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English Premier League Preview - Gameweek 5

English Premier League Preview - Gameweek 5

Premier League Gameweek five follows hot on the heels of European action demanding a quick turnaround from players and managers alike. Manchester City face Southampton hoping to build further on a 6-3 Champions League win while Liverpool take on Crystal Palace having squeaked a 3-2 victory over Milan in the same competition. Manchester United face high flying West Ham United at home looking to bounce back from a poor 2-1 defeat against Young Boys while the Hammers are riding on the coat tails of a first win in Europe since 1999.


Read on for more analysis, match predictions and betting tips.


Newcastle United vs Leeds United


Friday’s game sees Newcastle United face Leeds United at St James’ Park. Steve Bruce is under pressure with the Magpies having taken only one point from their first four games while Leeds are also winless with two draws from their opening four.


Newcastle have been boosted by the return of Karl Darlow to their squad after the goalkeeper had suffered badly from coronavirus; whether he is fit enough to replace Freddie Woodman between the sticks is another question. Ryan Fraser is also in contention after injury but Callum Wilson and Jonjo Shelvey remain out. However, a training ground fight between Dwight Gayle and assistant coach Graeme Jones complicates selection up front.


Leeds have a bit of a defensive crisis with Pascal Struijk suspended after he failed to get his red card from last week overturned, while fellow centre-backs Diego Llorente and Robin Koch are injured.  That leaves a choice between Luke Ayling or Charlie Cresswell at the back to partner skipper Liam Cooper. Patrick Bamford will continue to lead the line.


Leeds have faced 28 shots on target so far this season, more than any other Premier League team.



Wolves vs Brentford


Bruno Lage’s Wolverhampton Wanderers side come into this game fresh from their first victory this Premier League campaign looking for more. They face a Brentford side who lost to Brighton last time out and who will be looking to quickly bounce back to winning ways.


Wolves could be unchanged for this fixture for the fourth time in a row; however both Daniel Podence and Hwang Hee-chan will be hopeful of getting a start having contributed to the win against Watford, including the Korean’s debut goal in Wolves colours.


Frank Onyeka could come back into the Brentford side having been a sub last time out against Brighton following a covid-enforced absence. Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbuemo should continue up front as the first choice strike force for Thomas Frank.


Wolves are averaging 17.8 shots per game and five on target this season, which is their best performance in the top flight.



Norwich City vs Watford


Rock bottom Norwich City come into this game as the only team in the Premier League without a point. They face a Watford side who lost 2-0 last time out and who have gradually slid down the table since their opening day win against Aston Villa.


There are question marks over a few players with niggling injury problems for Norwich. American forward Josh Sargent picked up a hamstring niggle on international duty which kept him out of the last game against Arsenal, while left-back Dmitris Giannoulis has been struggling with lower back pain.


Watford also have a few players coming back into contention for this game. Keeper Ben Foster has recovered from a hamstring injury and could feature in goal while Kiko Femenia has returned to the squad and will be assessed ahead of the game. Watford manager has identified striker Teemo Pukki as a key threat to the Watford side and will no doubt look to nullify the Finn’s contribution to the game.


Watford have beaten Norwich the last four times these two teams have met in the league, with both fixtures in last year’s Championship finishing 1-0 to the Hornets.



Burnley vs Arsenal


Burnley have yet to win in the Premier League this year and they entertain an Arsenal side who only won their first game (and scored their first league goal) last weekend. Clarets boss Sean Dyche signed a new four year deal this week and will be looking to repay that faith with three points here.


Defender Nathan Collins faces a late fitness test having come back into the squad following injury, while Maxwell Cornet could make his debut after completing his signing for the Clarets. However, Kevin Long, Dale Stephens and Connor Roberts will all continue to miss out with long term injuries.


Granit Xhaka remains suspended and Thomas Partey probably won’t start as Arsenal carefully manage his return from injury. Albert Sambi Lokonga and Ainsley Maitland-Niles could continue in what was a new look Arsenal central midfield, while summer signing Ben White will probably partner Brazilian Gabriel in defence.


Despite Mikel Arteta’s insistence that Turf Moor is a tough place to visit, Arsenal are unbeaten in their last nine visits there, last losing in 1973.



Manchester City vs Southampton


Fresh from a huge 6-3 win over RB Leipzig in the Champion’s League, Manchester City face a Southampton team who have drawn three of their opening four fixtures in the Premier League.


Pep Guardiola has named an unchanged line up in three consecutive Premier League games but that could change for this one with Kevin de Bruyne returning from injury to start in midweek. Phil Foden also came off the bench in that game but it’s likely he will be on the bench for this one with Jack Grealish starring in the midweek victory.


Southampton will again be without Theo Walcott and Stuart Armstrong, but forward Shane Long is back in contention after a positive Covid-19 test at the start of the month. He will be fighting for a spot in the front two with Che Adams and Adam Armstrong. Will Smallbone has returned to training but won’t be in contention as he needs to rebuild match fitness.


De Bruyne loves playing against Southampton – he has been involved in more goals against them (11) than any other opponent.



Liverpool vs Crystal Palace


Liverpool come into this game having beaten Milan in a tough 3-2 Champions League game in midweek. They face a Palace side who thumped Spurs 3-0 last time out and will be hungry to prove that wasn’t a one-off.


Jordan Henderson could return to the Premier League following his midweek strike in place of the injured Harvey Elliott in midfield. There are question marks over Roberto Firmino who has been out with a hamstring injury, and if he remains out then manager Jurgen Klopp faces a choice between Diogo Jota and Divock Origi at the front of the Liverpool front three.


Following his two goals from the subs bench new signing Odsonne Edouard is pushing for a first start for the Eagles along with fellow summer signing Michael Olise who came back from injury last week to come off the bench. Skipper Luka Milivojevic also was a sub last week after a four month absence and manager Patrick Vieira will have some big choices to make.


Sadio Mane has scored in his last eight games against Crystal Palace; no player has ever managed nine in a row against a single opponent.



Aston Villa vs Everton


Aston Villa will look to bounce back from last week’s 3-0 beating from Chelsea in an intriguing match with high flying Everton in the late game on Saturday.


Emi Buendia and Emi Martinez are expected to rejoin the squad on Saturday morning having been training in Croatia to avoid quarantine in the UK. They will need to be assessed by Smith before being put in the squad to make sure they’re match fit. Youngsters Jaden Philogene-Bidace and Carney Chukwuemeka are both out with injury but Leon Bailey will be pushing for a start.


Everton will still be missing Dominic Calvert-Lewin who is injured but Colombian playmaker James Rodriguez has resumed training following injury. He faces a tough prospect in dislodging English forwards Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray who have been excellent since they signed for the Toffees and who have been recognised for their effort by Rafa Benitez.


Aston Villa have conceded goals in 14 of their last 16 Premier League outings.



Brighton vs Leicester City


Brighton and Hove Albion have started the season very brightly but face a challenge against a Leicester City which isn’t quite firing on all cylinders and who had a tough 2-2 draw with Napoli in midweek in the Europa League.


Forward Aaron Connolly could come back in contention for this game having suffered with a glute injury. However news of him partying at a festival with his new girlfriend while injured has not gone down well with fans and it could be that his manager feels the same. With Leandro Trossard scoring a last minute winner last weekend and Alexis Mac Allister finally settling into life as a Premier League player the Irish forward might find his path back to action blocked.


The Foxes found life tough in the Europa League tough, conceding twice late on to see a 2- 0 lead become a 2-2 draw. Jamie Vardy was a late substitute and in his place Kelechi Iheanacho did well leading the line, supplying Harvey Barnes for the second goal. The other goalscorer in that game Ayoze Perez won’t play against Brighton due to suspension, which will open the door for a number of players to stake their claim.


Leicester City have never lost to Brighton in the Premier League, winning six and drawing two of their eight meetings.



West Ham United vs Manchester United


Midweek was one of contrasting fortunes for these two clubs. While the Hammers won their first European game (excluding qualifiers) since 1999, Manchester United squandered a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 to Young Boys.


However, David Moyes will have to do without one of his midweek goalscorers with forward Michail Antonio suspended for the visit of the Red Devils. That could make things interesting, with Moyes potentially playing a false nine using one of Jarrod Bowen, Andriy Yarmolenko or Said Benhrahma in that position, or playing with a front three instead of the usual 4-2-3-1.


Despite defeat in midweek Manchester United are still flying in the Premier League, with forward Cristiano Ronaldo scoring twice on his second debut. He should continue to lead the line, but Ole Gunnar Solksjaer could still be without Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani.


Manchester United are unbeaten in 28 away games in the Premier League, the longest away record without defeat in English league history.



Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea


It’s been a tough week for Tottenham Hotspur with a 2-2 draw away to Rennes following a 3-0 tanking by Palace last week. They face a Chelsea side buoyant from 1-0 win against Zenit in the Champion’s League and a 3-0 beating of Aston Villa last Saturday.


Nuno Espirito Santo has bemoaned the injury and suspension problems his team faces. Japhet Tanganga is suspended after a red card against Palace, while Cristian Romero, Giovani Lo Celso and Davinson Sanchez all have to return from training in Croatia in time to be in contention. Son Heung-min is probably out along with Eric Dier through injury, while Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn both picked up injuries in the draw with Rennes.


N’Golo Kante could return to the line up for this game having picked up a knock against Liverpool but Christian Pulisic is definitely out. Ben Chilwell is pushing for a place back in the side while deadline day loan signing Saul Niguez will need to prove himself after a poor debut performance. Romelu Lukaku will continue to lead the line.


Spurs have conceded more goals to Chelsea than anyone in the Premier League, and have lost 31 times to the west London side in 58 Premier League games.




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