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21-22 Premier League Preview Week 8

Leicester vs Man UTD

Premier League fixtures return this weekend following the international break, with many teams looking to kick on.

Chelsea top the table by one point after an impressive start. But Liverpool are close behind following their unbeaten opening to the new season. Man United and Man City have already dropped vital points in the title race, and they will be looking to get back on track. Brentford, Brighton, and Everton make up the surprising chasing pack due to their positive starts. Norwich, Newcastle, Burnley, and Southampton, however, remain winless in their first seven games.

Some enticing fixtures take place this weekend, with plenty of potential for an upset. Liverpool travel to Watford, and Chelsea make the short trip to face Brentford. United and Leicester will hope to take maximum points after their poor starts as they meet at the King Power.

Watford vs Liverpool

Watford have struggled to build momentum this season, despite winning two of their opening seven Premier League matches. The inconsistency led to Xisco Munoz’s sacking after the 1-0 loss to Leeds last time out, and he was replaced by Claudio Ranieri. The Hornets started brightly at home, beating Aston Villa 3-2 and Crystal Palace 1-0 in the EFL Cup. But their home form has tailed off, and they are winless in their last three at Vicarage Road.

Liverpool continued their unbeaten start to the new season with a hard-fought 2-2 draw against Man City before the international break. The Reds have won seven of their opening ten matches in all competitions, and they have shown an eye for goal, scoring two or more goals in nine of ten games this season. Jurgen Klopp’s side have also impressed away, winning four and drawing one of their five games on the road.

Joshua King is doubtful for Watford with a knee injury. Peter Etebo (thigh), Christian Kabasele (hamstring), and Francisco Sierralta (hamstring) are ruled out. Divock Origi (illness), Trent Alexander-Arnold (groin), Thiago Alcantara (calf), and Diogo Jota (knock) could return this weekend. Harvey Elliott remains sidelined with a leg injury.

This will be a baptism of fire for Ranieri as he leads his new side against a top-form Liverpool. The Reds are scoring for fun and should record another comfortable victory against Watford.

Watford – 8/1

Liverpool – 3/10

Draw – 9/2

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Leicester vs Man United

Leicester will have welcomed the recent internationals after playing six matches in 18 days before the October break. The fixture pile-up led to a poor spell of form for the Foxes, who have won just one of their last seven matches, a 2-0 away win at Millwall in the EFL Cup. Brendan Rodgers’ side are also winless in their last four Premier League matches. The Midlands side recorded back-to-back 2-2 draws against Burnley and Crystal Palace recently, which followed consecutive losses to Brighton and Man City.

Man United’s positive start to the season has tailed off in recent weeks. The Red Devils threw away a 1-0 lead and drew 1-1 with Everton last time out, leaving them winless in three of their last four in all competitions. Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s has already overseen disappointing losses to Young Boys (2-1), Aston Villa (1-0), and West Ham (1-0) in recent weeks, and they have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last seven.

Leicester defender Jonny Evans could return to the squad following a foot injury, but Wesley Fofana (ankle), Wilfred Ndidi (thigh), and James Justin (knee) are unavailable. Harry Maguire, Marcus Rashford, and Amad Diallo may be in contention. Raphael Varane is ruled out until late October with an abductor injury.

Leicester and United will want a positive response following poor runs of form. The two sides could cancel each other out at the King Power with a draw likely.

Leicester – 5/2

Man United – 1/1

Draw – 13/5

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Brentford vs Chelsea

Brentford will return from the international break as the most in-form team in the Premier League following a three-match unbeaten run. The West London side also took maximum points at West Ham in their most recent fixture with a 2-1 win. The result followed an impressive 3-3 home draw with Liverpool and a 2-0 victory over Wolves. In the same period, only Arsenal have taken the same amount of points as Brentford in the Premier League.

Chelsea started the 2021/22 season in formidable form, winning seven of their opening eight games in all competitions. A 1-0 home defeat against Man City disrupted the Blues positive start, and another 1-0 loss against Juventus in the Champions League rattled Thomas Tuchel’s side. But Chelsea responded with a 3-1 win against Southampton last time out to go top of the Premier League table convincingly.

Brentford will be without Mads Sorenson (knee), Josh Dasilva (groin), Vitaly Janelt (thigh), and Shandon Baptiste (shoulder). Kristoffer Ajer could return following a thigh injury. Chelsea should see Antonio Rudiger, N’Golo Kante, Reece James, and Romelu Lukaku return this weekend. But Thiago Silva is ruled out as he travels back from international duty.

Brentford are hard to beat at home, and Chelsea will have to give everything to take all three points back across West London. The Blues should narrowly edge the Bees on Saturday.

Brentford – 11/2

Chelsea – 11/10

Draw – 3/1

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Everton vs West Ham

Rafa Benitez has impressed since joining Everton in the summer, and his side have lost just one of their opening seven Premier League fixtures. The Toffees won three of their first four matches before a shock 3-0 loss at Aston Villa. But the Merseyside club rallied and beat Norwich 2-0 and earned a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford before the break. Benitez has turned Goodison Park into a fortress early this season, and Everton have a 100% winning record from their first three matches at home.

West Ham started the 2021/22 season in inconsistent form after their three-match winning streak in all competitions came to an abrupt end after a 2-1 loss at home to Brentford. The defeat leaves David Moyes’ side winless in four of their last five in the Premier League, including two losses in their last three. Away form in the Premier League has been a strength for the Hammers as they have won two and drawn one of their first three on the road.

Everton duo Fabian Delph (shoulder) and Lucas Digne (thigh) are ruled out. Alex Iwobi, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison, Seamus Coleman and Andre Gomes could all be in contention. Vladimir Coufal and Ryan Fredricks are likely to feature for the Hammers this weekend after respective groin injuries.

Everton have some key players returning for this fixture, and they are impressive at home. West Ham have shown consistency away from home, so a draw could be on the cards at Goodison.

Everton – 11/8

West Ham – 9/5

Draw – 12/5

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