Hello one and all and welcome back to the weekly installment of Dief’s Premier League matchweek preview where we will cover the absolute MAYHEM week 8 was and take you through what Matchweek 9 has in store for us. Matchweek 8 of the Premier League is certainly the biggest of the season and has brought on many big story lines that give the ‘big 6’ sides all different fates. After just 8 weeks and I’m already loving this season, but alright let’s get to it: what did matchweek 8 bring to us.
Honestly, I don’t even know where to start, so bare with me here. Starting simple, the top of the table remains unchanged after a THRILLER end of the match between Liverpool and Leicester City gifted Mr. Consistency himself, James Milner a penalty kick in which he coolly slotted away. Harsh on the Foxes? Certainly, but don’t undermine Jurgen Klopp’s men’s ability to grind results and stay perfect after EIGHT games (Leicester is also the real deal, don’t sleep on them). The other side of Merseyside endured a much different fate… with a 0-1 loss to Burnley, Everton now sit in the relegation zone after what was supposed to be a very promising season. The city of Manchester’s world flipped upside down this weekend, with United in full crisis mode after 19 year old Matty Longstaff sealed a 1-0 win for Newcastle and a very late Adama Traore brace secured a HUGE 2-0 upset over Manchester City. City trail Liverpool by 8 points already, and Manchester United suffer their worst ever start in the modern era… spooky times over in Manchester.
In London, Tottenham join United in crisis mode after another embarrassing loss, this time to Brighton & Hove Albion while their London counterparts both secured victories. Elsewhere, Aston Villa have completely dampened Norwich’s bright start after battering the Canaries 5-1 in their own ground. With that, let’s dive right into what to expect from PL Matchweek 9!
MANCHESTER UNITED V LIVERPOOL (Old Trafford)
Undoubtedly this weekend’s biggest matchup, picture perfect Liverpool go up against crisis-plagued Manchester United. With their best start in history, Liverpool have all the confidence in the world against a team on the brink of disaster and a managerial sacking. United have failed to score in back-to-back games, with a 0-0 draw against AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League doing Ole no favors. Struggling to score goals and put them in the net against relatively subpar opposition spells a very bad time for United to face off against Jurgen Klopp’s super team. Thrilling wins against Salsburg and Leicester for Liverpool will want them to secure clearer victories against a team they obviously know is struggling at the moment. For Ole, this very well could (basically) spell the end of his short career at the helm of Manchester United despite such a bright start. I’m gonna be a bit ballsy on this one and say 3-0 Liverpool
EVERTON VS WEST HAM UNITED (Goodison Park)
Is it a headlining game? Probably not, however, it would be wrong to undermine the value of this fixture at this point in the season. It a way, it is a tale between two ends of the table, with 8th placed West Ham (1 point above Tottenham) playing relegation zone dwellers Everton (18th place). With 4 PL losses in a row, Everton have HUGELY disappointed, especially with the quality squad they have at their disposal. Giving up goals and struggling to score them is a disaster for any team and despite a quality squad on the matchday sheet, they can’t muster up anything as a cohesive team. West Ham on the other hand have one win in their last 5 but still find themselves at a 0 GD and just 2 points out of the top 4. I see Everton continuing their struggles so I say 3-1 West Ham United
LEICESTER CITY VS BURNLEY (King Power Stadium)
If I wrote this in the 2014-15 season, you’d think this match would only be important in settling who was getting relegated. Fast forward to now and Leicester have won a Premier League title and have continued to be a dominant force and even Burnley has qualified for Europe since then and have hit some good form this campaign already. Leicester currently sit in 4th, completely deserved and have put in some scary good performances for Brendan Rodgers this season. A Harry Maguire-less defense has not left anything of a void and Jamie Vardy continues to fire from all cylinders with James Maddison running the show in the midfield. Burnley have been predictably defensively dogged and currently boast a +2 GD, greatly due to early season form from Ashley Barnes up top. This top-half clash between two sides separated by just 2 points can shake up the table with this result I see going the Foxes way, 2-1 Leicester for me.
MANCHESTER CITY VS CRYSTAL PALACE (Selhurst Park)
Not much to say on this one, only chose it because Manchester City got BAMBOOZLED by Wolves last PL matchweek. Last time City lost, they hammered Watford 8-0… so this could certainly be a game that helps out your fantasy PL team so stay tuned, should be a goal fest. I say 4-1 Manchester City win
- Aston Villa v Brighton & Hove Albion: 2-1 Aston Villa win
- Bournemouth v Norwich City – 3-0 Bournemouth win
- Chelsea v Newcastle – 3-0 Chelsea win
- Tottenham v Watford – 2-0 Tottenham win
- Wolves v Southampton – 3-0 Wolves win
- Arsenal v Sheffield United – 2-1 Arsenal win
THINGS TO WATCH
- Moise Kean – Can he step up for the struggling Toffees?
- Ole’ – How will he set-up and respond to the MASSIVE pressure ahead of the Liverpool fixture?
- Pulisic – Will he start? Will he make a substitute cameo? Will he be in the matchday squad?
Written by: Andrew Diefenderfer (@diefdorf)