GameWeek #8 Preview

Forever Bursting Bubbles

Welcome back TFG’ers, and unless your name is José Mário dos Santos Mourinho Félix, I’m sure you’ll be just as excited for another weekend of Premier League football as I am (and yes, that is the second time I’ve used that introduction this season, but the Man United jokes are far from finished).

Match week 7 was a vintage array of football, with 25 goals being scored across the 10 fixtures, which featured big wins for West Ham, Everton and Leicester, just to name a few. The latter, who impressively beat Newcastle 2-0 at St. James’ Park, picked up a crucial victory that was predicted by just one brainy TFG player, Russell Davies – who as a result, has been awarded up this week’s TFG #PickOfTheWeek! Congratulations, Russell!

Such a dramatic weekend of football has also taken its toll on our league table, with big changes taking place at the summit. Brilliant City, who were 1st heading into last weekend’s matches, have been overtaken by Dare2Dream, with the top four sides still yet to make an incorrect pick. The table is as follows:

5th – Ibe, You’ve Got That (Jonathan Owens)

4th – Colorado Spurs HW (Henry Winkler)

3rd – Jimmy Floyd’s Piggy Bank (Maddy Camble)

2nd – Brilliant City (Steve Sanderson)

1st – Dare2Dream (Dewa Widya)

Looking ahead to this weekend’s action, and yet again, a Liverpool match is the main event. They face Manchester City, in a top-of-the-table clash at Anfield. Not only did City infamously struggle at Anfield twice last season, travelling to the red half of Merseyside has been somewhat of a problem for the Cityzens ever since 2003 – which was the last time they left Liverpool with three points. The Red’s rousing conclusion to their match against Chelsea will definitely have boosted morale at the club, so picking Liverpool to win this match would certainly be sensible – if history is anything to go by, that is.

That match takes place at 4:30 on Sunday, and is preceded by another side enjoying life in the table’s upper echelons, Chelsea. They travel to Southampton, a side who has conceded 11 goals in 7 matches, which must have Eden Hazard licking his lips. The Belgian superstar is in inspired form of late, having scored 2 goals in 2 games against Liverpool over the last fortnight. Southampton have lost all of their last 7 games against Chelsea in all competitions, and I fancy the Blues to elongate that record, with Hazard at the forefront of their victory.

Two more London-based outfits are in action on Sunday as well, making this Super Sunday far more promising than a solo Cardiff v Burnley managed last week. Fulham welcome Arsenal to Craven Cottage for an exciting lunchtime contest, in which the visiting side will be looking to win their 8th match in a row. The Gunners made light work of this season’s surprise package, Watford, last weekend, whilst Fulham were thumped 3-0 by Everton. It has been almost five years since these two sides faced each other, with the last encounter ending in favour of Arsenal – just as I foresee this one finishing.

Onto Saturday then, and the matinee fixture is Manchester United vs Newcastle. Both sides have been in poor form of late, with both sets of fans very upset with the way their respective clubs are being run. Though United will still be feeling the after-effects of a tough Champions League tie against Valencia mid-week, it seems unlikely that Rafa Benitez could produce the kind of performance needed to topple Mourinho’s side at Old Trafford, given their calamitous start to the season.

A home victory for Tottenham also seems all but certain considering Cardiff are the opposition, with Burnley being another side who look likely to collect three points from their match at Turf Moor. Huddersfield are the visitors, who are on-par with Cardiff as arguably the worst team in the division at this moment in time. David Wagner’s side are still without a win this season and have the joint-worst defensive record in the league, so giving Sean Dyche’s men your pick for this week may well be profitable.

One of the weekend’s more intriguing fixtures, Leicester vs Everton, also takes place on Saturday, which is a particularly difficult one to predict. Goals can certainly be expected, but in terms of calling a result, it is Everton who have the better recent record from these two teams’ recent encounters, but a high-scoring draw may well be the outcome.

Watford vs Bournemouth is another match with big promise, considering the two sides are sat in 6th and 7th place after their very strong starts to the season. It is the home side however, that look most likely to be victorious, considering the Hornets have lost just once to Bournemouth in their last 14 matches. Bournemouth will be looking to put previous results behind them, but so will West Ham, who will be seeking revenge for the two defeats Brighton inflicted upon them last season. Manuel Pellegrini has finally got his side firing on all cylinders ahead of their trip to the south coast, and they look probable to win, considering the Seagulls haven’t won since their famous victory over Man United in August.

And last, but not least, we have Crystal Palace vs Wolves. Roy Hodgson’s men were let down by a moment of stupidity by Mamadou Sakho on Monday night, and what better way for the French centre-back to redeem himself than to rally his side to keeping a clean sheet. He’ll have to be at his best to do so mind, considering Wolves seem to improve by the week, and will travel to the outskirts of London looking to collect another three points – which could put them level with the top 4, depending on results.

As always however, whoever your pick may be this weekend, we here at TFG HQ wish you the very best of luck.

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