Game week 6 in the EPL and your weekly column is here again. Let’s quickly take a look at this week’s fixtures.
WEST HAM UNITED VS TOTTENHAM
Going into this fixture, The Hammers have not lost in their last three fixtures in all competitions including a 3-0 drubbing of Bolton at home in the Carabao Cup Third Round. Tottenham on the other hand boast of same records to that of the Hammers, taking a 1:0 win over Barnsley in the Carabao Cup to qualify for the next stage. Tottenham will be weary of the harm the harmers can do to their title aspirations as that was the fate they encountered when they were hosted by West Ham in a 1:0 loss in last season’s fixture which ultimately ended their title hopes. Obviously, West Ham come into this fixture as underdogs but a London derby is always full of surprises as West Ham have managed 14 wins in the premier league against Spurs, their highest tally of wins against a single opponent in the competition.
EVERTON VS BOURNEMOUTH
Bournemouth recorded their first win of the season at home to Brighton. Coming from behind to secure all three points with goals from Andrew Surman and the ever present Jermaine Defoe. Manager, Eddie Howe will be hoping the win will spur them on to at least come out with a draw at the Goodison Park. Pressure is also beginning to mount on Ronald Koeman after their 4:0 humiliation at the hands of Manchester United considering 3 of the goals came after the 80th minute mark. He will be eager to get his season back on track with a consecutive win after their win over Sunderland in the Carabao Cup. Everton have won all four of their previous competitive home games against Bournemouth; two Premier League games, one FA Cup and one League Cup match. There have been 19 goals scored in the four Premier League fixtures between Everton and Bournemouth; an average of nearly five per game. The four Premier League meetings between these two clubs have seen eight goals scored in the 80th minute or later.
Everton have lost their last three Premier League games – they haven’t lost four in a row since January 2015. Bournemouth have collected only seven points in their 11 Premier League away games so far in 2017 (W1 D4 L6).The Cherries haven’t been able to find the net in their last two league away matches – they haven’t gone three on the road in league competition without a goal since March 2012 (five in a row).
LEICESTER CITY VS LIVERPOOL
Liverpool drew 1:1 with Burnley at Anfield in game week 5 and then followed it up with a loss to Leicester City in the Carabao Cup to this weekend’s opponents, Leicester City. Jurgen Klopp will be hoping to silence the doubters about the ability of this Liverpool side to challenge for a title this season. Criticism has been rife on his inability to shore up the Liverpool defense as they keep on shipping in goals. A second meeting with Leicester City in the space of a few days affords Klopp the opportunity to have a sweet revenge over Shakespeare’s men. Leicester City have won just two of their last 10 Premier League clashes with Liverpool (D2 L6). However, both those wins have come in the last three games (both at the King Power Stadium).The Foxes last won three home league games in a row against the Reds back between September 1955 and October 1962. The German manager has already lost twice in the Premier League against Leicester City – if Liverpool lose this game, the Foxes will be the first team to beat Jurgen Klopp three times in the competition. Liverpool have attempted a league-high 40 shots on target in their five games so far this season in the Premier League, more than double the tally opponents Leicester City have posted (14).
STOKE CITY VS CHELSEA
After their impressing showing at home to Manchester United, Stoke City lost narrowly to Newcastle United away and will be hoping to make the headlines this weekend against the highflying Chelsea team after their nervy start to the season. Chelsea were unable to score a goal for the first time at the Bridge under Antonio Conte when they faced Arsene Wenger’s team. The Bet365 stadium will be hoping to see a performance reminiscent of the one on display against Manchester United if they are to stand a chance against this Chelsea team. Stoke City have suffered 13 Premier League defeats against Chelsea in the Premier League; more than they have against any other opponent. Chelsea have won seven of their last eight Premier League away matches (W7 D0 L1), scoring at least two goals in six of these wins. Chelsea need a point in this game to reach 1800 Premier League points (currently 1799) – only Arsenal (1829) and Manchester United (2034) have more in the competition. Stoke have only won one of their last 10 Premier League home games against the ‘big six’ clubs (D3 L6), however, they did record a win against Arsenal in their first home game of the season. Chelsea have been given as many red cards in their last five Premier League games (3) as they had in their previous 73.
SOUTHAMPTON VS MAN UTD
Southampton recorded an away win against Crystal Palace and in the process confined them to their 5th consecutive defeat of the season. Currently lying 9th with 8 points, they will be hoping to put the brakes on this United team who have found the back of the net in all of their first 5 fixtures. Scoring a total of 16 goals and conceding 2. United again for the third time scored four goals against an Everton side with three goals coming after the 80th minute and will be hoping Lukaku and the likes will come to the party with their scoring boots. Southampton have lost 24 Premier League games against Manchester United (W7 D5); four more defeats than they have suffered against any other opponent. Manchester United have won 14 of a possible 18 points in their last six Premier League visits to St Mary’s Stadium (W4 D2 L0). Southampton have failed to score in eight of their last 10 Premier League matches at St Mary’s Stadium. Southampton have lost 10 Premier League games in 2017 so far – if they lose this match, they’ll have already equalled their tally of Premier League losses in 2016 (11) with 15 more games scheduled to play following this fixture this calendar year. Manchester United have scored more Premier League goals in the 80th minute or later in games (9) than 17 of the 19 other clubs have scored overall in the competition this season. Eight different players have found the net in the Premier League for Manchester United in their opening five games this season; more than any other side. At this stage last season, they only had four different goal scorers. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Romelu Lukaku have combined for three goals in the Premier League this season (providing assists for goals) – no other partnership has been as profitable in 2017-18 so far. Romelu Lukaku has scored five goals in his first five Premier League games for Manchester United. The player with the most goals after six PL apps for the Red Devils is Louis Saha (six). Lukaku has scored more Premier League goals this season (5) than opponents Southampton (4), despite attempting 47 shots fewer (24 v 71).
MAN CITY VS CRYSTAL PALACE
A daunting task to come away with at least a point at the Etihad Stadium is the hope of Crystal palace who are yet to secure their first points of the season and are yet to score a goal in this season. Roy Hodgson’s return to the Premier League didn’t go according to script as they were beaten 1:0 at home by Southampton. City’s 6-0 victory over Watford last weekend leaves them joint-top with Manchester United going into this weekend’s fixtures. Manchester City have won nine of their last 10 Premier League matches against Crystal Palace, including each of their last four. The Citizens have lost just one of their last 24 Premier League matches at the Etihad Stadium (W14 D9 L1).The last occasion that a team lost their opening six games in a top-flight season and avoided relegation was in 1983-84, when Leicester City ended up in 15th place. Crystal Palace have conceded the first goal in a league-high 31 matches since the start of 2016-17, while only Chelsea (33) have scored the first goal more often than Man City (28) in this period.
ARSENAL VS WEST BROM
Arsenal after their humiliating defeat against Liverpool have found good form going into this game, they played out a goalless draw at the home of Chelsea whiles they missed chances of their own to take the lead. West Brom lie a point above Arsenal and will be hoping they can maintain the gap or go a step better. West Brom won the last league clash between these two clubs; 3-1 at The Hawthorns in March. They haven’t won successive league matches against the Gunners since March 1977. The Baggies have suffered nine defeats away to Arsenal in the Premier League, a joint-high for them in the competition alongside away defeats to Chelsea. West Bromwich Albion have won just five of their last 35 Premier League away matches (W5 D14 L16). This will be the 10th time that Pulis has managed a team at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League – he’s lost every one of the previous nine there with a combined score of 20-3. The Gunners have now won seven successive Premier League games at the Emirates Stadium; their second-best winning run at the stadium in the competition after a nine-match winning streak between December 2014 and April 2015. Alexandre Lacazette has scored in both of his Premier League appearances at the Emirates Stadium so far – no Arsenal player has scored in their opening three appearances at home in the competition. The last Arsenal player to score in their first three home league appearances for the club was Brian Marwood in September 1988.