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Hindsight's Premier League Predictions

SLICKERS: Raheem Sterling (extreme right) and his Man City team mates celebrate a goal earlier this season

AFTER THE Sam Allardyce debacle we can get back to what happens on the field of play this weekend. There is no doubt that the standout fixture is second against first when Tottenham entertain league leaders Manchester City at White Hart Lane on Sunday afternoon.

Both sides will be missing key players but it should be a real thriller in north London. Most of the league pacesetters will be rooting for a draw in a bid to slow the City juggernaut that has seen them win all their top flight fixtures to date.

Winger Raheem Sterling is in the form of his life and could well be a thorn in the home team's side.

All matches at 15.00 unless otherwise stated

Friday, September 30

Everton - Crystal Palace
This contest is likely to produce a few goals. The hosts will be keen to bounce back after an unexpected blip against Bournemouth. Ronald Koeman’s men have made an impressive start to the campaign but there is a feeling they will be short in their top flight ambitions due to a lack of depth in their squad. Palace are on the up and even misfiring forward Christian Benteke managed to get on the scoresheet with his effort against Sunderland. Draw.

Saturday, October 1

Swansea - Liverpool 12.30
The Welsh team must think that the fixture computer has a weird sense of humour. Having been beaten by league leaders Manchester City, they now face a rampant Liverpool team who are scoring goals for fun. There is talk that Swans boss Francesco Guidolin will be replaced by Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs if results don’t improve soon. I expect those agitating for Giggs to take the reins will get their wish following this potential romp for the Reds.

Hull - Chelsea
Both sides will be short on confidence after disastrous results against Liver- pool and Arsenal respectively. Hull, after a quick start, are beginning to find their level. They are 13th with seven points and they will do well to add to that tally. Chelsea must surely win this match after an abject display in north London. I attended the post Arsenal press conference and Blues boss, Antonio Conte, was fuming and rightly so. Most of his men looked disinterested and that is not acceptable to the passionate Italian. Away win.

Sunderland - West Brom
The Black Cats are running out of lives. They were 2-0 up against Palace last Saturday and still did not manage to glean a point. Relegation is a reality for David Moyes, should he remain in post that is. As for West Brom, like most Tony Pulis sides, they are proving hard to beat and have found their shooting boots of late too. The team’s defensive stability has much to do with the likes of stalwarts Jonas Ols- son, Gareth McAuley and Craig Dawson. Confident Baggies add to Moyes woe and make things even darker at the Stadium of Light.

Watford - Bournemouth
There’s a draw written all over this encounter. The home side are a difficult proposition at home but are not exactly watertight in defence. Former Spurs man Etienne Capoue has been in scintillating form for the Hornets and has already notched five goals this term. The visitors, who have at- tractive football as their trademark, put Everton’s noses out of joint last Saturday and will be out for more glory. Will be interesting to see how loanee Jack Wilshere is fitting into his new team.

West Ham - Middlesbrough
The Hammers surely cannot slip up against Middlesbrough can they? All will be revealed by 5pm. If ever Slaven Bilic’s men needed an ‘easy’ fixture this surely would have been a contender. The East Enders are shipping goals and have lost direction. The same could be said of their op- ponents. Burly Spanish attacker Alvaro Negredo, should he turn up, has enough pace and power to give United’s nervous defenders nightmares. But can he deliver after a poor spell at Man City? West Ham will edge this but it won’t be easy!

Sunday, October 2

Man United - Stoke 12.00
Having put the reigning champions to the sword, United will be up for this one. The Red Devils were something like their attacking selves against Leicester but there is still much to do before they can be deemed the finished article. Paul Pogba headed his first goal for the Old Trafford side and there has to be reason to thnk that he will now go on to justify his £90 million fee. Stoke are managed by a former United hero in Mark Hughes but that fact will not save his side from defeat.

Leicester - Southampton 14.15
The champions have lost their edge. They took a thumping from Jose Mourinho’s Man United last weekend and they are already out of the title race. They won’t win the Champions League so the best they can hope to achieve is a positive FA Cup run. I saw the Saints annihilate West Ham on Sunday at the London Stadium and they are looking good with their high energy game. Summer signing Nathan Redmond looks good value for £10 million. Honours even.

Tottenham - Man City 14.15
This mouth-watering clash sees sec- ond play first at White Hart Lane. I fancy Tottenham to get a point at least against Pep Guardiola’s team. Yes, the hosts will be minus talisman and goal scorer supreme, Harry Kane, but in Son Heung-Min they have a player that is proving that he can fill the England man’s boots. But City are the team in form and are unbeaten after six matches. This will be their biggest test to date. They have lost the services of key man Kevin De Bruyne and that could be crucial. Some how, Spurs have to contain Sergio Aguero. Draw.

Burnley - Arsenal 16.30
Turf Moor is never an easy place to go but high flying Arsenal will take the honours on Sunday. After their blitz of Chelsea, the Gunners will be fired up. Their holy trinity of Santi Cazorla, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are in dazzling form and should prove too much for Sean Dyche’s honest but limited men. Burnley will be without forward Andre Gray and that is not useful when facing the central defen- sive partnership of Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi.

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