Following what’s been an intriguing and event-filled international break, the English Premier League returns to action this weekend.
And so, it’s time for SportsNewsIreland to take a look at the top three matches to watch.
Swansea v Liverpool
Having secured the top spot in the league, Liverpool will be more than keen to keep their excellent run of form going with another victory against Swansea on Monday night. Of course, they’ll be expected to win the tie, although Swansea can be quite tricky to deal with on occasion. Unfortunately for the Jacks, they haven’t had the best possible start to the season with two losses and only one win leaving them in 16th place for the moment.
Vital to Liverpool’s success of late has been Daniel Sturridge who recently picked up the player of the month award. So, if Michael Laudrup’s side can keep him quiet, they might just get something out of the tie. With three goals in three games, the England international is the striker in form at the moment.
Will he grab another this Monday?
Prediction: Liverpool to win 1-0.
Stoke City v Manchester City
Amazingly, Stoke City currently find themselves sitting pretty in 5th place, and although it’s very early in the season, you can be sure that Mark Hughes has been delighted with the progress they’ve made to date. Granted, Saturday’s clash against the Citizens will be tough, however, they haven’t been invincible this season in any sense of the word, and Stoke will be confident of getting something out of the game at home.
Will City finally shift into gear after a couple of lackluster displays that saw them second best to Hull for large periods, and which saw them lose to Cardiff before that? Saturday will tell all, but they’ll certainly need to up their game.
Perhaps a start for Alvaro Negredo might inspire them to take the incentive early on.
Prediction: A hard-fought 2-1 victory for the Sky Blues.
Everton v Chelsea
Having shared the spoils in all three of their Premier League matches so far this season, it’s fair to say that it hasn’t been the most convincing Everton side we’ve ever seen. Nonetheless, they remain unbeaten – something only Liverpool and their weekend opponents Chelsea can boast.
With home advantage, it would certainly not be unimaginable for Roberto Martinez’s men to get something out of the game. Although it will be interesting to see how James McCarthy copes in Marouane Fellaini’s place.
As for the Blues, they won’t want to lose ground on Liverpool, and can even put the Merseysiders under a bit of pressure with a win. Clearly, they’ll have to perform much more capably than they have done, but with such a strong squad playing so averagely to date and still within reach of top spot, it’s frightening to think what they’ll achieve whenever they do reach their full potential.
Prediction: A 1-1 draw.
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