PL Preview 2020/21: GW4

PL Preview 2020/21: GW4

The first international break of the season is almost here. Premier League 2020/21 will complete four weeks of drama this weekend. 36 goals were scored in the previous gameweek of the Premier League. Chelsea will open the gameweek four of the Premier League 2020/21 at home against Crystal Palace. Leeds will take on Manchester City. Manchester United face another stern test as Tottenham Hotspur will visit the Old Trafford.

FootTheBall dives into the squad news and score predictions for each game ahead of the gameweek four of the Premier League 2020/21.

 

Chelsea v Crystal Palace

(03 October, Stamford Bridge)

When Roman Abramovich gave his locker keys to Frank Lampard, he implicitly handed him a time bomb. Abramovich’s is not known for his patience and that is exactly the button that Lampard wouldn’t want to trigger. The Blues have won only one game so far this season. They could only salvage one point at the Hawthorns last week. Midweek worsened their situation as Tottenham Hotspur knocked Chelsea out of the Carabao Cup.

Chelsea will now open gameweek four of the Premier League 2020/21 on Saturday. They host Crystal Palace. The Eagles have earned six points in three games and have the second-best defense in Premier League this season.

Lampard needs to find a quick solution to get the best out of his new signings. He will, nonetheless, have to do without Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic, and Billy Gilmour. Ross Barkley completed his loan switch to Aston Villa on Thursday.

Premier League Preview 2020/21: Gameweek 4

Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic are yet to play for Chelsea this season (Image courtesy: Twitter/@CFCmaestrofabre)

Roy Hodgson is having a tough time dealing with Palace’s defensive woes. Scott Dann, Gary Cahill, James Tomkins, and Patrick van Aanholt, and Nathan Ferguson are injured. Jeffrey Schlupp is a doubt for this game. Mitchy Batshuayi will not play against his parent club but Christian Benteke can make a return to the starting lineup.

Expected Lineups

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Mendy – James, Christensen, Silva, Chilwell – Kante, Kovacic – Havertz, Mount, Hudson-Odoi – Werner

Palace (4-4-2): Guaita – Ward, Kouyate, Sakho, Mitchell – Townsend, McCarthy, Eze, Zaha – Ayew, Benteke

July 2020 featured a close encounter between the two. Chelsea edged past Palace by three-two at Selhurst Park.

Score Prediction: Chelsea 2 – 1 Palace

 

Everton v Brighton

(03 October, Goodison Park)

Merseyside is having a ball in the Premier League this season. While the red half is busy defending their crown, the blue boys have raised the bar. Carlo Ancelotti has seen a perfect start to the new season with nine points in three league fixtures. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is emerging as their messiah to lead Everton back in the top four.

The English forward scored another hattrick in midweek to knock West Ham out of the Carabao Cup. Brighton will visit Goodison Park on Saturday and Mathew Ryan might be on Calvert-Lewin’s hitlist.

Premier League Roundup 2020/21: Gameweek 2

Dominic Calvert-Lewin is on fire for Everton (Image courtesy: Twitter/@premierleague)

Ancelotti is still without Mason Holgate. Jarrad Branthwaite is expected to return after the international break. Jonjoe Kenny is a doubt for the Brighton game. Richarlison and Allan also picked up injuries against West ham but Ancelotti provided positive updates after the final whistle. Their involvement on Saturday will be decided in a day’s time.

Graham Potter might not have Alireza Jahanbaksh available for this game. Davy Propper, Jose Izquierdo, and Florin Andone will not feature for the Seagulls.

Expected Lineups

Everton (4-3-3): Pickford – Coleman, Mina, Keane, Digne – Doucoure, Gomes, Sigurdsson – Rodriguez, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison

Brighton (3-4-3): Ryan, White, Dunk, Webster – Lamptey, Lallana, Alzate, March – Trossard, Connolly, Maupay

Everton won by a slender one-nil margin in their previous meeting with Brighton at Goodison Park.

Score Prediction: Everton 3 – 2 Brighton

 

Leeds United v Manchester City

(03 October, Elland Road)

The two most coveted tacticians in the world of football will come face to face in gameweek four of Premier League 2020/21. The Championship winners have collected six points are now looking for their third win a row against Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola’s City suffered a five-two defeat last week. Leicester City rattled the Cityzens, making it one of the worst defeats of the Spanish head coach. While City has played a game less than Leeds, they need to be on top of their game to get back in the title race. City qualified to the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup following a three-nil victory over Burnley.

Raheem Sterling is again expected to start upfront as Guardiola will be without Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero. John Stones is expected to be back but Guardiola might prefer pairing Nathan Ake and Aymeric Laporte in the heart of the defense. New signing, Ruben Dias is unlikely to play against Leeds. Joao Cancelo and Oleksandr Zinchenko will be available after the international break.

The hosts will not be able to plot Jack Harrison against his parent club. Pablo Hernandez and Adam Forshaw are out with injuries.

Expected Lineups

Leeds (4-1-4-1): Meslier – Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Dallas – Phillips – Costa, Rodrigo, Klich, Alioski – Bamford

City (4-3-3): Ederson – Walker, Laporte, Ake, Mendy – De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Rodri – Mahrez, Sterling, Silva

Manchester won by four goals to zero when they met Leeds in the fifth round of FA Cup 2013.

Score Prediction: Leeds 1 – 3 City

 

Newcastle United v Burnley

(03 October, St. James’ Park)

Saturday’s final game for matchday four of Premier League 2020/21 will be played at the Tyneside. Newcastle will play at home against Burnley.

The hosts clawed back against Tottenham last week to bag one point after the late VAR drama. Callum Wilson converted from the spot in the last minute of additional time. The Toons displayed another lowly performance against Newport County in the Carabao Cup. They limped their way through a five-four victory on penalties to reach the quarter-finals.

Paul Dummett, Ciaran Clark, Matt Ritchie, Matthew Longstaff, and Dwight Gayle are not available due to injuries. Steve Bruce expects Allan Saint-Maximin to be fit for the Burnley game.

Sean Dyche will have to do without Ben Mee, Robbie Brady, Jack Cork, Johan Berg Gudmundsson, and Jay Rodriguez. James Tarkowski returned to action in the Carabao Cup and will be in contention to start on Saturday. Ashley Barnes may also start alongside Chris Wood.

Expected Lineups

Newcastle (4-4-2): Darlow – Manquillo, Lascelles, Fernandez, Lewis – Hendrick, Shelvey, Longstaff, Saint-Maximin – Carroll, Wilson

Burnley (4-4-2): Pope – Bardsley, Long, Tarkowski, Taylor – Bownhill, Westwood, Stephens, McNeil – Wood, Barnes

Newcastle and Burnley shared the spoils in a goalless draw during their last encounter at the St. James’ Park in February.

Score Prediction: Newcastle 1 – 1 Burnley

 

Leicester City v West Ham United

(04 October, King Power Stadium)

A five-two victory over Manchester City last week and the 2016 Premier League champions are now sitting on top of the table. Brendan Rodgers has created one of the most fearsome attacks in the country. The Foxes have scored 12 goals in three games with the third-best xG of 6.1. It is Rodgers’s pragmatic approach that is reaping all the benefits for Leicester. The Foxes will now aim to make it four wins out of four when West Ham travels to the King Power Stadium.

Ricardo Pereira, Filip Benkovic, and Wilfred Ndidi are out with injuries. James Maddison should make his first Premier League start against the Hammers. New signing, Cengiz Under did not play against Manchester City due to personal reasons. He could be available on the bench against West Ham. Jonny Evans and Jamies Vardy are expected to be fit after they suffered from minor injuries last week. Dennis Praet, on the other hand, is a doubt.

David Moyes got his first league victory of the season against Wolves last week. However, the Hammers were the victims of a four-one battering by Everton in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup. West Ham will be without Ryan Fredericks who suffered from a hamstring pain against Wolves. Issa Diop is also unlikely to feature against Leicester.

Expected Lineups

Leicester (4-1-4-1): Schmeichel – Castagne, Evans, Soyuncu, Justin – Mendy – Perez, Tielemans, Maddison, Barnes – Vardy

West Ham (4-2-3-1): Fabianski – Johnson, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell – Soucek, Rice – Bowen, Noble, Fornals – Antonio

Leicester City were victorious in their previous home clash against West Ham with a full-time score of four-one.

Score Prediction: Leicester 4 – 2 West Ham

 

Southampton v West Brom

(04 October, St. Mary’s Stadium)

The Saints defeated Burnley in gameweek three of the Premier League 2020/21 as they toiled hard for the first win of the season. Southampton have been handed West Brom in their next clash. Ralph Hasenhuttl has a fully fit squad except for Nathan Redmond.

Premier League Preview 2020/21: Gameweek 4

Che Adams and Oriol Romeu (Image Courtesy: Twitter/@SouthhamptonFC)

West Bromwich Albion had an enthralling first half against Chelsea last week. Slaven Bilic is without Kenneth Zohore. Kamil Grosicki and Ahmed Hegazy are doubtful for Sunday’s game. Kieran Gibbs is suspended until 17th October.

Expected Lineups

Southampton (4-4-2): McCarthy – Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Vestergaard, Bertrand – Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Djenepo – Adams, Ings

West Brom (3-4-3): Johnstone – Ajayi, Bartley, O’Shea – Furlong, Livermore, Sawyers, Townsend – Pereira, Robinson, Diangana

In their last meeting, Southampton knocked the Baggies out of the FA Cup 2018 after a two-one victory in the fifth round.

Score Prediction: Southampton 2 – 1 West Brom

 

Arsenal v Sheffield United

(04 October, Emirates Stadium)

After a three-one loss at the hands of the champions last week, Arsenal gunned down Liverpool out of the Carabao Cup on Thursday. Mikel Arteta, so far, has had a decent to the new Premier League season. Arsenal are fifth in the league table with six points. The Spaniard needs to find a good balance in the defense if Arsenal want to challenge for the title this season.

The Gunners face the Blades in gameweek four of Premier League 2020/21. Sheffield have lost all of their opening three games. Chris Wilder is struggling to emulate last season’s performance. The pressure is building for the Blades and they soon may reach the tipping point.

Arteta has troubles in the defensive department. Shkodran Mustafi, Pablo Mari, and Calum Chambers are expected to return in the second half of October. Sokratis Papastathopoulos is a doubt.

John Egan will definitely start for the visitors after serving his suspension. Ethan Ampadu will also retain his place in Sheffield’s defensive line as he is the number one contender to replace an injured Jack O’Connell. There is still no news for Lys Mousset’s return.

Expected Lineups

Arsenal (3-4-3): Leno – Holding, Luiz, Tierney – Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles – Willian, Lacazette, Aubameyang

Sheffield (3-5-2): Ramsdale – Basham, Egan, Ampadu – Baldock, Lundstram, Berge, Fleck, Stevens – Burke, McGoldrick

Arsenal’s previous meeting with Sheffield ended in a one-all draw at the Emirates Stadium

Score Prediction: Arsenal 2 – 0 Sheffield

 

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Fulham

(04 October, Molineux Stadium)

After a strong start to the season, Wolves succumbed to two consecutive defeats. Nuno Espirito Santo will aim to redeem the Wolves’ fan with a victory before the international break starts. Wolves will host Fulham in gameweek four of the Premier League 2020/21.

Wolverhampton Wanderers in a training session (Image courtesy: Twitter/@Wolves)

The visitors, too, are in a dire need of three points. Scott Parker’s side has conceded ten goals while scoring only three. All of their goals arrived in gameweek two against Leeds. Fulham also faced an embarrassing Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Brentford FC on Thursday.

Wolves will have to do without Jonny Castro and Fernando Marcal. Daniel Podence, who sustained a shoulder injury in gameweek two, has a 50-50 chance to face Fulham.

Kenny Tete is a doubt for the visitors. Ademola Lookman is expected to travel to the Molineux Stadium.

Expected Lineups

Wolves (3-4-3): Patricio – Boly, Coady, Saiss – Semedo, Neves, Moutinho, Vinagre – Traore, Jimenez, Neto

Fulham (4-2-3-1): Areola – Odio, Hector, Ream, Bryan – Anguissa, Cairney – Kamara, Onomah, Cavaleiro – Mitrovic

Their previous encounter at the Molineux Stadium saw Wolves edging past Fulham by one-nil in the Premier League 2018/19 season.

Score Prediction: Wolves 2 – 0 Fulham

 

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur

(04 October, Old Trafford)

The Red Devils nearly escaped Brighton following a three-two victory in gameweek three. The Carabao Cup display was, however, more convincing as Manchester United progressed to the quarter-finals after beating the Seagulls by three-zero.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have not been looking sharp lately. Their post-lockdown form of the previous season seems a story of the past now. Old Trafford will stage the biggest match of gameweek four of the Premier League 2020/21. The Red Devils go head-to-head against Tottenham Hotspur.

The Lillywhites were raging with anger after Newcastle got away with a point last week. Jose Mourinho, however, seems to be on the right path. Spurs knocked Chelsea out of the Carabao Cup and thrashed Maccabi Haifa by seven-one in the Europa League play-offs. This season’s schedule is quite burdensome for Spurs as they have played a game within a span of two days since the onset.

Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe are, reportedly, the only major injury concerns for Solskjaer. Spurs, on the other hand, will have to do without Heung-Min Son and Gareth Bale. Giovani Lo Celso is a doubt.

Expected Lineups

United (4-2-3-1): de Gea – Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw – Pogba, Matic – Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford – Martial

Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris – Doherty, Sanchez, Dier, Reguilon – Hojberg, Sissoko – Moura, Alli, Lamela – Kane

Manchester United stole a point when they last met Tottenham in June this year.

Score Prediction: United 2 – 1 Spurs

 

Aston Villa v Liverpool

(04 October, Villa Park)

Gameweek four of Premier League 2020/21 will feature its last game at Villa Park. Jurgen Klopp’s red army will face Aston Villa.

The Lions have started their new season in style. Villa defeated Sheffield by one-nil in their first league game. In the previous gameweek, Aston Villa triumphed at the Craven Cottage after a convincing three-nil win over Fulham. The injury list for Villa includes Tom Heaton, Bjorn Engels, and Wesley Moraes.

Liverpool are the clear favorites to make it 12 points in four games. Liverpool have, thus far, reflected champions’ mettle. They have already got the better of Premier League giants, Chelsea and Arsenal. Klopp will not have Joel Matip, Konstantinos Tsimikas, Thiago Alcantara, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at his disposal for their next game. Jordan Henderson might make it to the bench against Villa.

Expected Lineups

Villa (4-3-3): Martinez – Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett – McGinn, Luiz, Hourihane – Traore, Watkins, Grealish

Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson – Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson – Keita, Fabinho, Wijnaldum – Salah, Firmino, Mane

Liverpool bagged three points following a two-nil score when they last played against Aston Villa in July 2020.

Score Prediction: Villa 0 – 3 Liverpool

 

(Featured Image: Twitter/@premierleague)

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