Don’t worry, there isn’t another international break for, oh… at least another three weeks.
Thankfully, the 2021/22 Premier League roars back into life this weekend with a familiar face returning, a new era starting at Newcastle, and four local rivalries to boot.
We’re back with our next set of Premier League predictions…
PREDICTED PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE | 2021/22 SEASON
Here is our predicted Premier League table for the 2021/22 campaign…
MAN CITYCHELSEAMAN UTDLIVERPOOLLEICESTER CITYARSENALWEST HAMASTON VILLASPURSEVERTONLEEDS UTDWOLVESBRIGHTONCRYSTAL PALACEBURNLEYWATFORDNEWCASTLE UTD
Prediction: 29th July 2021
EPL Predictions – Weekend Betting Preview
Dilly ding, dilly dong… one of the league’s great characters is back in an EPL dugout.
Watford is the latest staging post in the nomadic career of Claudio Ranieri as the Italian returns for a fourth crack at the English top flight….
Saturday 16th October
WATFORD VS LIVERPOOL
A nearly man at Chelsea, an icon at Leicester, a damp squib at Fulham.
Which version of Claudio Ranieri will Watford be getting as the vastly experienced 69-year-old rolls up at Vicarage Road?
While his credentials as a relegation firefighter are patchy at best in England after his largely forgettable short-lived stint with Fulham, he does have recent form for calmly negotiating a relegation fight in Serie A.
Ranieri pulled off another minor miracle with Sampdoria in 2019/20 guiding them from bottom of the table at the start of his tenure to the respectable heights of 9th by the time of his departure last summer.
However, it’s a baptism of fire for the new Hornets boss as he takes on a Liverpool side that are the only Premier League outfit yet to lose this campaign.
The Reds will be looking to reclaim top spot here after settling for a point in a refreshingly open Big Six contest against Man City two weeks ago.
Jürgen Klopp’s side famously slipped to a heavy 3-0 defeat on their last trip to Hertfordshire in 2019/20, a result that would cost them the chance of an ‘Invincibles’ season en-route to strolling to a first Premier League title.
Verdict: WATFORD 2-3 LIVERPOOL
ASTON VILLA VS WOLVES
Given Leicester’s faltering start to the campaign, these two sides might just fancy their chances of finishing this season as the top Midlands club come May, but both will need to strike some regular consistency to seize local bragging rights.
Villa’s up-and-down start to the campaign showed few signs of abating away at confidence-sapped Spurs a fortnight ago as a 2-1 defeat to the North Londoners consigned Dean Smith’s men to a third Premier League defeat in seven matches.
In the opposition dugout, Wolves boss Bruno Lage will be hoping the international break hasn’t stalled his team’s recent momentum. His side travel to Villa Park looking to make it a hat-trick of league wins.
Neutrals will be hoping this game doesn’t follow the pattern of recent encounters between the two local rivals, where goals have been in short supply.
The visitors have kept a clean sheet on both of their most recent trips to their near neighbours, stealing a 1-0 win back in June 2020 and securing a hard-fought point in a 0-0 stalemate last March.
Verdict: ASTON VILLA 2-1 WOLVES
LEICESTER VS MAN UTD
After some epic jostling for Champions League positioning between these two clubs in recent seasons, it seems unlikely we’ll be in for a repeat in 2021/22.
For the first time in his Foxes career, there’s just a small amount of pressure mounting on Brendan Rodgers as he looks to address Leicester’s alarming slump in form.
After picking up a distinctly average eight points from their first seven games, the next few weeks look crucial in determining the Foxes’ realistic ambitions for the season. Awkward encounters against buoyant Brentford and improving Arsenal are waiting in the wings after this game.
Rodgers’ troubleshooting efforts need to start with his unsettled defence, with the absent Jonny Evans and Wesley Fofana looking sorely missed at the back, and the previously reliable Çağlar Söyüncü struggling to strike up a rapport with new recruit Jannik Vestergaard.
Any hesitancy at the back could provide Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a chance to remove himself from the firing line after a patchy September.
The Norwegian is about to embark on a make-or-break run of games that could determine his long-term job security at Old Trafford, with a home clash with Liverpool, a trip to Spurs and a Manchester derby all in his in-tray in the coming weeks.
The Utd board have made a pointed show of faith by extending Mike Phelan’s contract as assistant manager during the international break, but a setback at the King Power would make it just two wins in seven league and European matches for the Norwegian and his team – and bring an end to their remarkable 29-game unbeaten run on the road domestically.
Verdict: LEICESTER 1-2 MAN UTD
MAN CITY VS BURNLEY
Visiting Burnley fans travelling to the Etihad on Saturday are advised to brace themselves for disappointment.
The hosts could make it nine wins in a row in all competitions against the Clarets, with their opponents from across Lancashire also failing to score against them in seven of the last eight meetings.
After back-to-back 5-0 away defeats against the Cityzens in 2020, Sean Dyche’s men did manage to keep his side’s dignity intact when the two clubs last clashed in February. City cruised to a 2-0 win without needing to build on two first-half goals from Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling at Turf Moor.
However, it’s now almost seven years since Burnley last left the Etihad with at least a point, and a shock on the cards seems unlikely here given the Clarets’ failure to outmuscle fellow strugglers Norwich before the international break.
That 0-0 stalemate ensured Burnley’s winless start to the league season stretched to seven games, but Dyche still retains the firm backing of his board following his recent contract extension and exactly 400 games in charge of the club.
Dyche also has previous form for not panicking at the first sign of trouble. The longest-serving boss in the Premier League also recovered from a similarly perilous start in 2020/21 to keep the Clarets comfortably perched above a toothless bottom three.
Never write off Sean Dyche, then, except perhaps when it comes to playing City.
Verdict: MAN CITY 3-0 BURNLEY
NORWICH VS BRIGHTON
Should Daniel Farke already start planning for another crack at the EFL Championship title next season?
The Canaries boss’ credentials in the second tier aren’t in doubt having strolled to two titles, but his top-flight reputation remains under intense scrutiny.
That hard-fought draw (and first clean sheet of the season) at Burnley did at least bring Farke some much-needed respite from losing after 16 EPL losses in a row, but time already looks of the essence if Norwich are going to finally shake off their ultimate yo-yo club status.
They may just fancy their chances of picking up something against a Brighton side that returned to their wasteful habit in front of goal against Arsenal last time out, although Graham Potter will be boosted by the return of several injured stars for this game.
Adam Webster could return to the heart of the Seagulls defence, while Tariq Lamptey may also be in line for a first league start since last December after returning to the bench on recent matchdays.
Verdict: NORWICH 1-1 BRIGHTON
SOUTHAMPTON VS LEEDS
Performances have been solid enough to suggest there’s no need for panic just yet at St Mary’s.
However, no wins after seven games – a record they share with four other clubs – suggests it could be another hard slog towards survival for the Saints.
Ralph Hasenhüttl will feel a tad aggrieved not to have seen his side’s hard work rewarded with a point in their last game at Stamford Bridge.
James Ward-Prowse’s 77th minute red proved costly as hosts Chelsea scored two late goals to seal a 3-1 win in West London, but it’s building some home momentum that could ultimately help them consolidate this season.
Southampton’s most recent relegation struggles have mostly come about as a result of a poor points return at St Mary’s.
Hasenhüttl will be looking to avoid that narrative building in 2021/22 by finally picking up maximum points at home here, but Leeds took the spoils in a 2-0 win on the South Coast last May.
A late Tyler Roberts goal wrapped up the points for the visitors as 8,000 returning fans were left disappointed.
Verdict: SOUTHAMPTON 1-2 LEEDS
BRENTFORD VS CHELSEA
Will Chelsea become the latest ‘Big Six’ outfit to suffer at the hands of buoyant Brentford?
The league leaders are rated as a 49/20 chance in the Premier League outright betting after taking control of top spot with victory over Southampton prior to international fortnight.
With both Arsenal and Liverpool coming unstuck so far this season at the Brentford Community Stadium, a positive result at their near neighbours will be a decent yardstick of the Blues’ staying power in the title race this season.
It’s 75 years since these two sides met as equals in league competition, but they have traded blows in the FA Cup twice over the decade, with Chelsea running out easy 4-0 winners on both occasions at Stamford Bridge.
The visitors will be looking to continue their decent away record in London derbies of late having notched two victories without being breached at the back against both Arsenal and Spurs.
Verdict: BRENTFORD 1-2 CHELSEA
Sunday 17th October
EVERTON VS WEST HAM
Poor form extinguished any hopes of Europa League football for Everton last season.
However, a revival in form at Goodison Park this term has given Rafa Benitez a real platform to ensure his side finish at least ‘best of the rest’ this term, a prize that West Ham will also be eyeing up after largely picking up where they left off following their surprise 6th-place finish last season.
It was a happy return to his old stomping ground for David Moyes last January. The Hammers boss watched his side leave it late to snatch all three points on Merseyside, with Tomáš Souček’s 86th minute strike enough to settle the contest in the visitors’ favour.
However, it’s the Toffees who have traditionally dominated this fixture in recent times, with that Goodison Park defeat their solitary setback against the Hammers in six meetings in all competitions.
Verdict: EVERTON 1-1 WEST HAM
NEWCASTLE VS SPURS
There have been quieter international breaks at St James’ Park.
A new era for Newcastle begins against Spurs in Sunday’s late kick-off after their longstanding takeover by the Saudi Public Investment Fund was finally concluded last week, but it remains to be seen whether Steve Bruce will be around to usher it in.
At the time of writing, the much-criticised Magpies boss will be stepping out at St James’ Park to take charge of his 1,000th game in English football, but with speculation rapidly mounting over his future on Tyneside, he may have to wait some time yet to hit that milestone.
Dreams of major raids in the transfer window will need to wait until January, however Newcastle should be boosted by the return of current talisman Callum Wilson for this one.
Spurs boss Nuno will be hoping to silence the jubilant home supporters as his side head to a ground where they have enjoyed plenty of success in recent seasons.
The visitors have taken the points home on three of their last four trips to the north-east.
Verdict: NEWCASTLE 1-0 SPURS
Monday 18th October
ARSENAL VS CRYSTAL PALACE
Finally, a fascinating London derby finishes Gameweek 8 off on Monday night with Patrick Viera out to thwart his former club under the Emirates floodlights.
The Crystal Palace boss has rightly won plaudits for evolving the Eagles’ playing style and personnel so far this season, but arguably doesn’t have the points return to show for it with Palace currently the division’s draw specialists.
Viera would probably settle for a point against his former employers with the Gunners on an improved run of form since the start of autumn, but Palace have an excellent recent record in North London to suggest they have can target their ambitions a little higher.
The visitors have been undefeated in all three of their most recent visits to the Emirates, with the two teams playing out a goalless draw when they last locked horns in January.
Mikel Arteta saw his side’s winning run come to an end in a 0-0 against Brighton.
However, the Spaniard will be encouraged his defence stayed vigilant to seal that point – an attribute that hasn’t always been on display this term.
Verdict: ARSENAL 2-1 CRYSTAL PALACE
All fixture information correct at time of writing.
Premier League Correct Score Predictions
Our score predictions for the next round of games are in…
Saturday 16th October
(15:00 unless stated)
WATFORD 2-3 LIVERPOOL (12:30)
ASTON VILLA 2-1 WOLVES
LEICESTER 1-2 MAN UTD
MAN CITY 3-0 BURNLEY
NORWICH 1-1 BRIGHTON
SOUTHAMPTON 1-2 LEEDS
BRENTFORD 1-2 CHELSEA (17:30)
Sunday 17th October
EVERTON 1-1 WEST HAM (14:00)
NEWCASTLE 1-0 SPURS (16:30)
Monday 18th October
ARSENAL 2-1 CRYSTAL PALACE (20:00)
Premier League Betting | EPL Tips | Best Bets
Looking for Premier League betting tips ahead of the latest action?
We’re back with our three latest picks…
Will the return of fans make a difference in 2021/22?
2021/22 Premier League Betting | EPL Outrights
Reigning champions Man City lead the way in the outright betting, with the Cityzens 47/50 to retain their crown.
Chelsea’s success in the Champions League early in Thomas Tuchel’s reign sees them installed as 49/20 second-favourites to deliver a first EPL trophy for the German.
Man Utd are 65/4 shots after making some major waves in the transfer marker this summer, while Liverpool are 21/5 to make a better fist of things this time around after their title defence faltered early last season.
Who are you backing to win the 2021/22 Premier League?
Check all the latest football outright betting >>
Odds correct at time of writing but may be subject to change.