What absolutely will happen in the Premier League this weekend

It could be another difficult afternoon for Chelsea against Watford.

We head into Matchday 9 (if that’s what you call them) of the Premier League season with a few questions: just how knackered are the Chelsea squad already?

Is Michael Appleton the hardest looking caretaker manager in football history? Will Palace ever stop scoring now? 

Fortunately, the Premier League remains a reliably predictable beast. Adam Hurrey is here to let you know what will definitely, definitely happen this weekend…

West Ham v Brighton

Put your mortgage on…

A goalfest! No, not really: West Ham – somehow – have steadied their ship with five clean sheets in their last seven at the London Stadium, while the only team to have scored fewer away goals than Brighton…are Crystal Palace, with zero.

READ MORE: Exclusive – Conte a dead man walking at Chelsea

READ MORE: Hodgson can turn Palace into a top-10 team

The match, according to Ceefax…

The match according to Ceefax

Most likely headline in the morning paper…

BILIC BOOSTED AS HAMMERS LEAPFROG SEAGULLS

Chelsea v Watford

Put your mortgage on…

Antonio Conte nearing his breaking point. After his stretched, stressed side fell short against Crystal Palace – and then nearly fell apart against Roma – one of the last things they need is a visit from Marco Silva’s fourth-placed Watford, fresh from last week’s upset of Arsenal and with a firm eye on opening up a five-point gap between them and their hosts.

It could be a cheap goal or another popped hamstring but, one way or another, Conte is going to blow.

The match, according to Championship Manager 93/94…

Chelsea to suffer late woe?

Retro indulgence

Modern Footballers Don’t Know They’re Born, Pt. 1,038 – just take a look at this pitch for an FA Cup semi-final in 1970:

Huddersfield v Manchester United

Put your mortgage on…

Jose Mourinho to land another blow in the latest of his many mind games. His targets are innumerable these days, but – if Watford get a result at Stamford Bridge in the early kick-off – he could be ready to turn the screw on the man who succeeded him at Chelsea. Which will almost certainly go down well.

READ MORE: Everton lose stormy tie with Lyon

READ MORE: Giroud nets late winner in Arsenal triumph

READ MORE: The top 5 European scorers of all time

The match, according to a pie chart…

Is this how it will play out?

Most likely headline in the morning paper…

TERRIERS TAMED AS MOURINHO TAKES AIM ON OLD FLAME

Manchester City v Burnley

Put your mortgage on…

Another comprehensive win. An alarming stat emerged this week that Manchester City have made the most free-scoring start to an English league season since 1894. That year, Sunderland won the league, and City were languishing in the second tier alongside some club called Newton Heath. City beat Lincoln 11-3 , but it might not be quite that bad for Burnley at the Etihad in 2017.

The match, according to Championship Manager 93/94…

A look at the teams

Most likely headline in the morning paper

PEP TALK: GUARDIOLA WARNS CITY SLICKERS AGAINST COMPLACENCY

Newcastle v Crystal Palace

Put your mortgage on…

Crystal Palace to break another duck. Having sprung into belated life against Chelsea last weekend, it’s now time to open their goalscoring account on the road. Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend are no orthodox front pairing…and that’s probably their secret weapon.

The match, according to a pie chart…

Enjoy this pie chart

Retro indulgence


Some vintage Peter Beardsley (and his trademark hip-swerve) for Newcastle against Palace back in 1994. We need more Peter Beardsleys.

Stoke v Bournemouth

Put your mortgage on…

Some nostalgic sighing when Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe eventually occupy the same pitch after the big man lopes on for his customary late cameo. Defoe’s World Cup hopes might be regressing back to nothing again, but Crouchy? There’s still a tiny hint of “get him on the plane” about him…

The match, according to Ceefax…

Stoke 2-1 Bournemouth perhaps

Retro indulgence

Just one week short of 17 years ago, Jermain Defoe embarked on a scoring spree of 10 goals in 10 games for then Second Division side Bournemouth. His first victim? Stoke City on their home turf.

Swansea v Leicester

Put your mortgage on…

Michael Appleton to bag three points in his first game as Leicester’s interim manager, and then be asked if “this Premier League lark’s easy isn’t it?” in his post-match interview.

The match, according to a pie chart…

The match in pie chart form

Most likely headline in the morning paper

HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES? LEICESTER BOSS OFF TO A FLYER

Southampton v West Brom

Put your mortgage on…

Mid-table mediocrity. 10th-placed Southampton welcome 11th-placed West Brom to St Mary’s, two teams who have one win in their last 12 games between them – scoring just nine goals in the process.

READ MORE: City or United – who are the title favourites?

READ MORE: Chelsea star’s dressing room revelation

READ MORE: Can Benzema be tempted to Arsenal?

If that doesn’t sound miserable enough, the Saints have won only one of their last ten homes games, while the Baggies just one of their last 13 on the road. If this is the first game on Match of the Day, your correspondent will write next week’s edition of this feature in his pants.

The match, according to Ceefax

Southampton to lose to West Brom?

Most likely headline in the morning paper

SOUND OF THE PULIS: WEST BROM MANAGER HAILS COMEBACK KINGS

Everton v Arsenal

Put your mortgage on…

A lively one. There is something about Goodison Park that seems to guarantee a barnstormer when a big name visits. Throw in Arsenal’s perennial task of proving they can mix it, Ronald Koeman’s unshaven mini-crisis and the fact that Everton fans are now slapping opposition players while holding small children, and that’s more than enough for a Sunday afternoon footballing pantomime.

The match, according to Championship Manager 93/94…

Rooney on target?

Retro indulgence

“Rooney…instant control….”


Tottenham v Liverpool

Put your mortgage on…

Tottenham’s first big Wembley statement in the Premier League. Having slowly adjusted to their cavernous temporary home, Spurs have won against the comprehensive cross-section of Borussia Dortmund, Barnsley and Bournemouth in three different competitions. Liverpool may represent a rather different prospect – mainly because their name doesn’t begin with a “B” – but the time is right for Mauricio Pochettino’s side to make the national stadium their fortress.

The match, according to a pie chart…

Klopp will being going mad on the touchline

Retro indulgence

March 1995: A rip-roaring FA Cup sixth-rounder is decided by a Teddy Sheringham beauty and some clinical Jurgen Klinsmann-ing, and Spurs getting a standing ovation from the Kop.  


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