Rather than providing clubs an opportunity to get their squad fit, this season’s international breaks are wreaking havoc on the league as players are exposed to Covid through travel and succumbing to injury through excessive European qualifying fixtures.
Liverpool are feeling the hurt the most this week and are expected to be without 9 of their starters, will this contribute to the end of their historic league run at Anfield?
Elsewhere, Man City travel tot he capital to take on the red HOTSpurs, while United attempt to secure their first home win of the season when they welcome the Baggies to Old Trafford.
With the Premier League race being more open than Will Smith’s marriage this season, our Football fortune teller has predicted a few long odd upsets in his Game Week 9 Preview below!
Chelsea head to St James Park in a bid to remain undefeated on the road this season.
Lampard’s side march into contest off the back of a convincing 4-1 performance against the underwhelming blades, with Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech making the game their own.
Alternatively, the Toons failed to fire against the red hot Saints, going down 2-0 in a dour display.
After a slow start to the season, Werner has now scored four goals from his last four Premier League appearances and I’m backing him to help his side collect all three points on the road here.
Coming into the 2020/21 season nobody was expecting much from either Villa or Brighton, thus far the Seagulls have lived up to the bill, while Villa has taken the league by surprise!
Mike Deans side are sitting in 6th, three points behind competition leaders Leicester, after claiming wins against Liverpool, Arsenal and the Foxes themselves.
Meanwhile, Brighton are looking to break a six game winless streak and pull clear of the bottom three.
The Seagulls have never claimed victory on the road to Aston Villa, picking up three draws and nine loses across their 12 appearances at Villa Park.
The bookies are still not completely sold on Villa, offering a ridiculous $2.20 in the H2H market.
With the likes of Jack Grealish and Ollie Watkins taking the league by storm, I can’t see the home side letting this one slip.
Match of the round materialises early Sunday morning (AEST) when the form team of the comp Tottenham welcomes the best English side across the last decade, Man City.
Since losing in GW1, the Spurs have gone undefeated across their last seven outings and will be looking to claim four wins on the trot.
Alternatively, City have only managed three win across their opening seven fixtures and are currently labouring back in 10th spot on the league table.
Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min have been running loops around the comp this season, on the back of their link-up play I believe the Spurs will take a huge step on the road to collecting their first league title since 1961!
Manchester United are desperate to land their first home win of the season when they welcome West Brom to Old Trafford.
Despite United’s yips at home, they have been dealt the ideal fixture to bounce back to winning ways.
Bruno Fernandes seems to have his hand in everything positive ManU produce, I’m backing the Portuguese playmaker to get his name on the scoresheet once again here.
After winning their opening four matches, Toffees fans were just about declaring the 2020/21 title race over!
Fast-forward another four matches and the Blue end of the Merseyside have only managed to pick up one more point and are staring down the barrel of four straight defeats.
Meanwhile, Fulham claimed their first win of the season in GW7, but have failed to pick up any points from a team outside of the bottom 3!
Everton welcomes back a pivotal cog in their attacking machine, with Richarlison returning from suspension, the Brazilian will be keen to pay back a debt to his teammates here.
Sheffield United have secured ONE point across their opening eight fixtures, equaling the worst return in PL history!
The Blades have looked absolutely deplorable at both ends of the park this season, with four goals for and 14 goals against.
The Hammers have never won at Bramall Lane, but with no crowd and no quality opposition set to show up, David Moyes side should stroll to victory here.
At $2.40 they’re one of the best bets of the week.
Arsenal head to Elland Road off the back of a lacklustre performance against the Villans.
The Gunners feel like a team who have bought into their own hype. Early doors they looked like they were moving in the right direction under Arteta, though in recent weeks the squad has lacked the creativity and enthusiasm to challenge the top 6.
Enthusiasm is the last thing you could accuse Leeds of lacking, Marcelo Bielsa’s side is built on it, sometime to their own detriment.
The Whites are still trying to find the right balance between all out attack and keeping a sound shape against PL calibre opponents.
The Gunners haven’t given me a decent reason to back them here, what I do know is that Leeds will fight tooth and nail for the full 90+ minutes regardless of the game situation and for that reason I’ll be taking them at the current H2H price of $3.15.
Liverpool find themselves pinned against the ropes before the opening whistle has even sounded!
Klopp’s squad is thinner than an Ethiopian swimwear model at the minute, with starters Jordan Henderson, Mo Salah, Joe Gomez, Fabinho, Thiago, Alexander-Arnold and Van Dijk all missing through injury or sickness!
Leicester have endured the lions share of their own injury woes, though Brendan Rodgers has built a deep squad who are showing the league they have what it takes to repeat the heroics of 2016.
The Reds are undefeated at Anfield across their last 63 appearances, matching the record they held between 1978 to 1980, a run which finally ended at the hands of… Leicester City.
This is almost too poetic to ignore, I’ll definitely be backing the storyline with $3.70 on offer for the Foxes.
Burnley picked up their second point of the season last time out, playing out a dull 0-0 draw against fellow strugglers Brighton.
Meanwhile, Crystal Palace put on their most clinical display of the season thus far, knocking four past a luckless Leeds outfit.
Sadly, Burnley are yet to score a goal on their home turf and could find themselves I a bit of strife against the confident Eagles.
Game Week 9 wraps up on Tuesday morning (AEST) when the 9th placed Wolves welcome the 4th placed Saints to Molineux Stadium.
Southampton are now worlds away from the side which conceded 9 goals to Leicester midway through last season, Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side are undefeated across their last six and are two points off top of the table Leicester.
The Wolves on the other hand have plateaued, Nuno’s side have struggled to find their way to goal this season, netting just eight times, which is the lowest tally for a team outside the bottom four.
The Saint’s will once again be without star striker Danny Ings, though Che Adams has risen to the task scoring three goals in his last four outings and will be looking to help cement his side into the league’s top 4!