October 5, 2018 By Fabian Odhiambo
Brighton & Hove Albion v West Ham United
Last Five Meetings: W2 D0 L3
Fab Says: Brighton are in some very wretched form going into this one, winless in 6 games since that famous victory over Man United in August. The Hammers themselves are on the opposite end of the spectrum enjoying a fine run of form, unbeaten in 4. So normally I’d expect a fine run to continue, but for some reason, I think The Seagulls will turn things around.
Bobo Says: The Hammers will be very confident after taking 6 points from two top six teams. They won against a poor Manchester United side and I expect that Brighton will be a much tougher outfit to deal with. The Hammers should have just about enough quality to nail the three points.
Burnley v Huddersfield Town
Last Five Meetings: W3 D2 L0
Fab Says: This is that type of game that you expect Burnley to win as comfortably as they did against a similar opponent last weekend, Cardiff. You need goals to win games and I just can’t see where Huddersfield will get those from, especially at Turf Moor.
Bobo Says: Burnley are looking much better. They are getting back to their last season form. Huddersfield need to do a lot to come away with any points at this tough ground. Burnley should be too good for Huddersfield.
Crystal Palace v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Last Five Meetings: W3 D1 L1
Fab Says: This match could be a cracker. Palace are usually quite robust at home, while Wolves are producing solid, convincing performances week in, week out. Roy Hodgson’s side hasn’t quite got into their stride this season and maybe this represents an opportunity to do just that, but the reality is that this will be a really tough opponent. Indeed, Wolves could even win the game, they’re that good. Let’s say an entertaining, even nervy draw will suffice.
Bobo Says: Wolves have been so impressive since their return. They can defend and they know how to get the all-important goal. They come up against a fancy team with lots of potential so this could be quite a thrilling match. Despite how good they are at home, I think Wolves have what it takes to bite off all the three points from the Eagles.
Leicester City v Everton
Last Five Meetings: W2 D0 L3
Fab Says: Everton should be winning this, but really, many times we say that about their games and not always does it translate to the actual result at the end of it. Leicester are in some decent form and will no doubt cause the Toffees problems. This is probably the most open fixture of the round, so how about a goal-filled share of the spoils?
Bobo Says: An interesting fixture…at least on paper. Leicester have lost just one of nine home fixtures against Everton (W3 D5). This fixture has been played more than 20 times and is the only fixture in PL history that has seen more than 50% of the matches end in draws (13 out of 24). The theme will prevail.
Tottenham Hotspur v Cardiff City
Last Four Meetings: W3 D1 L0
Fab Says: Spurs must be relieved that their next fixture after that midweek footballing lesson they received from Barcelona is against a free-falling Cardiff. It is a chance to make amends in front of their fans and it’s a chance they will grab with both hands.
Bobo Says: Cardiff don’t really play football well and Tottenham will be looking for a confidence boost. Cardiff should be better organized and it won’t be so easy for Spurs. However, they should still get three points.
Watford v Bournemouth
Last Five Meetings: W1 D4 L0
Fab Says: After their high flying start to the season, Watford are on a run of 4 games without a win. That’s well and truly a rut and it’s about time it got busted. Bournemouth have enjoyed the luxury of playing their last two fixtures including a Carabao Cup tie at home and won both. They don’t travel very well and it is conceivable that they will revert to type and lose at Vicarage Road. In any case, The Hornets are due a victory.
Bobo Says: Both teams have been quite good so far this season. Watford have the edge in this fixture and it also helps that they are playing at home. I don’t think the Cherries will get any points in this fixture.
Manchester United v Newcastle United
Last Five Meetings: W2 D2 L1
Fab Says: Two Uniteds, two teams both in horrendous form face off. It’s a game that if I could skip, I really would. After their abysmal showing at the London Stadium one would think United would come out all guns blazing in their midweek home assignment against Valencia but all they gave was a whimper. Rafa Benitez will shape his team to be very tight at the back and hope for one chance to win the game. Can they do that? I feel it’s almost like neither side wants a win at this moment.
Bobo Says: Dross fixture. Teams carrying the name United but are anything but. At least Rafa probably still has his locker room and this way has a slight edge. The Toon could spell more misery for Manchester United.
Fulham v Arsenal
Last Five Meetings: W1 D1 L3
Fab Says: Can you remember the last time Arsenal lost a game of football? Neither can I. It’s now 8 consecutive wins and what’s more, they’re even keeping clean sheets now. The thing with hot streaks is that they don’t go on forever. That’s all the motivation that Fulham will need in this derby, more so as Arsenal will be a bit stretched from the 5,000-mile round trip to and from Baku in the Europa League. Arsenal, despite the jetlag will have just too much quality for the Cottagers and make it 9 out of 9.
Bobo Says: Fulham started quite well but they still cannot defend. Arsenal are trying to iron out their defensive issues but at least they can score. This will make for an exciting and tense match but the Gunners have more firepower and should win this.
Southampton v Chelsea
Last Five Meetings: W0 D0 L5
Fab Says: Chelsea aren’t scoring many goals, but they can pass the ball and have a certain Eden Hazard so it’s all good. The Saints have suffered in this fixture recently and probably that carries on again on Sunday.
Bobo Says: History does not look kindly upon Southampton in this fixture. Chelsea need to figure out their goal scoring issues as they cannot rely solely on Hazard’s form. This fixture offers them a chance to work on that.
Liverpool v Manchester City
Last Five Meetings: W4 D0 L1
Fabian Says: Liverpool have exerted their dominance on this fixture since being walloped 5-0 at the Etihad early last season and so go into this encounter with every chance of extending that sequence. Indeed, City have traditionally struggled at Anfield even when on superb form. Consolation for them is that Napoli proved on Wednesday night that Liverpool can be dominated and be beaten. The winner in this top of the table clash will feel they’ve dealt a huge psychological blow to their main rival in the race for the title and so no one will want to give anything away. That said, I think City are in just the slight better shape to break their Anfield hoodoo.
Bobo Says: The Reds haven’t lost in 17 matches at home against the Citizens. They last lost at Anfield to Manchester City in a 2-1defeat in 2003. The two sides are still unbeaten in the league going into match week 8. The stakes are high here with Pep Guardiola avoiding a third away defeat here and Liverpool aiming to maintain their home record. They are unbeaten in 24 matches (W16 D8). The fixture promises to be very interesting but I think the teams will share the spoils.
Our model was tweaked a bit and here’s what it thinks:
|Brighton & Hove Albion||2||West Ham United||1|
|Crystal Palace||1||Wolverhampton Wanderers||2|
|Tottenham Hotspur||1||Cardiff City||1|
|Manchester United||2||Newcastle United||0|
Last matchweek turned out thus:
|West Ham United v Manchester United||2-2||2-0||3-1|
|Arsenal v Watford||2-1||2-1||2-0|
|Everton v Fulham||3-1||2-1||3-0|
|Huddersfield Town v Tottenham Hotspur||0-3||0-3||0-2|
|Manchester City v Brighton & Hove Albion||4-1||4-0||2-0|
|Newcastle United v Leicester City||1-2||1-3||0-2|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers v Southampton||1-0||2-0||2-0|
|Chelsea v Liverpool||1-2||2-2||1-1|
|Cardiff City v Burnley||1-2||0-2||1-2|
|Bournemouth v Crystal Palace||3-1||3-2||2-1|
After a pretty perfect weekend, Bobo extends her lead to 18 points, 108-90.