Premier League Week 8 Picks: Early Score Predictions for Next Round of Games
With the international break upon us, it's time for Premier League managers to sit back, take stock and look ahead to the rest of the season.
Arsenal sit at the top, Sunderland sit at the bottom and there are plenty of teams in between who will be looking to not only gain points on Gameweek 8 but to prove some, too.
With Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool all facing teams outside of the top eight, the pressure will be on Manchester United to pick up all three points at home to Southampton.
Here, we predict the results in all 10 matches and look ahead to three key matchups in Week 8.
|Date, K/O Time||Home Team||Away Team||Prediction|
|Oct 19, 12:45||Newcastle||Liverpool||Liverpool win, 3-1|
|Oct 19, 15:00||Arsenal||Norwich City||Arsenal win, 2-1|
|Oct 19, 15:00||Chelsea||Cardiff City||Chelsea win, 3-1|
|Oct 19, 15:00||Everton||Hull||Everton win, 2-1|
|Oct 19, 15:00||Manchester United||Southampton||United win, 2-1|
|Oct 19, 15:00||Stoke||West Brom||W.Brom win, 2-1|
|Oct 19, 15:00||Swansea||Sunderland||Swansea win, 2-0|
|Oct 19, 17:30||West Ham||Manchester City||City win, 2-0|
|Oct 20, 16:00||Aston Villa||Tottenham||Draw, 1-1|
|Oct 21, 20:00||Crystal Palace||Fulham||Fulham win, 3-2|
Manchester United vs. Southampton
Manchester United will be looking to string back-to-back wins together in the league for the first time this season when they welcome an in-form Southampton side to Old Trafford.
After sneaking past Sunderland in Gameweek 7, thanks to two goals from 18-year-old Adnan Januzaj, Manchester United fans will be hoping manager David Moyes uses the international break wisely to reflect on what has gone right and wrong in his first few months in charge.
The defending champions sit ninth in the league, six points off the top spot, and they will face a well-organised Southampton team, who have been one of the surprises of the season so far.
United didn’t look convincing in their win at the Stadium of Light, but performances against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League and Liverpool in the Capital One Cup showed glimpses of what can be expected when their form begins to click in the league.
What is clear, so far, is that David Moyes has yet to settle on his starting XI. The Scot has indulged in some Claudio Ranieri-style tinkering since the season began, which has led to some up-and-down results.
On current form, who is David Moyes' best centre back?
The questions for Moyes are numerous. What’s my best centre-back pairing? Where is Marouane Fellaini best deployed? How can I get the best out of Shinji Kagawa? Who are my starting wingers? Can Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie form the fruitful partnership that their talents merit?
Mauricio Pochettino, on the other hand, has received praise for his tactical acumen since his arrival in the south of England.
His Southampton side have conceded just three goals in the league, which, according to Opta Sports, is just the 20th instance in top-flight history (1888-2013) that a team has shipped as few as three goals in the first seven games.
Pochettino’s biggest problem is the form of Dani Osvaldo, who arrived from Roma for £15 million over the summer, and Rickie Lambert. The strike force has scored just three goals between them in the league this season, and they’ve yet to show they can work together in the same side.
Southampton head to Old Trafford with nothing to lose, but after defeat at home to West Brom, United will be eager for a result in front of their home support.
The pieces are there for Moyes to work with. He just needs to start making the jigsaw.
Prediction: Southampton 1-2 Manchester United
Newcastle vs. Liverpool
The last time there was a goalless draw between these two teams was the 1973/74 season in the old First Division.
The net rattles, and it rattles frequently, whenever Newcastle and Liverpool meet, and that trend looks set to continue when they face off in the early kick-off on October 19.
Over the past few weeks, for Liverpool, it has been all about “SAS"—Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. Since Suarez’s return from suspension the pair have worked impeccably together, interchanging from the middle to the wings with ease.
According to Opta Sports, they have scored 12 goals between them in their nine league starts together, and it could easily be argued that they are the Premier League’s top strike force at the moment.
Liverpool currently sit second in the table, level with Arsenal on points and goal difference, but behind on goals scored. Bar a 1-0 loss at home to Southampton, when Brendan Rogers experimented with four centre-backs, the Anfield outfit have looked strong throughout the park, scoring 11 goals and conceding just five.
Are Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge the best strike force in the Premier League?
Newcastle have lost to Hull and drawn with West Ham at home this year, and it is difficult to see them getting three points against a Liverpool team oozing confidence.
Alan Pardew’s side have leaked 12 goals in seven matches, and they will need to stem the flow if they are to get anything from the Liverpool game.
On a positive note, Loic Remy has begun to show glimpses of the form that drew Newcastle’s attentions to him when he played at Marseille. The striker, who is now on loan from QPR, scored a brace in his team’s 2-1 win away to Cardiff in the last weekend of matches.
In Remy, Yohan Cabaye and Ben Arfa, Newcastle have the individual stars to trouble the Merseyside outfit, but with a stingy defense that hasn’t given up much this season and two in-form strikers, it is difficult to see Liverpool dropping any points in this game.
Prediction: Newcastle 1-3 Liverpool
Aston Villa vs. Tottenham
Aston Villa have been another one of this season’s surprise packages.
Paul Lambert’s side have bagged 10 points from their opening seven matches, but it is the quality of opponent they have played that has impressed the most. Five of their seven opponents to date sit in the top eight of the Premier League table, with wins over Manchester City and Arsenal the highlights on their early-season form book.
Bar any setbacks during the international break, their top goalscorer Christian Benteke is expected to return for the visit of Spurs after missing the last two weeks with a hip injury.
Aston Villa are playing with a confidence that eluded them last season, but they will be up against it when they face a Spurs side that will be gunning for all three points after a bitter home defeat to West Ham dampened the optimism around White Hart Lane.
It would be easy to put Tottenham’s defeat in the London derby down to bad luck, but there are few areas Andre Villas Boas will need to look at before the game.
Too often against West Ham, Spurs looked narrow. With an abundance of riches in central midfield, the temptation is to fit as many of them into the starting XI as possible. But this makes them predicable, which was demonstrated in their lack of chances against the Hammers, who easily stifled their attacks by packing men behind the ball in the centre of midfield.
Should Andre Villas Boas be starting Erik Lamela?
Their £30 million record-signing Erik Lamela has spent most of his time on the bench since his summer arrival from Roma, but the winger could offer Villas Boas the answer to some of his problems.
Lamela would provide an outlet out wide, and he could be the key that unlocks Roberto Soldado’s potential up front.
The Spanish striker has yet to score from open play in the Premier League this season, but he hasn’t had the service befitting of a player with his one-touch finishing abilities. His 59 goals in 101 appearances for Valencia tell you all you need to know about his eye for goal.
It will be interesting to see how Villas Boas sets up his side at Villa Park, but it could be indicative of how he plans to approach the rest of the season.
Prediction: Aston Villa 1-2 Tottenham
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