Disclaimer: This series is examining the games days prior to matchday, there is always the possibility for injuries, coach selections, etc. They may be updated to reflect most accurate starting lineup.
Liverpool v. Southampton
Location: Anfield, Liverpool
Livepool come off of a great win over Tottenham which they controlled pretty much from the opening whistle. Michael Vorm won the Man of the Match (MOTM) for his performance saving Tottenham, and that’s exactly what it was, it could have been far worse. Liverpool seems to be on cruise control so far in the season and now it’ll be all about keeping this level of performance up. I don’t think that Southampton will be much of a contest for this side, they should run laps around Southampton.
Burnley v. AFC Bournemouth
Location: Turf Moor, Burnley
Burnley have a pretty solid hold on last place in the league right now which only 1 point taken from 5 games and a goal difference of -7. Burnley is tied for 3rd in the fewest goals scored in the Premier League, only trailing the 18th/19th place teams who have managed to score a few more and to concede a few less. Burnley have looked really outclassed at this point in time and have definitely become favorites for the drop this season, and their performances thus far support this idea. They need to improve dramatically to compete with their competition — they really haven’t played many of the top teams (they have one game against Manchester United) at this point in the season and they still have a poor point haul.
AFC Bournemouth came out firing this last week, and they’ve shown that they have the potential for a great season this year. The cherries are holding down the 5th position right now averaging a solid 2 points/game. If they are able to continue on this pace and get to 76 points, they would have finished 4th in the league last year. I’m not ready to hand them entrance to the UEFA Europa League just yet, as they’ve only played 1 game against the big six which they’ve lost so maintaining the current pace might be a little optimistic. Though, they’ve shown that a top half finish is definitely within reach.
Brighton & Hove Albion v. Tottenham Hotspurs
Location: Falmer Stadium, Brighton
Tottenham have played the most big six games of any team so far this season with 2 matches played, one of which was a dominant performance over Manchester United and the other was a substantially less impressive loss to Liverpool. Their man of the match kept them in this game, and it could have been much worse for Tottenham as they were completely played off the pitch in their last game. I think that if their form can rebound, the game against Brighton is very winnable and could get them back on track. They currently occupy sixth place, though there’s not substantial separation for most sides at this point in the season.
West Ham United v. Chelsea
Location: London Stadium
West Ham is coming off their first win of the season with a great performance over a distinctly average Everton side. That said, they put 3 goals past current England keeper Jordan Pickford and have maybe given hope for those of us that thought they would have good showing in the league this year with the ridiculous amount of free talent they recieved and what they were able to purchase in addition. Surprisingly, a big chunk of that talent didn’t play in their best game (Fredericks and Wilshere), but considering the stature of the opponent, I think we can expect a decent spell of form now.
Chelsea continued their fine vein of form with 5 wins in five opportunities to join Liverpool at the top position. Their control of the match against Cardiff wasn’t anything unexpected, though they were very good with their finishing and attacking chances. Chelsea definitely had help from eventual MOTM Hazard who scored a hat trick in route to a brilliant performance. I think that this is indicative of a continuation of this form as well, because Hazard’s performances haven’t been as prolific so far this season as their title winning year and this is probably a very, very welcome sight for Blues fans.
Arsenal v. Everton
Location: Emirates Stadium
Arsenal has seen a pretty dramatic change in their recent form under Emery, there were some definite struggles early on in the season but I think that most of that is due to tactical differences between Emery and Wenger. His side seem to be learning to gel and what the manager is wanting in situations. The performance over Newcastle is by far Newcastle’s worst defeat of the season as they allowed 4 goals and really didn’t seem to have much opportunity to get back in the match. So, I think Arsenal can take a lot away from that performance and carry it into the next match against an Everton sided that just gave a very poor (to date) West Ham side their first win of the sesaon.
Everton has to be expecting more from this side, they brought in Marco Silva and spent rather freely. They currently reside in 12th place, and have charges against them (involving Silva) that could result in the loss of additional points (rumor I’m hearing is 3) for improper advances towards their now-manager. Richarlison was the side early on, but even his performances have started to fade some. I think that Everton really needs to start winning some of these draws, I know that Silva has been courted by the Toffees for some time, but the on field product is lacking. Their long-term pursuit is likely to give him a little more leash, but the exact length of that remains to be seen, but a mid-table finish is unlikely to be acceptable.
Last Updated: September 17, 2018
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