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English Premier League Preview - Gameweek 4 - Part 1

English Premier League Preview - Gameweek 4 - Part 1

Premier League Gameweek four is upon us now the international break is over and it’s once again time to look at domestic football. There’s a lot of interesting matchups in Premier League Matchday four and as always we’ve split out preview up into the early and late games. Early Premier League leaders Tottenham Hotspur travel to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace, while their north London neighbours Arsenal are looking for a first Premier League win of the season at home to Norwich City. Read on for more analysis, match predictions and betting tips.

 

Crystal Palace vs Tottenham Hotspur

 

New manager Nuno Espirito Santo has had an excellent start to the season with his Tottenham Hotspur side and they come into their fourth game of the season with a 100% record and yet to concede a goal. They face a Crystal Palace side also with a new manager in Patrick Vieira, who haa yet to taste victory as Eagles boss.

 

There is hope that summer signing Michael Olise could be fit for this fixture having suffered a lower back injury in pre-season and barring setbacks he could be in the squad for this game. Skipper Luka Milivojevic will also be hopeful of returning in midfield having built up his fitness in the international break. New £14M forward Odsonne Edouard could make his debut up front following his signing from Celtic.

 

While Harry Kane returns from international duty having bagged two more goals for England, Spurs do have issues as a result of the break. Argentines Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso along with Colombian Davinson Sanchez are all ruled out due to quarantine regulations; something that seems particularly unfair on Romero and Lo Celso bearing in mind the farce that was the game between Brazil and Argentina. Spurs could have problems up front with Steven Bergwijn and Son Heung-Min also doubtful, although in defence new signing Emerson Royal could make his debut after his move from Barcelona.

 

Palace haven’t beaten Spurs in their last 12 Premier League meetings dating back to 2015 and have only scored four goals in that run.

 

 

Watford vs Wolves

 

Watford have had a mixed start to the season, with a win against Aston Villa coming before successive defeats to Brighton and Spurs. They face a Wolves side who are winless in their first three games and who are yet to score this season in the Premier League.

 

Forward Joao Pedro could return to the team having missed the start of the season due to a knee injury, while Ozan Tufan could finally make his debut having finally arrived in the UK. Ben Foster and Kiko Femenia are both definitely out with Foster suffering a hamstring injury and Femenia recovering from a groin issue. There is some confusion if Chilean centre-back Francisco Sierralta can be involved after he was not given clearance to join up with his country in the international break.

 

Wolves have also fallen foul of restrictions due to not releasing players, with forward Raul Jimenez blocked from playing after he was not allowed to play for Mexico in the international break. If jimenez can’t play then Wolves Boss Bruno Lage could turn to South Korean striker Hwang Hee-Chan for his Premier League debut following his loan from Bundesliga side RB Leipzig.

 

Watford haven’t lost a league home game since February 1, a run of ten games, while Wolves are on a run of six successive defeats in the Premier League.

 

 

Brentford vs Brighton and Hove Albion

 

Brentford’s start to the season has been okay. The euphoria of an opening day victory against Arsenal has been followed by consecutive draws with Crystal Palace and Aston Villa leaving the Bees in midtable. They face a Brighton side who have picked up consecutive wins against Watford and Everton and who are hungry for more.

 

Brentford boss Thomas Frank will be happy that he has picked up no new injuries in the last few days. Defender Mads Bech Sorenson picked up ligament damage in his right knee in the EFL Cup game with Forest Green and is expected to be out long term. He’s been replaced by Norwegian centre-back Kristoffer Ajer who signed from Celtic in the summer and who is looking to become a fixture in the three man backline.

 

Brighton boss Graeme Potter has to choose between the fit again Solly March and new signing Marc Cucurella for the left wing back slot for this game. Aaron Connolly could also figure having had a slight problem with his glute, and having returned to training he could be in the matchday squad if there are no adverse reactions. Tariq Lamptey will definitely miss out though as he has still to recover from a hamstring problem.

 

These teams have never met in the top flight before. Brighton have won only one of their last nine away games at Brentford, with their last visit being a 3-3 draw in February 2017.

 

 

Arsenal vs Norwich City

 

It’s safe to say the opening part of the season has been a horror show for Arsenal. No wins, no points, no goals scored and a 5-0 battering by Manchester City last time out. Mikel Arteta’s side know that they need to change things around and maybe they face the perfect opposition for that. Norwich haven’t picked up any points either, and while they’ve scored once they’ve conceded 10, including a 5-0 hammering by Manchester City.

 

Arsenal will be without a few players. New signing Takehiro Tomiyasu has yet to receive a work permit to be able to play, which is not what Arteta needs considering his defensive issues. However, Ben White is fit enough to play along with Thomas Partey and Gabriel which should help, while Bernd Leno is not expected to have any problems despite his late return to the team following the German national team having flight isssues. Granit Xhaka is suspended.

 

Norwich could be without Greek forward Christos Tzolis who has suffered some calf problems which might rule him out of this game. If he remains out then Todd Cantwell and Milot Rashica will probably continue to play either side of Finnish forward Teemo Pukki, although American striker Josh Sargent could also push for inclusion. There will also be interest in how full back Max Aarons does following Dortmund’s late push to take the 21-year-old on loan.

 

Last time these two teams met, Arsenal smashed a demoralised Norwich side 4-0 during project restart with the Canaries heading for relegation. The Gunners have only lost two o their 18 Premier League games against Norwich and are unbeaten in seven.

 

 

Manchester United vs Newcastle

 

All eyes in this match will be on Manchester United’s new signing, Portuguese legend Cristiano Ronaldo. The forward has had special dispensation to take the #7 shirt from Edinson Cavani and he is expected to make his second debut in Man United red in this game.

 

Fellow summer signing Jadon Sancho is a slight fitness doubt but he should recover in time to play in this game. However his England team mate Marcus Rashford still isn’t quite fit again after surgery while Brazilian midfielder Fred will not be allowed to play as the Red Devils did not allow him to travel to play for Brazil in the international window.

 

Newcastle continue to have goalkeeper issues with Martin Dubravka ruled out until October due to his wound getting infected while Karl Darlow is still fighting off the affects of Covid. Callum Wilson is out with a thigh injury but Paul Dummett and Isaac Hayden could return to squad consideration after periods out. Paraguayan forward Miguel Almiron will not play however as he too was not allowed to join up with his national squad in the international break.

 

Manchester United have won 26 of their last 36 home league games against Newcastle United. The Magpies have scored first in six of the last eight Premier League games between these two teams, but have only gone on to win two of those games.

 

 

Southampton vs West Ham United

 

It’s been a tough start to the season for Southampton but they will be hopeful that they can build on a good home draw with Manchester United to set themselves up once again for midtable mediocrity. They face a West Ham team who are flying and who are looking to better last season’s European finish.

 

Saints are missing a few players for this game. Stuart Armstrong remains out with a calf injury and he has been joined on the sidelines by Theo Walcott who is out with an unspecified problem. Shane Long has not returned to training following a positive covid test while on international duty. Adam Armstrong and Che Adams will continue to lead the line.

 

Nikola Vlasic could make his debut for West Ham this weekend following his deadline day move from CSKA Moscow. Where he will fit into the West Ham forward line however is a big question. Michail Antonio has been excellent this season, while Jarrod Bowen, Pablo Fornals, and Said Benrahma have played great supporting roles. There is still a question over Kurt Zouma’s availability due to personal issues.

 

Southampton have lost two of their last three home games to West Ham United. Indeed, there is no Premier League team West Ham United have won more against than Southampton.

 

 

Leicester City vs Manchester City

 

Leicester City and Manchester City have had similar starts to this season. The Foxes have had good wins against Norwich City and Wolves sandwiching a hammering from West Ham United, while Manchester City’s opening day defeat to Spurs has been followed by successive 5-0 wins against Norwich and Arsenal.

 

Brendan Rodgers is hopeful of having a couple of players back from injury for this game. Jannik Vestergaard faces a late fitness test while full backs Ricardo Pereira and Ryan Bertrand should be available. Centre-back Jonny Evans could also play some part in this game, but Ayoze Perez is suspended due to a red card.

 

Manchester City could have some real issues for this game due to their goalkeeper situation. Ederson is likely to be banned for this game as he wasn’t allowed to link up with the Brazil squad while American backup keeper Zack Steffen is out suffering from the coronavirus. With Arjanet Muric out on loan in Turkey and Gavin Bazunu on loan to Portsmouth, Pep Guardiola could be forced to field Scott Carson in goal, who has made just one Premier League appearance in more than a decade. Gabriel Jesus is also suspended as he didn’t travel to Brazil, while Aymeric Laporte is suffering with a slight knock.

 

None of the past 11 league meetings between these teams have finished as a draw.

 

 

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