Premier League week 8 preview: Liverpool to prevail at home vs Manchester City

Matt Jones

Thursday, October 4, 2018 10:54 AM UTC

Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018 10:54 AM UTC

Liverpool, the appointed main contenders, host Manchester City, the league leaders and defending champions, at Anfield on Sunday. And while football writing, this column included, is overly rife with boxing analogies, this match does have a big-fight feel to it, doesn't it?

<p>OK then. Deep breath. The biggest game of the campaign is upon us in the Premier League.</p><p>Both sides will want to enrich their own confidence, dent that of their rivals and ensure there's no poor result to stew on over the course of the international break.</p><p>Here's a look at what to expect from three feature matches this weekend, as well as a prediction for the remaining seven. Score predictions for each game are in bold, with odds following.</p><p> </p><h2><a href="" target="_blank" title="Check Watford - Bournemouth Odds"><b>Watford vs. Bournemouth</b></a></h2><p>Away from Liverpool's meeting with City there are other games that catch the eye. Watford, in sixth, hosting Bournemouth, in seventh, is one.</p><p>The Hornets have had their wings clipped in recent weeks after their four-game winning run to start the season, with no win in their last three matches. Still, even in losses to Manchester United and Arsenal, as well as the draw with Fulham, there was reason for Watford fans to feel positive.</p><p>The team still looks cohesive in defence, still combative in midfield and at the sharp end of the pitch they have a variety of threats. Manager Javi Gracia certainly won't be too concerned by recent performances as a result.</p><p>Bournemouth have matched Watford this term, as they also sit on 13 points seven games in. On Monday they picked up a morale-boosting triumph too, as a late penalty from Junior Stanislas earned them three points in a tight game against Crystal Palace.</p><p>For manager Eddie Howe, the challenge will be getting his team to replicate their form at the Vitality Stadium on the road. In their last two away games they've slumped to losses, with their most recent being the 4-0 capitulation against Burnley. He'll want to see the same aggression and cohesion that's evident at home on Saturday,</p><p>Still, Watford feel like they'll have an edge here, as they're strong on home soil and have the midfield personnel to win that battle with both poise and power. <b>2-1 </b><i>(9.50 <a href=";a=e605009c-af6d-4596-a06f-dbd28d37b12f&amp;f=2" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Check this top rated Bookmaker!">Bet365</a>)</i></p><p> </p><p> </p><h2><a href="" target="_blank" title="Check Southampton - Chelsea Odds"><b>Southampton vs. Chelsea</b></a></h2><p>Given the upheaval at Chelsea over the summer, manager Maurizio Sarri will be delighted if he can steer his team into the second international break not only unbeaten, but with six wins from eight games.</p><p>Southampton are the team that'll be tasked with trying to stop the blue juggernaut. They've not been at their best in the Premier League this season and appear destined for another relegation battle under Mark Hughes. But they'll take confidence from a penalty shootout win over Everton in the League Cup on Tuesday.</p><p>Even so, they'll go into Sunday's match knowing that they're barely going to get a touch of the ball and that they'll have the best player in the league to contain in Eden Hazard.</p><p>Chelsea have adapted well to Sarri's methods and were impressive in the 1-1 draw against Liverpool last weekend, especially given the Reds are so far ahead in their development. The players appear to be enjoying the new style and with six goals in the league already this season, it's clearly bringing the best from Hazard.</p><p>The Belgian is not only scoring goals, he's relishing the extra freedom being afforded to him by Sarri. From the left flank he's roaming infield, driving at defences and finding team-mates with defence-splitting passes.</p><p>Ultimately, that extra class between the two teams will be the difference come Sunday at St Mary's. A win for Chelsea will take them top ahead of the big game of the day too. <b>0-2</b> <i>(8.50 <a href=";a=e605009c-af6d-4596-a06f-dbd28d37b12f&amp;f=2" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Check this top rated Bookmaker!">Bet365</a>)</i></p><p> </p><p> </p><h2><a href="" target="_blank" title="Check Liverpool - Man City Odds"><b>Liverpool vs. Manchester City</b></a></h2><p>Hostility and hammerings, intensity and intelligence. Meetings between Liverpool and Manchester City had just about everything in the Premier League and Champions League last season. This feels like it'll be another special occasion between two of the division's most enterprising football teams.</p><p>It feels important too. Not necessarily in determining who will eventually win the title, as there are so many obstacles for each team to overcome yet. But in a division where neither team looks likely to drop too many points, being the front-runners may well be significant.</p><p>Liverpool have let a bit of their early-season momentum slip in recent matches, as losses to Chelsea and Napoli sandwiched a draw against the Blues in the Premier League. The front three of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, so deadly at times last term, appear a little out of sync at the moment as well.</p><p>Despite that, there'll be confidence they can conquer City at home. Not only did they do it twice last season, the Manchester outfit have a torrid record at Anfield, with no victory at the stadium since 2003.</p><p>City boss Pep Guardiola will look closely at the matches from last season and meticulously examine where his team went wrong against the Reds. With that in mind, it wouldn't be a shock to see him spring a surprise in terms of team selection or shape in an attempt to throw the home side off balance.</p><p>But Liverpool remain a force at home and remain the only side in the Premier League who operate with their usual conviction when they come up against City. They will edge a fascinating game and grasp initiative heading into the international break. <b>2-1 </b><i>(12.00 <a href=";a=e605009c-af6d-4596-a06f-dbd28d37b12f&amp;f=2" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Check this top rated Bookmaker!">Bet365</a>)</i></p><p> </p><p><a href="" target="_blank" title="Check Brighton - West Ham Odds">Brighton vs. West Ham</a> <b>2-2 </b><i>(16.00 BetVictor)</i></p><p><a href="" target="_blank" title="Check Burnley - Huddersfield Odds">Burnley vs. Huddersfield</a> <b>2-0 </b><i>(9.50 Bet365)</i></p><p><a href="" target="_blank" title="Check Crystal Palace - Wolves Odds">Crystal Palace vs. Wolves</a> <b>2-1 </b><i>(12.00 Bet365)</i></p><p><a href="" target="_blank" title="Check Leicester - Everton Odds">Leicester vs. Everton</a> <b>2-2 </b><i>(15.00 Bet365)</i></p><p><a href="" target="_blank" title="Check Tottenham - Cardiff Odds">Tottenham vs. Cardiff</a> <b>3-0 </b><i>(8.50 Bet365)</i></p><p><a href="" target="_blank" title="Check Man Utd - Newcastle Odds">Manchester United vs. Newcastle</a> <b>1-0</b> <i>(7.00 Bet365)</i></p><p><a href="" target="_blank" title="Check Fulham - Arsenal Odds">Fulham vs. Arsenal</a> <b>1-2 </b><i>(9.00 Bet365)</i></p>
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