With the Premier League and Championship returning after last week’s postponements, Sam Matterface and Steve Freeth have had their say on this week’s 6 Scores Challenge.
(This article was originally published on 15.09.2022)
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Newcastle failed to open up Crystal Palace, but they will get the better of Bournemouth. There’ll be emotion in the air for Eddie Howe, but not too much.
Newcastle have firepower, scoring three against Manchester City, and to think Bournemouth can keep them out is probably fanciful. Howe’s side look pretty solid as well, and they should have too much for the Cherries.
Bournemouth showed plenty of spirit under Gary O’Neil to come back from 2-0 down to beat Nottingham Forest two weeks ago, but this will be a much tougher test against former Cherries boss Eddie Howe.
Newcastle may have conceded almost as many shots as the visitors but they’ve been of a much lower quality and in Nick Pope, the hosts have a keeper who sits second in the Goals Prevented charts.
Kieran Trippier created plenty of chances in the stalemate against Palace and he could be key in this with Alexander Isak being the main benefactor in what I think will be a comfortable home win.
Steve Bruce against the team he once starred for as a central defender. His team have been drawing a lot of games, Norwich have won for fun. I’m expecting Norwich to continue that run, especially after Wes Brom’s latest defeat at hands of Birmingham City.
Wow, where do you start with this? I was in attendance at the Hawthorns on Wednesday to see the debacle versus Birmingham, but in a bizarre way, this might suit Steve Bruce against another one of his former sides with the pressure slightly off against the in-form side in the Championship.
The Baggies look a mess defensively and it will need to be resolved sharpish – Albion fans clinging on to the resurgence of Nottingham Forest last season.
Norwich are flying with the Dean Smith dissenters being quietened by six wins on the trot and they will be licking their lips at facing this Baggies defence.
The rumours about Ismaila Sarr being fit will certainly give Watford a pep up; the idea they were going to storm the division seems to have been blown out of the water, and the recent defeat to Blackburn will hurt,
New manager Rob Edwards has had a stuttering start to the campaign, while Sunderland have a new boss in Tony Mowbray, and his nous at this level shouldn’t be underrated. They beat Reading in midweek, and I think they’ll beat Watford too.
Rob Edwards had a tough start to his Watford tenure with facing Sheffield United, West Brom and Burnley in his first three games, but most Hornets fans would surely admit they were fortunate to gain seven points and remain undefeated against the well-fancied trio.
Not much has gone right since and I think they look horribly short for the visit of Sunderland.
It feels a great time to travel to Vicarage Road and in Sunderland we have a side that arguably produced the goal of the week in the Championship. The visitors look capable of returning north with a point.
In Portugal this week it felt like a familiar story. I watched Tottenham miss chances, Tottenham control the game, and Tottenham conspire to lose the game.
Many people thought the flaky shaky Spurs of old had disappeared, but recent performances haven’t been good and they’ve had to take their medicine.
They lacked a bit of creativity; Emerson Royal was a real problem on the right-hand side. Sporting allowed him more freedom as they knew he was the less dangerous of the two wing-backs.
Leicester have the second worst defence in the league, so you would expect even an under par Kane, Kulusevski and Richarlison to find a way through.
Spurs certainly haven’t been at their best this season, but I think they’ll take all three points from this.
Tottenham have scored 10 in the last three games against Leicester with names like Gareth Bale (remember him?), Steven Bergwijn (remember him?) and Heung-min Son (remember him?) all bagging a brace.
Spurs have a perfect record at home, while the Foxes have lost three from three away from home and have conceded 11 goals in the process. Brendan Rodgers’ side have gone from 20/1 into 2/1 for relegation and they could be shorter come the international break.
I fancy Spurs to get over their midweek Champions League blip by punishing an out-of-sorts Leicester.
Arsenal have scored in each of their last seven matches, so we should be in for rip-roaring game. The Gunners have had two games disrupted in the last week, but that’s allowed them to get Thomas Partey back and fit, and they will want to bounce back from an unfortunate defeat to Manchester United two weeks ago.
But I like Brentford. They tested Arsenal last season, put United to the sword this season, and are the league’s joint top scorers in with 15 goals from their opening six games, but I think Mikel Arteta’s men will have just too much.
The Gunners look in better shape than they did in this fixture last season and I thought they were a bit unlucky at Old Trafford.
The Bees will be no pushovers, they’ve scored 10 goals in the first three at home and Ivan Toney, who is in the England squad, will have happy memories of giving Ben White such a going over last season.
However, I liked what I saw in Manchester and Mikel Arteta’s team can get back to winning ways with the oh-so-energetic Gabriel Jesus likely to have a big say in this one.
Everton haven’t won any of their last seven matches in the Premier League, so how do they beat a West Ham team that on paper look stronger? Well actually, Everton played really well against Liverpool, and Frank Lampard has had his team on the training ground all week fine-tuning.
There are signs Dominic Calvert-Lewin could return, and goals have certainly been a problem. They’ve only scored four in their last six games. But signs of defensive solidity have started to appear, and I think they’ll knock West Ham over.
Everton are still waiting for their first win after four draws on the bounce and unfortunately for the hosts, they will have to do without Jordan Pickford, statistically the best keeper in the division so far this season with a Goals Prevented tally of 2.6.
The England stopper was fantastic in keeping a clean sheet against Liverpool in the last match at Goodison, but I can’t help feeling that West Ham will take advantage of his absence.
The Hammers, themselves struggling near the foot of the table, will have felt hard done by in that defeat at Stamford Bridge, but they can pile the pressure on the former Chelsea legend by winning this one.