Another week in the books and along with the weekend comes the return of the Premier League. Wins from Stoke and West Ham last weekend gave off the feel that the league may returning to a bit of normalcy. However the only normal thing about the Premier League is that it’s never normal. Which trend will continue this week?
(All times eastern)
Bournemouth vs. Tottenham (7:30 AM Saturday – NBCSN)
While West Ham and Stoke getting back into the win column gave off a sense of normalcy one thing that was certainly not normal about last week was Bournemouth scoring six times against Hull. Six! The most they’ve ever scored in a Premier League match. Not only will that not happen this week, but they won’t even come close to that number as they face Tottenham and the Premier League’s stingiest defenses. Spurs are suffering from the loss of Toby Alderweireld last week, but keeping a clean sheet away to Bayer Leverkusen proves that they’ll be able to overcome his absence. It will be tough, but they’ll get the job done. Tottenham win 1-0
Arsenal vs. Middlesbrough (10:00 AM – NBCSN)
Remember the days when everyone thought Middlesbrough were going to be the best team out of the newly promoted sides and they actually started off brightly? Well those days are long gone. This team is playing some terrible football at the moment. Now they have to travel to the Emirates where they meet an Arsenal team who are in their mid-October form, ie: really really good form. Walcott, Sanchez, Ozil, they’re all firing on all cylinders making the Gunners impossible to slow down. Arsenal win 4-0
Swansea City vs. Watford (10:00 AM – CNBC)
What happens when you have am American manager? Suddenly NBC is bending over to put you on TV. Swansea came up short in Bob Bradley’s first match in charge as they ran up against a very in-form Arsenal team. However as cliche as it sounds, they can build on that game as they fought back and nearly found an equalizer. Last week Watford managed to keep their first clean sheet of the season, but that was more to the fact that Middlesbrough was awful rather than Watford was good. This should be the week where Bradley gets his first Premier League point, and he’ll probably get three of them. Swansea win 2-1
Manchester City vs. Southampton (8:30 AM Sunday – NBCSN)
Manchester City have now gone four straight games without a win, something that looked impossible just a month ago. The latest was a 4-0 calamity coming at the hands of Barcelona in the Champions League. The question is, is it time to start worrying about Manchester City? The answer to that will be revealed around 10:30 AM Sunday. Manchester City should get back on track this week. The signs are all pointing towards it. Kevin de Bruyne is back, Sergio Aguero should return, and Southampton are not the same team away from St. Mary’s. If they don’t win this game, then it’ll be time for concern. Manchester City win 2-0
Chelsea vs. Manchester United (11:00 AM Sunday – NBCSN)
Last week’s Liverpool vs. Manchester United match taught me my lesson and I won’t be hyping this game up nearly as much as it should get seeing as Jose Mourinho is making his return to Stamford Bridge for the first time since he was fired last season. That’s because we know exactly how this game is going to go. Mourinho played his hand last week, when he went in to Liverpool and went completely against the Manchester United way by playing not to lose against Liverpool. That led to a rather drab 0-0 draw. While Mourinho certainly wants to win and get one up on Chelsea this time around, his desire to not lose is probably even greater, and once again that will win out. 0-0 draw
Rest of the games
Probably the hardest game of the week belongs to Leicester City and Crystal Palace. Leicester have been the definition of inconsistent this season while Palace has started to discover some form. While Leicester have been getting destroyed before the Champions League this year, they’ve rebounded from those games quite nicely, as they will this week with a 2-1 win.
It appears that Stoke City are the lovely winners of the “who gets to play Hull City” this week lottery. Don’t mind the fact that they’ve struggled this year or that they’re the away side, Hull are really bad and the Potters will take care of business 2-0.
Everton have been really strong lately but face a tough trip to Turf Moor where Burnley always play well. For as good as Burnley can be at home, Everton still should walk out with a 2-0 win and all three points.
The Olympic Stadium has not been kind to West Ham this year. The Hammers have been awful at home, but Sunderland has been awful in every single game. Something has to give and in this game it will be Sunderland’s defense. It’s a 3-0 win as the Hammers finally have their coming out party.
We know West Brom’s M.O. never changes; they’ll muck up the game and make it a disgusting unwatchable affair. Liverpool however just played that exact game on Monday against Manchester United, so they know what to expect. The difference this time Liverpool won’t be going against David de Gea, so one of those chances will find the net in a 1-0 win.