurs side who do appear to be sending out all the wrong sort of signals.
Hull lost at Burnley and manager Steve Bruce was less than happy. I suppose someone has to lose to Burnley but he just didn’t want it to be his team.
In their last five meetings with Spurs, Hull have yet to win. Hull are a strong side and no doubt Bruce will have laid it on the line ahead of this game..
I don’t fancy Spurs. Here goes.
Aston Villa v Southampton
Southampton have made their best ever start to the Premiership and they are without doubt one of the stories of the season. In their last 8 visits to Villa Park they have kept clean sheets five times and this season I fell they are stronger than ever,
Aston Villa have failed to score in 6 out of their last seven Premiership games and that is a huge worry ahead of this Monday night game.
Villa did get a draw at West Ham which did stop the rot. They lost their previous six games so it’s hard to see them just turning around their form. They have lost Swiss International defender Phillipe Senderos which leaves them down to bare bones at the back.
I think this is a difficult enough game to call. Villa will be all out in a bid to try and get back to winning ways and yet Southampton have so much confidence.
I think the Saints might continue on their amazing run.
Adrian Logan, Affectionately known as Logie, Adrian joined UTV in 1985 and is currently sports editor and a sports presenter and reporter for UTV Live.
Broadcaster, journalist, commentator. Lover of all sports.
“I fancy Tyrone this year!”
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