A new week, a new cast of characters in the Premier League.
Mario Balotelli is in at Liverpool and primed to take the pitch against Spurs on Sunday, Angel Di Maria is a Manchester United player looking to change the fate of a troubled club and 33-year-old Samuel Eto’o is now a Toffee who will have his shot at revenge against former Chelsea boss, Jose Mourinho.
Isn’t life during the transfer window grand?
Some excellent fixtures this weekend including Chelsea v. Everton on Saturday and Tottenham v. Liverpool on Sunday, as well as a few sneaky-good ones in Manchester City v. Stoke, QPR v. Sunderland and West Ham v. Southampton.
Here’s how I see it taking shape:
TAKE IT TO THE BANK
Manchester City v. Stoke City (Saturday 10:00am ET on NBCSN)
Against Liverpool, Manchester City spent 45 minutes monitoring the situation and absorbing pressure before unleashing a second half of pure pain on Brendan Rodgers’ men. And the Reds are a quality side. This week expect City’s monitoring of Stoke to take about 10 minutes.
Manchester City 3 Stoke City 1
Newcastle v. Crystal Palace (Saturday 10:00am ET on Live Extra)
If Newcastle had a half-decent striker who could score 12+ goals in the league, they’d be legit Top 6 contenders. Time for the Toon take get their first win of the season.
Newcastle 2 Crystal Palace 1
Swansea City v. West Bromwich Albion (Saturday 10:00am ET on Live Extra)
There will come this season when pundits finally recognize Garry Monk as one of the most underrated managers in the league. I’m calling it now: Monk was an average center-back but he’s well above-average as a manager.
Swansea City 2 West Brom 0
Everton v. Chelsea (Saturday 12:30pm ET on NBC)
Loving the revenge factor that Romelu Lukaku and Samuel Eto’o carry into this match against their former side. But is it be enough to get past high-flying Chelsea? Doubtful.
Everton 1 Chelsea 3
THE PLOT MAY BE LOST
Manchester United v. Burnley (Saturday 7:45am ET on NBCSN)
Manchester United losing 4-0 to MK Dons was one of those results that had me feeling like I’d been drinking… well-whiskey… during the day… mid-week. Ugh. My body still aches, the hangover continues.
Manchester United 1 Burnley 1
Tottenham v. Liverpool (Sunday 8:30am ET on NBCSN)
A lot of people talking about Tottenham contending for the Top 4. This match will be telling to the legitimacy of that statement.
Tottenham 1 Liverpool 2
Aston Villa v. Hull City (Sunday 8:30am ET on Live Extra)
Villa. Is. Back.
Aston Villa 1 Hull City 0
West Ham v. Southampton (Saturday 10:00am ET on NBCSN)
All hail those surprising Saints!
West Ham 0 Southampton 1
QPR v. Sunderland (Saturday 10:00am ET on Live Extra)
Underrated match of the week here. Two clubs fated to battle relegation face off in the glorious broom closet that is Loftus Road. I’m going all-in on Jozy Altidore here. The American may not start but I’m calling it, he’s opening his scoring account this weekend.
QPR 1 Sunderland 2
Leicester City v. Arsenal (Sunday 11:00am ET on NBCSN)
Will Arsenal have a new striker by match time on Monday? Feels like a vintage situation for Wenger to upset fans, which will only be exacerbated by a poor result in Leicester.
Leicester City 1 Arsenal 1