The season may only be in it’s infancy, but already we can see the big six clubs beginning to break away at the top of the table. The two Manchester clubs seem destined to take off from the rest of the pack, although Chelsea might have a thing or two to say about that when they host City at Stamford Bridge on Matchday 7. Tottenham and Liverpool are both behind the aforementioned clubs and their tricky away fixtures this weekend could see them fall further away from challenging for the title.
Huddersfield vs Tottenham
David Wagner’s side have had a commendable start to their first season in the Premier League. They currently sit eighth on the table with two wins and three draws, but this is their first real test. Meanwhile, Tottenham return from a successful midweek trip to Cyprus. Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping for more goals from striker Harry Kane, who scored a perfect hat-trick on Tuesday night.
Last Time They Played:
Slade’s Mama Weer All Crazee Now was number 1 on the U.K charts, Richard Nixon was president of the United States of America and a can of soft drink cost 20 cents.
The year was 1972 and Tottenham defeated Huddersfield 2-1 in the League Cup.
Christian Eriksen is likely to feature after missing Wednesday’s win over APOEL with illness, while Moussa Dembele will not make the trip to Yorkshire as he continues to recover from a foot injury. Dele Alli and Jan Vertonghen will return after they both missed the midweek game through suspension.
The Terriers will be praying Steve Mounie gets up for the clash. The Benin forward missed last week’s trip to Burnley with a heel complaint. USA international Danny Williams will definitely not take part.
Player to Watch: Harry Kane
How could you not watch him at the moment? Kane has recaptured last season’s form after a dry August to begin the season. The England international has now scored 8 goals in 9 appearances, including 5 in two Champions League outings, and is bound to shake up an inexperienced Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
Prediction: Huddersfield 1 Tottenham 3
I’m going to give Huddersfield a goal here just for sheer determination. The Terriers have quickly become the endearing underdog this season, well in my eyes anyway, and Town supporters will be overjoyed to see their boys get a goal against one of the big dogs. They’ll need a moment of happiness because Tottenham will be relentless in attack. Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen both have fresh legs from not playing midweek. Kane scored three goals without them; if I was a Huddersfield fan, I’d hate to think what he could do with them on Saturday.
Newcastle vs Liverpool
Similar to Huddersfield, Newcastle have done well so far this season but have yet to come up against a quality side. Their opponent, Liverpool, enter the match on the back of a frustrating draw in Moscow. Jurgen Klopp’s side peppered the Spartak goal but could only manage to score once. The frightening attacking quartet of Mohamad Salah, Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane finally makes its Premier League debut, with Mane making his return from a three-game suspension.
Last Time They Played:
Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne are still out through injury while Mane returns from suspension.
Rafa Benitez will be without Paul Dummett and Massadio Haidara through injury, while Florian Lejeune is in doubt after copping an ankle injury.
Player to Watch: Sadio Mane
The Senegalese attacker returns after missing three games through suspension. Mane is imperative for Liverpool when they need to break down teams who sit deep in their defence – which Newcastle will most likely do. Jurgen Klopp needs Mane to be at his best or risk repeating a similar outcome to the Reds draw with Burnley two weeks ago.
Prediction: Newcastle 0 Liverpool 3
While Liverpool aren’t playing exceptionally well at the moment, this might just be the game that can get them going. Newcastle’s defence has played well this season, having conceded just five goals in six games. But this isn’t Stoke, Brighton or West Ham; oh no, this is Liverpool. The side that don’t pride themselves on their stout defence, rather their ferocious attack, and although they haven’t hit top gear yet, the combination of Firmino, Salah, Mane and Coutinho will prove too much to handle for Benitez’s men.
What a cracker this will be at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Both teams are coming off wins midweek, with Chelsea‘s last-gasp triumph over Atletico in Madrid sure to give a boost of confidence to Antonio Conte’s men. Another storyline was added to the mix when on Friday, news broke that Sergio Aguero had been involved in a car accident in Amsterdam. The Argentinean is expected to miss the next two months with broken ribs. The contrasting styles of Conte’s hard-nosed defence and Pep Guardiola‘s tiki-taka will undoubtedly provide us with an enthralling encounter.
Last Time They Played:
Aguero obviously misses the match after his horrific crash, while Benjamin Mendy has been ruled out for up to nine months with an ACL injury.
Chelsea will be without David Luiz, who is banned after his red card against Arsenal. Danny Drinkwater has still not made his debut for the Blues and remains in doubt for the City clash with a calf problem.
Player to Watch: Eden Hazard
It’s not a guarantee the Belgian will start against City as Chelsea are attempting to nurse him back. But after his performance against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday he should start, surely Antonio! He looked in great nick in the match, helping set up Alvaro Morata‘s equaliser with a delightful cross and it would be a shame for this match if he wasn’t given an opportunity to show some magic.
I hate to sit on the fence here but I just can’t see Chelsea getting beat at Stamford Bridge. The loss of Aguero is also huge for Pep Guardiola‘s side. The striker has played brilliantly this season alongside Gabriel Jesus, as their relationship continues to grow in a positive direction. The ever resilient Blues will defend like mad men against City’s smooth attack, and with Hazard back in the fold, their road to goal has become a lot easier. A tight, entertaining affair that will be too hard to seperate.