EPL Week 10 - Saturday Preview Part 1

EPL Week 10 - Saturday Preview Part 1

Sunderland v Arsenal @ Stadium of Light

It's joint top of the table against bottom as Arsenal travel to reeling Sunderland for the Saturday lunchtime kickoff at the Stadium of Light. The Gunners blew their chance to be the outright leaders of the Premier League with a curiously flat performance in a 0-0 stalemate at home to struggling Middlesbrough. The nightmare start for David Moyes continued last week as a controversial late goal saw Sunderland go down 1-0 to West Ham at the London Stadium. Sunderland have just 2 points from 9 matches and are already 5 points from safety after just 9 rounds. The pressure already appears to be getting to Moyes who was sent off for foul language to an official in the mid-week EFL Cup loss to Southampton. Sunderland have a wretched record against Arsenal, winning just one of their last 25 games against the Gunners, including 9 draws. When the sides met last year at the Stadium of Light the Gunners were frustrated by a 0-0 draw which all but ended their title hopes. 

Verdict - Arsenal 3 Sunderland 1

I think the Gunners can bounce back after their strangely flat performance last week. Expect Moyes to set his stall and try and get everyone behind the ball and make it difficult. However if the Gunners get the first goal here it could be all one way traffic. 

Manchester United v Burnley @ Old Trafford

Manchester United will be desperate to get back to winning ways when they face Burnley at Old Trafford on Saturday Afternoon. Jose Mourinho gota much needed win during the week in the EFL Cup, as United overcame a vastly under-strength Manchester City 1-0 to reach the quarter finals of the competition. However, Mourinho suffered the worst day of his Premier League career as a Manager when United were thrashed 4-0 at his old stomping ground Stamford Bridge last Sunday. United have won just one of their last six Premier League games and can ill afford another slip up here. Burnley are coming fresh off another big scalp, holding on to knock over Everton 1-0 at home. However, they have struggled on the road conceding 3 goals in each of their last 3 matches away from home. The last time these two sides met in the Premier League was back in February of 2015 when United ran out 3-1 winners. 

Verdict - Man United 2 Burnley 0

United have not played too badly at home this season and despite being in poor form should have too much for Burnley. Their League Cup win over rivals City during the week was just the confidence boost they needed and, while I don't expect a load of goals, they should win comfortably.  

Middlesbrough v Bournemouth @ Riverside Stadium

This is the first ever top flight meeting between Middlesborough and Bournemouth as they clash at the Riverside on Saturday Afternoon. The home side are winless in their last five Premier League matches and are living desperately above the relegation zone having claimed just 7 points from their opening 8 fixtures. However they will have been encouraged by managing to hold Arsenal to a 0-0 draw at the Emirates last Saturday. Middlesbrough had the better of the chances and could easily have ended up claiming a memorable victory on the day. Bournemouth put in a typically robust performance at home as they held a strong Tottenham Hotspur outfit to a 0-0 draw. Eddie Howe's side have put a slow start to the season behind them to surge up to 10th place, however their away form has been far less convincing. 

Verdict - Middelsbrough 1 Bournemouth 1

Expect this game to be tight with Middlesbrough having a good opportunity to bag just their second win of the season. They have an opportunity here as, despite Bournemouth sitting 7 places above them on the table, Bournemouth are yet to register a victory on the road this year. 

Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City @ White Hart Lane

Tottenham will be looking to get back to winning ways when they host the Champions, Leicester City, at White Hart Lane on Saturday Afternoon. Just six months ago, these two sides were stunningly going toe to toe for the title. However Spurs' challenge petered out late and Leicester wrapped up the title in comfortable fashion. Spurs are just 1 point from the lead after 9 weeks, and have made their best start to the season in the Premier League era. It has been a different story for the Foxes who are rooted in 12th spot after just 3 wins from their opening 9 games. Leicester's form against the big guns has been rotten away from home, suffering heavy defeats at Liverpool, United and Chelsea. Their fabled water tight defence of last season has been a lot leakier this year, conceding 15 goals already this season. When the sides last met at White Hart Lane in January, the visitors secured a famous 1-0 victory thanks to a late goal from Robert Huth as they marched their way towards an improbable title. 

Verdict - Tottenham 2 Leicester 0

Leicester are clearly not the same side this season, particularly on the road. Spurs let a golden opportunity for the title slip last year, and the loss to Leicester at White Hart Lane was especially damaging. I expect them to get a token of revenge here with a fairly routine win. 

Watford v Hull @ Vicerage Road

Watford and Hull clash at Vicarage Road in the first ever meeting between the two clubs in the top flight. Watford have made a positive start to life under Walter Materazzi, sitting in relative comfort in 9th place with 12 points from their opening 9 games. Hull are on a wretched run of form having claimed just 1 point from their last 7 matches, after winning their opening two fixtures. Hull have also suffered a big injury blow, with captain and top goalscorer Robert Snodgrass out with injury, as problems mount for manager Mike Phelan. Hull have a good record at Watford having won 3 of their last 4 matches at Vicarage Road including their last trip there in April 2012. 

Verdict - Watford 3 Hull 1

Things appear to be falling apart for Hull and I can't see them arresting the slide here. Watford have been decent this year, particularly at home, and I see them getting at a leaky Hull defence and running out easy winners at Vicarage Road.