The Premier League never fails to surprise, what can we expect from Gameweek 4? We offer our predictions up for your judgement. Think you can beat us? Join our bbc league here.
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FILE PHOTO – (EDITORS NOTE: COMPOSITE OF TWO IMAGES – Image numbers (L) 592215668 and 596883044) In this composite image a comparision has been made between Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho (L) and Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City. Josep Guardiola brings his Manchester City team to Old Trafford to face Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United in their first Manchester derby in the Premier League on September 10, 2016. ***LEFT IMAGE*** MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 19: Jose Mourinho, Manager of Manchester United celebrates after the Premier League match between Manchester United and Southampton at Old Trafford on August 19, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images) ***RIGHT IMAGE*** MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 28: Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City encourages his players during the Premier League match between Manchester City and West Ham United at Etihad Stadium on August 28, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
Man United v Man City
The Manchester Derby. Jose v Pep. Zlatan v Aguero Whoever City put up front instead. It has the recipe to be a classic. Or a boring 1-0. The kind of 1-0 that has made Jose’s career.
United have taken this Premier Leagues season in their stride so far, even using Fergie time last match out. Scraping past Hull 1-0 wasn’t part of the plan, but Jose won’t care. He’s here to win titles and annoy Wenger. And you can bet he’s already done the second one. I think United have to be considered favourites for this one, I don’t know how City will score. The Reds have looked very organised at the back and are defending as a team again. A really tough opposition for any team.
City will be cursing Aguero’s short temper which has lead to his 3 game ban and missing this match. He would have been key to their plans because he can unlock any defence on his day. Without him they may have to go with Nolito slightly out of position or young gun Iheanacho. Either one will be faced with a tough ask, but it is at the back that could be worse. They have looked leaky so far, and with a new keeper coming in it might be a long 90 minutes for City fans, but I don’t expect any huge scores.
These two are both teams that have failed to impress so far in the Premier League for different reasons. Last year the Cherries were a great attacking force, but so far have only managed 2 goals. Callum Wilson has failed to reach the previous heights, and no-one else has stepped up. When Bournemouth can’t score they’re vulnerable, can they turn it around? I think Eddie Howe can do it.
West Brom have looked very average so far, and fans are restless. Only two goals as well and a frustrating 0-0 draw against new Premier League side Middlesbrough have not helped anything, and they really need Rondon to start firing it they’re to avoid a relegation scrap this year. It’s not going to be enough yet, but Pulis has time.
Boro have started exactly how they would have hoped. Unbeaten after three and their new signing Negredo picking up goals. The only dent in their record so far is the fact they are yet to score and not concede. The 0-0 draw at West Brom will not bother them, but they will need to pick up 1-0 wins if they want to stay in the league longer than a year. Currently they look good value to stay up.
Palace. What has happened here? Christmas last year they were challenging for Europe. Now they’ve got the lowest shot conversion rate in the league. Yes they’ve signed Benteke in an effort to change this, but it will take time. Remy has returned to Chelsea after an injury, can they improve? I don’t think they’re going to start straight away, but they’ve got the team to do it.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – AUGUST 27: Marko Arnautovic of Stoke City during the Premier League match between Everton and Stoke City at Goodison Park on August 27, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images)
Stoke City v Spurs
I think I say this every week, but Stoke look a decent squad. They haven’t had the results they’d want but their squad looks good. The Deadline day addition of Bony on loan until January is a great one for the, as he’s a striker that will fit with the direct and fast play that Hughes wants, and he’s a proven Premier League goalscorer. Will it be enough to trouble Spurs this week? I’m not so sure.
Spurs haven’t really set the world alight so far, but have shown solidity. One goal scored per game means that Harry Kane is still yet to score a Premier League goal in August, and he’ll want to start scoring now. 1-1, 1-0, 1-1 is not what the Spurs faithful would have wanted to start with. However they have made some additions, and they need to start scoring. Spurs to win.
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Burnley v Hull City
Burnley would have taken 3 points from their opening three games, but Dyche will want more consistency. Losing to Swansea to then beat Liverpool, followed by being crushed at Chelsea is a bit up and down. I worry they could hall straight back down, they don’t look like a side you can bet on. Goals may also be harder to come by is Gray gets a suspension.
Hull have been the surprise package so far, but tasted defeat last time out. Can they bounce back? Or will that simply be the start of their decline to where everyone predicted they would be? It’s hard to be that dramatic, but they might find it hard to win here. I think Burnley are going to scrape a win, but a draw is very likely.
The Hammers have not been consistent, but could have a completely different attacking four to that which lined up against Man City two weeks ago. Payet and Lanzini are back, and Zaza looks set to start. This is a far cry from the days of Boa Morte and Marlon Harewood. If West Ham can get firing, Europe is a real possibility in their first Olympic Stadium season.
Watford have been as inconsistent as everyone predicted. When you change manager you lose a bit of organisation, and it’s hit. Only Etienne Capoue’s goal scoring form has kept them in contention in matches. He’s not the guy you want leading your goal scoring charts. Watford will hope Ighalo and Deeney find their form, because it could be a disastrous season otherwise.
WATFORD, ENGLAND – AUGUST 27: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal scores his sides third goal during the Premier League match between Watford and Arsenal at Vicarage Road on August 27, 2016 in Watford, England. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
Arsenal v Southampton
Loss, Draw, Win. That’s the kind of improvement Arsenal fans want and with two new signings it could be a decent season. Perez isn’t the player the fans wanted, but it’s who they got and he could score a few goals. Ozil and Sanchez remain the key men and if they work well very few can stop them scoring. When Arsenal get in a run of form you wonder who could ever beat them, and they could walk this game.
Southampton have looked better than their results give them credit for. Redmond up front with another striker looks like a great tactical move, and Tadic has looked good but just off the pace. When it comes together for this team they will be hard to beat, solid at back and goalscorers up front. Right now I still think they’re working their way in, and I can’t see them getting anything at the Emirates.
New season, same problems for Liverpool. Good going forward, leaky at the back. When you have Moreno at left back it’s never going to be too tight and when you have Milner covering for you there, you have to wonder what they were doing all transfer window to let that happen. Klopp will get the most out of his players in big games, but passion doesn’t win games against smaller teams. Organisation and game plans do. They need to understand that.
Leicester have looked a shadow of last seasons side. Vardy has been off target, and Mahrez looks distracted. I’m surprised Mahrez is still there, considering all the teams that were chasing him. His head has been turned and Ranieri needs to get him back to his best. Without those two on form goals will be tough to come by, although new signing Slimani will get some and Musa looks a decent acquisition for years to come. Liverpool to edge the match for me.
Swansea don’t look great this year. Their main goal scorers, apart from Siggy, have left them and they look leaky at the back. They may return to a bit of stability in the Premier League, but right now they’re a bit at sea. Their opening day win at Burnley was hardly the stuff of legends, and they’ve looked very average since. I can’t see them living with a re-invigorated Chelsea any time soon.
Chelsea look a completely different side this year, just because Conte is getting more out of the same players. The signing of Kante is a big one, and they will be a tough side to beat all season. No rotation worries, a decent squad and when Hazard is firing he’s World Class. Swansea will have to be at their best just to make sure this doesn’t get silly, Chelsea will win this by a couple of goals.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – AUGUST 27: Romelu Lukaku of Everton during the Premier League match between Everton and Stoke City at Goodison Park on August 27, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images)
Sunderland v Everton
Sunderland are another side yet to really find their feet so far. With a steady hand like Moyes combined with the goalscoring exploits of Premier League veteran Jermain Defoe you have to think they stand a good chance of being safe, but right now it’s not so rosy. Leaky at the back and failure to create too many chances mean only one point from three games. Moyes will be pleased with how some new signings have settled, but he needs a run of good team performances.
Everton’s best singing this window was keeping Lukaku. He is a top striker when on form, and it’s now up to Koeman to get him firing. If he can do that then Everton will win against a lot of big teams, but otherwise the goals may be hard to come by. The deadline day signing of Valencia from West Ham is a strange one, but I like Koeman so we’ll see what he can do. A tight match I reckon, but I think Everton will come out on top.