A week of Premier League action started last night with West Ham vs Leicester so what does Saturday’s 3pm games hold in store?
Highlights include Crystal Palace vs Stoke City, Manchester United vs Brighton and Hove Albion plus Tottenham Hotspur vs West Bromwich Albion.
Crystal Palace vs Stoke City
Both teams have had difficult starts this season with Crystal Palace sitting plum bottom, whilst Stoke are 15th and four points above drop.
Last weekend saw Palace continue their improved home form with a 2-2 draw against Everton. They however led twice but were pegged back on both occasions.
Stoke had to wait till Monday to visit Brighton in MNF, where they took a 2-2 draw.
Those results suggests that defence will be important to the outcome of this match.
The goal per game averages this season is quite big with Palace only averaging 0.5 goals per league game. Stoke however have an average 1.25 goals per game.
On paper, many will say this will be Stoke’s to lose but I think we will get a proper fight here.
This is because Palace fare better when it comes to the corners, fouls and shots averages whilst Stoke rule the key areas.
Ultimately, I think the Eagles’ defence will again just let them down.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-2 Stoke City
Jake predicts: Crystal Palace 2-0 Stoke City
Result: Crystal Palace 2-1 Stoke City
Manchester United vs Brighton
Manchester United last met Brighton nearly 25 years ago in the 1993-94 FA Cup, making this their first meeting since then.
The Seagulls’ record in this fixture is poor with just one win from 16 clashes, making this match fairly straight forward on paper.
This next week sees a round of midweek action so Brighton might rest key players here and look to win the M23 derby on Tuesday versus Crystal Palace instead.
United have already started rotating their squad, having rested Paul Pogba and others on Wednesday in the defeat to Basel.
Brighton might be five matches unbeaten but that run is going to be put on ice here without any doubt.
Prediction: Manchester United 3-0 Brighton
Jake predicts: Manchester United 3-0 Brighton
Result: Manchester United 1-0 Brighton
Newcastle vs Watford
Watford are back to winning ways after beating West Ham on Sunday whilst Newcastle are still in a rout.
The Magpies have lost their last three games but their home record under Rafa Benitez is strong, having lost just seven home league games (including 2016-17 Championship) in 36 matches at St James’ Park since he joined in March 2016.
Watford enter this game with the exact same record and points as did last season and went into freefall from here on in.
Newcastle will make things tough but the Hornets seem like a much stronger team 12 months on and will edge this.
Prediction: Newcastle 1-2 Watford
Jake predicts: Newcastle 1-1 Watford
Result: Newcastle 0-3 Watford
Swansea vs Bournemouth
Swansea enter this fixture in the bottom three, needing a win to keep pace with those just above them.
Bournemouth have finally started to gel as a team, winning their last two games either side of international break.
Paul Clément’s side have really disappointed despite signing Renato Sanches and Wilfried Bony in summer, scoring only seven goals so far this season.
The Cherries are unbeaten against Swansea in last five meetings, although the first Premier League clash ended in a 2-2 draw.
You would hope Swansea will try to at least get a point but I can see Bournemouth continuing their march up the table.
Prediction: Swansea 0-2 Bournemouth
Jake predicts: Swansea 2-0 Bournemouth
Result: Swansea 0-0 Bournemouth
Tottenham vs WBA
West Brom head to Wembley off back of Tony Pulis’ departure and last Saturdays 4-0 home loss to Chelsea.
Tottenham however have been in a league rut recently, losing to Man Utd and Arsenal either side of a scrappy 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.
Three of last five meetings in North London have tended to end in draws with the Baggies winning one.
Spurs however ended that run last time out with a 4-0 win at White Hart Lane.
Wembley this season has seen Tottenham dominate everything from corners, shots to goals against their visitors.
They are also better disciplined, conceding less fouls on per game average and consequently less yellow cards.
Given the different form of both teams, I think Spurs will comfortably get job done here.
Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 WBA
Jake predicts: Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 WBA
Result: Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 WBA