West Ham v. Tottenham
This week's Premier League news has been dominated by the return of Jose Mourinho. The "humble one" takes over a Spurs team in flux, but has made all the right noises. In what is a clear change of direction for Daniel Levy, results will be the name of the game as Spurs come up against London nemesis West Ham, coached by Jose's nemesis Pellegrini. West Ham is in wretched form, but in a derby, form counts for very little and the West Ham team will be up for this game, and the crowd will certainly add to a hostile reception for the away team. The head is saying this a 1-1 type of game, but I am going to go with my heart and back Jose to continue his record of winning every first game when he takes over, and go with 1-0 Spurs (Son).
Arsenal v. Southampton
Another North London club not loving life at the moment. It is a mark of how the pendulum has swung, in that Arsenal fans are calling for the board to pounce on Pochettino! On paper, Arsenal should be winning this game 4-0, particularly as Southampton are not in the best of form either. Arsenal always has different ideas though, and will probably make hard work of this but I doubt Southampton will have enough to hold out of 90 minutes. 2-0 Arsenal.
Everton v. Norwich
After beating City, Norwich has been in free-fall. The high number of injuries don't help, and it is clear Farke needs to halt this form before the heavy December period. Everton is under pressure too, but their quality should see them through here with a 3-0 win for the Toffees. Richarlison amongst the goals. Will NCFC win a game again this year?
Bournemouth v. Wolves
The Cherries are strong at home and play open free-flowing football. Wolves have a similar blueprint, with a little more pragmatism. If it doesn't work out at Spurs for Jose, these two will be in the running for that job, showing how well they have done in their roles. In this game, both will be keen to keep it tight for the first 20 minutes, and then open up the game as it wears on. Eddie Howe will want his team to use their pace to move in between the wing-back and centre-back combinations of Wolves, expect King to have a big game. Wolves will want to push their full-backs forward but it is a dangerous game against the Cherries but they are a wily team on the counter and I see this as a 1-1.
Watford v. Burnley
The monkey is off their back, Watford will be happy to welcome Burnley to their home. Burnley is quite content to survive in the PL and will aim to come away with at least a point, therefore, expect a frustrating game from them. Again this has the makings of a 1-1 but I'll back Watford to ride their luck a little more and win 2-1. Is the Barnes train back on track after a goal 2 weeks ago?
Brighton v. Leicester
Battle of pure attack focused teams. Brighton has been strong at home, but there are weaknesses in this lineup. Their defence is better against a team who sit back and allow their midfield to drop back to help. Leicester plays quick-incisive passes and their wing-backs join the midfield allowing players like Maddison and Barnes space to play off Vardy. This game has a Vardy double written all over it, and 2-0 Leicester seems a fair score.
Palace v. Liverpool
Ex Reds manager Hodgson will be keen to do one over his old team. Palace has the same game plan for most games, relying on tight midfield and pressing the opposition into mistakes away from their box. Zaha is the danger man, but I can't see Liverpool being troubled too much. Their team is settled, and have been riding their luck along the way. It should go to form, especially with LFC believing this is their season. I predict 0-0 half time with LFC coming out 2-0 winners at the end. Mane to get in on the goals?
Man City v. Chelsea
Bumper clash of the weekend! For the second game week in a row, City finds themselves in the major game of the week. Chelsea is on form, and Lampard has them playing exciting football with goals coming from various sources. The break may have halted their form, and there is a certain amount of naivety in their play due to youth, the question is: can City exploit this? Pep has had time to re-focus his troops and they will be angry and motivated to win. At home, Aguero is absolutely deadly, and I expect him to get some goals here. City has a suspect defence, Angelino looks good going forward but not so secure getting back. 3-2 City.
Sheffield Utd v. Man Utd
Sheffield Utd. are a form team, and performing beyond what was expected of them. They are comfortable in their style, hard to break down and their forwards work hard to create chances. A creative Burnley if you will, and they will make it hard for Utd by playing a midfield-based game. United have Martial back, and Rashford is feeling in form. United have been inconsistent away from home this season, and I'll go for Wilder's team to take a 1-0 lead and Man Utd drawing level deep in the second half.
Villa v. Newcastle
Massive game for both teams, knowing that these type of games represent a vault away from each other and that much closer to safety. Many had predicted both these teams to go down before the season had even begun. Newcastle has played some tidy football and managed to bank points in games few would have expected (Spurs) whilst Villa are very creative and have been unlucky in a fair few games not to get more out of it (Spurs). Villa will go all out for the win and NUFC will defend hard, expect a 1-0 Villa win here.
anyone else have some predictions? I look forward to Chippo's as always