IT’S obvious which fixture headlines Score Predictor in Matchweek 6, Sunday’s highly-anticipated North London derby.
The mouthwatering clash at the Emirates will go a long way to determining which user claims this week’s top prize of a PlayStation 5 but there are four other match-ups and each deserves careful consideration.
How many this week, Erling?Getty
Manchester City v Nottingham Forest
It’s difficult to envisage anything other than a routine win for Pep Guardiola’s unstoppable machine on Saturday, isn’t it?
Steve Cooper’s side addressed their terrible away record with a win at Stamford Bridge prior to the international break but a trip to the Etihad is another challenge entirely – it’s arguably the most difficult fixture in world football at the moment.
Erling Haaland and company continued their perfect start to the season with a sixth consecutive victory against Red Star Belgrade in midweek while Forest could only muster a draw at home to Burnley last time out.
Sadists may be tempted to predict a cricket score but Forest have only conceded seven goals in five league outings – just five teams boast a better defensive record – so they have it in them to put up some resistance.
Still, it’s City at home…
Our Prediction: 3-0 to Man City
GettyErik ten Hag desperately needs a response from his team this weekend[/caption]
Burnley v Manchester United
All is not well with the Red Devils.
There’s no disgrace losing 4-3 to Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena but Wednesday night’s Champions League encounter was yet another fixture in which Erik ten Hag’s men were outclassed.
We accurately called Man United’s 3-1 defeat to Arsenal in Matchweek 4 and came close to doing the same last time out when we tipped Brighton to win 2-1 at Old Trafford – a pair of predictions that earned 15 points in the world of Score Predictor.
However, we’re backing them to earn a much-needed win this weekend at Turf Moor.
The Clarets have one point from a possible 12 and have conceded more goals than any other team in the league – surely Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Rasmus Hojlund will exploit such a fragile defence?
Although, between Andre Onana’s (£3.7m) form and injury absentees in defence, clean sheets will be hard for Man United to come by for the foreseeable future.
Our Prediction: 2-1 to Man United
Dream TeamMust-see TV[/caption]
Arsenal v Tottenham
The big one.
Both sides are undefeated in the Premier League this season having won four times and drawn once.
The Gunners continue to impress having taken Man City to the distance last term while Spurs have been given a new lease on life by Ange Postecoglou.
Arsenal have home advantage but they played against PSV in midweek while their rivals have had all week to prepare for Sunday’s main event.
Only Brighton and City have scored more league goals than Spurs’ 13 at this stage and with both teams keen on sustaining attacks, it should be an enthralling contest conducive to goals at both ends.
Score Predictor users are generally torn between a narrow home win and a draw with 40% opting for an entertaining 2-2 – we like the sound of that.
Our Prediction: 2-2 draw
AlamyMohamed Salah has created the most big chances this season[/caption]
Liverpool v West Ham
It’s a shame this one kicks off at the same time as the North London derby as it has the makings of an entertaining encounter.
Jurgen Klopp’s side tend to start slowly (to put it mildly) before coming on strong in the second half but there’s a sense that teams could punish their sleepy openings to a greater extent.
Despite some wobbles, the Reds are undefeated in 16 games and their firepower in attack provides a serious test of fortitude for any opponent.
The Hammers have tasted defeat this season but only to Man City and they gave a good account of themselves in that one too.
David Moyes has already overseen spirited wins against Chelsea and Brighton – his side had to dig deep in both those games and they’ll need to do the same to get something at Anfield.
Liverpool play LASK in Austria this evening while West Ham have the benefit of a home Europa League fixture against Serbian outfit Backa Topola.
Score Predictor users are confident of a home win but we can’t help but feel the visitors’ fighting spirit is being somewhat underestimated.
Our Prediction: 2-2 draw
Newcastle just about held firm in MilanGetty
Sheffield United v Newcastle
The Blades have conceded the most chances from set-pieces this season and so they may it difficult to deal with Kieran Trippier’s dead-ball deliveries with units like Sven Botman, Fabian Schar, Dan Burn and Alexander Isak lurking with intent.
More generally, it’s been a tough start to the campaign for Paul Heckingbottom’s troops with just one point from a possible 15.
They looked to have upset the odds in North London last weekend before Spurs broke their hearts with two late goals.
The Magpies have registered two clean sheets in a row and while they were helped out by some wasteful Milan finishing, Eddie Howe will be pleased to see his defence tightening up – that was key feature of their 2022/23 campaign.
Newcastle are more vulnerable away from home but a trip to Bramall Lane has to be considered a favourable match-up on current form.
Our Prediction: 2-0 to Newcastle
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