PREMIER LEAGUE PREDICTIONS 14th SEPT
After the thrills of that simply amazing game between Ukraine and England it’s back to Premier League football this weekend. All I can say is THANK GOD!
We all breath a huge sigh of relief when we return to domestic action, and there’s plenty of interesting fixtures in the top flight this weekend.
Here are my predictions for Saturday’s games.
Everton V Chelsea. Saturday 5:45PM. Sky Sports 1
Roberto Martinez heads into this one aiming to secure his first league victory as the Everton manager. He could have hardly picked a harder test.
Following three successive draws, Everton fans are already facing the prospect of an unspectacular season. With trips to Norwich and Cardiff split by the home match with West Brom, the Toffees support would have hoped for a greater return of three points whilst the blank under the ‘wins’ column adds further ammunition for concern.
Conversely, Jose Mourinho’s second coming has started in a fashion reminiscent of his first stint at the club. Comfortable home wins and a tactically sound stalemate at Old Trafford sees his side sitting second. With Liverpool not playing until Monday, Chelsea will gain first place with the win even if that’s only on a temporary basis. That incentive, combined with the fact the Londoners won both meetings last year should fill them with confidence.
As for Everton, not only are they searching for that first win but they will have to do it without the recently sold Marouane Fellaini. A lot has been said about the Belgium player and doubts have been cast over his ability to step up to the level of United. However, regardless of how that story develops, nobody can question his importance to the Toffees over the past couple of years and adapting to his departure will be no easy task for Roberto Matinez.
Goodison Park is an extremely difficult place to go and win but Chelsea are certainly capable of coming away with the three points.
BET TIP: Chelsea to win @ 13/10 with Bet365
Hull City V Cardiff. 3PM Saturday
A clash between the two sides that secured automatic promotion from the second-tier might not jump out at the neutrals but it could be a really exciting contest full of goals.
Cardiff were the better team last year, which is why they won the Championship with relative ease, and are probably slightly better equipped for top-flight survival. In the first three games they have already overcome Manchester City and now seek their first away point(s) here. However, despite sitting in the relegation zone, three points from as many games will leave Hull manager Steve Bruce optimistic about his side’s chances too.
In the corresponding game last year it ended 2-2. In fact, each of the four meetings over the past two years has ended with at least three goals. Furthermore, both managers will have this pencilled in as a potential three points and will be out to continue their steady starts to the season.
Hopefully an early goal will ensure an end-to-end thriller.
BET TIP: Over 2.5 match goals @ 5/4 with Bet365
Stoke Vs Manchester City. Saturday 3PM
Three games into the season, these sides sit joint third. Whilst that won’t be the case come May it does serve as a good barometer of how close it could be at The Britannia Stadium.
Since Mark Hughes replaced the long-serving Tony Pulis, eyebrows have been raised as to whether Stoke will be able to preserve their Premier League status but it’s been a very positive start for Sparky as his side have registered two wins from three. Had it not been for a Simon Mingolet penalty save at Anfield, it would have been seven points from three.
Manchester City have started with a real mix of performances. The hammering of Newcastle was followed by the terrible showing at Cardiff before normality was restored with a comfortable win over Hull. In general they’ve looked strong, but some frailties still remain.
This fixture has regularly been a tight affair as is highlighted by the head-to-head. Since the turn of the Millennium these two have met on eight occasions and only once has there been three goals after ninety minutes (a cup meeting ended 3-1 after extra-time) and even that was in Manchester.
In the four meetings at The Britannia since 2008, Stoke have won one whilst the others all ended 1-1 although one was the previously mentioned 3-1 cup encounter. Backing City to lose against a team that will probably finish in the bottom half sounds like gambling suicide but the head-to-head statistics combined with the Potters start to the season shows that the away side certainly have their work cut out if they are going to return with all three points.
Goals have been at a premium so far this Premier League campaign and this is another match that could be the same.
BET TIP: Under 2.5 match goals @ 10/11 with Will Hill.