The Premier league is only a quarter in and there are already a number of teams putting their hands up for the lucrative English Premier League Title!
In the beginning of the Season I published a blog highlighting three teams that I felt would take a jab in being called England’s top team. Chelsea and the two Manchester teams were my top candidates to take the coveted prize. I highlighted that, 2016/17 would be blue, and I still share the same sentiment today. The premier league table does not lie after all. After Leicester City’s heroics in the previous season I’m certain we all believe it is safe to say that they are not going to win this year’s season.
The Premier League champions have officially taken over the worst premier league defence title from Chelsea during the 2015/16 season. It was after 10 games played were Chelsea was 15th on the league table, with 15pts to their name. Leicester however, was occupying fifth spot with 19 points on the board. Currently, Chelsea sits in fourth position with 22 points and one point away from the top spot while the heroes Leicester lie in 11th position with 12pts to their name.
What I couldn’t have ever thought of, would be the competitive nature this season. The race for the title could not be more wide open, with only five points separating sixth-placed Everton and first position.
Round 11 - Weekend Predictions
This weekend I predict dropped points for the teams at the top, an opportunity to widen the premier league lead and a much-needed win for United
Bournemouth – Sunderland
Sunderland have had a torrid start to the season, they currently sit in 20th position with only 2 points accumulated from 10 matches played. I fear that should they not turn around their misfortune soon, they could follow Newcastle’s fate come May 2017.
Bournemouth on the other hand are forming quite a solid squad from attack to defence, and playing at home Sunderland would be fortunate to get anything from the game. Bournemouth has accumulated 10 points from five games played at home.
Prediction: Bournemouth 2 – 0 Sunderland
Burnley - Crystal Palace
After that breath-taking performance from Burnley keeper, Tom Heaton and virtually stealing a point away last week from Manchester United. Burnley will be up for this game. Questions will be raised whether they will not get complacent ahead of the Palace showdown.
Crystal Palace will be hurting from the heavy defeat at home to Liverpool, conceding four goals in the process. They will be more gutted as they threw the game away after clawing themselves after conceding early on. The game will be tough, no team will want to lose this one, this is why I see it being a score draw.
Prediction: Burnley 2-2 Crystal Palace
Man City – Middlesbrough
Manchester City of late have seemed to found their step again, with epic performances against West Brom and defeating Barcelona after going a goal down midweek in the champions league, they will most certainly be buzzing.
Middlesbrough 2-0 win last weekend against Bournemouth came at a right time. Especially when it seemed as if they would be one of the teams fighting it out to stay clear of relegation. As unpredictable as the premier league is, I don’t see Middlesbrough getting anything from this game.
Prediction: Man City 3-0 Middlesbrough
West Ham - Stoke
Apart from West Ham’s victory at their new home ground against Chelsea in the EFL cup. They have not convinced me yet.
Stoke on the other are playing well, but I think for West Ham winning against Chelsea might be their turning point this season when it comes to playing in the Olympic Stadium, besides, generally Stoke away are a fraction of the force should they be playing at the Britannia (Bet365) stadium.
Prediction: West Ham 2- 1 Stoke
Chelsea – Everton
This has to be one of Chelsea’s greatest test since the implementation of the 3-4-3 formation. Chelsea vs Everton has always been a clash of note. From a bias perspective, there are only two fixtures I dread, Tottenham and Everton. It’s these games where anything can happen. Chelsea cannot afford to lose this game if title aspirations are on the cards.
Everton surely would want to win this game, if they want to push for a champion’s league spot. With what teams like Leicester did last season. Everton might believe they too can cause an upset. Considering Chelsea are at home and Lukaku cannot seem to score against his former club. I’ll have to be bias on this one and say Chelsea will win it. (With a clean sheet too).
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Everton
Arsenal – Spurs
A North London derby against an Arsenal side, which has seemed to kick on from their early upset earlier in the season against Liverpool. Arsenal is proving to be the real deal in challenging for the title. Having scored 23 goals in 10 games, they are sure to score.
However, they have a spurs side, which are the only undefeated team in the league so far. They might not win all their games, but they certainly don’t lose. They have the league’s best defence having only conceded 5 goals in 10 games. That’s an average of 0.5 goals per game, quite a fleet. This game surely looks to be a cracker, especially for the neutral. I cannot see anyone taking this one. Points will be dropped though for one of these title contenders.
Prediction: Arsenal 1-1 Spurs
Hull – Southampton
After their amazing start to the season, beating the champions Leicester City 2-1. They seemed to have the keys to premier league survival. However, how quickly things change. Hull have seemed a shadow of their former self. From the past five games, Hull has accumulated 0 points from a possible 15.
Southampton on the other hand head into this game after beating 30-time Italian league, Inter Milan, after trailing by one goal to beat them 2-1 on Thursday night in the Europa League.
Hull need to turn their season around, however, I don’t think this will be the game they do that in.
Prediction: Hull 0 -2 Southampton
Liverpool – Watford
One of the biggest upsets of the seasons thus far. Liverpool were tipped by myself to just finish shy of the champions league places. So a challenge for the league is a shock to me. Klopp has them shooting on all cylinders.
Can they beat Watford though? Watford are a wonder in this season. They have performed relatively well. Watford sit in seventh position and will attempt to keep that position, to get to that 40 points mark to avoid relegation.
I feel that Liverpool have a bit too much firepower and they probably believe that at the moment they can win the league.
Prediction: Liverpool 3- 1 Watford
Swansea - Man Utd
Manchester United needs to bounce back from their midweek defeat to Fenerbahce on Thursday. Jose Mourinho probably didn’t think taking the United job would be so challenging. If United want to get their push for the league title going again, a win is vital.
Three points for Swansea city would go a long way in preventing them being dragged into a relegation battle. They currently sit in 19th position, five points from safety. Swansea’s defeat to Stoke city must have hit them hard, it was matchup they would have wanted to win.
Both these teams require three points, however, with many of the top six teams potentially dropping points this weekend. United have the greater incentive to win the game.
Prediction Swansea 0- 1 Man Utd
Leicester - West Brom
The current Premier league champions had a great midweek in the champion’s league, getting a well-deserved point in the group stages against, FC Copenhagen (København). Their confidence should carry them through across the finish line against West Brom.
West Brom comes into this game having a two game losing streak. Over the past five games, they have only collected three points from a possible 15. A three game losing streak would lessen the gap towards the relegation zone, depending on what happens in other fixtures.
Prediction: Leicester 2-1 West Brom
Published by Thabiso Mofulatsi