After a dramatic midweek, the Premier League is already back with seven games affecting the whole table.
Highlights include Tottenham’s clash with Newcastle whilst Chelsea aim to put Wednesday’s 4-0 battering by Bournemouth behind them as they welcome Huddersfield to Stamford Bridge.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Newcastle United (12:30pm)Embed from Getty Images
After both sides clinched comeback wins in midweek, I am expecting a tight match here between two sides at opposite ends of table.
Spurs’ biggest issue without Harry Kane seems to be clinical finishing but Fernando Llorente is starting to find his feet with crosses perhaps the best way to get goals from him.
Newcastle however have fighting spirit around them and their fans will be right behind them here after securing two impressive deadline day signings, despite Mike Ashley’s reluctance to spend much.
Ultimately, I am going for a home win because Spurs need to win these sort of games to keep their title hopes alive.
Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Newcastle United
Jake predicts: Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Newcastle United
Result: Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Newcastle United
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Watford
After both teams threw away three huge points in midweek, I am expecting a decent game here.
Brighton have a great home record with just three losses in 11 at the Amex whilst Watford have avoided defeat in all but four away trips.
Watford however are much stronger across the pitch and Ben Foster is one tough nut to crack, so am going for a late away winner .
Prediction: Brighton & Hove Albion 1-2 Watford
Jake predicts: Brighton & Hove Albion 1-2 Watford
Result: Brighton & Hove Albion 0-0 Watford
Burnley vs SouthamptonEmbed from Getty Images
Burnley are definitely getting back to their best after a tricky first half of season and if continue to play a strong attacking game, they should be favourites here.
Although they blew a two goal lead in midweek at Old Trafford, it doesn’t matter to me because Manchester United are a difficult side to hold on against. Defend well here then perhaps the Clarets are a side who shouldn’t be ruled out of a late top ten push.
Southampton themselves have improved but are still conceding goals and Crystal Palace’s excellently worked team goal highlights their weakness in the box as Wilfried Zaha was allowed to slot in without being marked.
Although a draw would be a valuable point for both sides, I fancy Burnley to just edge this as just look fresh and could very well get in on the top ten battle if others trip over one another.
Prediction: Burnley 2-1 Southampton
Jake predicts: Burnley 1-1 Southampton
Result: Burnley 1-1 Southampton
Chelsea vs Huddersfield Town
After Wednesday’s defensive shambles at Bournemouth, Chelsea have to hit back here against a dire Huddersfield.
To concede here never mind lose will be an absolute embarrassment for the Blues and this is the ideal game for Gonzalo Higuaín to start showing the Premier League what he can produce.
In end, its hard to see past a Chelsea victory here and Higuaín ought to score here.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Huddersfield Town
Jake predicts: Chelsea 3-0 Huddersfield Town
Result: Chelsea 5-0 Huddersfield Town
Crystal Palace vs FulhamEmbed from Getty Images
With a poor home record and having lost last season to Huddersfield who had come up as Play-Off winners, Crystal Palace should fear Fulham.
Despite their defensive fragilities, the Cottagers produced a confident attacking display in midweek against Brighton with the second half perhaps their best all season.
If they can take the confidence from that display and bring it here against a Palace without suspended Wilfried Zaha, another away win at Selhurst Park in consecutive seasons by the side promoted via play-offs certainly could be possible.
I however can see the Eagles digging deep here but Fulham’s attack in the end will overwhelm them.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-2 Fulham
Jake predicts: Crystal Palace 2-3 Fulham
Result: Crystal Palace 2-0 Fulham
Everton vs Wolverhampton Wanderers
Everton need to really kick on now that they’re out of both cups and a scrappy win over Huddersfield definitely hasn’t settled any nerves.
Despite getting what proved to be an early winner, the Toffees still lack that killer touch with Tom Davies one example because he had a chance to kill the game off early in second half but failed to keep composure and instead aimed at Jonas Lossl who made an easy save.
Jordan Pickford however seemed back to his best which is a positive ahead of this game because Wolves are a fierce side with likes of Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota causing trouble up front.
Their pressing when not in possession and pace on counterattacks doesn’t even underline how dangerous they’re and Everton are going to need that killer finish if are to get anything from this.
Although both sides should score, Wolves are much stronger and confident and should win this but Pickford will keep score respectable.
Prediction: Everton 1-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Jake predicts: Everton 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Result: Everton 1-3 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Cardiff City vs Bournemouth (5:30pm)Embed from Getty Images
Cardiff are in for a real test of their survival credentials against a resurgent Bournemouth side, who look dangerous on counter.
Neil Etheridge was brilliant against Arsenal in midweek, denying Alex Iwobi from close range but the pace and power that several Bournemouth players possess is probably his biggest test of the whole season so far.
To be honest, I am struggling to see past a comfortable Bournemouth win after Wednesday’s complete performance tactics wise, so if they drop points then it will be down to Etheridge’s brilliance.
Prediction: Cardiff City 0-2 Bournemouth
Jake predicts: Cardiff City 0-2 Bournemouth
Result: Cardiff City 2-0 Bournemouth
With the season past the half way point, so is Prediction Wars between me and Boro Rants writer, Jake Self.
Rules remain the same as last season and goes as follows alongside latest standings;
Correct score – 3 points
Correct result – 1 point
Incorrect result – 0 points