We’re now six games into the Premier League season, and not many surprises have occurred as of yet. In fact, the only two shocks have been Brighton & Hove Albion’s revenge against ‘XG’ (expected goals), and Manchester City’s blunt nature going forward. Amongst that, however, we’ve seen an expectedly poor start from Arsenal, and a woeful start from Norwich City – who somehow look worse than when they were relegated in 2020, something some Premier League predictions didn’t foresee.
All of the above sets us up for a rollercoaster of a ride in matchday six, where Chelsea square off against Manchester City in a repeat of last season’s Champions League final. From there, we also jump to the north London derby, which pits two sides in desperate need of some sort of bragging rights against each other, in Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur.
It could be the best matchday yet, and perhaps the toughest one to make predictions about in the Premier League.
Premier League Predictions: Matchday Six
Unbeaten Chelsea Host Manchester City
On paper, Chelsea vs Manchester City is a game of the season contender. It pits tactical mastermind vs tactical mastermind; title contender up against title contender; an endless depth of World class talent against an even more endless depth of World class talent. But, all of that is on paper. On the pitch, unfortunately, expect that excitement to fizzle out; that bubble of anticipation to be burst. For this is a game that no team wants to lose.
The fact that this fixture comes so early in the season leaves both managers with an undying unwillingness to go all guns blazing for victory. And this will likely result in a 0-0 draw. We saw it eight games into the the 18/19 season, when Liverpool and City drew in uneventful fashion at Anfield, and we’ll likely see a repeat of that at the Etihad between Guardiola and Tuchel’s sides.
Chelsea 0-0 Manchester City
Manchester United Take on Aston Villa
Onto a more entertaining affair, Manchester United host Aston Villa in the latest battle at Old Trafford of people scrambling to catch a glimpse of Cristiano Ronaldo. The United legend is yet to have his comeback party spoiled in the Premier League – although, it has certainly been close at times – but Aston Villa could provide the toughest test so far.
Dean Smith’s side eased past Everton last time out, coming out as 3-0 victors in a confident boosting evening. Though, it must be mentioned, they could be without the man that spearheaded that victory, Leon Bailey, upon visiting Old Trafford.
It’s a fixture that could include a shock result, but, after suffering a knockout blow at the hands of West Ham United in the Carabao Cup, Manchester United will be keen to get back to winning ways. And they’ll do just that on Saturday. It won’t be a pretty win, it’ll be anything but. Yet, come the end of the afternoon, three points will be in the bag.
Manchester United 2-1 Aston Villa
Winless Norwich Travel to Everton
You almost feel sorry for Norwich City, once you’ve finished laughing at them. They just never learn. They get relegated, they get promoted…and then back down they go. And this season looks set to be no different. Without the departed Emi Buendia, and with a centre-back partnership of Ben Gibson and Grant Hanley, the Canaries look worse than they have for a long time. At Goodison Park, expect their miserable start to the season to continue.
As for Everton, the game against Norwich presents an opportunity to get back to winning ways, having lost to Aston Villa 3-0 last time out, before exiting the Carabao Cup at the hands of Queens Park Rangers. The fixture hands Rafa Benitez’s side the chance to put on a show in front of an expectant Goodison crowd. The likes of Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend may well add to their goals tally’s in perhaps the easiest Premier League game to make predictions in, throughout this week.
Everton 3-0 Norwich City
Leeds United Host Hammers Hoping for First Three Points
With five games played, Leeds United, to much surprise, are yet to win a single game. Even the suggestion of ‘second season syndrome’ was enough to signal laughter within the Yorkshire fan base a few months ago. And rightly so. Marcelo Bielsa’s men impressed so much last season, that it seemed impossible that they’d start the new campaign so out of sorts.
All of a sudden, Bielsa’s free-flowing football – which earned praise in the past – is now earning criticism. It’s all well and good having that open, attacking style until you find the back of the net five times, and concede 12 in the opening five fixtures.
The game against West Ham feels like a must-not-lose. A win would be ideal, but a draw will do against the in-form Hammers. Unfortunately for those at Elland Road, however, in another frantic afternoon, it will be the visitors that come out on top.
Leeds United 2-4 West Ham United
Leicester City Face Struggling Burnley
It’s strange how, despite their contrasting needs and position in the league, both sides are equally desperate for three points in the game between Leicester City and Burnley. The Foxes seem to be facing some kind of identity crisis at the moment, losing to Brighton & Hove Albion last time out, and looking rather chaotic at the back, whilst blunter than ever going forward.
Brendan Rodgers must find a solution and kickstart the season against Burnley, who are struggling, themselves. The Clarets sit dangerously in the relegation zone, 19th, on one point from 15. They look out of ideas, out of the fuel which has somehow kept them going for this long in the Premier League. If they are eased to one side by the Foxes on Saturday, then panic may begin to set in.
Leicester City 2-0 Burnley
Watford Host Newcastle in Early Relegation Six-Pointer
Last week’s victory over Norwich City was crucial for Watford’s survival chances. And, if they can win again, this time against Newcastle United, then the belief amongst the fans will significantly increase. The Hornets have a real chance of picking up all three points, too, against a Newcastle side sitting third bottom on two points.
Steve Bruce will be desperate to oversee Newcastle’s first win of the current campaign, but a trip to Vicarage Road will be no easy task. Expect the game to be a tight affair, with one moment of magic deciding it for either side.
Watford 2-1 Newcastle United
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