Former Liverpool CEO Ian Ayre announced as Nashville MLS Chief Executive in standout move

Nashville MLS have made a huge statement of intent ahead of their league debut in 2020 by announcing former Liverpool FC Chief Executive Ian Ayre as their first CEO. The Englishman was named Premier League Chief Executive of the Year in 2017 and will relocate to Nashville with his family this summer.

Ayre will instantly begin work on building and leading the Nashville MLS club ahead of their league debut, which is expected to arrive in the 2020 season. The 55-year-old spent 10 successful years with Liverpool and was responsible for restructuring the club at all levels. The fact they are now preparing for a UEFA Champions League final with Real Madrid speaks volumes of the foundations Ayre laid.

He left his post with Liverpool at the end of the 2016/17 Premier League season and then served briefly as managing director of 1860 Munich. However, he left his role with the German side after just a few weeks because of what he deemed “warring factions” within the ownership group. He should have no such problem with Nashville as they have further outlined their bold ambitions of making an immediate impact in Major League Soccer with the acquisition of Ian Ayre.

“We are committed to bringing world-class soccer to Nashville, as evidenced by the appointment of Ian as our CEO,” John Ingram, lead owner of Nashville MLS said. “Ian understands our vision for Nashville MLS and has the skill and experience to bring the best in soccer to our city. His passion for the sport and the business of the game, along with his progressive approach and commitment to community, will help us create Nashville’s MLS club while elevating soccer in Music City and MLS. I’m delighted to welcome him to Nashville and our club!”

As well as overseeing the successful $160 million stadium expansion of Anfield during his time with Liverpool, Ayre was directly responsible for all player transfers, including contract negotiations. He helped acquire the likes of Phillipe Coutinho, Fernando Torres, Luis Suarez, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Manè during his time with the Reds. While also working with top-class coaches such as Rafa Benitez, Brendan Rodgers and Jurgen Klopp.

“The opportunity to put Nashville on the national and international soccer map is a truly outstanding challenge, and I literally cannot wait to get started,” Ian Ayre said. “Becoming chief executive officer of the Nashville MLS club is a unique opportunity in the global soccer community. To take what is essentially a blank sheet of paper and build an entire club is an amazing challenge, and one I am hugely excited about.”

Nashville was awarded Major League Soccer’s 24th club in December 2017, and enthusiasm for soccer continues to grow in Music City. CONCACAF recently announced Nashville as a host city of the 2019 Gold Cup. Nashville Soccer Club, the city’s USL club, launched in spring 2018.

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Hazard leaving Chelsea? – Star set to go after top four failure

After a performance that has been heavily criticised by pundits, Chelsea’s loss to Manchester City has made finishing in the top four look extremely unlikely for the Blues. Champions League football is a must for attracting and keeping top players. Missing out could be a catalyst for Eden Hazard leaving Chelsea.

The Belgian is arguably one of the best players to represent the club. Since joining in the summer of 2012 he has been a key performer for Chelsea. But the possibility of him staying with the Blues for the long haul has been constantly questioned.

Hazard has made no secret of his admiration for current Los Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane and Real Madrid. The temptation for any player to pull on that famous white shirt is enough to worry adoring fans that their current favourites could move at any time.

This summer seems the most likely yet that Hazard leaving Chelsea is a real possibility. Hazard is yet to pen a new deal. Now he may be looking to move on after six seasons in the capital.

When taking a look at Hazard’s Chelsea stats, his potential departure is a major concern for the club.

Is Eden Hazard leaving Chelsea?

It’s easy to see how influential Hazard is for Chelsea. He has been directly involved in 160 goals in his 287 games in all competitions. His two Premier League titles, Europa League and League Cup is an impressive haul of trophies so far.

Hazard has successfully completed 940 dribbles in the Premier League and European competitions since joining Chelsea. That is bettered by Lionel Messi (1045), but not Cristiano Ronaldo (388) or Neymar (861).

Hazard leaving Chelsea – Title defence failure

Although City have taken the league by storm this season, Chelsea’s title defence has been poor to say the least. It’s the second title defence in a row where Chelsea have not been up to the races.

For Hazard to continue his growth as a player and to be recognised as one of the elite he needs to be winning or challenging consistently for a league title every season. That is not happening for him at Chelsea, which will be increasing his frustrations.

Hazard leaving Chelsea – New challenge & Ballon d’Or

A new challenge may be on the Belgian’s mind. As mentioned, he has been with Chelsea for six seasons now. In the modern game longevity is becoming a less frequent feature of a career.

At 27, Hazard is now in his prime years and he arguably has six seasons at left in him at the very top of his game. He will want to be challenging to win the Ballon d’Or year-on-year during that time. While Messi and Ronaldo are still dominating European stats, Hazard is a name that is constantly thrown into the ring for those who are expected to hit the highest levels.

Winning the Ballon d’Or while playing in the Premier League is not a very frequent occurrence. The last time it happened was in 2001. So even with the domination of Messi and Ronaldo from 2008 onwards – it seems unlikely for anything to change any time soon.

Hazard leaving Chelsea – Champions League desire

Winning the Champions League is at the top of the list for every player in Europe. Hazard is facing the prospect of not playing in the competition for the second time in just three seasons. While Chelsea are still in the current round of the competition, they aren’t being backed by many to advance.

His desire to win the competition is natural. It’s all to apparent how difficult it is to win the Champions League while playing with the pressure of what is known as the toughest league in the world.

While doing no discredit to the strength of the remainder of Europe’s top leagues, they are seen as easier routes to having a better chance of winning the Champions League, which may be a factor in Hazard’s decision to move on.

Is Hazard leaving Chelsea this summer?

The Premier League’s best player is already planning a move to MLS

Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne is at the peak of his powers and is the frontrunner for this season’s Premier League Player of the Season award. He has taken the league by storm but it turns out he has eyes for MLS and a move to America in the future.

The 26-year-old Belgian midfielder loves the culture of American life and is seemingly planning to make the move to Major League Soccer once his time with Manchester City comes to an end.

He has only recently signed a huge contract extension with City that ties him down until 2023, so don’t expect a move anytime soon. But his agent, Patrik De Koster, has revealed that De Bruyne has already spoken about a potential MLS move.

“I think Kevin will end his career in the USA rather than in Belgium,” De Koster said. “He has already been to America many times on holiday, and he loves the country and its culture. We have often spoken about him ending his career in the MLS.”

“He hasn’t yet had any offers from American clubs, because they know it is not worth bothering as he is at the peak of his career. Clubs in China will probably look longingly at him, but I can’t see him going over to play there.”

De Bruyne has been in incredible form for Man City this season, picking up 14 assists. The Citizens look certain to seal a first Premier League title since 2013/14, with De Bruyne heavily tipped to be named as the league’s Player of the Season.

If he were to move to MLS in the future, it’s likely that New York City FC would be frontrunners for his signature, given their ties with Manchester City. Although the league is growing at an alarming rate and so there will be no shortage of options for a player of De Bruyne’s talent, if and when the day arrives that he is looking for an MLS move.

Do you think Kevin De Bruyne will end his career in MLS? Which club do you think he’d join?

Can anyone stop Manchester City this season?

With 11 wins and one draw from 12 Premier League games, Manchester City have been on another level this season. Pep Guardiola’s men are on the verge of something very special at the Etihad Stadium and they are now red hot favourites to win another Premier League title in the coming months. On current form, it would take a brave man to back against City – the Blues are eight points clear of closest rivals Manchester United.

City have been by far and away the strongest team in England’s top flight this season and it is difficult to look past Pep’s men in the race for the Premier League title. Have a peek here at odds via Sportsbet.io and you’ll notice that City are as short as 1.120 for the crown. Next up is United but Jose Mourinho’s side may struggle to make up the eight-point deficit if star midfielder Paul Pogba suffers another serious injury.

Defensively, City have silenced most of the critics so far. Guardiola’s side have conceded just seven goals this campaign, only United (6) have conceded fewer. Kyle Walker has enjoyed a solid start to life at the Etihad after commanding negative attention due to the transfer fee whilst Ederson Moraes has offered a consistent pair of hands between the posts. If City maintain their current defensive stability, they will cruise to the title.

Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva have been simply sublime in recent months, leading City to victories on a weekly basis. The latter has been doing it on the big stage since moving to the Premier League but it is De Bruyne who has attracted the bulk of the praise in the 2017/18 campaign. Widely tipped to win the PFA Player of the Year award, De Bruyne has been Pep’s standout performer for the most part of the season.

Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero have been the two main beneficiaries upfront, though you could argue that Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane have also stepped it up this year. With 40 goals so far, City are on course to break various records and that is a testament to Pep’s style of attacking football. You’d be hard-pressed to find another offensive unit in world football that can match the Blues in terms of quality on a consistent basis.

You can’t even criticise the other clubs for their sub-par efforts; City really have been that good. According to Goal, City have made the best start to a season in Premier League history and United are already up against it in the top flight title race. If anyone can mastermind the Red Devils to a shock triumph, it is Mourinho but Guardiola is a wily old fox and City will take some stopping.

There’s even talk of City emulating Arsenal’s “Invincibles” side from the 2003-04 campaign, although it may be a little early for that comparison. We’re not even halfway through the Premier League season and backing Pep’s side to go unbeaten may be a little foolish. For now, winning the title is the primary objective and City look well placed to do just that. Pep’s side are, both on paper and in practice, the best team in English football.

Premier League Predictions: Week 12 – Domestic action returns, North London Derby the standout fixture

Premier League Predictions: Week 12 – Domestic football is back following the international break. Many fans will be delighted that there are no more interruptions until March.

The top six are all in action on Saturday, with the North London Derby kicking things off at 12:30. League leaders Man City travel to Leicester, while Chelsea are also on the road at West Brom. Liverpool and Man United return with home fixtures against Southampton and Newcastle respectively.

Just the one game on Sunday as Watford and West Ham face off in another London Derby. Week 12 is finished off on Monday evening when Brighton host Stoke.

Read on for predictions to all ten of this weekend’s Premier League predictions: Week 12 could see plenty of change at the top…

Arsenal 2-3 Tottenham

Easily the biggest game of the weekend. The North London Derby usually doesn’t disappoint. Arsenal put in a poor display against Man City before the international break, losing 3-1. Arsene Wenger needs a response from his players, a loss to their bitter rivals could see them slip down to 7th. Spurs won 1-0 at Wembley against Palace last time out. A result that in years gone by they may not have been able to grind out. They look a strong force at the moment and confidence is high. Harry Kane and Dele Alli should be refreshed following his exclusion from international call ups, expect them to be at the forefront of the Spurs attack.

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Crystal Palace 1-1 Everton

The Premier League’s bottom side welcome out of form Everton to Selhurst Park. Palace fans may well have been looking forward to the international break in hope of their side having a chance to rebuild and get ready to face Everton. The Toffees really haven’t had anything to shout about. Their loss to Watford last time out meant that they have now conceded as many goals as Palace (22) this season. Both sides are desperate for a win, a scrappy score-draw could be on the cards.

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Liverpool 3-0 Southampton

Jurgen Klopp’s side have got their season on track again. They are sitting 5th in the league and that 4-1 thumping against Spurs seems a long time ago now. However, they are going to have to make sure they do not slip up this weekend. Sadio Mane is ruled out through injury once again, so the pressure for the inform Mohammed Salah to deliver has increased. Southampton have hardly set the world alight so far this season. Their home loss against Burnley before the internationals has left them loitering just four points above the relegation zone. A home win looks likely.

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Bournemouth 1-1 Huddersfield

Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth are in desperate need of a run of form. They have been unlucky in stages so far this season but it cannot be used as an excuse for their league position. The Cherries are just one point outside of the relegation zone and if results were to go against them this weekend they could be second bottom by Sunday evening. Huddersfield are still progressing well. They won 1-0 before the international break and are more than worth the place bang in the middle of the table. They will no doubt see this as a winnable fixture so expect an energetic game. Score draw.

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Leicester 1-4 Man City

Leicester City may think they were unlucky not to take all three points last time out. But it’s the same inconsistency that cost them. They are creating plenty of chances but are not clinical enough. They are unbeaten in their last five Premier League games, so there is reason to be optimistic ahead of this game. Man City have looked on a completely different level to the rest of the league so far this season. Pep Guardiola’s men are already being spoken about as one of his best ever sides and there is even talk about whether they can go the season unbeaten. Goals are free flowing for the Citizens, so don’t expect anything less this weekend.

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West Brom 1-3 Chelsea

West Brom are in trouble. Tony Pulis reportedly has two games to save his job. One of those is at home to the reigning champions here. The other sees the Baggies head to Wembley to take on Spurs. If the West Brom squad want to show they are behind the manager, now is the time. But they haven’t won in nine-straight league games and have slipped to 16th in the table. Chelsea impressed in their 1-0 win over Man Utd before the international break. Now Antonio Conte’s men need to kick on and keep the pressure on the three sides above them. Expect the Blues to prove too strong.

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Burnley 1-0 Swansea

Swansea have a 100% record against Burnley in their four previous Premier League meetings. But don’t expect that to continue beyond the weekend. Burnley are flying and Sean Dyche’s men are picking up plenty of plaudits for their strong start to the season. The Swans are 19th and seem to be struggling for goals and creativity. Paul Clement will find himself under serious pressure if results don’t improve, but they are unlikely to find at joy at Turf Moor on Saturday in what should be a tight game.

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Man United 2-0 Newcastle

This is a big game for Jose Mourinho and Manchester United. They could be 11 points behind Man City by the time they kick off on Saturday evening and they will have to get that gap back to eight, if City indeed win. They failed to score at Chelsea without properly threatening over the 90 minutes but they will have to take the game to Newcastle here. Rafa Benitez’s men will be setting up to contain the hosts and try and hit them on the break and from any set-pieces. It might not be pretty, but United should be able to get it done.

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Watford 2-2 West Ham

David Moyes starts life as West Ham manager with a tricky trip to Watford. Hornets boss Marco Silva looks like he’ll be staying put for now, and that’s a major boost for the home side considering their impressive start to the season. It’s unclear how much the speculation will have got to the Watford players but they’ll have a chance to show they are focused when the Hammers arrive on Sunday. Moyes has a tough job on his hands but he’ll set the visitors up to be solid and try and play as a unit. If they try and impress the new manager they could well come away with something positive.

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Brighton 1-1 Stoke

The fact that Brighton come into Monday night’s game three points ahead of Stoke highlights what an excellent start to the season they’ve made. Chris Hughton’s men have established themselves and have made the Amex Stadium a bit of a fortress so far. They’ve picked up eight points from a possible 12 since losing to Manchester City on the opening weekend of the campaign. They will fancy their chances here, especially with the whole nation’s eyes on them for Monday Night Football. Stoke showed signs of much-needed improvement before the break, beating Watford away before drawing 2-2 at home to Leicester. Mark Hughes has a talented squad of players but is not getting the best out of them. If they show up, they can cause anyone problems, but Brighton will be resolute and hard to break down.

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Premier League Predictions: Week 11 – Huge weekend in title race as City face Arsenal before Chelsea vs Man Utd

Premier League Predictions: Week 11 – Another huge weekend of Premier League football is upon us. The international break is looming and so all 20 clubs will be hoping to head into the break in high spirits.

There are ten games to enjoy this weekend but there’s no doubt what the two standout fixtures are. Sunday will see a colossal double-header in the title race as Man City host Arsenal before Chelsea face Man Utd straight after. Spurs face Palace in the earlier game on Sunday, while Everton entertain Watford at the same time as the Chelsea vs Man Utd game.

Before all of Sunday’s action, there are six matches on Saturday. The weekend begins as Stoke welcome Leicester to the Bet365 Stadium at 12:30. Then on Saturday evening, Liverpool travel to West Ham looking to put pressure on the rest of the top six ahead of Sunday.

Read on for predictions to all ten of this weekend’s Premier League predictions: Week 11 isn’t one you want to miss…

Stoke 2-2 Leicester

The lunchtime kick off has the makings of a tight one. Both sides are sitting in and around mid-table, separated by just one point. It’s all very tight in the middle of the pack and there are plenty of goals flying in. We expect there to be goals in this one. Stoke and Leicester’s fixtures have seen the ball hit the back of the net a combined 59 times. The Potters won 1-0 last time out, while Leicester extended their unbeaten run to five in all competitions with a comfortable 2-0 win over Everton. Score draw.

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Huddersfield 1-1 West Brom

Despite promising starts to the season, both Huddersfield and West Brom have tailed off in recent weeks. Huddersfield did shock everyone with that stunning win over Man Utd a couple of weeks ago, but that is their only win in eight in all competitions. They need to avoid defeat to West Brom here, and will fancy their chances at home. The Baggies aren’t playing well and haven’t kept a clean sheet in five. That’s uncharacteristic of a Tony Pulis side. This one might not be pretty.

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Newcastle 3-0 Bournemouth

The belief around St James Park is there for all to see. Players and fans alike are behind Rafa Benitez despite some inconsistent form of late. The Toon Army come into this one having narrowly lost 1-0 away at Burnley and now a response is needed. Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth have been out of luck for the majority of the season so far and are the second lowest scorers in the league. They lost to Chelsea last weekend and a trip up North probably wouldn’t have been the next fixture they would have picked given the choice. Newcastle to take all three points.

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Southampton 1-1 Burnley

Burnley are flying high as they come into the weekend in seventh, level on points with Liverpool. Sean Dyche is further highlighting how good a manager he is and so there’s no wonder why he’s being linked with the vacant position at Everton. But for now, his focus will be on Burnley and getting as many points as possible every week. They will go to Southampton looking to hit them on the break and can expect to come away with a point. The Saints have been better in recent weeks but still lack a clinical edge. Both should score but the points look set to be shared.

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Swansea 1-1 Brighton

Swansea are sitting just above the relegation zone. On just eight points so far this season there is reason for concern. However, they probably considered themselves unlucky last weekend to lose away at Arsenal having held the lead. That made it three losses on the bounce in all competitions and they’ve won just one in their last seven in the league. By stark contrast, Brighton are on a three-game unbeaten run. They are sitting 12th in the league but a loss here would show them just how quickly things can change as it would put 17th placed Swansea just a point behind them. An important fixture that neither can afford to lose.

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West Ham 1-3 Liverpool

This is a big game for both sides. For West Ham, they need to show they are behind Slaven Bilic as he remains under intense pressure. For Liverpool, they need three points to make up ground on the sides above them ahead of Sunday’s games. West Ham carelessly threw away a win at Palace last week and had to settle for a point. They did beat Spurs in the League Cup before that, but in the Premier League, they have only one win in six. Liverpool have been inconsistent all season but looked good against Huddersfield last week. Expect them to prove too strong for a West Ham side that look to be in trouble.

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Spurs 3-0 Crystal Palace

What a rollercoaster week it has been for Mauricio Pochettino’s men. The low of losing narrowly to Man Utd last weekend in what wasn’t a pretty fixture, to their midweek heroics of taking apart Real Madrid. But, and it’s a big but – Spurs must stay grounded. The media frenzy which has surrounded them in such a positive light will very quickly turn with a poor result this weekend. If results go Tottenham’s way they could be within five points of top spot as the other four in the top five go head-to-head. There isn’t much to say about Crystal Palace’s league form this season. They remain bottom despite picking up a point last weekend. If Spurs play at their usual tempo, expect goals and a relatively easy win.

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Man City 4-1 Arsenal

At this stage of the season, it doesn’t look like anyone can stop Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s team are full of confidence and are brushing aside anyone in their way. Arsenal arrive at the Etihad as the underdogs but they are unbeaten in five in all competitions. The problem for Wenger’s men is they are still vulnerable at the back. They conceded two at Everton and then fell behind to Swansea last time out. Man City are ruthless and will exploit any weaknesses. Unfortunately, this looks like it will only end one way. And that’s with a convincing home win.

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Chelsea 1-2 Man Utd

Chelsea’s title defence has been far from convincing. The Blues are unconvincing and only just overcame Bournemouth last weekend before being torn apart in their midweek clash in Rome. If reports are believed to be true, all is not well behind the scenes for Antonio Conte and his side. Key players are missing for both Chelsea and Man Utd but Jose Mourinho will be eager to get one up over his old employers. Don’t expect a repeat of this fixture from last year. United will be difficult to breakdown and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them take all three points back up to Manchester. Is the clock ticking for Conte?

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Everton 2-2 Watford

Everton are in trouble. They’ve sacked their manager. They’ve spent a lot of money on a squad that haven’t clicked. And they’ve already been knocked out of Europe. They have lost five in a row in all competitions and Watford will arrive confident they can add to the Toffees’ woes. The Hornets have lost back-to-back league games for the first time this season but have enough about them to respond with a better performance at Goodison Park. The challenge for Everton is trying to rally and avoid dropping more points as a result of that Europa League hangover.

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Premier League Predictions: Week 10 – 2nd vs 3rd as Man Utd take on Spurs, while Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool expected to win

Premier League Predictions: Week 10 – The Premier League weekend kicks off with an absolutely huge clash. It’s 2nd versus 3rd as Manchester United welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Old Trafford. Expect plenty of goals across the ten fixtures this week, while there is the potential for upsets in must-win games for the top sides.

The three o’clock action comes thick and fast after the early kickoff. Struggling Crystal Palace face off against West Ham in the only London Derby of the weekend. Pace-setting Manchester City travel to West Brom, while Arsenal and Liverpool have home ties. Chelsea complete Saturday’s action with the late kickoff away at Bournemouth.

Sunday has a couple of interesting fixtures, Brighton welcome Southampton, before Claude Puel begins his reign as Leicester City manager at home to Everton, who have recently sacked Ronald Koeman. The weekend’s action is completed with Monday Night Football as Newcastle visit Burnley.

Read on for all of this weekend’s Premier League predictions: Week 10 will be an interesting one…

Manchester United 2-2 Tottenham 

Easily the biggest fixture of the weekend. Man Utd vs Spurs has provided some classic fixtures through the years. Both sides are coming into this one needing to bounce back. United’s loss at Huddersfield last weekend was a shock result and Jose Mourinho needs a reaction like his side showed in their midweek Carabao Cup clash. Spurs were emphatic last time out in the league. Their 4-1 win over Liverpool sent out a message to the rest of the league, however their dismal loss against West Ham in midweek was unforgivable and they owe it to their fans to pick up a positive result here. Expect goals as Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku go head-to-head.

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Crystal Palace 1-1 West Ham

This is a big game. Make no mistake about that. Some reports suggested that failure to win this one would result in the sacking of Slaven Bilic as West Ham manager. However, Wednesday’s Carabao Cup win over Spurs may change that. Either way, Premier League points are the priority for both. Palace have struggled but did win their last home game. Another home win here would be a major boost. However, they haven’t scored in 9 of their last 10 games, losing each. West Ham haven’t been much better, failing to win 11 of their last 12 away games. Don’t expect this to be pretty.

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West Brom 0-3 Manchester City

Tony Pulis, like every West Brom fan was devastated not to have picked up at least a point last weekend. However, they have to hold their hands up to accept losing at the hands of one of the goals of the season. West Brom are sitting in and around mid table but they won’t be looking forward to a visit from league leading Man City. Pep Guardiola’s side didn’t have it all their own way in midweek, yet they sealed their place in the next round of the Carabao Cup, despite his displeasure of the ball. Normal service resumes with a ‘normal ball’ here and we expect City to continue their early title charge.

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Watford 2-0 Stoke

They might have lost 4-2 at Chelsea last weekend but Watford are undoubtedly this season’s surprise package so far. The Hornets are enjoying their best ever start to a season in the top flight. They beat Arsenal in their most recent home fixture and should prove too strong for Stoke here. The visitors are in trouble. Last week’s home loss to Bournemouth left them down in 17th. They’ve not won away from home yet this season. Don’t expect that to change here.

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Arsenal 3-0 Swansea

Arsene Wenger & co. have reason to be in high spirits. They took apart a very sorry Everton side last weekend keeping them at pace with the top four. Following up from that a much changed side secured progression in the cup in midweek. Arsenal should be looking to take three points in what has the makings of a routine home game this weekend. Swansea are sitting 15th but are only outside the relegation zone on goal difference. They cannot afford to take a drumming here as we all know how important goal difference can be in the Premier League. A win to ‘nil looks likely for the hosts.

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Liverpool 2-1 Huddersfield

The fact that Liverpool come into this game just one point ahead of Huddersfield tells you all you need to know. The Reds have been inconsistent and have not solved their defensive problems. Last week’s 4-1 loss to Spurs further highlighted their vulnerabilities and they now need to bounce back. They will fancy their chances at home, but the visitors are riding high in confidence. Their 2-1 win over Man Utd was arguably the shock result of the season so far. Don’t rule out another surprise result at Anfield, although Liverpool should edge it.

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Bournemouth 1-2 Chelsea

Bournemouth remain in the bottom three. They picked up a much needed win last weekend away against Stoke and made it a week with plenty to cheer about having progressed in the cup. This is going to be another big test for them but they’ll be relishing a visit from Chelsea. Antonio Conte’s side are coming through a rough patch with promise. Despite being a way off the top of the Premier League their squad depth stood the test of three games in a week. Last weekend’s win at home to Watford showed they have the resilience to fight back and if they go behind here, don’t expect them to let it phase them. Narrow victory for the Champions.

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Brighton 2-2 Southampton

Neither of these sides have really set the world alight yet this season. They have showed some signs of promise but inconsistency has prevented either side from making a statement. Brighton will be pleased with their start to life in the top flight. They are unbeaten in three-straight home league games and will now hope to keep that form going. The Saints picked up a first league win in four last weekend. It’s hard to tell which Southampton side will turn up. But goals could be on the cards here.

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Leicester City 1-1 Everton

The battle two sides who have recently sacked their managers. Leicester have acted promptly to replace Craig Shakespeare with Claude Puel. They picked up an impressive win away at Swansea last weekend and also reached the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup in midweek so things are on the up. Everton’s woes continue, they sacked Ronald Koeman after being demolished by Arsenal last weekend and were knocked out the cup by Chelsea on Wednesday evening. Their poor run of form has to come to an end soon, but we don’t expect them to win here. Score draw.

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Burnley 1-1 Newcastle

The weekend is rounded off with an intriguing matchup. Burnley have been a better side away from home so far but will still see Monday’s game as one they should be winning. Their only home win so far this term came against Palace. For Newcastle, they’ll be looking to keep picking up points. They’ve only lost one of their last seven and look like they’re all pulling in the same direction as Rafa Benitez. It might not be the most entertaining game, but expect it to be interesting.

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Premier League Predictions: Week 9 – Chelsea looking to get back on track against Watford, goals expected at Wembley

Premier League Predictions: Week 9 – The Premier League is back for another action-packed weekend of action, with the usual lashing of goals and drama sure to follow. It all gets underway on Friday night as West Ham welcome Brighton to the London Stadium. The two sides come into the game tied on eight points so it’s all to play for.

Then on Saturday, surprise package Watford travel to Chelsea looking to remain unbeaten away from home. The Hornets beat Arsenal last weekend and will be looking to pile more misery on an out-of-form Blues side here. Manchester United and Manchester City are in action during Saturday’s 3 o’clock kickoffs. United travel to Huddersfield, while City host Burnley. Then Southampton face West Brom in the late game on Saturday.

Then on Sunday, there’s a Merseyside vs North London double-header to enjoy. Everton welcome Arsenal to Goodison Park in the early afternoon game. Then Liverpool take on Spurs at Wembley to round off the weekend in what is the biggest fixture of Week 9, on paper.

Read on for all of this weekend’s Premier League predictions: Week 9 has some big fixtures to look forward to…

West Ham 1-1 Brighton

Both West Ham and Brighton come into this one off the back of a 1-1 draw. The two have an identical record so far this season, having won two, drawn two and lost four, only separated by goal difference. It would not be surprising to see another low-scoring draw this weekend. The Hammers will be hoping to make it three games unbeaten and they have a good chance of doing so given Brighton are yet to win on the road this season.

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Chelsea 1-2 Watford

The champions are in trouble and their strugglers are all too apparent. Antonio Conte’s side are winless in three games in all competitions and they are well off the pace domestically. Watford on the other hand have been putting in some fine performances. They are sitting fourth in the league, two points ahead of Chelsea and will be relishing getting at a side displaying such defensive weaknesses. This would usually be a game the Blues would be expected to win comfortably, but given they couldn’t beat lowly Palace last weekend, another loss is a possibility.

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Huddersfield 0-3 Man Utd

Huddersfield’s early season form already feels like an age ago now. They haven’t won in their last six league games, so a visit from second-placed Man Utd is the last thing they will want. Jose Mourinho received widespread criticism for the way he set his side out last weekend against Liverpool. That 0-0 draw certainly wasn’t for the purists, but it was job done as far as Mourinho was concerned. Expect a comfortable United win this weekend.

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Man City 6-0 Burnley

On the face of it, predicting any side to score six seems over the top, however given how Pep Guardiola has his City side playing it wouldn’t surprise many. They’ve scored 17 goals in their last three home league games, notching seven last time out. Their squad depth is proving to be making the difference so far this season and they’re scoring freely. Burnley, like just about every Premier League side, will not be looking forward to visiting the Etihad. While some will say City’s outrageous form will have to take a dip at some point, it looks unlikely for that to be this weekend.

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Newcastle 2-0 Crystal Palace

Newcastle fans are buoyed with the news that their controversial owner Mike Ashely is looking to sell the club. The atmosphere this weekend will be as impressive as ever and they will expect to pick up three points against the Premier League’s bottom side. Crystal Palace pulled off the unthinkable last weekend with a home win over Chelsea. While that result will no doubt lift spirits and give them the platform to build upon, it would be a surprise to see them make it back-to-back wins.

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Stoke 3-2 Bournemouth

Stoke and Bournemouth haven’t got going yet. We’re eight games in but they’ll both be looking at this game as a great opportunity for three important points. The Potters let seven in at Man City last week and will be looking forward to getting back in front of their own fans. They’ve picked up seven of their eight points at home so far and have played some tricky games. Bournemouth haven’t got a single point on the road yet. They’ve only scored four goals in total all season and look set for a long season. There could be goals here but Stoke look poised to take the win.

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Swansea 2-1 Leicester

Craig Shakespeare’s Leicester reign is over following his sacking this week. The Foxes haven’t looked threatening enough so far this term and it sums up their problems that they come into Saturday’s game two points behind Swansea. The Swans have lost as many games as Leicester this term but picked up their second win of the campaign to Huddersfield last weekend. They should be able to stay up this season, as long as they keep their home form strong. For Leicester, it’s difficult to predict what sort of performance they’ll put in, but don’t be surprised to see them land in more trouble down in Wales.

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Southampton 1-1 West Brom

Neither Southampton nor West Brom have started the season very well. But they’re not in trouble either. They will both be hoping for a top-half finish this season and that’s obtainable. But both need to start scoring more goals. The Saints scored twice against Newcastle last Sunday but that was only enough for a 2-2 draw. West Brom also had to settle for a draw as they shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at Leicester on Monday. This one should be hard-fought but there’s nothing to separate them on paper.

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Everton 1-3 Arsenal

Everton are in trouble. Ronald Koeman is in trouble. Time might run out for the Dutchman if they lose on Sunday, but that’s how we see it going. Arsenal aren’t exactly a force to be reckoned with at the moment. They lost 2-1 at Watford last weekend and need to pick back up. But the Toffees have shown very little to prove they are going to be a side challenging for European football so far this term. The Gunners beat Everton 3-1 back in May and we see the same scoreline occurring here.

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Tottenham 2-2 Liverpool

Expect goals at Wembley. Both sides come into Sunday’s game off the back of excellent Champions League results. Liverpool set a record with their 7-0 win at Maribor the biggest winning margin recorded by an English side in the competition. Spurs didn’t win, but their point at the Bernabeu against Real Madrid was impressive. However, both sides know this is a massive game at the top end of the Premier League. Spurs still haven’t settled at Wembley and Liverpool have enough pace to hurt them in behind. Expect drama, but expect it to end all square.

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Premier League Predictions: Week 8 – Expect a one-sided affair as Liverpool host Man Utd, while Man City should keep on rolling

Premier League Predictions: Week 8 – Premier League action returns after the international break. Liverpool and Manchester United face off to get things going on Saturday lunchtime in what is the standout fixture of the weekend. Two games take place on Sunday, while Monday night rounds off what should be an action-packed weekend.

The remainder of the top four are in action on Saturday. Man City welcome Stoke, Spurs host Bournemouth and Chelsea travel to struggling Palace. Arsenal complete Saturday’s fixtures with a cross-London trip to Watford in the late game.

Brighton take on Everton, while Newcastle have the trip down south to Southampton in the Sunday double-header. The final fixture on Monday night sees Leicester face West Brom.

Read on for all of this weekend’s Premier League predictions: Week 8 marks the anticipated return of domestic football…

Liverpool 0-3 Manchester United

The latest instalment of the historic fixture. Jose Mourinho’s United have been in fantastic form this season, while Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have struggled defensively. Both sides have been hit with injuries of late, Liverpool will be without Sadio Mane, while Paul Pogba remains out for United. Given how free-scoring United have been and that Liverpool have just a +1 goal difference, we predict a healthy win for the Red Devils.

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Burnley 2-2 West Ham 

Burnley are high-flying in sixth place. Sean Dyche’s men picked up three points away at Everton before the international break and they will be looking to continue their great run of form here. West Ham’s struggles have been all too apparent, but they steadied the ship last time out with a 1-0 win over Swansea. This is going to be a tight one. Score draw.

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Manchester City 4-0 Stoke

Pep Guardiola would not have wanted the international break to come after his City side put in an outstanding tactical performance to win away at Chelsea. The Citizens are league leaders on goal difference and will be praying results go their way to open a gap at the top this weekend. Stoke also picked up three points heading into the international break, but this is going to be a huge ask for them. Expect goals from City.

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Crystal Palace 0-1 Chelsea 

Negative runs have to come to an end at some point. Crystal Palace are yet to even score a goal this season, so what better way to do it this weekend against the Champions. Chelsea are without a few key faces, N’golo Kante and  is sidelined, while Alvaro Morata also continues recovery from a hamstring injury. Antonio Conte’s squad depth will be tested but in all honesty, anything less than three points and a clean sheet will be a failure for Chelsea fans here. It couldn’t happen, could it?

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Tottenham 2-0 Bournemouth

The end to the Wembley hoodoo for Spurs. Mauricio Pochettino’s side have to pick up three points this weekend and with the goalscoring form of Harry Kane they should do. That said, Spurs cannot be too reliant on their Ballon d’Or nominee. Bournemouth are sitting second bottom and will not be looking forward to an away tie off the back of the international break. Spurs to win to nil.

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Swansea 1-1 Huddersfield 

The Premier League can be a cruel animal and Swansea are experiencing how tough things can be. They are without a league win since August and are going to need to get back to winning ways sooner rather than later. Huddersfield have been giving a good account of themselves since so far this season. They’re only four points outside the top four, however as the games roll on they may quickly find out how quickly things can change. An away point will seem a better result for them than the hosts this weekend. 1-1 draw.

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Watford 2-2 Arsenal 

Arsenal’s early-season problems seem to be behind them. Contract sagas remain ongoing but on the field, the Gunners have won six of their last seven in all competitions. The only exception was that 0-0 draw at Chelsea. But Watford have impressed and the fact they come into this game just a point behind Arsenal is testament to their strong start. Marco Silva’s men lost 6-0 to Man City in their last home game and will be hoping to show more fight against one of the top sides this time around.

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Brighton 1-1 Everton

Both sides come into Sunday’s game tied on seven points from seven games. Brighton will be content with that. Everton will not. The Toffees have failed to get going, despite heavy summer investment. Ronald Koeman is under pressure and needs to get a result here. However, Brighton are tough to break down. They beat Newcastle in their last home game and will be hoping to secure at least a point here.

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Southampton 1-1 Newcastle

Southampton have really struggled to get going so far. They are short of goals and have lost three-straight home games in all competitions. They need to avoid defeat here but come up against a resolute Newcastle side. The Magpies seem to be growing in confidence. They battled well to a 1-1 draw with Liverpool before the international break and could add to their points tally with another strong showing here.

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Leicester 2-1 West Brom

Leicester come into the weekend outside the relegation zone on goal difference only. They could be in the bottom three by Monday night, depending on results and need to win this game. They have only won one league game all season so far but have enough quality to get three points here. West Brom are winless in five league outings themselves. The fact they are on the road here further limits their chances, so the Foxes should just edge it.

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Premier League Predictions: Week 7 – Man Utd to stroll past Palace, Chelsea and Man City face off in huge game

Premier League Predictions: Week 7 – Another weekend of top flight action is upon us, with some key games to be played before next week’s International Break. Chelsea host Manchester City in the standout fixture of the weekend on Saturday night. While there is a triple-header of action to enjoy on Sunday.

This weekend’s action begins with Huddersfield hosting Spurs in the lunchtime kickoff on Saturday. Spurs will be looking to keep up their impressive away record against the Terriers. Crystal Palace travel to Manchester United, as their search for a first goal of the season goes on. Then Pep Guardiola locks horns with Antonio Conte in the evening game. Sunday’s action begins with Arsenal against Brighton, before Everton play Burnley. Then, Liverpool travel to Newcastle in the final game of the weekend, with Rafa Benitez looking to get three points against his former side.

Read on for all of this weekend’s Premier League predictions: Week 7 should produce a fair few goals…

Huddersfield 0-2 Spurs

Huddersfield have impressed so far this season as they’ve been resilient and tough to break down. However, Spurs arrive off the back of a 3-0 away win in the Champions League and seem to be enjoying playing away from home. Their Wembley troubles haven’t improved but Mauricio Pochettino’s men look to be a real force on the road. Expect them to be too strong for the battling Terriers here.

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Bournemouth 1-2 Leicester

Second-bottom Bournemouth and Leicester City both come into this game having lost to the Merseyside clubs. Eddie Howe’s side look like they’re in trouble. Winning just once and scoring just four times in six games is worrying for the Cherries. Leicester aren’t doing a lot better themselves, just one point ahead. This is a big game, with both desperate for points. Expect it to be cagey, Leicester to edge it.

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Man Utd 5-0 Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace look doomed. We’re only seven weeks into the new season but they haven’t scored a goal and now face a daunting trip to an in-form United side. Roy Hodgson’s reign has begun with back-to-back losses. They were pulled apart by Manchester City last weekend and a similar outcome is expected here. United put four past CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday. Their attack looks unstoppable and they should cruise to victory here.

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Stoke 1-1 Southampton

Stoke were taught a lesson by Chelsea last weekend. Their defensive struggles were there for all to see, not helped in part by injuries. The Potters have also struggled in front of goal, netting just five in six. Southampton were unlucky not to pick up a point against Man Utd last time out, they showed promise throughout and will fancy their chances here. However, much like Stoke, the Saints haven’t been prolific in finding the back of the net. Low-score draw.

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West Brom 1-1 Watford

Watford have been excellent away from home so far this season, winning all three of their trips on the road. The Hornets do have a few injury problems to deal with ahead of this week’s trip to West Brom though. Marco Silva’s men will be confident of leaving the Hawthorns with a result, but they’ll do well to seal all three points. The Baggies fell 2-0 at Arsenal on Monday and are now winless in four league games. Tony Pulis will be demanding a reaction but we see this ending all square.

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West Ham 2-0 Swansea

The Hammers showed a spirited comeback in their loss to Spurs last weekend but they did little to lift the mood around the London Stadium. The fans expect more and will be on top of their players from the off. It’s looking like a case of when not if for Slaven Bilic, if they don’t pick up three points this weekend he may well get the boot. Swansea threw it away late last weekend at home to Watford. They have scored just three goals this season and look likely to find themselves up against in a relegation scrap if they don’t find a run of form.

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Chelsea 1-2 Man City

This is a huge game at the top of the Premier League. Both sides are in good form. Both look strong. And both have managers hungry for success. But something might have to give. Chelsea’s impressive win at Atletico Madrid on Wednesday might actually cost them here. They put a lot into that performance and will only have had two days to prepare for the visit of City. The visitors had a home game against Shakhtar on Tuesday and should benefit from the lack of travel and extra rest. Both should score but City’s pace in attack could ultimately prove the difference.

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Arsenal 3-0 Brighton

The Gunners have started to find some form. They are unbeaten since they were thumped by Liverpool at the backend of August. It was a wake up call for Arsene Wenger & Co. that they have risen to. A comfortable win should be on the agenda this weekend and they need to win to nil. Brighton picked up an impressive three points against Newcastle last time out but they know how difficult of a trip this one will be. They’re sitting comfortably in mid-table but as we all know, the Premier League can be cruel, it would be huge for them if they can get a positive result heading into the international break.

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Everton 1-1 Burnley

It’s mad to think Burnley come into this game two points ahead of Everton. But the Toffees’ tough start to the season has left them with a hill to climb. They picked up their first league win since opening weekend last time out, beating Bournemouth 2-1. But their Europa League commitments mean they will only have had two days rest by the time Sunday’s game comes around. They struggled at Man Utd after their first European game of the season and might have a similar problem here. Burnley have already won away at Chelsea and Spurs this season and will be confident of getting at least a point.

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Newcastle 2-2 Liverpool

One of the Premier League’s most memorable fixtures of all-time returns with the promotion of Newcastle. The Geordie faithful have experienced it all against Liverpool and it’s usually a game that delivers something for everyone. Expect the Toon Army to look to bounce back after their defeat last weekend and put in a big performance. Liverpool have been struggling. The pressure is mounting on Jurgen Klopp, who desperate needs his side to find their scoring touch as they have been wasteful in front of goal. If history is anything to go by, this should be a cracker.

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