As we approach matchday nine of the Premier League season, we’ve had our first managerial casualty in Steve Bruce – which likely resulted in a lot of winning bets. The race for second place in the sack race is still very much on, however, and we may well see a silver medalist following this weeekend’s action.
With such contrasting form from a handful of teams, making predictions about the Premier League season is becoming increasingly difficult. Yet, as each week goes by, whether absurd or entirely accurate, the predictions will keep coming. You can see this week’s below.
Premier League Predictions: Matchday Nine
Arsenal Host Aston Villa
In a game with several headlines already raring to go, Arsenal host Aston Villa in desperate need of consistency. When Mikel Arteta’s side shoved Tottenham Hotspur aside to paint the streets of North London red, many expected the Gunners to turn their season around. Yet, a 0-0 draw at Brighton & Hove Albion followed by what some may describe as a fortunate comeback draw against Crystal Palace later, and what looked to be the beginning of some progress has once again come to a crashing halt.
Against Aston Villa, who are on a three game winless run, which includes a 3-2 loss to Midlands rivals Wolves last time out, Arsenal have the chance to begin progressing once more. If at their best, the Gunners can ease past Dean Smith’s side. Anything below their best, however, and Arteta’s team could end up on the losing side.
Arsenal 1-1 Aston Villa
Lukaku-Less Chelsea Host Norwich City
Without Romelu Lukaku for a few weeks, if Chelsea could pick any side to play in the first game without the Belgian, it would be Norwich City. The Canaries should have beaten Brighton last time out, but will be happy with a point. In a way, as Josh Sargent saw his tame effort cleared off the line, it was a season-summarising game for Norwich.
Travelling to Stamford Bridge, the chances of Daniel Farke’s men pulling off a shock are slim. Anything can happen in football, but, such is the systematic genius of Thomas Tuchel, mistakes are unlikely to be made.
Chelsea 2-0 Norwich City
Crystal Palace Take on Manager-Less Newcastle United
As soon as the new owners stepped foot in Newcastle, Steve Bruce’s job looked on the line; his sacking became inevitable, a matter of when, and not if. And, this week confirmed that as the former Sunderland boss departed. Now without a manager, the Magpies come up against one of the most intriguing teams in the league, in Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace.
The Frenchman cut a devastated figure when Alexandre Lacazette equalised at the death at the Emirates to undo the Eagles’ good work. Vieira will be desperate to secure three points against Newcastle, who may receive another reality check.
It’s a game in which Newcastle need the three points to avoid the increasingly dangerous waters of the drop. But, with no manager, and no fresh faces until January, money may not be able to buy their safety as early as October.
Crystal Palace 2-0 Newcastle United
Everton Host Watford
As confirmed by Rafa Benitez earlier this week, Everton are expected to be without Dominic Calvert-Lewin for at least another five weeks. And that presents a major problem for the Toffees. They’ve already struggled without their talisman, who has just been joined on the injury list by Everton’s player of the season so far, Abdoulaye Doucouré.
Watford, having lost 5-0 to Liverpool in what seemed a generous score line, must bounce back. Even if the correct result is not secure, the Hornets must put in a better showing than last time out. The last thing Claudio Ranieri needs is a slow start at Watford.
Everton will expect a tough test, but one they are fully capable of overcoming in matchday nine.
Everton 2-1 Watford
Wolves Travel to Leeds Looking to Extend Winning Run
Following a rather shaky start to life at Wolves, Bruno Lage has turned things around – winning three straight games, including a comeback win against Aston Villa last time out. Meanwhile, Leeds United are in dangerous territory. Marcelo Bielsa’s side sit 17th, three points clear of the drop zone, having won just once in eight games.
A trip to Wolves offers the Yorkshire side a chance to kickstart their season, and move clear of the bottom three. After such a promising campaign last season, Leeds must rediscover their form, before it becomes too late.
In a game which could go either way, we could be in for an entertaining draw in matchday nine.
Wolves 2-2 Leeds United
Embed from Getty Images