EPL Week 4 Predictions: Games That Promise Many Goals This Weekend
The international break is almost over, so attention starts to turn back to domestic matters on Wednesday morning as the Premier League resumes this weekend.
Saturday promises to see the league return in style, with eight fixtures over the course of the afternoon, including plenty of interesting storylines around the country—including debuts for the likes of Mesut Ozil and Marouane Fellaini.
Southampton then host West Ham on Sunday before Brendan Rodgers returns to his former stomping ground as Liverpool visit Swansea on Monday.
|Manchester United||to beat||Crystal Palace||Saturday||12.45|
|Aston Villa||to beat||Newcastle United||Saturday||15.00|
|Fulham||to beat||West Brom||Saturday||15.00|
|Hull City||to draw with||Cardiff City||Saturday||15.00|
|Stoke City||to draw with||Manchester City||Saturday||15.00|
|Sunderland||to lose to||Arsenal||Saturday||15.00|
|Tottenham||to beat||Norwich City||Saturday||15.00|
|Everton||to draw with||Chelsea||Saturday||17.30|
|Southampton||to beat||West Ham||Sunday||16.00|
|Swansea||to draw with||Liverpool||Monday||20.00|
BBC Sport—all times BST
Which games, then, threaten to blow away the shackles and offer goals galore on Matchday 4?
Manchester United vs. Crystal Palace, Saturday 12.45 BST (Prediction: 4-0)
David Moyes' Manchester United side have only really opened up in attack on one occasion this season, beating Swansea 4-1 on the opening day of the season thanks to braces from Danny Welbeck and Robin van Persie.
With the visit of newly promoted Crystal Palace to Old Trafford on Saturday, they will hope to demonstrate their attacking capabilities once more in front of an expectant home crowd.
Belgian Fellaini is likely to make his debut for the Red Devils and, with his inclusion alongside Michael Carrick in midfield, Moyes may decide he has enough cover to play two central strikers on this occasion.
am I the only person who is very excited to see Marouane Fellaini play for us next week? the match v. Palace needs to hurry up and be here!— Charles & Dan (@TheBusbyBoys) September 6, 2013
Mexico forward Javier Hernandez will be one player desperate for a chance to shine after an impressive cameo at Liverpool, while Welbeck will hope to build on his two goals scored in England colours against Moldova.
Ian Holloway's side have conceded four goals in three games thus far in the Premier League, but they will be glad if they can escape from Saturday's match with that record relatively unscathed.
Aston Villa vs. Newcastle United, Saturday 15.00 BST (Prediction: 3-0)
In Aston Villa and Newcastle, we see a clash of two attack-minded sides looking to kick on and secure mid-table positions this season.
In order to do so, both will need to improve on their defensive horror shows of last campaign, where only relegated Reading and Wigan conceded more than the pair over the course of the season.
Aston Villa's fast attacking unit, spearheaded by the excellent Christian Benteke, will particularly fancy their chances against Newcastle's defence.
The Magpies followed up an opening-day defeat to Manchester City with two clean sheets, but they are not yet consistent performers as a unit and were lucky not to be beaten by West Ham.
Newcastle opted not to strengthen in the final days of the window but have the likes of Papiss Cisse and Loic Remy as potential threats in attack, while Hatem Ben Arfa is capable of magic.
Hull City vs. Cardiff City, Saturday 15.00 BST (Prediction: 2-2)
The two meetings between these sides last season served up a tasty seven goals, per ESPN, and, with increased firepower in both lineups, the hope must be that the trend continues this campaign.
Both promoted outfits have begun life well in the Premier League, notching an early win under their belts and playing some aesthetically pleasing football.
Cardiff were able to shock Manchester City in Game Week 2, while Hull should not feel too disheartened by defeats to both City and Chelsea—games in which they performed well.
This clash, though, will be seen as a great opportunity to secure a second league win by both sides, and, given the spirit they have shown thus far, neither will take defeat lying down.
It will be an intriguing game to watch and, if creative players Kim Bo-Kyung and Robbie Brady can come to the fore, goals will be on offer for both sides.
Sunderland vs. Arsenal, Saturday 15.00 BST (Prediction: 1-4)
Newly reinforced Arsenal will travel to the Stadium of Light on Saturday with the intention of laying down a marker as to their ambitions this season with new £42.4 million signing Mesut Ozil in tow.
Coming up against a Sunderland side who shipped three goals against Crystal Palace in their last outing, and who will be without captain and centre-back John O'Shea, the Gunners will back themselves to add further to manager Paolo Di Canio's woes.
Can't wait to watch Ozil play, think £40 for Sunderland away was defiantly worth it now— AFC Fisher (@AFC_Fisher) September 2, 2013
Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud have shared five goals between them thus far in the campaign, while the likes of Ozil, Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla reached double figures across all competitions last season. Podolski is currently injured, but Sunderland will still have plenty of threats to monitor.
Di Canio will be hopeful of correcting what has been a poor start to the year for his side and will look to American Jozy Altidore to lead the search for goals. Preventing Arsenal scoring, though, will be his team's biggest challenge.
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