Full fledged weekend of games here in the English Premier League. Not gunna lie to you guys, the lineup of matches isn’t that great, but sometimes that’s when we get some of the best weekend’s of footy. The title race has gotten tighter in the past two weekends, with Manchester City, Tottenham, Arsenal, and Liverpool cementing themselves as early contenders. At the bottom of the table there’s been a lot of surprises. I for one, didn’t see West Ham AND Stoke City being in the relegation zone after six league games. Every team has it all to play for.
Here are the games you should be watching:
5. Middlesbrough at West Ham United, Saturday 10:00am ET
This game even cracking the top-5 should let you know the quality of games we have on our plate this weekend. One thing I do know for sure, West Ham manager Slaven Bilic is now directly on the hot seat. West Ham have just three points after six games, but the most concerning fact is the Hammers have lost their last four games in the Premier League. Fun fact, my dad was over in London last weekend and actually attended a West Ham game, and he reported back to me that a lot of the fans HATE their new Olympic Stadium and want to return the team to the Boleyn Ground. The Hammers once again have a winable home game as Middlesbrough come into town off the back of a 2-1 home loss to Tottenham last weekend. Boro have struggled to score early on in the season having recorded only six goals in six games. They’ll need their new striker Alvaro Negredo to start firing on all cylinders to have any chance of beating this pissed-off West Ham team.
4. Stoke City at Manchester United, Sunday 7:00am ET
I mentioned early that I’m wildly surprised to see both West Ham and Stoke in the relegation zone. If possible, Stoke have been worse than West Ham in the early season, as they sit on two points after six games. There is a bright spot for the Potters though, they’re getting healthy as they welcomed back Xherdan Shaqiri last weekend. They’ll have another tough match as they head to Old Trafford to face Manchester United. The Red Devils played lackluster in their home Europa League fixture against Zorya, winning the game only 1-0 on a Zlatan goal. I don’t think Jose Mourinho has quite worked out all the kinks in this squad, and I feel like Stoke could nick a result in this game.
3. Southampton at Leicester City, Sunday 9:15am ET
One of my favorite teams to watch thus far in the Premier League season has been Southampton. The Saints only continued their flowing form as they went on the road and beat West Ham 3-0 last weekend. Claude Puel has worked wonders with this squad, and he has given every player a mission during each game. As I mentioned last week, Leicester City would be disappointed as they currently sit 12th in the table. It’s funny though, that rubbish Premier League form hasn’t carried over to the Champions League. The Foxes won another Champions League game in the midweek beating an impressive Porto side. Last weekend they traveled to Old Trafford and lost 4-1, Leicester need three points from this game to keep pace in the race for European positions.
2. Crystal Palace at Everton, Friday 3:00pm ET
We have some Friday night footy to sink our teeth into. The Premier League has begun adding these Friday night in games to extend the leagues reach, similar to what the NFL has done with Thursday night football. This week we have a tasty fixture as 7th place Crystal Palace travel up north to face Everton. Palace is my club, by now you’ll already know that fact. I’ve been really happy with the Eagles start to the season, and I think their new signing Christian Benteke can lead the Palace to a top-8 finish. Everton under new manager Ronald Koeman, have come out of the gates on fire. They had a slight hiccup last weekend losing to Bournemouth, but they’ll look to rebound at Goodison Park.
1. Manchester City at Tottenham, Sunday 9:15am ET
Other than the Manchester derby, this Spurs/City game is the biggest game we’ve had in this early season period. First and second in the table collide at White Hart Lane in North London. City have been a fucking train so far this season. They’ve been lead by Aguero and De Bruyne, but the Belgium attacker is now out for at least three weeks with an injury. City have the depth to deal with that loss, but it will for sure affect them from a goal point of view. Tottenham beat CSKA Moskow in the midweek Champions League fixture, while City drew a bad Celtic side. Spurs, after losing Kane have had to change their playing style up a bit, but Vincent Janssen has had some great hold-up play, while Son Heung-min has poured in the goals. After losing four in a row, Spurs have won the last two matches against City and I would like that trend to continue.