Chelsea – Arsenal
Much like Anderson’s career, this weekend’s matches burst on to the scene with a bang, but quite rapidly drop off in quality. Although, unlike Anderson, Arsenal needn’t worry about unfulfilled potential – Russia has a better chance of winning the Cold War than Arsenal do of beating this Chelsea side. For those of you that didn’t pay attention in school, Russia has already lost that conflict.
Southampton – West Ham United
It’s a brave new world we find ourselves in. No, not that. I’m talking about watching a West Ham United team without Dmitri Payet. Can you imagine the East London side taking to the field without their talismanic wide man? He had come to embody the potential of the club for Hammers’ fans, and now he’s just gone. I can’t even fathom a team without him. After all, he’s been with West Ham since the heady days of…mid-2015?
West Bromwich Albion – Stoke City
This is it, the match we’ve been waiting for since August – the baseball cap derby! Tony Pulis’ new side takes on his old side, who fired him because of his one-dimensional style of play. Ironically, WBA are now in contention to be one of the league’s more entertaining sides, while Mark Hughes has had to ship off Bojan after ruining the ex-Barça man. Maybe, just maybe, the problem was Stoke, not Pulis. Probably Pulis, though.
Crystal Palace – Sunderland
Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you, the one, the only, Sam Allardici! That’s right folks, after a month and half of performances that were outdone in their turgidness only by their results, Crystal Palace finally have a win! The old Bright Young English Manager™ managed to pummel the new Bright Young English Manager™ two-nothing, away from home! Wait, does that mean Eddie Howe is no longer the future of English football? We’re back to Pardew, aren’t we?
Manchester City – Swansea City
As sure as night follows day, did the footballing media claim that Jesus had ‘saved’ Guardiola’s Manchester City career following his league debut against West Ham. Those lazy hacks, and their clearly pandering religious metaphors. All I will say is that I think Gabriel could point Guardiola towards the path to salvaging his reputation in this foreign land.
Watford – Burnley
Last matchday, I got lazy with Burnley and just backed them to win because they were playing at home. It turned out to be my only accurate prediction. As such, I’m going to stick to my guns and go for another home win today. After all, Burnley are bottom of the away table, with a record that reads ten games played and exactly one point gained. At least their several hundred loyal away fans get to compare pubs across the land. Though, the novelty of it all might be degraded by bouts of irrational depression and drunken anger.
Everton – Bournemouth
Eddie Howe comes into this one with his reputation bruised following a home loss against those entertainers from Crystal Palace. Unfortunately for him, he seems to be coming up against an Everton side that is finally clicking under Ronald Koeman (well, as long you ignore that home loss against Leicester). Then again, that might just be media hype following the Toffees’ 4-0 demolition of Manchester City. Maybe a central defensive partnership of Williams and Funes Mori just isn’t as good as it sounds? No, I’m sure football journalists wouldn’t be so blasé as to believe readers actually want kneejerk opinions.
Hull City – Liverpool
This is quite an intriguing match-up. Two young managers trying to pick up their teams, and hopefully achieve their targets by the end of the season. So, will it be the much-derided Marco Silva, or the charismatic Jurgen Klopp that comes away with a win in what could be a season defining match? It will be Klopp. Definitely Klopp. I would bet my Snoopy pyjamas on it. Stop judging me.
Tottenham – Middlesbrough
Pochettino’s men have been absolutely magnificent this season. Tipped to finished sixth behind the traditional big four plus Manchester City, they have confounded all expectations and soared up the table. Then again, they somehow struggled to beat the might of Wycombe in the FA Cup last weekend. However, that’s why we love football – it’s so brilliantly unpredictable. Then, they drew against Sunderland in midweek. That cost me an easy thirty quid. Bloody unforgivable.
Leicester City – Manchester United
This is an odd one. I am genuinely confused as to what is going to happen here. United have been tremendously terrible recently, dropping points against Hull in midweek. They even managed to lose to the same side in the League Cup, with Oumar Niasse scoring his first goal in over a year! Undoubtedly, though, their biggest disappointment has to be dropping points at home against a Liverpool side that scored one goal in 180 minutes against Plymouth. Then again, Leicester are putting up about as convincing a defence of anything since I tried to explain to my girlfriend that I watch Entourage for the plotline.