What a mouth-watering weekend this will shape up to be with some of the fixtures on show. There is a massive Manchester derby on Sunday to look forward to with a stuttering Manchester City, and a re-born Manchester United both looking to claim some points to improve their recent fortunes, it will be a battle to savour with lots of talking points. Newcastle have enjoyed somewhat of a revival lately as well and face an out of form Liverpool in Saturday’s early kick-off. In form Southampton and West Ham take on Hull City and Stoke City respectively, can both teams continue their adventures in the dizzy heights of the top four? Or will the winning runs come to an end for these two early season high flyers? Relegation threatened QPR and Burnley face tricky trips away to big London teams, Chelsea will host west London rivals QPR on Saturday looking to extend their lead at the top of the table whilst Arsenal host Burnley in another 3pm fixture in a match that may leave the hapless Clarets still in search of their first win. Let us take a look at Football Fancast’s predictions for this weekend’s fixtures below.
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Saturday 1st November 12:45 Newcastle vs Liverpool
Alan Pardew has hit out at the club’s fans who were calling for his head with two Premier League victories in a row, including an impressive away result at White Hart Lane against Tottenham Hotspur which was then followed by the scalping of Manchester City in the cup at the Etihad in midweek. They are enjoying a sort of purple patch at the moment and confidence should be a bit higher going into this game against a Liverpool side that have been way below par so far this season. Liverpool will be hoping to get marquee signing Mario Balotelli firing the goals in for them soon, after being disappointing so far. This will be a tough game for both sides and based on current form you have to fancy the home side to nick a point here.
Football Fancast prediction: 1-1 draw.
Saturday 1st November 15:00 Leicester City vs West Brom
Leicester returned to the Premier League and took it be storm with some impressive displays and hard fought victories, including their great comeback against Manchester United. They can be nothing short of proud of how they have performed so far but have dipped in recent games and find themselves close to the bottom three with one draw and three defeats from their last four games. West Brom are a tricky customer when they decide to turn up on the day and in Saido Berahino they have an awesome young talent who can cause any team all sorts of problems, and you have to feel that it will be his goals that will save West Brom from trouble this season, as they do not seem to have much more to offer in terms of goals. Leicester look like the most likely to come out on top of what will probably be quite a scrappy affair.
Football Fancast prediction: 2-1 Leicester win.
Saturday 1st November 15:00 Chelsea vs QPR
What can you say about Chelsea so far this season that has not already been said? Jose Mourinho’s men look unstoppable and they are like a bull in a china shop at the moment. The football has been entertaining, the players are bullish, confident and on top form, the manager is quite simply getting everything right and all that he touches is turning to gold at the moment. They are missing key striker Diego Costa, but that won’t worry them, there are plenty more goals in this team at the moment. On the complete other side of the scale, we have QPR who have been woeful at best for the majority of the games they have played in. There is a very public issue from the manager here with player fitness, and those who have been fit enough to play, have not shown the desire and passion to win games-until their home game against Liverpool that is. They pushed on from that and beat Aston Villa 2-0 in their last outing and are finally starting to look like they understand what is required to win a game of football. They will not have enough to defeat an in form Chelsea and this has goal-fest written all over it.
Football Fancast prediction: 4-0 Chelsea win.
Saturday 1st November 15:00: Hull City vs Sothampton
The home side have enjoyed a fairly decent start to their campaign, flourished mainly due to some decent business in the transfer market by Steve Bruce. Their best signing looks to be Mo Diame from West Ham. This guy is enjoying a re-birth as a player, being used in his favoured central position the powerhouse has bagged four goals out of six games for the Tigers and is looking to be quite the snip at only £4Million. Their opponents, however, are the team of the moment having endured a fire sale of players in the summer; they have actually come out on top with what looks to be a better squad than last season (against all odds). Southampton are simply flawless at the moment and fully deserve their spot in the top two of the league. This will be an interesting match with plenty of goals in it, one that the South Coasters will edge, but only narrowly.
Football Fancast Prediction: 3-2 Southampton win.
Saturday 1st November 15:00: Arsenal vs Burnley.
It is hard to ignore the fact that Arsenal have suffered as a result of various injuries to key players and with that in mind it would most likely be a three horse race for the title right now than a two horse race between Man City and Chelsea. That said, the truth is they are not in the mix despite how well Arsene Wenger recruited over the summer. The Gunners only have one victory from their last four games, and will be hoping that they can rediscover winning ways with the visit of Burnley to the Emirates this weekend. The away team have been nothing short of awful since their return to the big time and are sitting at the bottom of the table, yet to find a single victory this season and you have to feel that this weekend will not be the weekend that they find their first set of three points despite facing a weak Arsenal side.
Football Fancast prediction: 2-0 Arsenal win.
Saturday 1st November 15:00 Stoke City vs West Ham
Stoke are always one team that are very unpredictable, but on their day, especially at home, it is very hard to predict anything other than a home side win due to how strong and hard they are to break down. They do have some key players missing for this game, more notably so their main striker Peter Crouch who picked up a suspension following Stoke’s game in the cup during the week. They are not at full strength and will have to dig deep to find a result against West Ham. The Hammers also have their own injury worries with top scorer Diafra Sakho being an injury doubt for this game. That having been said, there are goals coming in from all sorts of other players for them at the moment and they are a team full of confidence after their recent results which see them sitting fourth in the table at the moment. You have to fancy West Ham for a win in this game, but they will find it a very tricky three points to earn, trickier even than against Manchester City last week.
Football Fancast Prediction: 2-1 West Ham win.
Saturday 1st November 15:00 Everton vs Swansea
There isn’t much between these two sides going into this clash. Both teams sit in mid-table after a fairly decent and comfortable start to the campaign. Neither team will be in trouble this season, but neither of them will find themselves challenging for major glory either. Everton have their eye on getting into the top four, as they always do and are not too far off of the mark, sitting four points behind the fourth spot at the moment. Their summer signing of Samuel Eto’o seems to have been their best bit of business and they will hope he can continue to score goals throughout the season for them. Over at Swansea, Garry Monk has done really well in his short managerial career so far and can be very proud of the football his team are playing recently. There is not much to pick from in this game and both teams will probably cancel each other out with some exciting football in the mix.
Football Fancast prediction: 1-1 draw.
Sunday 2nd November 13:30: Manchester City vs Manchester United
The biggest game of the season so far and what an exciting prospect this is turning out to be. The games between the two sides are usually a sizzling encounter to say the least but it seems that this weekend has a lot riding on it for both sides. Manchester City, arguably the better of the two sides in the last two seasons have not been up to their impeccable standard so far this season. Their defence has leaked 10 goals already this campaign and their recent form makes for bad reading. They were outclassed last weekend by West Ham who fully deserved their three points and they have faltered since then in the cup, being knocked out by Newcastle. Not only that but David Silva is out of this one, and he has been their best player so far. Manchester United are also a team whose fortunes have been down recently and are going through a re-building period under their new manager Louis van Gaal. He has signed some great players up front but forgot to re-enforce his defence, meaning they have had a poor start to this campaign. Give them a couple more seasons and they will be mixing it up with the trophies once more. This game will be interesting and, if anything, I fear that City’s bad run is set to continue here.
Football Fancast prediction: 1-0 Manchester United win.
Sunday 2nd November 16:00 Aston Villa vs Tottenham Hotspur
Both these teams have the potential to do well this season, and both of them have fallen flat on their faces so far. Bags of potential in both sides and a complete failure to live up to it. Aston Villa have looked the worse out of the two having lost five out of their last five games, just after their manager signed a five-year extension to his contract. Irony is a cruel mistress at times and Tottenham Hotspur are a mystery, great squad, good manager who knows what he is doing, yet poor results and players using pitch size as an excuse. They need to man up and start trying harder. This has a bore draw written all over it other than the inform Erik Lamela for Spurs who will most likely be the difference in this game to edge it for Tottenham.
Football Fancast Prediction: 1-0 Tottenham win.
Monday 3rd November 20:00: Crystal Palace vs Sunderland.
The home team go into this fixture with mixed fortunes so far. They looked at the early part of the season that they would face certain doom after their saviour from last season; Tony Pulis quit his job before the season had even started. Ex manager Neil Warnock has come to the rescue for Palace and helped them onto some decent football and a couple of victories, however, they have not been up to Pulis’ standard from last season and will still find themselves struggling to avoid a dogfight this season. Sunderland are a team that you would have expected to be sitting in the top 10 but have instead crashed and burned into the bottom three after two defeats on the bounce, one of which they will want to forget as quickly as possible and I will not mention it here (8-0 Southampton shhhh). They looked even worse against Arsenal than they did against Southampton and only found one victory so far this season. Poyet has a massive job on his hands this season and he will struggle to stop them staying in the bottom three this weekend.
Football fancast prediction: 3-1 Crystal Palace win.