Premier League Preview - Week Eight
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Premier League Preview - Week Eight

The Premier League is back and it returns from the international break with a new big player in town. Tottenham Hotspur are the first opponents of the richest club in world football, Newcastle United, after a Saudi-led consortium completed their takeover of the team from Tyneside last week. The Magpies' new owners might be plotting world domination, but first on their agenda will be ensuring the club’s top-flight status remains intact. Meanwhile, we have two London derbies to look forward to, a Midlands match-up between Aston Villa and Wolves, and a return to the top-flight for former Foxes’ favourite Claudio Ranieri. Football expert Aarron Pullen previews what should be another thrilling weekend of top-flight football.


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Watford vs Liverpool (Saturday, 12:30pm)

The last time these two sides met, the Hornets stung the Reds 3-0 – ending a club-record 44-game unbeaten league run for Jurgen Klopp's outfit, as well as a joint Premier League record 18-game winning streak.

The Hertfordshire club will have a new face in the dugout, and Premier League champion Ranieri is next to take the very hot seat at Vicarage Road.

The Italian is aiming to provide a new manager bounce and boasts a strong home record against Liverpool, winning four of his five meetings.

However, this is a much stronger Reds side to any that he has faced, with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane in superb form – the latter needs just one goal to surpass the 100 mark in England’s top tier.

Aston Villa vs Wolves (Saturday, 3pm)

Wolves have had the upper hand in this Midlands derby in recent years – winning four of their last seven clashes with the Villans, while losing just once on their last seven visits to Villa Park.

Bruno Lage’s side were just starting to click ahead of the international break, with back-to-back victories against Southampton and Newcastle United.

They’re aiming to go three in a row in the top flight for the first time since June

2020, where the third game on that occasion was a 1-0 victory away to Aston Villa.

Dean Smith’s men are unbeaten at home in their last five matches and you would have to go back to October 2011 for the last time they completed such a feat.

Leicester City vs Manchester United (Saturday, 3pm)

The international break might just have come at the right time for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with pressure on the Norwegian ramping up after a questionable run of form.

The Red Devils lost 3-1 on their last visit to the King Power Stadium back in March, as the Foxes progressed on their way to winning the FA Cup.

Forward Jamie Vardy continues to prove that age is just a number – another goal on Saturday would make him the second-oldest player in Premier League history to score in four consecutive matches, behind only Gary McAllister. 

Manchester City vs Burnley (Saturday, 3pm)

Clarets fans are sick of the Etihad Stadium – their last four trips to the home of the Citizens have seen them lose 5-0 each time.

Burnley can take some solace from the fact that no team has ever won the same fixture by that scoreline five times in a row. But this is Manchester City and if anyone can do it, it will be them.

Sean Dyche’s outfit are on the longest winless run in England’s top four tiers (10 league games) and with the last eight meetings between these sides having an aggregate score of 30-1, it’s hard to see that changing this weekend. 

Norwich City vs Brighton & Hove Albion (Saturday, 3pm)

The basement boys welcome the league’s surprise package to Carrow Road, with the Canaries still searching for their win.

Daniel Farke’s side have faced plenty of criticism this season, but their point and clean sheet away to Burnley last time out was a noticeable step in the right direction.

The goal-shy Canaries have failed to score more than once in any of their last 25 top-flight matches and a repeat on Saturday would be a new record for the division.

Leandro Trossard is enjoying an impressive season for the Seagulls, and the Belgian has been involved in all three of Brighton’s Premier League goals against Norwich – scoring two and assisting the other.

Southampton vs Leeds United (Saturday, 3pm)

Southampton go in search of their first win of the season at St Mary’s – but the Saints may have to wait patiently for a little longer.

Leeds have won more Premier League games against the South Coast club (14) than any other team, and were victorious on both occasions last term.

But Marcelo Bielsa’s side haven’t been at the usual levels we have come to expect from them, with the sixth-lowest expected goals total (7.7) and an xG-per-shot of just (0.07) – the lowest in the division.

Brentford vs Chelsea (Saturday, 5:30pm)

Saturday’s evening kick-off will feature a West London derby that hasn’t been played in the league since March 1947.

The Blues have won each of their last six London derbies in England’s top flight and are aiming to become the first professional side to win seven such games in a row.

In their way are Brentford, who have seamlessly made the step up from the Championship.

And with forward Yoane Wissa – who is currently averaging a goal every 47 minutes for the Bees in all competitions this season – in fine form, Chelsea will know this is no easy assignment.

Everton vs West Ham United (Sunday, 2pm)

David Moyes returns to Goodison Park this weekend – a venue where he spent 11 years in charge of the Toffees.

Away from home, his Hammers team are unbeaten in their last six league matches, but they face a tough test against Rafa Benitez’s in-form Everton.

In Andros Townsend, the Toffees have one of the division’s stand-out stars this term, with the 30-year-old being directly involved in eight goals from their last nine matches.

Newcastle United vs Tottenham Hotspur (Sunday, 4:30pm)

It will be an afternoon to remember for the Toon Army at St. James’ Park, as they witness the dawn of a new era – all despite sitting 19th with no wins to their name. 

The Geordie faithful may be disappointed to see Steve Bruce still in their dugout, as the new owners look to take their time appointing his successor – but it will allow the former Hull City boss to take charge of his 1,000th game in management (W376, D254, L369).

Spurs are the visitors and will almost play a supporting role on Sunday, given everything that has been going on.

However, the North Londoners have a good recent record on Tyneside, winning three and drawing once on their last four visits.

Arsenal vs Crystal Palace (Monday, 8pm)

The last player to lift a league trophy for the Gunners will return in the away dugout on Monday night, when Patrick Vieira takes his Palace side north of the Thames.

He will become the fourth former Arsenal player in the Premier League era to manage a game against his former employers, after David O’Leary, Tony Adams and Remi Garde.

The midfield general of the iconic ‘invincibles’ side will face a tough task if he wants to get three points, as Mikel Arteta’s men have just come into a good run of form.

The Spaniard was awarded Manager of the Month for September, after winning all three league matches against Norwich, Burnley and Tottenham.

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