EPL Week 6 Predictions: Projecting Top Performers and Biggest Surprises
If the first month and change of the Premier League is any indication, we're in for a pretty epic season.
You could make a strong argument that there are six title contenders. Everton has yet to lose. Southampton and Swansea City look dangerous. Manchester United is eighth on the table. The top is controlled by North London, with Arsenal in first and Tottenham in second.
The fun continues this weekend. Here, I'll break down the match of the weekend, a title contender in danger of being upset, my projections for the weekend's top performers and a few surprises I expect we'll see.
Game of the Week: Tottenham vs. Chelsea
It may still only be September, but with so much parity at the top of the table, these early fixtures between top teams are vital.
Tottenham have great depth and few glaring weakness, but do they have a true match winner? Chelsea have enough attacking talent to field a squad solely of midfielders, but does Jose Mourinho have the pulse of this team yet? Will he keep relegating Juan Mata to the bench? Does he have the forward he needs?
This one promises to be a cracker, as both of these teams continue to discover their identity. Give Spurs the slightest of edges here seeing as they are at home.
Title Contender Upset Watch: Swansea City vs. Arsenal
While Arsenal will likely feature first-team fixtures such as Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere, this is a team that seriously lacks depth with Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski all sidelined with knocks.
Arsenal have won four straight Premier League matches, so they are not to be taken lightly, but the Swans are at home, have taken seven points in their last three league games and have seen Michu score in consecutive Premier League ties.
The safe money is still on Arsenal, but the brave money will find its way toward the Swans.
Mesut Ozil has three assists in two Premier League games. In a free-flowing contest against Swansea, expect Ozil to build on an already impressive start to his Premier League career.
Sunderland has leaked goals this season, giving up 11 on the year. In his Premier League debut this season, Luis Suarez will notch a brace.
Newcastle hasn't been much better, giving up eight. Look for Everton's Romelu Lukaku to join Suarez in the brace department.
Scoring goals has come at some difficulty for Fulham, as the team has managed just three in five games. Look for Cardiff City's David Marshall to earn himself a clean sheet at Craven Cottage.
Surprises to Watch For
Despite Lukaku's brace, Newcastle will earn an impressive 2-2 draw at Goodison Park against Everton.
Jozy Altidore will open his account this season against Liverpool (though the Reds will win, 3-1).
Robbie Brady of Hull City will score his third goal of the season against West Ham.
Cardiff City and Norwich City will win on the road.
Swansea will win a deserved draw with Arsenal in an exciting 2-2 matchup.
Hit me up on Twitter—I may call it soccer around my American friends, but I know a thing or two about this footy business.
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