Premier League Week 8 Fixtures: Full Slate of Predictions and TV Coverage
The Premier League returns to our screens this weekend after a two-week hiatus, and the schedule has thrown up some enticing matchups for us to sink our teeth into.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City will all be hopeful of three points as they take on opposition that linger in the bottom half of the table, but there are other games with interesting storylines weaving through them.
|Date, K/O Time||TV||Home||Away||Prediction|
|Oct 19, 12:45 BST / 07:45 ET||BT Sport, NBC Sports||Newcastle||Liverpool||Liverpool win, 3-1|
|Oct 19, 15:00 BST / 10:00 ET||Arsenal||Norwich City||Arsenal win, 2-1|
|Oct 19, 15:00 BST / 10:00 ET||Chelsea||Cardiff City||Chelsea win, 3-1|
|Oct 19, 15:00 BST / 10:00 ET||Everton||Hull||Everton win, 2-1|
|Oct 19, 15:00 BST / 10:00 ET||NBC Sports||Manchester United||Southampton||United win, 2-1|
|Oct 19, 15:00 BST / 10:00 ET||Stoke||West Brom||W.Brom win, 2-1|
|Oct 19, 15:00 BST / 10:00 ET||Swansea||Sunderland||Swansea win, 2-0|
|Oct 19, 17:30 BST / 12:30 ET||Sky Sports 1, NBC||West Ham||Manchester City||City win, 2-0|
|Oct 20, 16:00 BST / 11:00 ET||Sky Sports 1, NBC Sports||Aston Villa||Tottenham||Draw, 1-1|
|Oct 21, 20:00 BST / 15:00 ET||Sky Sports 1, NBC Sports||Crystal Palace||Fulham||Fulham win, 3-2|
Mauricio Pochettino takes his in-form Southampton team to Old Trafford. The Saints, who have conceded just two goals this season, will pose an interesting challenge for Manchester United as David Moyes looks to build on his team’s win at Sunderland.
The outcome of the match between Crystal Palace and Fulham could determine which manager—Martin Jol or Ian Holloway—remains in their job next week, while Cardiff boss Malky Mackay will be looking to put his recent quarrel with owner Vincent Tan behind him as his side travel to Stamford Bridge.
Here’s an in-depth look at the reasoning behind some of the predictions.
Crystal Palace 2-3 Fulham
Darren Bent’s late winner handed Fulham all three points in their last game at home to Stoke, but their performance won’t have eased concerns around Craven Cottage.
The West London outfit had nine shots on goal—two on target—in comparison to Stoke’s 16, and they had just 44 percent share of possession. They currently sit fourth bottom with seven points from seven matches, four clear of Crystal Palace, and although it’s too early in the season for talk of relegation six-pointers, it will feel that way for Jol and Holloway, who have been under immense pressure in recent weeks.
Unlike Holloway, Jol has a group of players at his disposal with proven Premier League experience—Damien Duff, Darren Bent, Dimitar Berbatov, Brede Hangeland and Steve Sidwell, to name a few. The Dutchman’s most pressing challenge will be getting them to perform consistently week in and week out.
67 - Since August 2008 Darren Bent has scored 67 PL goals, only three players (RVP, Rooney & Lampard) have more in that period. Reliable.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 5, 2013
If the experienced heads start combining with the so-called “flashier” players like Bryan Ruiz, Hugo Rodallega and Adel Taarabt, then Fulham should begin their rise up the table. But that’s a big "if."
Holloway, on the other hand, has more serious issues. Crystal Palace have shipped 13 goals so far this season—second only to Sunderland—and by looking at the squad it’s difficult to see where he can turn it around.
Look for Crystal Palace to play Fulham close, but ultimately the personnel at Jol’s disposal will make the difference.
Manchester United 2-1 Southampton
Southampton’s defensive performances haven’t made many headlines this season, but their statistics are nothing short of remarkable. A clean sheet at Anfield has been the highlight, and Pochettino’s men also managed to shut out Swansea, who had recently put four past Valencia in the Europa League, in their last match.
Old Trafford, Manchester United, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney will pose a different challenge, however. If the Saints can put in another solid performance then they will begin to receive the plaudits they merit, but getting something from their trip north will be a tall order.
20 - Southampton are the 20th instance in top-flight history (1888-2013) of a team conceding fewer than 3 goals in their first 7 games. Rare— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 7, 2013
While there are many negatives that still need addressing at Manchester United, Moyes will take positives from the fact that an in-form and, even more importantly, a happy Rooney will take the field.
The Englishman looked sharp during the international break, and if things finally start to click with van Persie, then the Southampton rearguard may struggle to contain them.
Everton 2-1 Hull
Everton have been one of the standout performers of the season so far, and fans on Merseyside will be expecting three points from their game with Hull City this weekend.
Roberto Martinez’s side have started to find goals easier to come by in recent weeks, scoring seven in their last three outings. Their goal-scoring run has coincided with the form of Romelu Lukaku, who has bagged four in the league. The Belgian will be full of confidence after netting twice for his country midweek.
Which player would you prefer to have on your team?
Hull, who have punched above their weight so far, currently sit eighth in the table, one point clear of Manchester United. While they have looked solid in their opening seven games, conceding just seven goals, their lack of a proven goal scorer will unnerve some of their fans.
A deadline-day move for Irish striker Shane Long failed to materialise, and Robbie Brady, who has been responsible for three of their goals, could miss out on the game after undergoing a hernia operation.
Everton’s only loss in the league came away to Manchester City and will be favourites to come away with the win over Steve Bruce’s side.
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