Here we are – in the midst of the first four day weekend of the 2020-2021 Premier League season. Now that the Champions League and Europa League have gotten into full swing, the games will begin getting more spread out to account for the teams playing in Europe. That just means more opportunity for games each week!!! But enough about that, let’s get into Matchweek 6, shall we?
Saturday, October 24th
West Ham United v. Manchester City
Pep Guardiola‘s boys will travel to the London Stadium, and he’ll be shorthanded for the trip. They were already planning to be without DeBruyne, LaPorte, Mendy, and Jesus. It was revealed that they’ll also be without Fernandinho, which makes an already tenuous defense that much weaker. They’ll be hoping that their history of dominance against West Ham will help see them through this match.
The Hammers, despite that history, have every reason to come into the game with confidence. After an astounding comeback against Tottenham last week to salvage a point after being down 3-0, they will want to carry that momentum forward. They’ve been in fine form, scoring 10 goals in their last three matches. Will this be the match that finally nets a win for West Ham against a City team that has won the last 9 matches across all competitions?
Fulham v. Crystal Palace
A draw is better than a loss, right? Last week’s match against Sheffield saw the team finally put points on the board this season. They played well enough to take all three, but a late equalizer from the penalty spot by Billy Sharp left them with one point instead of all three. It was a much better showing than any other game so far this season, and they’ll want to continue improving before they find themselves in too deep of a hole at the bottom of the table.
Palace will be without a plethora of regulars for this match. The biggest news was Jordan Ayew testing positive for COVID, causing him to miss the trip to Craven Cottage. He joins a laundry list of players who won’t see the pitch against Fulham. Wilf Zaha will want to continue adding to his goal tally, but the Eagles will need a better performance than what they offered last weekend against Brighton.
Manchester United v. Chelsea
Fresh off a solid performance in their Champions League opener against PSG, United will welcome Chelsea to Old Trafford in this week’s Turf War. On paper, this has the possibility to be the game of the weekend. There are huge implications in this early season clash (and I don’t mean bragging rights between myself and Wilhelm). They had markedly different transfer windows, but have seen similar results so far this campaign.
United have certainly looked to be on the up of late after taking care of business against Newcastle, then following it up with a 2-1 victory over PSG in Paris. Of course, it hasn’t completely allowed them to forget about their embarrassing showing against Tottenham not long ago. They will have some new pieces in the fold for this match, with Edinson Cavani and Alex Telles likely to play a part. They’ll also be without Martial, who is still serving his red card suspension.
Chelsea have been inconsistent to start this season as well. Perhaps it’s a byproduct of all the new players they’ve brought in and having to develop a chemistry. Whatever the reason, they find themselves sitting in 8th in the table. These two squads are historically evenly matched over 56 previous Premier League matchups. Chelsea have won 18 to United’s 17. The remaining 21 matches have been draws.
While I hope for a Red Devil victory, I fully expect this to be an exciting, hard fought match that could go either way. Let’s hope it lives up to the hype.
Liverpool v. Sheffield United
This match features two teams who aren’t quite at the level they were last season. For Liverpool, they’ve stumbled a bit of late. After victories in their first three matches, they’ve suffered a 7-2 loss to Aston Villa and a draw last weekend to Everton. It was to be expected that they’d fall back to Earth a bit after last season’s dominant showing. However, there’s early reason for some concern. The injury to Virgil Van Dijk was a crushing blow, topped by the controversial VAR decision that cost them a win in the Merseyside Derby. They should still manage to beat a struggling Sheffield side, but it remains to be seen how they’ll adjust moving forward.
Last season’s impressive top flight return seems a distant memory already for the Blades. They have been poor thus far to say the least. They were lucky to escape with a draw to bottom side squad Fulham last week. They’ve only scored 2 goals so far this campaign. It will be an uphill climb for this side as they start a treacherous run of fixtures between now and the next international break.
Ten games over four days should provide plenty of excitement and entertainment for your Premier League weekend, and Saturday is no exception!
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