Although there is a round of fixtures yet to be played, the structure of the English Premier League allows return legs at this stage hence the return of some of the fixtures that excited a lot and broke the hearts of many simultaneously.
The one that comes to mind the most has to be the part where a certain Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain switched after the first leg of this, his return to the Emirates, where his relationship with the crowd would be a subject of huge interest to everyone, he must win on the ground he trolled after switching or else, would be a very difficult Christmas for him on social media.
Talking first legs and possible outcomes of the second, starting with the epic one at the Emirates, it’s a fifty-fifty affair, Arsenal were well destroyed at Anfield and to make it worse, one of their utilities switched to Anfield and gushed over it on all platforms to rub it on the gunners; man for man, it’s even, balanced, the Liverpool attack is as deadly as the gunners’, with Mo Sallah on this sort of form, expect the Arsenal defence to cave in at his feet at some points.
Arsenal are without Olivier Giroud who limped off in the midweek cup win over Westham, Coquelin should be fine according to Wenger but Ramsey is out until January. Liverpool completed the double over Arsenal last season, recently they have been difficult for Arsenal to deal with and it doesn’t look like stopping this time.
Elsewhere, this is a new sort of Everton, not the one that took turns to be beaten mercilessly by all comers, Chelsea beat them 2:0 at the first leg and could have been more if not for the brilliance of Jordan Pickford.
Recently, it’s been upward and forward for the Toffees under Big Sam, with Chelsea struggling to get past Bournemouth even with first team players, Everton till date has the record of being the only team to stop Manchester City before going on a terrible run that eventually got Ronald Koeman the boot off the shambolic annihilation in the hands of Arsenal, Oumar Niasse is back from suspension after being banned for deceiving the referee to get a penalty.
Chelsea have it all to do here, with top four now the focus, if you agree the blue half of Manchester already took the first place.
Troubled Watford travel to Brighton, a team on their own heights, Chris Hughton has done a great job with these lads, it’s almost certain that they won’t be fighting relegation this season at least, and had Murray converted his penalty against Burnley, it would have been sweeter for these new comers; for Watford, their self destruct button needs to be fixed, for a team that scared the big boys early on, the way they capitulate weekly at the altar of bookings leaves so much to be desired, red cards every other day saw them being destroyed on their own porch last time out as Huddersfield took full advantage without remorse.
Southampton are home to Huddersfield, they narrowly lost to Chelsea last weekend but gave a very good fight from the display at home to Leicester, inconsistency has always been the problem of the saints, one moment they’re holding Arsenal, the next they’re losing shamelessly at home, it has to change if they want some improvements on the log. Huddersfield have turned a corner again, after going five without a result, they capitalized on the disciplinary issues of the Hornets and fired four past them though they had a player sent off too, Southampton will do themselves a lot of favour if they start Charlie Austin and play Dusan Tadic in the hole to feed the English forward who knows how to bully teams like Wagner’s.
Stoke are home to Westbrom, dangerous times for the Potters, so much quality and interesting style under Mark Hughes but results going south always, how the former Blackburn Rovers manager would remain at the helm if he doesn’t win here remains to be seen, the manner in which his team lost to Westham on Monday left so much to be desired. Westbrom were strong in the second half against Manchester United, they gave a good fight but left it too late at Old Trafford, it’s a bigger headache for Mark Hughes as he plays a team needing a result under new management...
Let’s talk about Manchester City or there’s no need? Ask Tottenham for every kind of information you need, but the first leg between the Citizens and the Cherries at the Vitality Stadium, it took a last gasp, in fact, a 97th minute winner from the new golden boy of extra time, Raheem Sterling to hand the runaway champions the win. Bournemouth are very stubborn on the day they want to be, they know just how to lie there and be beaten whenever they want also, with bulk of their players fielded against Chelsea in midweek, they have it all to do against City who had a few of their key men on parade as they needed extra time to dump Leicester from the Carabao cup, City have stronger depth, hence the direction in which this is expected to go, City needs to be stopped at some points, will it be Bournemouth?
Burnley at home to Tottenham is probably the fixture of the round for interesting reasons, Sean Dyche and his men held the Wembley tenants to a 1:1 draw, Chris Wood cancelling Tottenham’s opener at the death. Spurs are struggling with domestic form, Burnley are on a roll, fourth last week before the stalemate at Brighton pushed them down a bit, for a team that is used to the drop zone, they are the overachievers of this season, or are we having another Leicester?
Talking the Foxes, they gave a good fight in the league cup on Tuesday but failed from six yards out, they aren’t so fresh but they play a team not so fresh too, Manchester United, the Red Devils fell to Bristol in midweek even with their lions and elephants on the pitch. Jose Mourinho must be worried, but with how Leicester played Crystal Palace last weekend, any team fielded by the flamboyant Portuguese should do the job, but no two games are the same... always remember.
Westham have turned the corner, they are now a team to be feared, back to back wins for the frst time in the season and away results mean they must be taken seriously, Newcastle are in trouble, they have the worst form in the league, competing with Swansea who eventually gave Paul Clement the boot during the week. Rafael Benitez has to halt the rot, from fifth at some recent points to been down around the red zone.
Crystal Palace will look to pick up from that amazing point where they routed Leicester at KP Stadium, they have Swansea to size up but without their much criticized striker, Christian Benteke who got booked at Leicester, whatever happens, Swansea can only get a draw at best, until then, here’s our take on the games of the round.
Arsenal vs Liverpool
Betting Prediction: Arsenal to win or draw
Everton vs Chelsea
Betting Prediction: Everton to win or draw
Brighton vs Watford
Betting Prediction: Brighton to win or draw
Manchester City vs Bournemouth
Betting Prediction: City to win
Southampton vs Huddersfield
Betting Prediction: Straight draw
Stoke vs Westbrom
Betting Prediction: Westbrom to pick a point at least
Swansea vs Crystal Palace
Betting Prediction: Palace to win or draw
Westham vs Newcastle
Betting Prediction: Westham to win or draw
Burnley vs Tottenham
Betting Prediction: Burnley to win or draw
Leicester vs Manchester United
Betting Prediction: Both teams to score
Strictly the writer’s opinion
This post first appeared on Footballnus | Latest Football News, Live Football, Football Betting Tips, Football Transfers, please read the originial post: here