September 29, 2018 By Fabian Odhiambo
West Ham United v Manchester United
Last Five Meetings: W0 D2 L3
Fab Says: The London Stadium sees the battle of the Uniteds though one side seems united only in name. Indeed it’s been a torrid week for the visitors Man United, throwing away a lead to drop points at home to Wolves then following it up with that shocking loss to Derby in the midweek Carabao Cup tie. The drama didn’t end there as in the aftermath of the loss there was that heated exchange between manager Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba, caught on camera at the training ground. The Hammers on the other hand are having a much needed upturn in fortunes that culminated into that ruthless 8-0 demolition of Macclesfield in the Cup. They must be buzzing for this one. I don’t think they’re good enough to capitalize on United’s woes though, but they probably won’t lose either.
Bobo Says: West Ham will be confident after managing to hold off Chelsea and because of their Carabao Cup win. Manchester United come into this more like Manchester Divided. West Ham have the advantage because they come into this as a team, which is essentially what is needed for football. They should have enough to make matters worse for the Old Trafford lot.
Arsenal v Watford
Last Five Meetings: W3 D0 L2
Fab Says: Watford make the short trip to The Emirates aiming to further their impressive start to the season which has kind of been slowed down with a loss and a draw in their last two fixtures. Arsenal are bang in form, winning in their last 6 games across all competitions after a difficult start to the season. The Hornets have a knack of surprising their more illustrious opponents and indeed did win in this very fixture last season. In Troy Deeney and Andre Gray they boast super physical forwards, the kind that The Gunners have notoriously had a problem defending against. That said, Arsenal’s superior quality and form should just about give them the edge, however slight.
Bobo Says: Watford should be relishing this trip to the Emirates. They’ll feel that they can take advantage of Arsenal’s rather soft defense. Despite the rather poor show against Everton, the Gunners are actually on the ascendancy. They will be happy that their strikers are scoring and the back up striker is in good form. Watford will be good but not enough to take points from Arsenal.
Everton v Fulham
Last Three Meetings: W3 D1 L1
Fab Says: Fulham have a wretched record at Goodison Park in the league and it’s difficult to make a case for them in this encounter. Of course in Aleksandar Mitrovic they always have a goal waiting to happen and he may well score here, but there’s the feeling that coupled with their historical edge, Everton are due a win.
Bobo Says: Everton will feel that they should have done better. They showed that they have the quality to beat any team in the league on their day. However, they have to change from flashes of brilliance to consistent brilliance in order to achieve their goals. Fulham are similar but with a bit less quality except of course for Mitrovic. It will be tough for Everton to win this but they will.
Huddersfield Town v Tottenham Hotspur
Last Two Meetings: W0 D0 L2
Fab Says: To be honest, I expect nothing other than a comprehensive Spurs win here, considering they managed turn things around at Brighton last weekend. Huddersfield look appallingly short where it matters most – goalscoring. That can never bode well for any side, more so one that is widely expected to scrap for survival.
Bobo Says: Tottenham are going through a goalkeeper crisis so they should be happy that they are facing a team going through a goalscoring crisis. They haven’t scored in three home matches this season and they have scored all three of their goals this season from set pieces including two from throw-ins. I don’t think they will offer much of an attacking threat to Tottenham.
Manchester City v Brighton & Hove Albion
Last Three Meetings: W2 D1 L0
Fab Says: Man City arrested their minor Champions League slump with convincing and goal-laden wins during this past week and will see this as another match to lay down their marker in their bid to retain the title this season. Brighton should have got a point against Spurs last time round, and it’s that gulf in quality that will again negate any good work they may manage to conjure up at the Etihad. With Chelsea and Liverpool locking horns just after, City will seek to take advantage of any potential slip ups by either or both of the two.
Bobo Says: I don’t know. Maybe Manchester City will be too good for Brighton.
Newcastle United v Leicester City
Last Five Meetings: W1 D0 L4
Fab Says: The hunt for Newcastle’s first win of the season enters another episode at home to Leicester, a fixture that they struggled in recently. The Foxes are having a start-stop season so far, losing disastrously in one match then coming back guns blazing in the next. Consistency is what they are looking for and a fixture like this is exactly where to get that. I was going to go for a Magpies’ win, but then Jamie Vardy is back and back among the goals so I’ll go slow on that. The heartache at Tyneside goes on.
Bobo Says: Anti-football Rafa Benitez will entertain (or bore to death) the Foxes. Leicester have been on and off this season and this seems like a match during which they will be on. If they are well organized, they will go back home with the three points. I definitely think that they will.
Wolverhampton Wonderers v Southampton
Last Five Meetings: W3 D1 L1
Fab Says: Wolves are playing some good football for a promoted side and were full value for their 1-1 draw with United at Old Trafford last weekend. The Saints on the other hand had it rough at Anfield and generally haven’t been the best of travellers for a while now. They will play on the counter here and in as much as that’s a prudent approach to take, the hosts’ dominance will set in.
Bobo Says: Wolves have been quite decent so far. They are well organized and know what they want. Saints on the other hand are matching on inconsistently. I think that Wolves have got this in the bag.
Chelsea v Liverpool
Last Five Meetings: W2 D2 L1
Fab Says: Both sides are unbeaten in the league this season, but Chelsea drew first blood on Wednesday, at Anfield no less, in their 2-1 win to knock Liverpool out of the Carabao Cup. Impressive as the win was, coupled with Eden Hazard’s amazing winner, the real test will be in this league encounter as both managers revert to their full strength squads. There should be goals at both ends in a very entertaining draw, right? I wish, but really I think Liverpool will have a far more potent attack and exact their revenge.
Bobo Says: Was the Carabao Cup a sign of things to come? Both teams have great quality and it will be interesting to see how the match pans out. Definitely the match to watch in the EPL this match week. Chelsea dropped their first points last weekend and they will be under pressure to avoid a defeat that would allow Liverpool to increase the gap. Liverpool will be under a different sort of pressure as they try to widen the gap at the top. I reckon that they will drop their first points of the season but Chelsea will drop more as well. Shared spoils at the Bridge.
Cardiff City v Burnley
Last Five Meetings: W1 D4 L0
Fab Says: Burnley finally registered their first win of the season and with their European adventure firmly behind them should be favourites to pile more misery on a Cardiff side finding life back at the big time quite tumultuous. It will be the kind of dogged and gutsy performance that Sean Dyche’s Burnley have become so synonymous with.
Bobo Says: Burnley seem to have put their woes behind them with a convincing 4-0 win against the Cherries. They should be confident. Cardiff are looking like relegation candidates so early in the season. This visit will likely compound to their misery.
Bournemouth v Crystal Palace
Last Five Meetings: W1 D3 L1
Fabian Says: Bournemouth have embarked on a cheeky switch between home wins and away losses and the pattern is bound to continue when they welcome Palace. The Eagles are unbeaten in the last three, but in all against lesser teams than The Cherries, so this will be quite the step up. Can’t see anything other than another eventful Bournemouth win.
Bobo Says: The Cherries were brought back down to earth by Burnley and they will be looking to bounce back. They have been very solid this season and they will continue to do so this weekend. I expect that they go back to winning ways.
Our model churned out this:
|West Ham United||2||Manchester United||3|
|Huddersfield Town||3||Tottenham Hotspur||3|
|Manchester City||8||Brighton & Hove Albion||1|
|Newcastle United||4||Leicester City||1|
Here’s how our two experts fared during MW6:
|Fulham v Watford||2-1||2-2||1-1|
|Burnley v Bournemouth||1-0||1-3||4-0|
|Cardiff City v Manchester City||1-4||1-3||0-5|
|Crystal Palace v Newcastle United||2-0||2-0||0-0|
|Leicester City v Huddersfield Town||3-1||2-1||3-1|
|Liverpool v Southampton||2-0||3-0||3-0|
|Manchester United v Wolverhampton Wanderers||2-1||0-0||1-1|
|Brighton & Hove Albion v Tottenham Hotspur||3-2||2-2||1-2|
|West Ham United v Chelsea||2-1||1-1||0-0|
|Arsenal v Everton||3-1||4-2||2-0|
Bobo stretches her lead to 12 points, leading 76-64.