October 5, 2012
With six games played, the top and bottom of the Premier League are starting to take on a familiar shape. Most of the teams are roughly where you would expect to see them at the end but the season is still young and there is plenty of time for teams to improve their position.
Manchester City v Sunderland
Manchester City will rotate their team after Dortmund outplayed them on Wednesday night in the Champions League. Sunderland have had a week off and will be well rested before a difficult trip to Manchester where they were the only visiting team not to lose last season – although it took a late City fight back to stop Sunderland taking all three points.
City have not been on the best form this season, but should be strong enough to beat Sunderland and record their second successive victory in the Premier League for the first time this season.
Last Season: Manchester City 3 – 3 Sunderland
Prediction: Manchester City 2 – 1 Sunderland
Chelsea v Norwich
Norwich are on a bad run of form and this is a bad time for a visit to the leaders who are still unbeaten in the league. Chelsea will need to rotate the team after playing in Denmark in midweek, but this is an ideal opportunity to rest some of the star names.
Norwich are still looking for their first win this season, and it will be a major surprise if they get it in this game. Chelsea should win easily.
Last Season: Chelsea 3 – 1 Norwich
Prediction: Chelsea 3 – 0 Norwich
Swansea v Reading
Swansea have been inconsistent this year, and have lost three successive games in the league. Reading are struggling to adapt to life after promotion, and are still looking for this first victory of the league campaign. It might be early season, but many people think that this is one of the first relegation “six-pointers” of the season and both teams will be desperate for the points.
Swansea have been strong at home over the last few seasons and should have enough to beat a struggling Reading team.
Last Season: Did not play
Prediction: Swansea 1 – 0 Reading
West Brom v QPR
West Brom have had a fantastic start to the season, and are currently sat in sixth place with eleven points from six games. It is unlikely that they will finish the season in the same position, but have plenty of confidence going into this game against bottom club QPR.
West Brom have a 100% home record and have yet to concede a goal at the Hawthornes while QPR have only managed a single draw on their travels this season. The home side should be too strong for the struggling visitors and record their fourth home win.
Last Season: West Brom 1 – 0 QPR
Prediction: West Brom 2 – 0 QPR
Wigan v Everton
Yet again, Wigan are having their poor start to the season. The team is generally playing well, but unable to convert possession to goals, while visitors Everton are off to their best start for many years and currently sit in second place.
Wigan have only ever beaten Everton once at home and are unlikely to stop that poor run in this game. Everton are on top form and should take all three points from this clash.
Last Season: Wigan 1 – 1 Everton
Prediction: Wigan 1 – 2 Everton
West Ham v Arsenal
Another London derby in the Premier League, this time between clubs based in the East End and North of the city. For a newly-promoted team, West Ham have got off to a great start to the season and are unbeaten at home so far. However, Arsenal are also unbeaten on their travels and playing well – especially in Europe.
The Arsenal players will be tired after a midweek game in Europe, but should still be strong enough to beat a good West Ham side in an entertaining game.
Last Season: Did not play
Prediction: West Ham 1 – 2 Arsenal
Southampton v Fulham
This has the potential to be a high scoring game – after playing six games each, only one match has ended with less than three goals scored. Both teams have been poor defensively at times, but are also capable of scoring goals. Southampton picked up their only points of the season after scoring four in their last home game and Fulham took all three points in their last away game.
Quite often Southampton are playing well, but struggling to hold on and end up losing too many games. Fulham are playing well and could sneak an away win here.
Last Season: Did not play
Prediction: Southampton 1 – 2 Fulham
Liverpool v Stoke City
Liverpool are having a disappointing start to the season and have now lost three successive games at Anfield, but they are playing well and scoring plenty of goals. Stoke are the draw specialists, with four so far but all these were in the first four matches.
Last time the two teams met at Anfield, it was the start of Liverpool’s bad home run which has seen them win only two of the last twelve home league games and lose six of those fixtures. Liverpool are showing signs of improvement but a draw will be an improvement over recent results.
Last Season: Liverpool 0 – 0 Stoke City
Prediction: Liverpool 1 – 1 Stoke City
Tottenham v Aston Villa
After a slow start, Tottenham have now won the last three leagues games on the trot and Aston Villa have a poor record at this ground – winning only once in 12 seasons. The visitors have also lost two of their three away games so far this season, and their preparation will not be helped by the announcement of legal action between manager Paul Lambert and former club Norwich City.
Many of the Tottenham team played on Thursday in Europe, so Andre Villas-Boas may need to change some players around, but they should still be too strong for the visitors.
Last Season: Tottenham 2 – 0 Aston Villa
Prediction: Totteham 2 – 0 Aston Villa
Newcastle v Manchester United
Newcastle had a great victory in Europe in midweek and are playing well this season. Manchester United might be in a great position in the league, but are not playing at their best and lost at home against Tottenham last week and if they lose at Newcastle it will be the first time they lose three of the first seven games since 1989.
Both teams have got great strikers, but in Newcastle Demba Ba and Pappis Cisse could steal the show from Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie to give the home side the victory.
Last Season: Newcastle United 3 – 0 Manchester United
Prediction: Newcastle 2 – 0 Manchester United