Football News: Premier League Match Previews Sunday 1st October

 

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Premier League Match Previews Sunday 1st October
Image from: dailyrecord.co.uk

Sunday 1st October 2017



Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion 12pm kick off

Koscielny (achilles injury) late fitness test
Ozil (knee injury expected return 14th October) out
Iwobi (thigh strain) late fitness test
Chambers (hip injury expected return 14th October) out
Welbeck (groin strain expected return 14th October) out
Coquelin (hamstring injury 14th October) out
Cazorla (plantaris injury no return date yet) out

The Gunners, despite the unrest from the fans, are actually in good form, the two defeats this season have been out of place in their form this season. However, other than Chelsea and Liverpool, they have not really faced anyone that they would not expect to beat. With another run of teams the Gooners would expect to win against, they really need to keep their good form going, before they face the difficult task of Manchester City and arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur in consecutive games. With pundits ruling Arsenal out of any chance of being involved in the title race, today's game is one they must win if they are to prove those pundits wrong.

Most important player: Sead Kolsinac. The big left-sided defender has already made himself a cult hero with his style of play since arriving in the summer from Schalke 04. They look a much better side when he plays and it is notable he was left out of the side that faced Liverpool. Kolasinac brings a solidity to the left side that Arsenal have needed for years.


Murray (ankle injury) slight doubt
Sidwell (back injury expected return 20th November) out
Kayal (broken leg expected return 15th October) out
Baldock (calf injury expected return 15th October) out
Hemed (suspended) out



At home Brighton have been decent, picking up 2 wins out of 3 games, but away from home the Seagulls have been struggling and have yet to pick up an away win, losing 2 of their 3 games. With no expectations on their shoulders going into the match, at least they can play with freedom and see what happens. We have often seen how that can help in cup matches.
Most important player: Dale Stephens. The midfielder is the glue in there for the team, the whole gameplan revolves around him. If he has an off day, then they will struggle badly.


Defining Battle: with the system Arsenal are using now, they have to figure out who in their team will pick up Pascal Gross, as he will have no one who is naturally given the job of looking after him. That could well make a huge difference, as the German is very creative with an excellent range of passing and good vision. Given time and space he can provide the quality to hurt any team.


Editors' Predictions:
Ed002 - 3-1
Ed003 - 3-0
Ed004 - 2-0
Ed007 - 3-1
Ed018 - 2-0
Ed025 - 3-0
Ed033 - 2-0




Everton v Burnley 2:15pm kick off

Keane (foot injury) late fitness test
Jagielka (hamstring injury) late fitness test
Barkley (hamstring injury expected return 18th November) out
McCarthy (knee injury expected return 15th October) out
Funes Mori (ACL injury expected return 1st April 2018) out
Coleman (broken leg expected return 29th November back in training) out
Bolasie (ACL injury expected return 29th November) out



Everton had been in a bad run of defeats which they broke with a win over Bournemouth last weekend. Now they need to build on that win to drag themselves up into the top half of the table. The worry for Toffees' manager Ronald Koeman is that he had to turn to a player he does not want, in Oumar Niasse, to score the goals. Will he swallow his pride and stick with Niasse, or does he carry on hoping that his chosen players can turn it around?
Most important player: Gylfi Sigurdsson. The Icelandic midfielder has the ability to deliver the ball into dangerous areas, but so far he has not been able to perform to his best. Everton need him to start producing before their season is ruined.


Walters (knee injury expected return 21st October) out
Heaton (dislocated shoulder no return date yet) out
Wells (ankle injury expected return 14th October) out
Marney (ACL injury expected return 18th November) out

As usual Burnley have been difficult to beat, with the Clarets just losing one so far this season. Also as usual, Sean Dyche's men are struggling to pick up wins, with just 2 of them this season. With a strong defence but lack of goals, they have a tendency to play opponents to a standstill, despite going a little more attacking this season. Away from home, despite it being a disaster for them last season, they have picked up slightly better results this time around and scored all their goals bar 1 in away games. Also conceded all their goals bar 1 at the same time!
Most important player: Steven Defour. The Belgian midfielder adds a touch of class in the midfield for the Lancashire side. It is easy to see why Alex Ferguson was so keen on him before his injury problems, as he has all the attributes Ferguson demanded of his midfielders.


Defining Battle: this game has a real danger of ending up being mired down in a midfield dogfight, as both teams are strong and hardworking in the centre. That would give Burnley the edge, as their team is strongest there and that will be what they will be trying to do. The battle will be all about them keeping Everton playing through the centre, not letting them exploit the much better players, comparatively, that they have out wide.


Editors' Predictions:
Ed002 - 2-0
Ed003 - 2-1
Ed004 - 2-1
Ed007 - 2-1
Ed018 - 1-1
Ed025 - 1-1



Newcastle United v Liverpool 4:30pm kick off

Lejeune (ankle injury) doubt
Dummett (hamstring injury no return date yet) out
Haidara (knee injury expected return 14th October) out

The Toon have been inconsistent this season so far, lost 2 in a row, then won 3 in a row, then lost again. Their big problem is the lack of a genuine goal threat, with none of their forward players having a good goal record in the Premier League. Even their midfield lacks the ability to weigh in with a few goals to help out. That is an issue Rafa Benitez has to find a way around as the season goes on.
Most important player: Christian Atsu. So far the summer signing from Chelsea has not exactly lit up the league, he has consistently struggled to perform. However, his pace can cause problems, if he can also perform to his best then he can provide Newcastle with an outball any time they are in trouble.


Lallana (thigh strain no return date yet) out
Clyne (back injury no return date yet) out
Bogdan (ACL injury no return date yet) out

Despite the thrashing at the hands of Manchester City, Liverpool are not in as bad a position as it may seem. A long way off the flying Manchester clubs right now, but that one defeat has skewed the perception of the season. There are still major problems with silly individual errors defensively, which needs to be rectified if the red half of Merseyside are ever going to win the league again. Now a profligacy in front of goal has added to the issues. With no real threat in central midfield and no defensive solidity in there, it does mean that every game turns into a rollercoaster ride with Liverpool unable to ever put any match to bed early, unlike some of their rivals.
Most important player: Sadio Mane. Back after a 3 match ban, Liverpool have missed his pace and goal scoring prowess badly.


Defining Battle: the key is for Newcastle's defence to keep a solid shape and not allow too many gaps to open up behind them for Salah and Mane to run into. They are the main players likely to hit the net, so the Toon will have to ensure the fullbacks are fully prepared for that threat.


Editor's Predictions:
Ed002 - 1-3
Ed003 - 2-3
Ed004 - 1-3
Ed007 - 2-2
Ed018 - 1-3
Ed025 - 0-4
Ed033 - 0-2




Editor's Predictions Table
1= Ed002 - 31 points
1= Ed003 - 31 points
3. Ed018 - 30 points
4. Ed007 - 29 points
5. Ed033 - 26 points
6. Ed004 - 22 points
7. Ed025 - 21 points

*1 point is awarded for the correct result, 3 points for the correct score.
**updated 29th September 2017

Written by Tris Burke



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