Just four fixtures into the new Premier League season and we have our first managerial casualty in Frank de Boer, his stint at Crystal Palace being cut short to make way for the return of Roy Hodgson.
Palace will hope the ex-Liverpool boss can turn their fortunes around and finally provide some stability at the club following five managerial changes in the last four years.
Manchester United and Manchester City currently lead the way at the top of the table on ten points while Bournemouth and Crystal Palace have not registered a single point thus far.
Below are my predictions for match day five of Premier League action…
Bournemouth vs Brighton
Joint-bottom of the Premier League Bournemouth welcome newcomers Brighton to the Vitality Stadium looking to pick up their points of the season. The Cherries have had a difficult start to the season, already facing the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal. Brighton picked up their first win of the season against West Brom last time out, but I am backing Bournemouth to end their winless streak in a close game.
Crystal Palace vs Southampton
Bournemouth are joined the bottom of the table by Crystal Palace, whose dreadful start to the season cost new manager de Boer his job after just four games. The Dutchman was replaced by ex-England boss Roy Hodgson who will take his seat in the dugout for the first time against Southampton. The Saints lost 2-0 to Watford in their last outing, and I think Hodgson’s arrival will give the Eagles the lift needed to snatch a narrow victory.
Huddersfield vs Leicester
Huddersfield have made a terrific start to life in the Premier League but suffered their first loss of the season so far at the hands of West Ham. The Terriers weren’t at the races but will welcome a return to home soil. On the contrary, Leicester are without a win in two games, but their tough run of fixtures must be accounted for. I think it’ll be a score draw.
Liverpool vs Burnley
Fresh from their 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City, Liverpool are looking to bounce back against a Burnley side who have made a fantastic start to the new campaign. The Reds are without Sadio Mane due to suspension which will hurt them massively as Burnley are hard to break down. The Clarets are capable of hurting Liverpool on the counter-attack, but Jurgen Klopp’s attackers should be able to secure three points.
Newcastle vs Stoke
After putting their disastrous start behind them, Newcastle have won two on the bounce after finally finding their feet back in the Premier League. Stoke represent a tough test for the Magpies and confidence will be high following a point against Manchester United last week. Newcastle are without a win against the Potters in their last five meetings, and I think a draw is on the cards.
Watford vs Manchester City
Under Marco Silva, Watford have made an excellent start to the season but face a huge test against Pep Guardiola’s in-form Manchester City. Confidence will be high following their demolition of Liverpool as City’s attackers have proved scoring goals will not be an issue this season. The Hornets may be able to have some success against City’s leaky defence, but I’m backing the Citizens to record a comfortable victory.
West Brom vs West Ham
West Ham picked up their long awaited first win of the season on Monday against Huddersfield, relieving some of the pressure on Slaven Bilic’s shoulders. The Hammers faithful will expect their form to continue in the same vein but face a tricky away trip to Tony Pulis’ West Brom. The Baggies have made a solid start to the season and have the home advantage meaning I can see both sides walking away with a point.
Tottenham vs Swansea
Spurs will be looking to make sure their ‘Wembley hoodoo’ is finally put to bed as they welcome Swansea to their temporary home ground in the Saturday tea time kick off. Mauricio Pochettino’s men were impressive against Everton, even more so against Borussia Dortmund in midweek. Swansea struggled against Newcastle, and I can’t see them having any luck against the Lilywhites with Harry Kane back on form.
Chelsea vs Arsenal
Kicking off super Sunday is a London-derby between Chelsea and Arsenal – a fixture that always lives up to expectation. Chelsea have won four on the spin after losing to Burnley on the opening day and look to have got their groove back. Arsenal have yet to get going, but a 3-1 victory over Cologne will be a welcome confidence boost. I think Chelsea’s attacking threat will be too much for Arsenal’s makeshift defence.
Manchester United vs. Everton
The final fixture of the match day sees Wayne Rooney return to Old Trafford with Everton to face former club Manchester United. Ex-Everton forward Romelu Lukaku is expected to start against his former side looking to continue his excellent form since making the £75m switch to Old Trafford. The Toffees have struggled for goals since his departure and were hammered 3-0 by Atlanta in mid-week. I’m backing the Red Devils to keep the victories flowing.
Leave your predictions down below and check back next week to see how you scored!