Friday, October 6, 2023

Premier League Week 8 Preview

One match takes center stage this weekend as Manchester City goes to the Emirates to face Arsenal on Sunday. Arsenal is a mere point behind table leading Manchester City as the first and second place finishers from last season square off in their first confrontation of the new Premier League season. Arsenal overcame a long injury list to cruise in impressive fashion over Bournemouth last week but then were tripped up midweek in Champions League by Lens. Limping out of that Lens match with a muscle injury was Arsenal star Bukayo Saka whose availability and fitness are now questionable for Sunday. The Gunners are already expected to be without forward Gariel Martinelli for a sixth consecutive match. Manchester City, meanwhile, will be without suspended defensive midfielder Rodri. The Citizens dropped their first points of the season last weekend at Wolverhampton, and it will be an irascible group of Citizens which heads to London this weekend looking to extend their winning streak over Arsenal Manager Mikel Arteta to eight matches as Arteta has failed to manage a victory versus his former club. 

Tottenham Hotspur could take over the table lead based on a Manchester City and Arsenal draw or the margin of an Arsenal victory. Spurs are level on points with Arsenal, technically second by virtue of more goals scored, as Manager Ange Postecoglou’s undefeated side head to Luton Town. The Hatters have lost five of seven matches to date in their first ever Premier League season.

Liverpool rounds out the current top four though that standing could be in jeopardy this week at sixth place Brighton on Sunday. Brighton Manager Roberto De Zerbi has two wins and a draw in his three meetings with Liverpool Manger Jurgen Klopp. De Zerbi’s Seagulls have won five of their seven league matches on the strength of the league’s highest scoring attack which has provided cover for an extremely vulnerable defense. Liverpool incurred its only loss of the season last week at Tottenham Hotspur where it was victimized by egregious officiating. The controversial defeat ended a 17-match unbeaten Premier League run for the Reds.

Newcastle is on a six-match unbeaten run across all competitions as the 8th place Magpies head to 7th place West Ham on Sunday. Contributions come from all directions for Newcastle Manager Eddie Howe’s side as ten different players have scored for the Magpies, more goal scorers than any other Premier League side this season.

West Ham has gotten a huge boost from transfer addition James Ward-Prowse. The former Southampton midfielder, who will make his 350th Premier League appearance this week, has two goals and three assists after seven matches. Dating to last season with the Saints, Ward-Prowse has nine goal involvements in his last ten appearances.

Aston Villa is just a point outside the top four as they head to Wolverhampton where Manchester City was ambushed last week. Despite their lofty standing in the Premier League table, Villa remains unpredictable. Easily defeated in losses to Liverpool and Newcastle, Aston Villa crushed Brighton last week only to struggle with Zrinjski in the Europa Conference League on Thursday.

Manchester United will be trying to avoid losing a third consecutive home loss for the first time since 1977 when it hosts Brentford on Saturday. The Bees haven’t presented many problems at Old Trafford in the past. Their last victory there came in 1937 and they’ve never scored at Old Trafford in the Premier League.

Crystal Palace could have trouble scoring when the Eagles face Nottingham Forest at Selhurst Park. Eberechi Eze is out with a hamstring problem, joining Michae Olise on the injury list. Striker Edouard Odsonne has had some good moments this season, but he could be deprived of service with his club’s top two creators sidelined. Worse yet, Edouard could also be questionable with his own hamstring problem. Nottingham Forest thus has an improved chance to win for just a second time in 15 Premier League away matches for the Tricky Trees.

Chelsea will be trying to win back-to-back Premier League matches for the first time since March when the Blues visit Burnley. The Clarets were midweek winners over Luton town in a rescheduled match which gave Vincent Kompany his first win as a Premier League manager.

Everton Manger Sean Dyche is squarely on the hot seat after last weekend’s home loss to Luton Town. The Toffees are off to their worst home campaign in 65 years after losing all four of their Goodison Park league matches this season. On the other hand, Bournemouth hasn’t won a home or away match as they try again versus the Toffees on Saturday.

Sheffield United are the only other winless team in the league. The Blades are at Fulham on Saturday. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment: