In anticipation of the weekend’s round of football action, we focus on the English Premier League and preview seven of the nine games in England’s top tier.
English Premier League leaders Arsenal will be taking on Swansea City as the Gunners aim to maintain their command at the top of the table standings. Can Arsene Wenger’s charges snatch all three points on the road?
Aston Villa will be hosting Manchester City, while Fulham and Cardiff City battle it out. Hull City will be up against West Ham United, with Southampton hosting Crystal Palace. Who is your money on?
Manchester United will be looking to bounce back from the derby defeat when they host West Bromwich Albion, as Liverpool head out to Sunderland. Who do you think will win?
If you are a betting person, here are tips ahead of the fixtures brought to you by Soccer 6 and guest predictor, Ajax Cape Town assistant coach, David Nyathi.
ASTON VILLA V MANCHESTER CITY
League position: Villa 13th and City 3rd
Useful facts: Villa have started the season impressively and their ability to attack with pace is something which really catches the eye. City are fresh from demolishing Manchester United and will feel they’re slight favourites at Villa Park.
David Nyathi: City win because they’re in brilliant form.
SUNDERLAND V LIVERPOOL
League position: Sunderland 20th and Liverpool 5th
Useful facts: Sunderland were an uninspired mess when Paulo Di Canio was in charge. The charismatic Italian’s firing means the club can start to move in a new direction. However, it still means Liverpool are likely to be favourites for the win, when they travel to the Stadium of Light.
David Nyathi: You have to go for a Liverpool win, hey.
FULHAM V CARDIFF
League position: Fulham 18th and Cardiff 16th
Useful facts: Doubts seem to be arising about Martin Jol’s future at Fulham, as the club have been struggling badly in recent times. The return of Dimitar Berbatov will certainly boost the Cottagers. Newly promoted Cardiff have also started slowly, meaning this could be a tight affair in London.
David Nyathi: I think Fulham will bounce back with a win at home.
HULL CITY V WEST HAM UNITED
League position: Hull 11th and United 15th
Useful facts: Hull have enjoyed a good little start to life back in the English Premiership, under the very astute and pragmatic leadership of Steve Bruce. West Ham are a combative and well organised unit under Sam Allardyce, so expect a tough physical battle in Yorkshire.
David Nyathi: Win for Hull at home.
MANCHESTER UNITED V WEST BROMWICH ALBION
League position: United 8th and West Brom 14th
Useful facts: United will want to boost their flagging confidence levels when they take on West Brom at home. A win for West Brom could really set the cat amongst the pigeons when it comes to David Moyes’ future. This should be an interesting affair at Old Trafford.
David Nyathi: United are badly wounded and need to win. Win for United.
SOUTHAMPTON V CRYSTAL PALACE
League position: Southampton 7th and Palace 19th
Useful facts: Southampton will feel they’re the bee’s knees after their impressive 1-0 win over Liverpool at Anfield. This means struggling Crystal Palace are likely to be underdogs in this contest on the South Coast.
David Nyathi: Southampton are playing well. Win for the Saints.
SWANSEA CITY V ARSENAL
League position: Swansea 9th and Arsenal 1st
Useful facts: Swansea are in some decent form and are always a side to be reckoned with when they play at home in Wales. Arsenal are in some majestic form and ought to be favourites in this encounter.
David Nyathi: Wow, this could be a cracker. But Arsenal are playing beautiful football. Win for the Gunners.