EPL Week 11 - Saturday Preview

EPL Week 11 - Saturday Preview

Bournemouth (10th) v Sunderland (20th) @ Vitality Stadium

Sunderland will be desperate to register their first win of the season when they head to the Vitality Stadium to take on Bournemouth on Saturday lunchtime. David Moyes' reign at the Black Cats has got off to a nightmare start, picking up just 2 points from their opening 10 games, already 8 points away from safety with West Ham 17th on 10 points. Bournemouth suffered a 2-0 defeat at Middlesbrough last week continuing their miserable record on the road. However Eddie Howe's men have been hard to beat at home registering 3 wins and a draw from their first 5 home games this season. Bournemouth won 2-0 when the sides last met at the Vitality Stadium last September. 

Verdict - Bournemouth 2 Sunderland 0

Sunderland have to get a win eventually but I won't be picking them here. Bournemouth have played some football at home this year and if they get their noses in front here they could turn this into a one-sided affair. 

Burnley (14th) v Crystal Palace (13th) @ Turf Moor

It's a mid-table struggle at Turf Moor on Saturday as 14th placed Burnley host 13th placed Crystal Palace. Burnley secured a famous 0-0 draw at Old Trafford last week, with some desperate last ditch defending and a wonderful goalkeeping display from Tom Heaton. Burnley have already proved a tough nut to crack at home this season with victories over Liverpool and Everton. Crystal Palace will be looking to arrest a 4-game winless streak despite impressing at times in last week's 4-2 loss to Liverpool at home. Palace ran out 3-2 victors in an entertaining game when the sides last met at Turf Moor back in January. 

Verdict - Burnley 1 Crystal Palace 1

Hard to split these two teams given they are 13th and 14th on the Premier League table. Burnley are a hard team to break down at home, however last week's endeavours at Old Trafford might leave them a little flat and vulnerable here. 

Manchester City (1st) v Middlesbrough (15th) @ Etihad Stadium

Manchester City host newly promoted Middlesbrough with the chance to stay top of the Premier League table on Saturday Afternoon. City have put a recent wobble behind them with an emphatic 4-0 win at West Brom, followed by an astounding 3-1 triumph over Barcelona in the Champions League. It's been very rare for any side to go toe-to-toe with Barcelona over the past 7 years, however City were electrifying at the Etihad on Wednesday Night and fully deserved their victory. Middlesbrough moved out of the bottom 3 and up to 15th with an impressive 2-0 home victory over Bournemouth. Aitor Karanka's men have been competitive in every game this year, however face a tall order against a swashbuckling City side full of confidence. The sides have not met in the Premier League since 2009, however in 2015 they met at the Etihad Stadium in the FA Cup with City running out comfortable 2-0 winners. 

Verdict - Manchester City 4 Middlesbrough 0

City have found their swagger recently after a slump saw them go 6 games winless in all competitions. I think this is the sort of game, if City get an early goal or 2, could turn into a long afternoon for Middlesbrough. 

West Ham (17th) v Stoke (12th) @ London Stadium

Stoke have found their form in recent weeks and will fancy their chances against struggling West Ham when they clash at the London Stadium on Saturday Afternoon. Stoke have won their 3 matches in the Premier League and have 10 points from their last 4 games to elevate themselves to 12th on 12 points. West Ham remain rooted in 17th spot having lost to Everton at Goodison Park last week. All eyes will be on security at the London Stadium after ugly scenes between fighting Hammers and Chelsea fans marred the home side's recent League Cup victory. This will be Stoke's first visit to the London Stadium after they drew 0-0 in the Premier League with the Hammers at Upton Park last season. 

Verdict - Stoke 1 West Ham 0

Going for the Potters here in an upset. Once Stoke hit form they are a disciplined and strong side, and they might be able to capitalise on the vulnerability of the Hammers here. Home has not exactly been a happy hunting ground yet for West Ham with the atmosphere at the London Stadium not like they experienced at Upton Park. 

Chelsea (4th) v Everton (6th) @ Stamford Bridge

Chelsea will be looking to maintain the rage as their new formations get another test against Everton in the late game at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Since Antonio Conte switched to his preferred 3-4-3 formation Chelsea have responded stunningly, winning all 4 games and scoring 11 goals without a single goal conceded. The amazing turnaround has seen the Blues surge to within 1 point of the top of the Premier League, which would have been fanciful after their abject defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal earlier this season. Everton are in 6th place and can close to within a point of the hosts with a victory at Stamford Bridge. Their defence has been impressive this year under new manager Ronald Foeman as they kept another clean sheet in their 2-0 victory over West Ham last week at Goodison Park. Last year, the sides played out a thrilling 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge with a stoppage time goal from John Terry denying the visitors a famous win. 

Verdict - Chelsea 2 Everton 1

Chelsea are playing with confidence right now and the likes of Eden Hazard and Diego Costa appear right at the top of their game. However, Everton always give them a tough game at Stamford Bridge and I expect this encounter to be no different.