It’s not a weekend for the underdog, if Mark Young’s predictions are anything to go by. Watford and Norwich will try to hold off Manchester United and Chelsea respectively, while Liverpool travel to Manchester City and Spurs host West Ham.Embed from Getty Images
Watford 0-1 Manchester United
Two of the stingiest defences in the Premier League this season meet at Vicarage Road on Saturday at lunch time, so goals are expected to be at a premium.
Louis van Gaal’s defence has been very impressive this season, with Chris Smalling a particular stand out. Manchester United have conceded eight goals so far this term, the best in the league, with goals up the other end instead proving a problem.
This won’t be helped by the worrying news that Anthony Martial left Wembley Stadium on crutches following France’s emotional friendly with England on Tuesday night. They may have been precautionary measures, but the sight of their deadline day signing even potentially injured could worry the Red Devils.
Watford, meanwhile, have only conceded 12 goals so far this season, and have been a tough nut to crack for most teams.
Odion Ighalo is their top league goal scorer with seven goals to his name, and will be a threat, but United should have enough to squeeze out a tight, intense win.
Chelsea 1-0 Norwich City
Chelsea are struggling, having lost their seventh game of the season in 12 games away at Stoke before the international break.
It would have been refreshing for Jose Mourinho to be out of the spotlight for at least a weekend after his team’s domination of the headlines over the course of the season, but this was not to be the case.
The Blues looked marginally better at Stoke, and were probably harshly done by not winning at the Britannia, but “harshly done” does not amount to points.
It is up to the Portuguese to raise his players’ spirits and morale as they return to club football from a break with their national sides.
Norwich are the visitors to Stamford Bridge this weekend and currently sit one point ahead of their 16th placed rivals.
A hugely inspiring 1-0 win at home to Swansea before the international break would have had the Canaries chirping, and they will really fancy themselves to come away from London with something, as most teams seem to be doing this year.
Alex Neil’s team will fight hard, but it may be just the right time for Chelsea to get back to winning ways with a scrappy win.
Newcastle 2-2 Leicester City
St James’ Park is the venue for the Jamie Vardy goals show to potentially continue in order to equal Ruud van Nistelrooy’s ten-game goal scoring record on Saturday.
The North East was the same place where the Dutchman scored for the tenth game on the bounce, and with Newcastle up next for the Foxes to break the record, history could certainly repeat itself.
However, Vardy was ruled out of England’s two friendlies with injury, and it is unclear if he will return for this at time of writing.
Newcastle have been poor at the back for most of the season without too much joy in front of goal, while it’s been raining goals at both ends for the Foxes.
Georginio Wijnaldum has impressed, as has the ever improving Aleksandar Mitrovic in attack, but it’s been Ayoze Perez that has been gaining a lot of attention.
The Spaniard scored the winner that the Magpies did not deserve at Bournemouth last week, and always seems to pop up with a much needed goal for his club.
Leicester will have to watch out, but it could be an entertaining affair whether Vardy scores or not.
Manchester City 3-1 Liverpool
Jürgen Klopp suffered his first league defeat in charge of Liverpool as they hosted Crystal Palace before the international break, and has one of his toughest games in charge up next.
The Reds travel to league leaders Manchester City on Saturday evening with the Premier League favourites getting stronger by the week.
Sergio Agüero is rumoured to be back in training, but Wilfried Bony could be missing after coming off during the goalless draw away at Aston Villa before the break.
Liverpool have also seemed light in attack with Christian Benteke yet to hit his stride and Daniel Sturridge struggling for fitness.
Philippe Coutinho has been in fantastic form, but the defence is still a worry for the Reds, and City should continue their spell at the top of the league with an impressive win.
Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 West Ham United
Tottenham haven’t lost a league game since the first day of the season at Old Trafford, and that streak is likely to continue on Sunday against West Ham.
Spurs have been impressing everyone of late and were unlucky to concede late on at the Emirates against Arsenal last time out.
Harry Kane is back on song, Christian Eriksen looks in terrific form, whilst Erik Lamela is finally looking like the player Tottenham thought they had purchased from Roma.
To add to that, Moussa Dembele is a man reborn, and Heung-Son Min should be back in contention after a couple of substitute appearances before the break.
West Ham, on the other hand, will be missing the dangerous Dimitri Payet, who has been their creator-in-chief since the start of the season, and, with him out for a while, Spurs should continue their impressive run.
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