Football News

Stay of execution: Carrick faces tough battle at Stamford Bridge

The fixture list has not looked favourably on Michael Carrick, who leads Manchester United into a daunting clash at Chelsea on Sunday. With Ralf Rangnick set to take over imminently, Carrick may wish it had happened sooner as the inconsistent Red Devils travel to the Premier League leaders in the game of the weekend.

Embed from Getty Images

That’s one of ten fixtures that our friends at PickGuru have previewed for this upcoming round of matches.

Arsenal vs Newcastle (Saturday, 12:30)

Arsenal’s recent resurgence hit the significant stumbling block of Liverpool last week and they may still be reeling from that heavy 4-0 defeat. They’re still favoured at home to Newcastle in the early kick-off, but it might not be plain sailing.

Eddie Howe had to watch from home for his managerial debut against Brentford due to Covid, but he’ll be on the touchline in London and the Magpies can get on the scoresheet in what could be a tight encounter.

PickGuru predicts… 2-1

Crystal Palace vs Aston Villa (Saturday, 15:00)

Both of these sides will be looking forward to this fixture for different reasons.

Palace, one of the form sides in the league, arrive here unbeaten in seven matches but five of those have been draws and they are becoming stalemate specialists.

Villa, buoyed by the arrival of Steven Gerrard in the hotseat, will look to build on last weekend’s impressive 2-0 victory against Brighton. This one may well end honours-even.

PickGuru predicts… 1-1

Liverpool vs Southampton (Saturday, 15:00)

High-flying Liverpool’s red-hot form looks set to continue on Saturday when they host Southampton. Aside from a blip at West Ham, Jurgen Klopp’s side have swept all before them this season, both domestically and abroad. They’ll fancy racking up some goals at Anfield, having bagged 16 times in five matches against lower-half opposition so far.

Southampton look up against it, having lost to lowly Norwich last weekend. They may be brushed aside with ease.

PickGuru predicts… 3-0

Norwich vs Wolves (Saturday, 15:00)

The final 3pm kick-off on Saturday sees Dean Smith’s Norwich host Wolves.

Fresh from their first victory at Carrow Road over Southampton, the Canaries will have had a jolt of confidence from that performance.

But Wolves are a stubborn foe, and have quietly hit a hot streak of form – they’ve won 6 of their last 9 games and currently sit in sixth position in the Premier League. They have the ability to record another victory here.

PickGuru predicts… 0-1

Brighton vs Leeds (Saturday, 17:30)

Brighton are winless in seven matches and will be looking to get back to winning ways at the Amex in Saturday’s late kick-off. That run of games has included five draws, so it’s not all bad news, and the only losses came against champions Manchester City and a Gerrard-inspired Aston Villa.

Leeds are consistently inconsistent. Their form figures this season read: LDDLDLWLDWDL. Their defence has been leaky, conceding in 11 of 12 games and Brighton’s technical quality might just prove the difference on the south coast.

PickGuru predicts… 2-1

Brentford vs Everton (Sunday, 14:00)

Brentford stopped a run of four defeats last weekend with their thrilling 3-3 draw at Newcastle. They’ll be hopeful of building on that performance in an attempt to rediscover their impressive early-season form.

Everton are going in the wrong direction. Injuries seem to be taking their toll now (Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been joined by Demarai Gray on the sidelines, among a raft of others), while Richarlison is suspended. They’ve lost 4 of their last 5 games and the other was a drab goalless draw with Spurs.

Take the Bees to get back on track.

PickGuru predicts… 2-1

Burnley vs Tottenham (Sunday, 14:00)

Antonio Conte’s impact was pretty swift last weekend, rallying his Spurs side to come-from-behind and defeat Leeds. Their midweek loss in Europe will have been a reality check though, and might just spark another reaction.

Burnley will not be easy opponents. With only a single loss in their last seven, Sean Dyche’s men have rediscovered the art of being difficult to play against.

All told, this might not be a classic.

PickGuru predicts… 0-0

Leicester vs Watford (Sunday, 14:00)

The Foxes were ruthlessly dismissed by Chelsea last weekend in a very one-sided affair. Brendan Rogers’ side are having a poor season by their standards and sit in the bottom half. That said, they’ve had a very tough run of fixtures and will welcome the visit of a side from the lower part of the table.

Claudio Ranieri returns to the scene of his greatest triumph on Sunday. The Premier League title-winning manager returns to the King Power Stadium where he conjured the impossible dream into reality. Fresh from a stunning win over Manchester United, Watford might just get something from this one too.

PickGuru predicts… 2-2

Manchester City vs West Ham (Sunday, 14:00)

The Manchester City machine rolls on. Having swept aside Everton last weekend, the Citizens hosted European heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday and showed courage to match their class by overcoming a goal deficit to run out 2-1 winners.

West Ham are having a season beyond anyone’s wildest expectations, but this may be a step too far. City are purring and it’s hard to see any other result than a home win.

PickGuru predicts… 2-0

Chelsea vs Manchester United (Sunday, 16:30)

Thomas Tuchel’s efficient Blues continue to churn out results. Their solitary defeat this season, a 1-0 reverse to Manchester City, is now firmly in their rear-view mirror and they continue apace at the top of the Premier League. They’ve won six of their last seven and knocked in 18 goals during that run, while conceding just two.

That spells danger for Sunday’s opponents Manchester United, who begin life without Ole Gunnar Solskjær in the Premier League with this most difficult of fixtures. Michael Carrick takes the helm, and it looks like a baptism of fire while he keeps Ralf Rangnick’s seat warm.

United did well to win in Spain during the week, but the Premier League is a different beast and they could be brought back down to earth.

PickGuru predicts… 2-0