With temperatures dropping and fixtures piling-up, John Newsome gives us his midweek predictions. Which teams are likely to struggle, now that the going starts to get very-tough in the EPL?
BRIGHTON V CRYSTAL PALACE
Tuesday night Premier League action sees a quick turnaround from the weekend’s games. Brighton try and get back on track after Saturday’s loss to Manchester United. Brighton are stronger at The Amex and will score, coming back twice the last time at home to Stoke to gain a draw but it’s just about how many they prevent Crystal Palace from scoring. Palace have yet to score away from home and this game could be the game to break their duck after scoring 2 in their last 2 home games. With Zaha back in the side, Palace are a better team and Frank De Boer was unlucky not to be able to call upon him having only played one game for De Boer before losing his job. Expect goals.
LEICESTER V TOTTENHAM
Goals, goals, goals. Leicester score at The Kingpower Stadium and Claude Puel’s Leicester side have had an extra day to recover from their Friday night draw against West Ham. Tottenham always score and with Vardy and Kane on show, the goals should come. Tottenham are stagnant at the moment but they are playing in Europe and the games are coming thick and fast so this is understandable. With home advantage, Leicester can nick a high scoring draw.
WATFORD V MANCHESTER UNITED
This should be an entertaining game in front of the BT cameras. Surprisingly Watford have collected more points and scored more goals away from Vicarage Road. Even though they beat a poor West Ham side in their last home game, Manchester United are a different proposition. If Pogba can remain fit and recover easily from Saturday’s game, United will collect all 3 points on their travels as they will be simply, too powerful for Watford. United have missed Pogba and are a different side when he plays.
Away Win 1-2
WEST BROM V NEWCASTLE
West Bromwich Albion are struggling and under Tony Pulis were heading nowhere, however following his sacking West Brom can get back on track with a home win. They have the players but were stifled under Mr Pulis who can only manage one way – negatively. Players like James Mclean, Matty Phillips and Rondon are good flair players but weren’t allowed to play under Pulis. Under new guidance, West Brom can pick up the win that they desperately need. Newcastle are a decent side, but unfortunately haven’t got the players to sustain a Premier League campaign and away from St James Park they struggle to score with only 4 goals on their travels.
Home Win 3-0
ARSENAL V HUDDERSFIELD
Home Win, simple as that. Arsenal are awesome at the Emirates, winning all 6 of their Premier League games (scoring 15 goals and conceding 4). Huddersfield will be no match even though they have surprised a few teams this season, with an impressive defensive display against Man City last time out even though they ultimately lost. Most of their good work has come at The John Smith’s Stadium. Away from home, they do struggle so expect a few Arsenal goals.
Home Win 4-0
BOURNEMOUTH V BURNLEY
Bournemouth have improved recently and come off a good home win against Huddersfield and an away draw at Swansea, which has led to them moving away from the relegation zone. Burnley also are an improving side and are one of the few teams who manage to collect points away from home, so this will be a tight affair and its whether the quick turnaround from the weekends game (with Bournemouth having an extra day to recover) takes its toll on Burnley. With Burnley playing Arsenal, on Sunday, Bournemouth should be too strong.
Home Win 2-1
CHELSEA V SWANSEA
Chelsea are far too powerful for any Swansea side that turns up and after the draw at Liverpool away on Saturday will want to get back to winning ways. They score for fun at Stamford Bridge and with Morata and Hazzard in fine form, a home win is the only logical outcome. Swansea are in the relegation zone and have performed better away from The Liberty Stadium but on this occasion won’t be a match for Chelsea.
Home Win 4-0
EVERTON V WEST HAM
The game is live on BT, but will Everton have a permanent manager in place before this game? West Ham have decided that David Moyes is the answer. He’s not, in my opinion and West Ham fans will become more and more disillusioned as the season progresses – but that’s for the owners to worry about. Everton are better at Goodison and have gained the majority of their points at home, but they do concede goals as do West Ham. The Hammers have two extra days preparation for this game, having played the previous Friday night. Everton played Sunday and got hammered by Southampton and have less time to recover. David Unsworth is not cut out to be Everton manager and results remain very poor. He left Wayne Rooney sitting and seething on the bench which won’t go down well with Toffees fans. Moyes will want a win here against his old club and can get a high scoring away victory.
Away Win 2-3
MAN CITY V SOUTHAMPTON
Southampton will not be a match for rampant City. They are the leading scorers at home, they rarely let in goals and even when they do, will outscore the opposition. If Aguero doesn’t score, Jesus does, if Sane doesn’t score, Sterling does and if none of them scores, De Bruyne chips-in so a heavy home win is on the cards. Southampton struggle to score away from St Marys and (after gaining a win last time out) will just want to get this game out of the way. For the South-Coast outfit, this will be about damage limitation.
Home Win 4-0
STOKE V LIVERPOOL
A difficult game to predict with Liverpool a totally different proposition, away from Anfield. They still score goals but concede a lot more when they haven’t got their home fans behind them. Stoke concede goals wherever they are playing and are not a force at the moment, though. Liverpool should be too strong for them. Both teams will score but with the pace and power of Mane and Salah and the skill of Coutinho, Stoke won’t be a match for Liverpool so an away win with goals is the most-likely outcome.
Away Win 1-3