The international break is over. I am not sad about that at all. Ten Premier League games are to be played between midday Saturday and 10pm on Monday, so there’s much to consider in terms of predictions. First, however, let’s review how I did in Week 3 of Premier League Predictions, remembering 3 points for spot on predictions, 1 point for the correct outcome and zero points for getting it wrong. Here is what I predicted and in brackets the actual score and what I got from the game.
Tottenham 1-2 Liverpool (0 points – actual score 1-1)
Chelsea 3-0 Burnley (3 points)
Crystal Palace 1-1 Bournemouth (3 points)
Everton 2-1 Stoke (1 point – actual score 1-0)
Leicester 2-0 Swansea (1 point – actual score 2-1)
Southampton 1-1 Sunderland (3 points)
Watford 1-3 Arsenal (3 points)
Hull 0-3 Man Utd (1 point – actual score 0-1)
West Brom 1-1 Middlesbrough (1 point – actual score 0-0)
Man City 3-0 West Ham (1 point – actual score 3-1)
A very good week indeed. Nine out of ten correct outcomes – that’s outstanding. Four correct scorelines too. Giving a stunning week total 17 points. Setting a new record for the points total. Particularly pleased with how many correct outcomes were predicted, if I can get that more often than not I will be doing well indeed!
From that stunning week of predictions let’s consider week 4 of the Premier League.
Man Utd 2-1 Man City – Undoubtedly the game of the weekend. Billed as the clash of the big managers there’s a lot to consider in predicting this game. The two teams are very close to each other in quality. Aguerro will be a big miss for City, but their creative force is considerable. On this occasion, however, I can see United edging the game. Their physical superiority and striking options from the bench should see them narrowly win this one.
Arsenal 3-1 Southampton – The win against Watford gave a proper kick-start to Arsenal’s season, meanwhile Southampton are still waiting for their first win and there’s nothing to suggest they have what it takes to get it here. The quality of the home side should really make this a comfortable win.
Bournemouth 1-1 West Brom – These are two mediocre Premier League teams. Although Bournemouth will feel the lift from getting Wilshire on loan from Arsenal and West Brom will be largely underwhelmed at the end of their transfer activity, Pulis still knows how to set up a team that is difficult to beat. For that reason, the draw is the most likely result.
Burnley 1-1 Hull – This is one of the harder games to predict primarily because of the early season form of Hull. There was no shame in the manner of their defeat to United last time out and plaudits are rolling in from around the country for their displays. Burnley, meanwhile, are still finding their feet, but the home win against Liverpool will give them optimism. That’s why I am plumping for a draw.
Middlesbrough 2-1 Crystal Palace – Every so often in a week’s prediction I go for something a little left-field. Palace have the pedigree in the division and it’s been a long time since Boro were playing with the big boys. But there’s something about Palace that just makes me think they won’t be able to do much away from home, especially this far up. Hence the plunge for a home win.
Stoke City 1-2 Tottenham – This is another tricky match to predict. The results for Stoke have not been good so far, which is why they are looking up at 19 teams above them at this early stage of the season. Yet I have not been all that convinced by Spurs so far. The last time they visited Stoke they thrashed them, but I don’t see a repeat of that. I also don’t see Stoke having enough as yet to get their first point or points of the season.
West Ham 2-1 Watford – It has not been the ideal start to the season for either of these teams. Watford have the excuse of a new manager and West Ham have the excuse of a new stadium, but they could both be doing a little better. Bilic wants to make the most of the new home and if their players show up in this match, they should have enough to collect the three points.
Liverpool 1-1 Leicester – The Premier League Champions visit Anfield for the home team’s first home game of the season. Leicester have certainly strengthened the squad since the end of last season. They have options up front, now and are not weaker defensively. The onus will be on the home side to see if they can do something they have rarely done in recent years and manage a game to their advantage. The LFC fan in me looks to be optimistic, the realist in me is not completely convinced as yet.
Swansea 0-3 Chelsea – Conte has had a marvellous start to his time as Chelsea boss. Three games, three wins. It doesn’t get better than that. Not only that but there is more to come from his team in terms of quality of performance. Swansea are showing the signs of a team who are grateful just to be in the same league as Chelsea and so there’s no reason why the Blues cannot leave the Liberty Stadium without freely taking all three points.
Sunderland 1-2 Everton – David Moyes takes on his old club in the last game of the weekend fixtures. His message to the fans telling them to expect another relegation battle may have been realistic, but hardly an encouraging point for the fans. There won’t be a sense of looking to prove anything to his old side who made noises looking to take his best central defender before the transfer window shut. From Everton’s view they will be looking to build on a promising start to the season. Koeman is slowly getting the team to understand his expectations. They enter this game as favourites to win, but it won’t be easy.
This week of fixtures is harder to predict. There are a number of tighter fixtures that could go any way. So of these ten games, I will be very pleased if I get six correct outcomes but still would like to get over the six points that I got in the first two weeks.
Let’s see how it goes.
C. L. J. Dryden