This weekend sees the sixth round of Premier League fixtures with eight ties on what promises to be a hectic day of action.
Highlights include Manchester City’s trip to Cardiff whilst Liverpool look to maintain their unbeaten home run as they welcome Southampton to Anfield.
Fulham vs Watford (12:30pm)
Both teams suffered defeats last time out against Manchester based teams so I expect to see strong reactions here.
Fulham need to get their defence sorted because this Watford side will test the hell out of it, particularly from set pieces and inside box where eight of their ten goals have been scored from.
The Hornets however have just one clean sheet from their opening five matches which will provide Luciano Vietto and co with some hope of nicking a goal.
Prediction wise, I can see both teams scoring but Watford will grow stronger throughout match to get a comfortable win if Fulham’s defence is poor.
Prediction: Fulham 1-3 Watford
Jake predicts: Fulham 1-2 Watford
Result: Fulham 1-1 Watford
Burnley vs BournemouthEmbed from Getty Images
This should be a fun clash because Burnley were last season’s surprise package whilst Bournemouth look set to be this season’s.
The Cherries were exceptional last time out attack wise so if can find a repeat performance, I can see them just steamrollering a Burnley side low on confidence and form.
Sean Dyche’s team however were unlucky not to get a draw at Wolves last weekend so if can continue to develop and rediscover their best, there is perhaps hope of them getting a result here.
Ultimately, I feel that Bournemouth will have too much quality within them and will grab the win.
Prediction: Burnley 1-2 Bournemouth
Jake predicts: Burnley 1-2 Bournemouth
Result: Burnley 4-0 Bournemouth
Cardiff City vs Manchester City
If Cardiff are to survive, they need to get as many home points as they can but Manchester City are tough opposition.
City will be in a furious mood after Wednesday’s shock Champions League defeat by Lyon, which is something which will worry the Bluebirds.
Realistically if Cardiff want at least a point, they are going to have to be at their defensive best or hope that the Citizens put in a display akin to Arsenal from three weeks ago but only worse.
Prediction: Cardiff City 0-2 Manchester City
Jake predicts: Cardiff City 0-2 Manchester City
Result: Cardiff City 0-5 Manchester City
Crystal Palace vs Newcastle UnitedEmbed from Getty Images
For both clubs, victory here could be key come May because it is losses like these against those around you that could well be the fatal errors which send you down.
Newcastle are currently in bottom three but can take heart from having the best goal difference amongst those in bottom six. That is despite facing four of the ‘Big Six’ in their opening five matches so I feel that their season might really start here now that the storm has been overcome.
Crystal Palace meanwhile have struggles that need sorting out because they have lost their two home games by two goals in each match. Wilfried Zaha meanwhile seems only capable of scoring away from Selhurst Park this season which is a real worry for someone of his ability.
Prediction wise, this should be a tight game but unless Palace can rectify their worries, I am backing Newcastle here for the win.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 0-1 Newcastle United
Jake predicts: Crystal Palace 1-1 Newcastle United
Result: Crystal Palace 0-0 Newcastle United
Leicester City vs Huddersfield Town
Leicester will fancy their chances here as both teams aim to get their season on track after underwhelming starts.
Despite positive performances against Manchester United and Liverpool, something isn’t clicking defensively which is concerning and reminds me of when Claude Puel was in charge of Southampton for 2016-17 season.
Huddersfield meanwhile must find their goal scoring boots because can’t rely on draws and the odd 1-0 wins to stay up.
Although the Terriers have made small progress in last two games, I can see a Leicester win now that Jamie Vardy should be back up to speed.
Prediction: Leicester City 2-0 Huddersfield Town
Jake predicts: Leicester City 2-1 Huddersfield Town
Result: Leicester City 3-1 Huddersfield Town
Liverpool vs SouthamptonEmbed from Getty Images
This is going to be an interesting test for Liverpool as they face their third of seven matches in a 22 day period.
Southampton however appear to have finally rediscovered their attacking touch which had been AWOL for much of past two seasons. Their last four goals have however been scored by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Danny Ings but the latter is ineligible to face his parent club.
Ings’ absence therefore is going to be a big blow and I can see Liverpool fully taking advantage here as a result.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-0 Southampton
Jake predicts: Liverpool 2-0 Southampton
Result: Liverpool 3-0 Southampton
Manchester United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers
Manchester United have finally found some momentum and produced a great team performance on Wednesday against Young Boys, particularly with Paul Pogba involved in two of those goals.
Wolves however have been tough to beat lately, winning their last two matches 1-0 but I can’t see their defence troubling United too much if the Red Devils are fresh enough.
Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Jake predicts: Manchester United 2-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Result: Manchester United 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Tottenham Hotspur (5:30pm)Embed from Getty Images
Tottenham need to get back to winning ways here but Brighton are a stubborn side who don’t accept defeat easily.
Brighton are unbeaten at home this season in league and one of those matches saw them beat Manchester United so will be confident of getting something here.
Tottenham meanwhile have lost their last three in all competitions by a 2-1 result, which perhaps is the effect of no spending over summer to evolve the squad.
Late match defending is also another concern because Watford and Inter Milan both came from behind to clinch their wins, despite Spurs being the stronger side up till those conceded goals.
That defensive issue will be music to Brighton’s ears because the Seagulls have mounted comebacks from 2-0 down to draw their last two matches 2-2.
Prediction wise, a draw here would be a positive for both teams but Brighton aren’t in midweek Carabao Cup action so I can see them sneaking a late win here.
Prediction: Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Jake predicts: Brighton & Hove Albion 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Result: Brighton & Hove Albion 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur
With the new season underway, so is Prediction Wars between me and Boro Rants writer, Jake Self.
Rules however are same as last season and goes as follows alongside latest standings;
Correct score – 3 points
Correct result – 1 point
Incorrect result – 0 points