October 19, 2018 By Fabian Odhiambo
Chelsea v Manchester United
Last Five Meetings: W3 D0 L2
Fab Says: Chelsea are due a loss, right? But is Man United the side to make that a reality? I doubt it. Ever since he left Chelsea after his second spell, Jose Mourinho has suffered back to back defeats on his return at his former stomping ground. In Maurizio Sarri he faces an opponent whose approach he could well frustrate. Of course Chelsea has the league’s X factor in Eden Hazard and no doubt Mourinho will have prepared an elaborate plan to keep him quiet. Chelsea will hog all the possession and United will try to make it difficult for them – recipe for a bland draw.
Bobo Says: This is an interesting match to restart league football in England. It has a Chelsea win written all over it but Mourinho loves being an underdog and it is the kind of fixture that Sarri bottles. The contrasting playing styles favor Mourinho and it will be interesting to see how Sarri approaches this. I still think that the Blues have the upper hand. They have the quality upfront and in defense.
Bournemouth v Southampton
Last Five Meetings: W1 D2 L2
Fab Says: Bournemouth are serving up, in their own quiet way, some dazzling attacking displays with corresponding results to boot. That’s a stark contrast to their opponents who are having all sorts of issues going forward. For this encounter, The Cherries will have just too much firepower and will triumph.
Bobo Says: The Cherries have been quite good this season. They have the quality to score tons of goals. Saints on the other hand are still trying to find an identity. The Cherries should be too good for them.
Cardiff City v Fulham
Last Five Meetings: W0 D3 L2
Fab Says: Fulham and Aleksandar Mitrovic will find the net alright, but will that be enough? Cardiff have struggled in this fixture, as indeed in all their assignments since promotion and even though they seem to be improving, it’s hard to see them getting the three points here. The Cottagers will be encouraged to have a real go and that should yield them the required result.
Bobo Says: Cardiff are falling short every time despite all their efforts. Fulham have shown that they have the quality to play some good football and score goals. They still need to sort their issues in defense. They should have just enough to get over a really poor Cardiff side.
Manchester City v Burnley
Last Five Meetings: W4 D1 L0
Fab Says: The only time in the last five clashes that City didn’t beat Burnley was last season at Turf Moor. Crucially, this weekend’s coming together is at the Etihad and so far the Premier League teams that have gone there have been taken through the Etihad Treatment. It doesn’t seem like this will be any different.
Bobo Says: Burnley are coming into this game without any form whatsoever. They don’t look like a team that will trouble the Citizens much.
Newcastle United v Brighton & Hove Albion
Last Four Meetings: W2 D1 L2
Fab Says: Newcastle must win this match, right? They just have to. Last weekend they were unlucky to learn that a football match goes for 90 minutes rather than 45 but must now pick themselves up and grind out that elusive first win of the season. Of course Brighton will be more than formidable, but I think I’m almost willing the home side to win and that should be enough really.
Bobo Says: The Toon could be in a lot of trouble if they lose this match. Brighton are not an easy team to beat and they have one Glen Murray on their side. Another match and more dropped points for Newcastle.
West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur
Last Five Meetings: W2 D1 L2
Fab Says: It’s Hammer time in this, a London derby. West Ham’s revival was stopped in its tracks by Brighton two Fridays ago and that would have quite done the damage, but the international break came at the most opportune time. Spurs are doing ok but really only just. As always this derby will be feisty and raining goals, of which West Ham will be on the right side of.
Bobo Says: West Ham aren’t doing badly at all despite losing to Brighton. They have what it takes to frustrate an easily frustratable side. I think the Hammers will be on the winning end of this derby.
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Watford
Last Five Meetings: W2 D2 L1
Fab Says: There was a period this season when Watford were in the elite company of teams with 100% record, but it now sounds and seems like eons ago. Wolves on their part have been solid, racking up win after win with some ruthless efficiency. This was reflected by their manager, Nuno Espirito Santo being voted Manager of the Month for September and I’m sure his charges will want to give him a performance worth the celebration.
Bobo Says: Wolves have been very good this season. They are going about their business quietly and efficiently racking up the points and goals. Only the top three teams have conceded less goals than Wolves. Watford on the other hand are on some kind of slip after their brilliant start to the season. Wolves will shove them further down.
Huddersfield Town v Liverpool
Last Four Meetings: W0 D0 L4
Fab Says: The Reds should be able to go on and turn on a professional performance to secure all the points. In as much as I would want The Terriers to deny them that, they won’t be denied.
Bobo Says: This fixture seems like a customary win for the Reds but Huddersfield are not pushovers. They will come out guns blazing to cause the shock of the weekend.
Everton v Crystal Palace
Last Five Meetings: W2 D3 L0
Fab Says: Everton were brilliant away at Leicester which in itself is a rarity. Now they’re back to home comforts against a Palace side still struggling to find lift off for their season. I can’t see beyond a comfortable win for The Toffees.
Bobo Says: The Toffees should be good enough to get the three points here. They have a well balanced team that can do the job against the Eagles who seem to rely only on one man for the goals.
Arsenal v Leicester City
Last Five Meetings: W3 D1 L1
Fabian Says: Arsenal suddenly find themselves just 2 points off the top of the table and firmly in the discussion for the title. Such has been their upturn in form and probably that will continue. Leicester haven’t won at Arsenal for the longest time and don’t travel so well either. The hosts are in the mood and enjoying their football both individually and as a collective and should make it 10 straight wins.
Bobo Says: The Gunners are in good form and the players are finally starting to show what is expected of them on the pitch. Leicester aren’t that good on the road and Arsenal have shown that they can score goals while their defense is slowly improving. A tenth win and three more points for the Gunners.
Our model says:
|Newcastle United||1||Brighton & Hove Albion||0|
|West Ham United||1||Tottenham Hotspur||2|
Here’s how it went down before the international break:
|Brighton & Hove Albion v West Ham United||2-1||1-2||1-0|
|Burnley v Huddersfield Town||2-0||3-0||1-1|
|Crystal Palace v Wolverhampton Wanderers||1-1||1-2||0-1|
|Leicester City v Everton||2-2||2-2||1-2|
|Tottenham Hotspur v Cardiff City||3-0||1-0||1-0|
|Watford v Bournemouth||2-1||3-2||0-4|
|Manchester United v Newcastle United||0-0||1-1||3-2|
|Fulham v Arsenal||1-2||0-3||1-5|
|Southampton v Chelsea||0-1||1-3||0-3|
|Liverpool v Manchester City||1-2||2-2||0-0|
Bobo extended her lead to 23 points, 125-102.