The Premier League has had its fair share of goalscoring midfielders down the years.
Here’s a look at some Week 9 score predictions and the four midfielders most likely to be wheeling away in celebration this weekend
|EPL Week 9 Predictions|
|Oct. 26, 12:45 p.m BST||Crystal Palace||vs.||Arsenal||Arsenal win, 4-0|
|Oct. 26, 3 p.m BST||Norwich City||vs.||Cardiff City||Norwich win, 2-1|
|Oct. 26, 3 p.m BST||Liverpool||vs.||West Brom||Draw, 2-2|
|Oct. 26, 3 p.m BST||Aston Villa||vs.||Everton||Everton win, 1-0|
|Oct. 26, 3 p.m BST||Manchester United||vs.||Stoke||United win, 3-0|
|Oct. 26, 5:30 p.m BST||Southampton||vs.||Fulham||Southampton win, 2-1|
|Oct. 27, 1:30 p.m BST||Sunderland||vs.||Newcastle||Newcastle win, 2-1|
|Oct. 27, 4 p.m BST||Swansea||vs.||West Ham||Swansea win, 3-1|
|Oct. 27, 4 p.m BST||Tottenham||vs.||Hull||Spurs win, 3-1|
|Oct. 27, 4 p.m BST||Chelsea||vs.||Manchester City||Draw, 2-2|
|Schedule via premierleague.com|
Steven Pienaar vs. Aston Villa
Pienaar returned with a bang last weekend against Hull City after scoring within 10 seconds of entering the game.
The South African midfielder began on the bench in his first match back from a hamstring injury, and with his first touch, he had the crowd off their feet.
While Roberto Martinez has a mass of talent at his disposal in the centre of the park, Pienaar has close to a guaranteed place in the starting XI as a result of his almost telepathic relationship with Leighton Baines.
Everton possessed one of the strongest left-hand sides in the Premier League last year, and now that Pienaar has recovered from injury, he should return to the starting lineup against Aston Villa this weekend.
The Belgian is a handful to deal with, and while providing an aerial threat, he will also keep centre-backs occupied. If Pienaar can find a way to exploit the pockets of space Lukaku creates, as well as get on the end of any knockdowns, he will be rewarded with goals.
Aaron Ramsey vs. Crystal Palace
Ramsey just can’t seem to stop scoring these days. Despite starting last weekend’s match with Norwich on the bench, the Welshman still managed to put in a man-of-the-match performance, capping off his day with a goal and an assist.
During the match, the Arsenal midfielder at times looked Zidane-esque with the ball at the feet—dribbling past defenders, selling dummies for fun, while all the time keeping his balance and composure. He is high on confidence, and with a visit to Crystal Palace this weekend, his stock can only rise.
Palace have conceded 17 goals this season, while scoring just six, and Ramsey will have the freedom to stride around the Selhurst Park pitch with limited responsibilities behind the ball.
In 10 appearances across all competitions, Ramsey has got on the scoresheet six times for Arsenal, while assisting four goals.
His performances may dry up at some stage, but it’s highly doubtful Selhurst Park will be the venue for his dip in form.
Adam Lallana vs. Fulham
Lallana is one of the in-form English midfielders in the Premier League this season. The 25-year-old, who played his first competitive match for Southampton seven seasons ago, has scored twice in his last two league appearances, and with a spot in Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad potentially up for grabs, he will be determined to continue his rich vein of form.
Lallana is traditionally quite a selfless player. Per ESPN FC, he has assisted 29 goals for Southampton in the last three years, but he has also found the net quite frequently, scoring 29 since the start of the 2010/11 season.
The Premier League has posed an entirely different challenge for Lallana, but he has adapted well to life in the top tier since the Saints gained promotion.
With Fulham set to visit St. Mary’s stadium this weekend, Lallana will be confident of getting among the scorers once more. Fulham have kept a clean sheet on the road just once, a 1-0 victory over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in Week 1.
With Southampton forwards Rickie Lambert and Dani Osvaldo struggling to hit their stride—scoring just three goals between them in the league—it’s been left to other players to pick up the slack.
With two in his last two, Lallana has taken the responsibility and run with it. If Southampton grab some goals this weekend, expect Lallana to be amongst them.
Adnan Januzaj vs. Stoke City
Januzaj was rested midweek for the visit of Real Sociedad, but the 18-year-old talent should return for Manchester United’s home game against Stoke.
Still a relative unknown, despite his recent stardom, Januzaj possesses poise and composure on the ball beyond his years. He is one of those players who glides past opponents without appearing to exert too much effort, and with Stoke set to visit Old Trafford, Januzaj has the ability to create headlines once more.
Stoke, despite the efforts of Mark Hughes, remain a physical side. The personnel left over from Tony Pulis’ time in charge are solid players, with good positional sense, but they’re not as agile or creative as other teams around them in the league.
With much of the focus on Rooney, and the threat from the wings, Januzaj should find some space in front of the Stoke back four that he can exploit. The young Belgian isn’t afraid to let fly either. He stung the fingers of Artur Boruc at the weekend, and his two goals against Sunderland are evidence of his composure when bearing down on goal.
Januzaj hasn’t been overawed by the transition to Premier League football, and if he gets a chance on Saturday, he can be counted on to take it.