Manchester United’s Swedish defender Victor Lindelof (L) vies with Arsenal’s English striker Eddie Nketiah (R) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on November 1, 2020. (Photo by Shaun Botterill / POOL / AFP)
The international break is over and action in the Premier League is set to return for Match Day 9, with all the teams having one thing or more to fight for. The first game of the weekend, on Saturday 21st November will see Newcastle united, straight from their loss to Southampton, host Chelsea.
This will also pass as one of the biggest matches in the weekend, with Chelsea, who have been in great form lately, set to rise to the top of the standings with a win. The blues seem to have found the perfect mix of players and have done well, scoring seven goals and conceding one in the last two matches.
Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell had back injury while on international duty but reports indicate he will be able to make the Magpies game. Kai Havertz, who has missed the last two matches after testing positive for Covid-19 could return for the game but Christian Pulisic is out after being released from the USA team with a hamstring injury. For Newcastle, Dwight Gayle and Jonjo Shelvey remain on the long term absentees list as they continue with recovery.
Another big game that will for sure shake the league standings will be staged at Anfield, when champions Liverpool host 2016 champions Leicester City. Leicester headed to the international break top of the league standings, with a win, they will definitely stay top. Liverpool on the other hand, will also be eyeing top spot, and that could be delivered with a win.
For Liverpool though, a long injury list looks set to hamper their campaign. Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander Arnold are all out injured while Fabinho is a doubt and Mohamed Salah has tested positive for Covid-19. Jordan Henderson had muscle trouble while on international duty and is also doubtful for this clash. On the other hand, Leicester, who have three straight wins in the league, have new injury concerns. Turkish defender Caglar Soyuncu, Nigerian Wilfred Ndidi and Ghanaian Daniel Amartey remain in the treatment room as the side seeks to stay top.
Manchester City have not had a smooth run in the league so far, and it is not going to get easier this weekend. They face Tottenham Hotspur in London, having failed to beat Spurs in the last two meetings. Spurs are looking to go top after this game and if other results favor them, this can pass.
They have been consistent in the recent matches and carry one of the two best runs among teams in the top five while they have the second best goals return in the league so far. Of the 19 goals they have scored, Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min have jointly netted 15. Manchester City have scored nine goals lesser, and have conceded nine in their seven matches so far. With Raheem Sterling joining a growing list of injuries, it may get tougher for City in this game, but they will have hope knowing that Spurs have no clean sheet at home this season.
Southampton spent 24 hours at the top of the table before the international break before getting displaced by Leicester City. They will be looking to get back there with a win away to Wolverhampton Wanderers, this coming on the back of a really good run that has seen them collect 13 points from a possible 15. Their history against Wolves is not the best in recent games, however; they have one win and three losses in the last five meetings.
To make it worse, they could miss two key players for this game – Danny Ings is surely out, with a knee injury, while James Ward-Prowse is a doubt with a hamstring injury. The two, along with Che Adams, have scored eight goals in the last four games. Wolves on their part, hope to extend the good run over the Saints, and playing at home, right after an away loss to Leicester City will be a boost, being unbeaten in the last three home matches.
Manchester United have a point to prove in their match this weekend. They managed a 3-1 win away to Everton last time out, but they have struggled at home in the recent matches. United march to this match winless in six straight league matches at Old Trafford, and they have suffered one of their biggest losses in recent times at home, when they lost 6-1 to Tottenham Hotspur.
They have failed to score at home in the last two matches and have conceded 10 goals in the last four home matches in the league. They were lucky to draw 0-0 with Chelsea there in October and at the start of November they lost 1-0 to Arsenal. Facing a side badly in need of a win will not present a stroll at home for United; they face a winless West Bromwich Albion side who are coming from two straight losses.
West Brom have scored just one goal in the last five league matches and have lost three of their opening four away league matches. They have trailed at the break in each of their four away matches, and gone on to lose three, and they will be a favorable opponent for a United team in need of a home win. Most bookmakers tip Manchester United to go to the break leading and actually go on to win the game; click here to see the football predictions for this and the rest of matches for this day of EPL.
Two other teams will also be hoping they can get their first wins of the campaign in the weekend matches – Burnley and Sheffield United. Burnley hosts Crystal Palace at Turf Moor, heading there as the team with the least goals so far in the season – three in seven games. They have not scored in their last four matches, but will hope to replicate the 1-0 win over Palace in their last meeting. Crystal Palace, on their part, hope to extend the dominance that has seen them beat Burnley in four of the last five matches and they are backed to do just that, after the 4-1 demolition of Leeds United before the international break.
Sheffield United, one of the top performers last season, have struggled to cope in the second season after promotion, and currently find themselves bottom of the table. They hope to rise from the relegation zone as they prepare to face West Ham United, who have been greatly backed to collect three points here.
In the other matches lined up on the weekend, Arsenal, who have struggled lately, will be on the road, as they play away at Leeds United, hoping to pile pressure on the team that has lost heavily in the last two games. Aston Villa, who handed Arsenal a shock 3-0 beating, will be facing Brighton, hoping to make it two straight wins after recovering from two heavy losses. Brighton on the other hand, will be seeking a second win, having gone winless since their 3-0 victory over Newcastle United on Match Day 2.
Everton have been off color in recent matches, after doing so well in the opening games. They head to their match away to Fulham, without a win in the last four games, the last three which have ended in losses. With two straight away losses, Everton will be banking on a run that has seen Fulham lose three of their last four home games in the league, and the Toffees are actually backed to get back to winning ways.