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Hindsight's Premier League Predictions

EMOTIONAL RETURN: Jose Mourinho

JOSE MOURINHO makes an emotional return to Stamford Bridge when Manchester United face Chelsea on Sunday. The Portuguese manager left west London in dubious circumstances last term and will be keen to do well at his old hunting ground.

I would expect Mourinho to park the proverbial bus, much as his team did at Anfield last Monday, in order to avoid defeat. He will look to gain a point or more with counter attacking football. He has, however, to be aware of any Hazards!

All matches at 3pm unless otherwise stated

Saturday, October 22

Bournemouth - Tottenham 12.30
In the corresponding fixture a year ago, the north Londoners hammered Bournemouth 5-1. However, I expect this Saturday lunchtime fixture to be much more competitive. Yes, Spurs are in good form but the seaside outfit will be keen on revenge and are in good shape themselves having put six past hapless Hull City last time out. Cherries’ loanee Jack Wilshere will be extra keen to do well with his strong Arsenal connection. All even at the final whistle.

Arsenal - Middlesbrough
It is always dangerous to predict matches in the Premier League but I would not be surprised if second placed Arsenal hit four or more goals against a Boro side that leak goals and can’t hit the target. The Gunners will have too much pace, power and movement for the top flight new boys. Chief tormentor could be Theo Walcott. Arsene Wenger has, however slowly, assembled another squad of players with genuine title aspirations. Comfortable three points for the hosts.

Burnley - Everton
Having taken a hiding at St. Mary’s the last thing Sean Dyche’s Clarets required was a visit from a team with genuine Champions League ambitions. The home side always provide true grit but their last two PL seasons have ended in relegation and I don’t expect them to buck that trend come May 2017. Away ‘keeper Maarten Stekelenburg saved two penalties to ensure that his team earned a draw at Man City last time out; he can almost be guaranteed an easier afternoon at Turf Moor. Away win.

Hull - Stoke
Just days after Hull manager Mike Phelan puts pen to paper to become the permanent Tigers’ boss, then his team concede six goals away to Bournemouth. No doubt he read his team the riot act and got them in for extra training as a result. Stoke have won one game all season and that only arrived last Saturday against doomed Sunderland. At the minute Stoke midfielder Joe Allen can’t stop scoring and he might fancy his chances at Hull. Three more points for Stoke.

Leicester - Crystal Palace
The reigning champions are in grave danger of providing the worst ever defence of the Premier League crown. As it stands they are already out of the title race and have just 8 points after eight games having lost four their fixtures. Much more of that type of form and they might just have a relegation battle on their hands - amazing. Palace allowed West Ham to visit Selhurst Park last weekend and steal all three points. Despite that defeat I can see the Eagles soaring at the King Power Stadium.

Swansea - Watford
The south Wales side certainly showed their battling qualities during the 3-2 loss at Emirates Stadium last time out. Manager Bob Bradley will need more of the same from his troops when they face the Hornets. Watford are not pulling up trees in the same way that they did last term but in skipper Troy Deeney and the superbly named Isaac Success they have a strikeforce that can trouble most defences. On the bench Watford have another goal threat in Odion Ighalo. All even at the final whistle.

West Ham - Sunderland
Having won at Crystal Palace the Hammers will now be out to nail relegation certainties Sunderland. That said, the London Stadium hoodoo might be waiting to strike yet again. I would not put it past former United striker Jermain Defoe to get himself a goal against his former employers. The hosts will rely on the energetic Simone Zaza to lead their own line. The Italian is not prolific but he does have an energy and drive that his colleagues feed off. Happy Hammers.

Liverpool - West Brom 17.30
Feisty West Brom will be no pushovers at Anfield. But they will have to be at their resilient best to fend off one of the best attacking teams in the division. But the Baggies know how to spoil a party so the hosts will have to be wary. Jurgen Klopp’s men have been a joy to watch this term and their opening day success at Emirates Stadium has proven to be no fluke. However, despite their attacking flair there is the thought that Liverpool’s defence can be got at. More joy for rampant Reds!

Sunday, October 23

Man City - Southampton 13.30
I can see impressive Southampton denying City all three points at the Eitihad. Not too long ago the home side looked like they would romp away with the title, how things have changed. Defeat to Spurs and a draw against Everton has made things tight at the top and the Saints will provide serious opposition. Charlie Austin is in good form for the visitors and will look to add to the goal he notched against Burnley on Sunday. Saints make their point.

Chelsea - Man United 16.00
The Voice of Sport will be at Stamford Bridge as former Blues’ boss Jose Mourinho returns to west London with his new club. After his controversial departure from west London last season I have no doubt that his former players will be pumped up to put one over the Portuguese. After a blip, Chelsea are beginning to climb the table. They will have to fully focused and the likes of Eden Hazard and the time bomb that is Diego Costa will be ready to rumble. No joy for Jose in what will be an emotional return.

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