EPL Predictions This Week
Premier League Games This Weekend
Jose Mourinho, ever the pragmatist, believes that to win the Premier League title you must beat all the small teams and not lose to any the big ones.
In what is setting up to be a barnburner of a season, if the Manchester clubs can get the majority of the points from the bottom 15 clubs in the table, as it looks like they will, how do they navigate the bigger games? We know from history that Jose Mourinho will set out to get at least a point, but how will Pep Guardiola approach them?
Will he do what he always does and go for the jugular or will be borrow a page from his old rival who seems to know the all the tricks when it comes to winning in England?
EPL Predictions Week 7
Chelsea v. Manchester City
This Saturday September 30th at 12:30pm EST, Manchester City who are in blazing form visit Stamford Bridge at the perfect time for any neutral as Chelsea are starting to hit their stride as well. Last season Conte's Chelsea did the double over City not because they were more talented, but because they were managed better and more composed.
Chelsea can win ugly. Manchester City play glorious football but we haven't seen if they can grind out tough games against top opposition. The Blues may just be the toughest opposition the title favorites will face. After drawing nil-nil at home to Arsenal you may have written Chelsea off, only to watch them go to Stoke and obliterate the Potters 4-0 and follow that up by doing what nobody does; beat Atletico Madrid away in the Champions League.
If, with Eden Hazard now fully fit, this is the level Chelsea can play at - they are scary. Manchester City will be in tough. But City's best showings have been away from home this season while Chelsea haven't seemed to get on the right foot at home yet in the Premier League going 1-1-1. If you played this game twice I think at least one of them would be a draw which makes those odds too good to pass on.
Everton vs Burnley
Usually I would love Everton in this spot. That spot being against a bad team at home. I would be advising Everton to win and keep a clean sheet, but now that they play these Europa League fixtures on Thursdays I am hesitant.
They just haven't looked good on Sundays after playing on Thursdays and Burnley have taken points off Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea away from home so I think this is another fixture where Burnley, the underdog can make life miserable and difficult.
Combine that with what I believe are two good defensive units and there is one play that I can put my money down on.
Newcastle vs Liverpool
Otherwise known as The Ballad of Rafael Benitez.
And Newcastle aren't horrible, they look like they've found enough of an early season formula to get points and wind up in the purgatory of being a mid table Premier League outfit which Magpie fans will be quite happy with.
But Sunday, Rafa gets to face the team with whom he has reached his greatest heights; Liverpool. Speaking of the Reds, is there any team that is worse to have your money on at the moment? When is it safe? Even with 2 goals leads you wind up having to sweat it out because their style is so high variance, they can be sublime and comically bad all within the same 5 minutes of a match.
I think Rafa knows this and has told his players that if they just stay composed on Sunday and frustrate Liverpool by sitting deep and defending well at some point, Klopp's men will hand them the game on a silver platter.
For the latest insights all season long you can follow me on twitter @zahir_gilani
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