By Aaron Hindhaugh •
Published: 29 Sep 2023 • 9:00
A close-up image of the Premier League's match ball.
It’s a new week and after some midweek Carabao Cup action, the Premier League is ready to return this weekend with some mouthwatering fixtures.
Last week I managed to predict three results correctly and also got the Manchester City 2-0 Nottingham Forest scoreline spot-on, so we’re looking to improve that this time around.
I believe this is one of the toughest games to predict this weekend and will turn out to be a very entraining early kick-off on Saturday afternoon. Both sides were dumped out of the League Cup midweek but have enjoyed strong starts in the Premier League.
Brighton have now lost two out of their last three games across all competitions, potentially hinting that all these games are already playing a factor in their season, and going away to Aston Villa who were embarrassingly beaten handsomely by relegation-threatened Everton will be tough to overcome.
I’m backing Unai Emery to get his Villa side back to winning ways as they pick up a very impressive three points against a Brighton side who’ve already handed losses to both Manchester United and Newcastle United.
This is a repeat of the Carabao Cup third-round clash, even at the same ground, so people may be expecting a Man United walkover on Saturday, but Roy Hodgson did indeed field a heavily-rotated Eagles side, so a heavy defeat was always to be expected.
Eberechi Eze didn’t start on Tuesday and when he was brought into the game he instantly was attacking a vulnerable Man United defence, so having him on from the start will make a massive difference.
Man United have kept just two clean sheets in the league this season, while Palace have scored in all but two games in the Premier League, so I can see a lot of goals in this game, although Man United’s quality will just about get them over the line.
This prediction feels like a pretty safe and locked-in one, although the scoreline could easily go down to 1-0 if Newcastle United’s injury woes don’t improve in the next 48 hours. Eddie Howe revealed that Callum Wilson, Sven Botman, and Alexander Isak all had injuries, while Dan Burn was ill for the Manchester City clash.
Burnley could not have picked a worse time to face the Magpies as they’ve kept four successive clean sheets across all competitions, and are coming off the back of a victory against Man City, so their confidence will be sky-high.
The Clarets are yet to win their first game back in England’s top flight and also have failed to keep a clean sheet, so Newcastle are heavy favourites for this one and I believe they will record a straightforward and comfortable win at home.
Wolves fans will have watched how angry Pep Guardiola was following Man City’s defeat against Newcastle midweek and started fearing the worst because he isn’t the type of manager to allow back-to-back defeats in recent times.
Man City will likely be back to full strength on Saturday, which means the likes of Erling Haaland, Ruben Dias, Kyle Walker, Ederson and Jeremy Doku are expected to start having not done so at St James’ Park.
Gary O’Neil will know that this game isn’t going to define his team’s season, so it’s just about remaining competitive, but I can’t see that happening and fully expect the Premier League champions to run riot at Molineux with a full-strength side.
On paper, this fixture looks like a straightforward Arsenal victory, but with injury doubts lingering over Declan Rice, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli, the Gunners will be just hoping to leave the Vitality Stadium with three points.
The Gunners advanced to the fourth round midweek, although they avoided several scares against Brentford, so they certainly are not firing on all cylinders under Mikel Arteta this campaign, but the Cherries are going to struggle to test them
Andoni Iraola has confirmed that Dominic Solanke suffered an ankle injury against Stoke City, so without his goals, the Cherries become very toothless and that’s why I can see Arsenal getting by with a last-ditch goal and clinching all three points.
This looks to be it for Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom. The Englishman has, rather surprisingly, been handed another game in charge after overseeing an embarrassing 8-0 home defeat against Newcastle last Sunday, although this could well be the final nail in his coffin.
West Ham are yet to lose at home this season and have been playing some good football under David Moyes this term. This, coupled with the fact they have some top-quality players within their ranks, I just can’t see them slipping up against the Blades.
If Heckingbottom was to lose at the London Stadium, then it looks as though he will become the first managerial casualty of the season.
Despite a poor and frustrating start to the season which saw the Toffees fail to score in their first three matches, Sean Dyche seems to have got his side clicking having recorded back-to-back victories across all competitions.
There is simply no excuse for Everton this week, they must win and there is no two ways about it. Luton Town remain winless and looks to be rather doomed after they failed to pick up three points at home last weekend against 10-man Wolves.
I’m backing the Goodison Park crowd to help Everton get over the line in a must-win game, despite only having a few days to rest and recover following their away win against Aston Villa, as they further compound Luton’s Premier League misery.
By far the best and most intriguing game this weekend as Liverpool travel to Tottenham Hotspur with both sides still unbeaten in the Premier League, but I can see Ange Postecoglou tasting defeat for the first time.
Liverpool have been deadly and scary this season with Darwin Nunez looking like he’s finally found confidence and his goalscoring boots with eight goals already to his name, and even when they go behind, the Reds are still likely to win based on this season’s results.
Spurs will have felt as if they left the Emirates with all three points as they came from behind twice, but coming up against a deadly and red-hot Liverpool team is going to be a step too far for Postecoglou and I can see the Reds’ attacking options proving to be too much to handle.
Jurgen Klopp was able to rest a lot of his first-team regulars in the League Cup, so they will be very fresh and ready to keep pace with Manchester City in the title race, although James Maddison and Son Heung-min are certainly going to give the likes of Virgil Van Dijk and Sndy Rpbertson a tough evening.
It looks as though the toll of not having the reliable and dangerous Ivan Toney to call upon is becoming too much for Brentford who’ve now lost three straight games across all competitions and I have a feeling their season could slowly unravel, at least until Toney returns next year.
Forest have looked a lot more defensively solid this season having kept a clean sheet away at Chelsea and are yet to concede more than one goal in a home match this campaign, so Brentford are going to struggle at the City Ground.
The final game of this round is a bit of Monday Night Football and a London derby as Fulham welcome Chelsea to Craven Cottage, but I believe it’s going to round off a bumper weekend with very little excitement.
Fulham and Chelsea have both only scored five goals each in the Premier League this season, which signals a snooze fets, especially when the Blues are going to be without their natural striker, Nicolas Jackson through suspension.
Despite beating Brighton, I can only see Chelsea’s league struggles continuing and being on national TV for everyone to see, while Fulahm welcome a point against a team who’ve had their number in recent years.
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