Premier League Round 7: Table set to loosen up

A number of top matches are on the cards this weekend, as the Premier League goes into the seventh week of action. We expect that a compact table occasioned by the fast start to the season will start opening up in Round 7. At the end of the Round 7 matches, any side in the top nine can ascend to the top of the league, as only three points separate the first and the ninth. The 10th placed side down to the 15th are separated by two points while at the bottom, three sides, all winless, have picked one point each.

Manchester United will be hosting Arsenal in what will easily be the biggest game of the weekend. Both sides had midweek matches and registered comfortable wins in Europe so they will be charged up for this. The two sides have so far been shaky in domestic action and it will be interesting to see how this plays out here. Manchester United have no win at home in the league this season, while Arsenal are on two straight league losses. Arsenal are unbeaten in the last three meetings with Manchester United but the last time they won at Old Trafford was in the 2015 FA Cup. This looks like a good game to go for both sides to score, even though Arsenal have failed to score in their last two league games, while United failed to score in their last.

Another interesting game coming up this weekend will see Aston Villa play host to Southampton. Aston Villa suffered their first defeat of the season in their last game, falling 3-0 to Leeds United at home and will be keen to avoid a second straight home loss. This will not be a walk in the park for Villa though; they face a side that is well inspired after beating league leaders Everton in their last match. Southampton have been on a rise and head here unbeaten in four matches, with three clean sheets. They were the first side to completely shut out Everton this season, which points to their discipline and organization.

At Craven Cottage, we will also be treated to another interesting fixture as struggling sides Fulham and West Bromwich Albion face off. The two sides are among the four that have not registered a win so far this season and will be battling out to get their first haul of three points. While West Brom have been slightly stronger, registering three points from the opening six matches, Fulham have just one point. The two newly promoted sides have registered six draws in their last nine meetings, with West Brom winning none of those.

The opening game of the round will be on Friday, which by all standards, is a big game too. Wolverhampton Wanderers play host to Crystal Palace, with both sides on 10 points in the standings. Wolves were minutes away from a good win in their last game against Newcastle United, which would have been their third straight, but they conceded in the dying moments to see the clash end 1-1. Palace, on their part, had an easier ride, though coupled with some uncomfortable moments late on, as they beat Fulham 2-1. It was a return to winning ways after three winless outings and Palace will hope to build on that win when they head to the Molineux.

Manchester City have struggled to bring out their real colors in domestic action so far. In their last match, they had to battle back after trailing at the break against West Ham United and now, facing Sheffield United in Round 7, they will hope for an easier outing. Last season City were the best scorers in the league with 102 goals, but so far they have not shown that quality. They have one win in their last four matches and have not scored more than one goal in any of their last three matches. They should however be able to find their way against Sheffield United, one of the four winless sides so far. Sheffield had a great campaign last season, but have so far struggled, with one point in the opening six matches and we don’t see them bettering that here.

At Turf Moor, Burnley who are also winless, welcome Chelsea. A number of off field issues have highlighted Burnley’s time since resumption after lockdown and very little seems to be easing. They head to this game on five losses and a draw in their opening six matches. One thing about them so far is that they have been very poor in the second half in their matches. Six of the nine goals they have conceded have come in the second half. They have struggled at home too and facing this Chelsea side will be an uphill task. Chelsea are now unbeaten in their last five matches and have four clean sheets in the run. They have been scoring most of their goals in the second half, and will definitely want to punish Burnley at their weakest.

Off the back of fine performances, Liverpool and West Ham United will also be going head to head. Liverpool had a shaky period, which they seem to have recovered from, and the same applies to West Ham. Liverpool lost 7-2 to Aston Villa a few weeks ago but have since forgotten about that and are on three straight wins. However, they have massive injury concerns in defence and this could hurt them. West Ham, on their part, had a faulty start but have been improving well since. They drew 1-1 with Manchester City in their last match and will be keen to bring down the champions at Anfield, where no team has beaten Liverpool in 62 league matches. This is going to be exciting and has been backed at Wincomparator to bring forth goals for both sides.

After losing their unbeaten run, Everton will be hoping to get back to winning ways when they tour Newcastle. The Toffees were spanked 2-0 by Southampton in their last game, though they remain top of the standings with 13 points. They have two players suspended for this game – Lucas Digne and Richarlison, while Seamus Coleman is out injured with James Rodriguez a major doubt. Newcastle on their part will hope to build on their late draw with Wolves. While that game signaled improvement from the earlier defeat by Manchester United, the Magpies will hope they can get their first clean sheet in six league matches. They have their own injury issues to deal with but should be able to match this Everton side, which is also winless in the last two matches.

Tottenham Hotspur are still in the search for their first home win in the league this season. Their last league game at home ended in a 3-3 draw with West Ham United, despite Spurs leading 3-0 after 16 minutes. The side is coming from another tough game out in Belgium in the Europa League, where they lost 1-0 and everyone will be keen on how they respond when they host Brighton. By their early standards in the season, Spurs should be able to dispatch Brighton easily, but the visitors can be tough stubborn at times. Brighton have one win this season and head here winless in four league matches. They have scored in each of their league matches this season, and this should give Spurs some concern, having kept just one clean sheet. Running with both sides to score can be a good pick for this game.

The final game on the Round 7 roster has Leeds United taking on Leicester City at Elland Road. Two of the league’s top strikers will be on show here. Jamie Vardy recovered from injury and rose from the bench to score against Arsenal in Leicester’s last game. That goal was enough to see Leicester bag three points after two straight losses in the league. Meanwhile, Patrick Bamford helped himself to a hat trick as Leeds United beat Aston Villa in their last game. The two forwards are on six goals apiece and will make for most of the focus in this game and going for both of them to score could pass.

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