EMERY’S RETURN, POTTER V ARTETA AND CONTE’S ACID TEST
An old face returns, there are two huge clashes between members of the ‘big six’ and Miguel Almirón has a chance to continue his quest for next year’s Ballon d’Or.
Here are our predictions for this weekend’s games.
💪 Game of the weekend
Chelsea v Arsenal
What Potter needs now is a nice home-banker to get his side back on the saddle … so it’s a good thing that the league leaders are up next.
Mikel Arteta’s men have beaten Tottenham and Liverpool and lost to Manchester United in their meetings with fellow ‘big six’ sides so far this season.
Stamford Bridge represents an examination of the two sides taking to the pitch on Sunday.
How far Chelsea have come under Potter so far meets questions over the Gunners’ title credentials and it should make for a fascinating encounter.
📊 Fun fact: Arsenal have won on their last two visits to Stamford Bridge, as many as in their previous 16 trips.
🔮 Our prediction: Chelsea 1-1 Arsenal
😨 Potential upset
Aston Villa v Manchester United
Unai Emery is back in the Premier League – and his first task reunites him with a familiar foe.
The 51-year-old overcame Manchester United to win the Europa League for the fourth time in 2021 and in a quirky footnote thrown in by the Premier League scriptwriters, his first game in charge of Villa pits him up against the Red Devils.
Emery returns to England with unfinished business after an unsuccessful spell at Arsenal and he has joined a club with aspirations of qualifying for Europe.
However, the first job on the Spaniard’s to-do list will be to guide his new team away from the relegation zone.
What a precedent he could set by taking a big scalp in his first game.
📊 Fun fact: United are unbeaten in their last 23 Premier League away games against Aston Villa, having not lost at Villa Park since 1995.
🔮 Our prediction: Aston Villa 2-1 Manchester United
👍 Big favourites
Manchester City v Fulham
Season after season, Manchester City embark on a long winning run which usually ends with them winning the title.
After the two victories over Brighton and Leicester, there’s a feeling in the air that this could be the beginning of that type of run this season which won’t make for pleasant reading for their next two opponents: Fulham and Brentford.
The Cottagers have been the surprise package of the 22/23 campaign so far – currently finding themselves in the lofty heights of seventh position.
But getting a result at the Etihad is likely to be a step too far, especially with a certain Erling Haaland back in contention after injury.
📊 Fun fact: City could become the first team since Aston Villa in 1930 to win more than 10 home league games in a row where thy have scored at least three times with a victory on Saturday.
🔮 Our prediction: Manchester City 4-0 Fulham
🤔 Too close to call
Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool
We’re also treated to a match-up between Antonio Conte and Jürgen Klopp this weekend, as two sides who have yet to get their seasons really purring meet in north London.
Spurs go into the fixture riding high off the delight of their dramatic win over Marseille in the Champions League in midweek but worries over how quickly they are starting games persist — they have failed to score in the first half of their last six games.
Liverpool’s problems have been laid bare; they are currently closer to the relegation zone than they are they are the top four.
A win would be huge for either side, suddenly Conte’s men would have built title-challenging momentum after the perfect week, while Liverpool will be hoping this is one that could kick-start their season.
📊 Fun fact: Tottenham are winless in their last nine league games against Liverpool since a 4-1 win in October 2017.
🔮 Our prediction: Tottenham 1-1 Liverpool
🔥 Your Fantasy Football captain should be …
Miguel Almirón (Newcastle United)
Jack Grealish’s words have breathed new life into Almirón’s career.
The Paraguayan is rightly up for the October Player of the Month award after six goals in his last six games.
A trip to struggling Southampton will present another opportunity to continue his remontanda.
- Leeds 2-1 Bournemouth
- Nottingham Forest 0-0 Brentford
- Wolves 0-1 Brighton
- Everton 1-1 Leicester
- Southampton 1-3 Newcastle
- West Ham 2-1 Crystal Palace