With the next batch of Premier League fixtures fast approaching, Henry Jackson predicts the outcome of three upcoming matches.
Liverpool’s next league outing cannot come soon enough, as they look to banish the horrid memory of last Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Man United.
Brendan Rodgers and his side will be desperate to bounce back at home to Norwich City on Sunday, with more dropped points bordering on unthinkable.
Thursday’s 1-1 draw at Bordeaux in the Europa League, though played with glimpses of promise, will have done little to reduce the pressure.
There are a number of standout fixtures in the so-called ‘best league in the world’ in the coming days; here we predict how three will pan out.
Liverpool vs Norwich (Sunday, 4pm)
The wave of negativity spreading across Liverpool fans at the moment is pretty bleak, with Rodgers now under real threat of losing his job in the near future.
The performance at Old Trafford was simply not good enough, and a huge response is needed when Alex Neil’s Norwich side visit Anfield.
The Canaries are fresh off the back of a resounding 3-1 win at home to fellow promoted side Bournemouth, and their exciting brand of football has the ability to cause an upset on Merseyside.
Wes Hoolahan is a hugely underrated footballer, and very much Norwich’s version of David Silva. The 33-year-old’s creativity and eye for goal make him a real threat.
Cameron Jerome is a striker who, despite being a little erratic, has the pace and power to cause Dejan Lovren and Martin Skrtel real problems throughout.
The return of Philippe Coutinho will act as a huge boost for the Reds, and his influence in attacking midfield should give the team are a far better look to it.
It will be a tough afternoon for Rodgers and his side against a talented unit, but they will overcome a few scares to earn all three points.
Prediction: HOME WIN
The Blues have endured a miserable start to the campaign, winning just one of their first five matches, and their title bid already looks in tatters.
The likes of Branislav Ivanovic, Nemanja Matic, Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa are all out of form, and Jose Mourinho’s side look leggy and lacking focus.
The Gunners have quietly gone about their business in many ways, although the form of Francis Coquelin, Laurent Koscielny and Mesut Ozil has been eye-catching.
Theo Walcott is doing his best to convince Arsene Wenger that he should now be first-choice in a central striker role, and his speed and movement could be a great outlet at Stamford Bridge on Saturday lunchtime.
Wenger is still waiting for his first ever win over Mourinho, and this weekend could be his best ever chance to achieve that.
Chelsea look vulnerable to say the least, but while the hosts won’t win the game, the Gunners will miss the chance to really stick the boot into their rivals.
Prediction: SCORE DRAW
Swansea vs Everton (Saturday, 3pm)
This could be an intriguing match-up between two of the Premier League‘s most in-form teams.
Former Red Jonjo Shelvey is enjoying some excellent form with the Welsh outfit, while Andre Ayew and Bafetimbi Gomis have started the season in inspired goalscoring form.
John Stones continues to look a future world-beater at centre-back, while the balance Gareth Barry and James McCarthy gives the side is brilliantly understated. Romelu Lukaku is always a threat in attack too.
The Liberty Stadium is becoming one of the toughest grounds to visit in the league, and despite their impressive form, Everton will be another side to feel the wrath of Garry Monk’s team there.
Prediction: HOME WIN
Elsewhere: Aston Villa vs. West Brom, Bournemouth vs Sunderland, Newcastle Utd vs. Watford, Stoke City vs. Leicester City (Saturday 3pm), Man City vs West Ham (5.30pm), Tottenham vs. Crystal Palace (Sunday 1.30pm), Southampton vs. Man Utd (4pm).
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