Gameweek 5 didn’t provide too many shocks, apart from Chelsea blowing a healthy 2-0 lead to draw 3-3 against Southampton. Liverpool were also held to a draw against Everton, after a little bit of VAR controversy.
Jordan Henderson picked out a beautiful pass, finding Sadio Mane… only to be declared offside after putting the ball into the net. If you missed it, take a look at this!
It’s not the highest definition image, but there’s definitely an argument to be had that Mane isn’t offside at all. Liverpool have requested a formal review of this VAR decision, which will be interesting.
Now we look towards gameweek 6, which sees the highlight of the weekend as Manchester United vs Chelsea. There’s a few more juicy clashes though, we like the look of the Aston Villa vs Leeds United game, aswell as Arsenal vs Leicester.
We are going to provide a small preview, stating our thoughts & how we think things could pan out. We aren’t providing betting tips, or odds.
Aston Villa vs Leeds United
Aston Villa have really hit the ground running. They seem to be picking up result after result, none more jaw-dropping than the 7-2 victory against Liverpool.
However, last weekends victory against Leicester is just as important, although they scored 6 less goals. Last season Aston Villa struggled for points, narrowly avoiding relegation. They’ve already achieved 30% of last years total, just 4 games in. Providing they don’t slip up against other relegation candidates, they can extend their stay in the Premier League.
Leeds United will provide a good challenge for Aston Villa, as they already have against Liverpool & Man City. Everyone expected Leeds to hit the ground running, and they’ve started fairly strongly. I can’t see past a dominant Leeds United performance here.
Aston Villa 0 – 2 Leeds United
West Ham vs Manchester City
West Ham are tasting blood, after completing a magnificent comeback against Spurs last Sunday. From 3-0 down, they managed to recover thanks to a vicious shot from Manuel Lanini. The truth is, West Ham are playing really inconsistent this season. Before Tottenham, they had been crushed 4-1 by Everton. The weekend before this, they beat Wolves 4-1!
Manchester City also beat Wolves, on opening day, but they’ve also been quite inconsistent. They should be competing for the Premeir League once more, but they haven’t started going just yet. A 5-2 defeat to Leicester highlighted the need for improvement, but also led to the once-champions opening their chequebook. Ruben Dias was added to the ranks, to steady things up in defence.
They’re unbeaten since this, drawing to Leeds & beating Arsenal last weekend. Things are looking up for Manchester City, but they need to be aware that West Ham are happy to cause another upset.
Briefly looking at this fixture, you would think that the Citizens have it in the bag. However, it’s going to be tougher than first thought.
West Ham United 2 – 2 Manchester City
Fulham vs Crystal Palace
Fulham need their first win to kickstart their campaign. We thought their luck was in, until Billy Sharp netted a late penalty last weekend. We are now 5 games in but Fulham have racked up just a single point. It’s looking worrying at this point, as they’re well off the pace. It doesn’t help that other potential relegation candidates have started strong. Leeds look like they’ve been in the Premier League for years & Aston Villa are on fire. Their saving grace is that Burnley are really struggling at the moment, but also West Brom are failing to gain any momentum.
Crystal Palace sit in 13th, which is around where they tend to finish most years. This means that they’ve started pretty consistently & they shouldn’t face any troubles keeping Fulham quiet. I don’t think it will be the highlight of the weekend, but a comfortable Crystal Palace win is my prediction.
Fulham 0 – 2 Crystal Palace
Manchester Utd vs Chelsea
Is this the most unpredictable tie of the weekend? Since 2019 I’ve felt uncomfortable predicting Man Utd whatsoever, as you just don’t know when they’re going to turn up. Even last weekend, I watched it thinking they played fairly poor, but they came out with a 4-1 win. You probably don’t need reminding, but this was after they were destroyed 6-1 by Tottenham.
Chelsea completely dominated the transfer window, adding players which would improve any team. Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell & Hakim Ziyech. Last weekend, we had a glimpse of what they could offer. Timo Werner looked impressive as a striker, but they were let down with their defensive game.
I think this one could either be a 0-0 borefest, or an all out classic. Man Utd vs Chelsea is a fixture which rarely disappoints fans, occasionally witnessing a Red Card also! I predict a tight one, but think Chelsea will edge the victory.
Chelsea play Sevilla midweek, whilst Man Utd travel to Paris for Champions League Action. These could either apply momentum to each team, or show more defensive fragility.
Man Utd 2 – 3 Chelsea
Liverpool vs Sheffield United
Liverpool will be shell-shocked the events which led to the 2-2 draw against Everton. They were millimeters away from 3 points, before VAR ruined their afternoon. To make matters worse, they lost their defensive powerhouse, when Virgil Van Dijk was clattered by Jordan Pickford.
It was a rather wreckless attempt at a tackle, which somehow didn’t see red. Virgil Van Dijk now faces at least 6 months on the sidelines, which isn’t good news. The icing on the cake? Thiago also suffered an injury which will keep him out of the team for around a fortnight.
Liverpool will be out to get revenge, as Klopp often likes to. I can see this being a high-scoring affair. A one-sided one!
It’s been a hard time for Chris Wilder, who only picked up his first point of the 2020/21 season last weekend. It wasn’t pretty, a 1-1 draw against Fulham. Compared to the highs of the last campaign, Sheffield United have dropped off completely. Their lack of goals is a worry, scoring just twice so far this season. One of these were a penalty too.
Liverpool 3 – 0 Sheffield United
Southampton vs Everton
The Ralph Hassenhutl project as Southampton is starting to take shape. Southampton showed huge dedication to the cause by refusing all offers for Danny Ings, which could have destroyed Ralphs project before it had time to get started. They showed their fighting power by pinning Chelsea back for a 3-3 draw, although they also showed their weakness in defence. Currently sat in 11th place, I think any Saints fan would take that at the end of the season. They have a big test this weekend, in-form Everton.
The truth is, there aren’t many teams that would like to play Everton now. The only saving grace is that Richarlison was handed a red card in the 2-2 draw against Liverpool, meaning one less headache.
However, he wasn’t the direct threat. Dominic Calvert-Lewin & James Rodriguez have been the main contributors. Carlo Ancelotti has managed to work his wonders yet again, with Everton unbeaten. I predict this will be a different challenge for Everton though, where they will be forced to work hard for the full 90 minutes if they’re to get the 3 points.
With Jordan Pickford in goal, anything could happen. I predict a high scoring affair, with focus on fast counter attacks.
Southampton 2 – 3 Everton
Wolves vs Newcastle
We haven’t seen the Wolves that have been shocking the Premier League for the last few seasons. They’ve got rid of Diogo Jota, but he alone shouldn’t cause this downfall. The 4-0 loss to West Ham is a huge defeat, although they did get 3 points last weekend against Fulham. Narrowly winning 1-0, it’s not the performance that you’d expect from a squad with such flair.
Newcastle will be looking for points, after their 4-1 loss to Manchester United last weekend. The scoreline didn’t match the performance, with Newcastle looking the better team for spells of the game.
I think this will be a tight one, but Wolves should just get over the line once more.
Wolves 1 – 0 Newcastle
Arsenal vs Leicester
Arsenal are an interesting team to watch this year. We are starting to see Arteta’s philosophy being implemented in the games, but they’re still struggling against the ‘Big 6’. They beat Liverpool in the EFL Cup, but lost to them & Man City in the Premier League. They are the hardest teams to play at the moment though, so it’s not a complete write off.
There’s a good feeling at the Emirated in general, with the addition of Thomas Partey & Gabriel adding to the ranks. We haven’t seen what Partey can do yet, but we know he was great in Madrid. There’s a great chance that Arsenal could finish in the Top 4 this season, although competition will be there until the very end. Leicester will provide a good challenge, and it’s hard not to like what Brendan Rodgers is doing in the East Midlands.
Although Leicester lost last weekend to Aston Villa, they provided a positive performance which was deserving of points. They hosted Villa without Vardy, who they have come to rely on for goals. The next challenge for Leicester will be an Arsenal team that aren’t as consistent as they’d like to be.
This will be a tight affair, but I expect Arsenal to hold Leicester off… just about.
Arsenal 1 – 0 Leicester
Brighton vs West Brom
This isn’t the most exciting tie of the weekend, by any means. Brighton have started off better than the baggies, although they will be concerned by the amount of goals they have conceded.
WBA have picked up just a single point this campaign, well off the pace for survival. The point they scored was a fantastic 3-3 draw against Chelsea, but at the end of the season it’s all about the points total, not the one off result.
Brighton 2 – 1 West Bromwich Albion
Burnley vs Tottenham
Burnley haven’t had the best of starts. Sitting 20th, with zero points after three games, we’ve all come to learn what Sean Dyche can do tactically. He usually manages to scrape the points… but this hasn’t gone to plan yet. Losses against Leicester, Newcastle & Southampton which were games that you’d expect them to nick a point… or maybe even all three.
Tottenham are a fascinating team to watch. Their 6-1 demolition of Man Utd will be a result which Jose Mourinho remembers for a long time. However, their inability to see off a game is becoming astonishing. From 3-0 up against West Ham, all the way back to 3-3 in the dying seconds.
It begs the question of how many goals Spurs must score, before they’re happy that they’ve won the game. Three goals is usually the sweet spot, but at the moment they need to play until the final whistle. Is is a lack of focus? Experience?
I expect Spurs to win this one, but I would also expect Burnley to score.
Burnley 1 – 2 Tottenham
Let’s see how things pan out next weekend! There’s some Champions League football on offer midweek, which can always cause some disruption to the weekend fixtures.