This weekend in the Premier League brings up the prospect of some very breathtaking matchups. But, when isn’t that the case when it comes to England—am I right?
Anyways, Chelsea kick-off the footballing feast early on Saturday when they take on defending champions Leicester City at Stamford Bridge. Although Leicester’s eyes will be on the midweek Champions League fixture against FC Copenhagen on Tuesday, Ranieri will likely field his best lineup.
Danny Drinkwater could miss the game due to a groin injury, which also restricted him from playing for England during this international break. Other than that, there’s no major concern for the Foxes fitness-wise.
For Chelsea, the club’s current Player of the Season Willian is highly likely to be going amiss, as he is currently recovering from the passing of his mother, who died fighting against cancer and had her funeral Thursday. Chelsea released an official statement earlier yesterday sending their thoughts and deepest condolences to Willian and his family.
As for the game itself, there is no reason we cannot witness yet another thriller. Chelsea are bound to be the team attacking—as the home team—and that suits Leicester perfectly, who’ll have Jamie Vardy lurking to add to his 2 goals for the season so far.
Prediction: Chelsea have bounced back well with a victory over Hull to nullify the bruises of their defeats against Liverpool and Arsenal. From the periphery, it seems as if the Blues will simply want it more on the day, as Leicester’s players will have their mind set on the UCL, and thus Conte’s men will run out winners by a narrow margin (3-2).
In the second set of kick-offs on Saturday, Manchester City host Everton at the Etihad after enduring a first defeat of the season against Spurs last time out. Obviously, City will be out to prove a point; that they’re title material, and not an early season Prince Charming.
However, they might find it difficult against a side as well-equipped as Everton. The midfield will arguably be the biggest decider as Idrissa Gueye’s form has been tremendous help to the Toffees’ form this season, which can only spell concern for the likes of Silva and Gündoğan of City.
With that said, Everton, although capable of producing a result, are off the back of a draw and a loss in their last two fixtures. That pattern is likely to continue against the Citizens.
Prediction: City to win comfortably, but Everton to get at least one goal (3-1).
The most trivial of the weekend’s fixture list lines up Liverpool against Manchester United in one of the biggest rivalries of English football. The Reds are flying high under Jürgen Klopp, who, once again, is making Anfield dream. Since losing to Burnley in the second gameweek of the season, Liverpool have yet to concede defeat.
On the other hand, dubbed ‘title challengers’ by many before the season started, Mourinho’s United have only just surpassed early struggles by comprehensively beating Leicester before drawing against Stoke City. Questions will be raised once more should the Red Devils succumb to their oldest arch-rivals, and pressure will mount uncontrollably and without mercy.
Prediction: Mourinho will stick with a defensive shape for this game to combat the Reds’ wealth of fast and furious counter-attackers. Chances may become hard to come by. Expect a draw (1-1) or a narrow victory for either side (2-1).