We all love international football, but when the prospect of the Premier league returning arises, it’s impossible not to feel the tremor of excitement, especially when we take a little look at what Game Week 8 has in store. Here are the highlights from the coming weekend of Premier League action.
Chelsea V Leicester City, Saturday 15/10/16 at 12:30 GMT
A meeting between the 2015 and 2016 Premier League champions is in fact only a meeting between seventh and twelfth this time out, but the season is still young and these two sides have proven track records. Antonio Conte will have been pleased to get three points at Hull last time out after two successive defeats, and will be buoyed by the form of Diego Costa in particular who already has six league goals to his name. Foxes’ boss Claudio Ranieri will be slightly disappointed with his side’s league form thus far, but how do you follow on from a season in which you secured a miraculous league title? Nevertheless, Leicester’s away form has been abysmal with three defeats from three and ten goals conceded. The home side should welcome back John Terry in time for Saturday’s game, while the Foxes should be able to call upon midfield leader Danny Drinkwater after a groin strain.
Chelsea 1.57, Draw 4.00, Leicester City 5.00
Manchester City V Everton, Saturday 15/10/16 at 15:00 GMT
Pep Guardiola will be desperate to see his side get back to winning ways after being soundly beaten at Tottenham last time out, yet there is no reason for panic as City still sit top and have won six of their seven league games to date. Visitors Everton had a magnificent start to life under Ronald Koeman and still sit fifth, but expectations will have been dampened by defeat at Bournemouth followed by a draw at home to Crystal Palace a fortnight ago. Worryingly for the Toffees top scorer Romelu Lukaku is a slight doubt with a thigh strain with further concerns over Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines and James McCarthy. Sergio Aguero, Bacary Sagna and Raheem Sterling should all be fit for the home side, but the game will come too soon for club captain Vincent Kompany who remains on the treatment table along with Kevin De Bruyne.
Manchester City 1.44, Draw 4.50, Everton 6.50
Liverpool V Manchester United, Monday 17/10/16 at 20:00 GMT
There is no doubt where the biggest game of Game Week 8 can be found, and that’s at Anfield on Monday night in what promises to be an epic clash between Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, who sit in fourth place with the mantle of the Premier League’s ‘entertainers’ firmly round their necks after scoring 18 times already thus far, and Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United, currently occupying sixth. United’s progress under Jose Mourinho has been a little more subdued in comparison to the ‘Rock ‘N Roll’ developments at Liverpool, with only one win in the last four in the league, albeit a convincing 4-1 defeat of Leicester. This will not be a game Mourinho will relish as he knows defeat here will put his team under intense scrutiny, especially with his tactics and team selections already being called into question and captain Wayne Rooney’s place in the team in doubt. Giorginio Wijnaldum is definitely out for the home side after picking up a knock on international duty, while England’s Adam Lallana has also failed to recover from a groin strain. Dejan Lovren and Nathaniel Clyne should feature. For United, Phil Jones remains the only absentee as he continues his recovery from a serious knee injury.
Liverpool 2.10, Draw 3.50, Manchester United 3.30
All odds courtesy of Bet365 and correct as of 15:00 GMT on 12/10/16
By: Steve Paget