EPL Week 7 Predictions: Projecting Top Performers and Biggest Surprises

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistOctober 3, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United looks on during the UEFA Champions League Group A match between Manchester United and Bayer Leverkusen at Old Trafford on September 17, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Raise your hand if you predicted both Manchester United and Manchester City to win last week. Okay, you can put your hands down, you cheeky West Brom and Aston Villa fans. 

You never quite know what will happen in the Premier League these days, especially with so much parity atop the table, but I've peered into my crystal ball and discovered who the top performers and biggest surprises will be this weekend. 

Just remember, if I'm wrong it's the crystal ball's fault, not mine. 

Game of the Week: Everton at Manchester City

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24:  Yaya Toure of Manchester City celebrates after scoring the third goal from a free kick during the Capital One Cup third round match between Manchester City and Wigan Athletic at Etihad Stadium on September 24, 2013 in
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

There is only one unbeaten team left in the Premier League, and that is fourth-place Everton. Will the streak end against Manchester City?

Probably. As inconsistent as City can be, they have three wins in three Premier League matches at home this season. It's a stark contrast to their away record (two draws and a loss). 

There's no doubt that Everton has the talent to win this game. Romelu Lukaku is coming off a brace last weekend. Leighton Baines, Kevin Mirallas and Ross Barkley have all been excellent this season. Gareth Barry has really shored up the midfield. This is a very, very good side.

But they can't match City's overall talent, especially at the Etihad. With David Silva and Sergio Aguero back in the fold, City will come away with a 2-1 win. 

Top Performers

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29:  Daniel Sturridge (L) of Liverpool celebrates scoring the opening goal with Luis Suarez during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Liverpool at the Stadium of Light on September 29, 2013 in Sunderla
Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Wayne Rooney is going to torch a Sunderland side that has given up 14 goals in six Premier League games. Look for the revitalized forward to score two goals and add an assist in a 4-0 drubbing desperately needed for the Red Devils. 

Poor Crystal Palace. They face Liverpool this weekend, and even more frightening, they face the duo of Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez. Look for the pair to combine for three goals like they did last weekend and terrorize the Palace back line for 90 minutes. 

Rickie Lambert will double his goal output against Swansea City, notching a brace. Michu won't manage a brace, but he'll score a goal himself and add an assist in this contest. 

Christian Eriksen is going to have himself a match against West Ham, posting two assists for Tottenham.

Asmir Begovic will keep a clean sheet against Fulham, leading Stoke to a scoreless draw in the weekend's most boring game. 

Bold Predictions and Surprises to Watch For

CARDIFF, WALES - SEPTEMBER 22: Fraizer Campbell (R) of Cardiff City passes as Moussa Dembele (L) of Tottenham Hotspur looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Cardiff City and Tottenham Hotspur at Cardiff City Stadium on September 22, 201
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Like Sunderland, Newcastle has been leaking goals, allowing 11 on the season. That's good news for Fraizer Campbell, who will earn the weekend's most surprising brace.

Just as surprising will be when Newcastle overcomes that brace and beats Cardiff City, 3-2.

Southampton has given up just two goals this season. Against Swansea City, that total will double in a 2-2 draw.

Only one team has scored more goals than Arsenal's 13 this season (Manchester City with 14). Only four teams have allowed fewer than the five goals given up by West Brom this season. You might think the underdogs will keep this close, but given how amazing Arsenal has been to start the season—10 straight wins—expect them to destroy West Brom, 3-0, in a lopsided result. 

Chelsea will beat Norwich City, but Ricky van Wolfswinkel will score in the first 10 minutes for the underdogs, putting a scare into the Blues.

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