This weekend’s 3pm games all carry huge significance for both ends of the Premier League table.
Bournemouth face Leicester whilst Swansea travel to West Ham in two foot of table clashes. Meanwhile at the top end, Manchester United look to reclaim top spot as they host Crystal Palace before cross city rivals, Man City face Chelsea in the tea time game.
Bournemouth vs Leicester City
Both teams enter this in dire straits with Leicester yet to win away from home.
Bournemouth however have had a stronger month at home, beating Brighton in space of just four nights in league and cup competitions.
Although this is the Cherries worst start to a season since 2011-12 when they were in League One, they are still unbeaten against Leicester in the top flight.
If there are any goals, I expect them to come in the second half because that is when both clubs have tended to score this season.
Bournemouth’s goal ration by % per half reads as; 25% – 75% so expect to see them try and defend solidly for the opening 45 minutes.
Leicester however has a much more matched ratio of 44.4% – 55.6%. With that in mind, I can see the Foxes pushing Bournemouth’s defence throughout.
The Foxes are however overshadowed in the per game averages for corners, shots, shots on target and goals by their oppositions.
Head to head, here is how the average per game for both teams compare.
|Average per game||Bournemouth||Leicester|
|Shots on target||2.5||3.5|
Bournemouth will certainly go for more corners than Leicester but the Foxes take more shots, especially on target.
When it comes to being clinical in front of goal, both teams have been poor compared to their opposition but Leicester has scored an average of 0.73 more goals per game than the Cherries.
Ultimately, I think Leicester will have too much in the end although both teams will score at least once.
Prediction: Bournemouth 1-2 Leicester City
Jake predicts: Bournemouth 1-2 Leicester City
Result: Bournemouth 0-0 Leicester City
Manchester United vs Crystal Palace
Having lost top spot to the Blue side of Manchester on goal difference last Saturday, Jose Mourinho will want to see his Red Devils back on top of the league table this weekend.
Crystal Palace however will head to Old Trafford looking for their first league goal of this season.
They’re however missing Christian Benteke through injury, which will hurt them given that getting more shots on target would of been their best bet of unsettling United.
So far, Man U have averaged a league high 17.33 shots on average per game compared to the Eagles’ 12.77, which probably is their best area across the whole pitch.
Both teams however have poor disciplinary records, averaging 1.5 and 2.5 yellow cards per game.
Unless Palace are solid at the back and can convert their shots into goals, I can’t see anything other than a Manchester United victory.
Prediction: Manchester United 4-0 Crystal Palace
Jake predicts: Manchester United 3-0 Crystal Palace
Result: Manchester United 4-0 Crystal Palace
Stoke vs Southampton
Both teams have made solid starts, which for Stoke is unusual given that they normally wait till now before stepping it up a notch.
Stoke currently hold the upper hand, having won three of their last five clashes with Southampton.
The goal per half ratio for both clubs this season so far makes for interesting reading.
The Potters score 80% of their goals in the first half compared to the Saints’ 25%.
Come the second half, there is a near identical record but in role reversal with Stoke having 20% of their goals netted after half time.
Southampton however seem to play better in the second half with 75% of their goals coming after the break.
Neither club tend to score many but the fouls area might be where this match is won and lost. Stoke have averaged 8.5 fouls per game whilst the Saints are more feisty with an average of 11.83 fouls.
Both teams contrast in how they invested throughout the summer but I think that Southampton will just edge this purely on their hunger looking at those fouls stats.
Prediction: Stoke 1-2 Southampton
Jake predicts: Stoke 2-0 Southampton
Result: Stoke 2-1 Southampton
West Bromwich Albion vs Watford
Both teams will surely look to enter the international break on a high after enjoying strong starts to this season.
Recent meetings have seen West Brom fail to score in three of their last four clashes. Watford however need to hold nerve after having a player sent off in both fixtures last season.
So far this season, both clubs have tended to score more goals in the second half. Watford however tend to net nearly just as many before half time, giving them an average of 44.4 vs 55.6% compared to Albion’s 25 vs 75% for goals per half.
In the fouls department, things are evenly matched with both teams averaging 12 and 11.67 fouls per game respectively so far this campaign.
What ultimately might help create a winner is the goals per game average. The Baggies have averaged 0.67 goals per game so far to Watford’s 1.5 meaning that the Hornets are probably more likely to win.
West Brom’s home record is however impressive, particularly this season so a draw seems likely.
Prediction: WBA 1-1 Watford
Jake predicts: WBA 0-1 Watford
Result: WBA 2-2 Watford
West Ham vs Swansea
Both teams have struggled this season at home but Swansea come here unbeaten on the road.
Like many other fixtures amongst the 3 O’ clockers, here should see goals flowing in after half time. Only 16.7% of West Ham’s goals so far have come in the opening half whilst a third of Swansea’s (33.3%) have also come before the break.
Should things be level at half time, I expect the Hammers to crank things up a gear because 83.3% of their goals have come late on compared to 66.7% of their visitors’.
Another stat that should fill West Ham fans with confidence is the fact that they have only suffered one defeat in last nine meetings with the Swans.
Swansea however are yet to concede away from the Liberty Stadium, despite having less shots per game than their East London hosts.
From the opening six games, Swansea has averaged only 1.83 shots on target per game from an average of 6.83 shots altogether. Compare that to West Ham’s 3.33 shots at goal from an overall average of 11.83 shots a match then there is a clear difference in attack.
Its easy to say a draw would be likely but I think West Ham will make a needed break through as Slaven Bilic’s future hangs in the balance.
Prediction: West Ham 2-0 Swansea
Jake predicts: West Ham 1-1 Swansea
Result: West Ham 1-0 Swansea
Here at Sport Grill, me and Jake Self are going head to head predicting games. Here is how things stand after last weekend’s games along with the rules.
Correct score – 3 points
Correct result – 1 point
Incorrect result – 0 points
*Before showing you how things stand, there was no preview for Burnley vs Huddersfield so here is how I and Jake predicted things would go alongside the result itself.
Prediction: Burnley 2-0 Huddersfield (I thought Burnley would win given their home record at Turf Moor)
Jake predicted: Burnley 1-0 Huddersfield
Result: Burnley 0-0 Huddersfield