Premier League Preview & Predictions: Gameweek 5

James Rodriguez
Everton are the Premier League's form team | Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

The Premier League returns from its first international break of the 2020/21 season, with gameweek five hopefully about to answer a number of questions that were tantalisingly posed in the last round of fixtures back at the start of October.

Will Liverpool bounce back from a 7-2 defeat? Can Manchester United get the win they desperately need? Can Everton keep up their blistering start in their toughest game yet?

Saturday

Everton vs Liverpool

James Rodriguez, Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Everton are top of the Premier League with 100% record | Jan Kruger/Getty Images

What Time Is Kick Off? 12.30 BST
Where Is it Played? Goodison Park
TV Channel/Live Stream? BT Sport
Read 90min's preview here.

For the first time in a long time there is a much more level playing field ahead of the first eagerly awaited Merseyside derby of the season, with Everton flying after a perfect start to the season and Liverpool reeling from a 7-2 defeat to Aston Villa in their last game.

Carlo Ancelotti has overseen an incredible transformation in his first 10 months in charge at Goodison Park. The Toffees have notoriously underachieved in recent seasons given the level of investment in the squad, but now they are finally doing themselves justice.

What makes this especially enticing is that Liverpool have looked defensively shaky. And with Everton still hardly bulletproof at the back themselves, there could be plenty of goals.

Everton have done well to win all four league games they have played so far, but a woeful Tottenham on the opening weekend has been their toughest challenge. Liverpool post a whole different level of threat altogether, so this should more accurately reveal their level.

Prediction: Everton 2-2 Liverpool

Chelsea vs Southampton

Kai Havertz
Chelsea fans want to see Kai Havertz off the mark in the Premier League | Visionhaus/Getty Images

What Time Is Kick Off? 15.00 BST
Where Is it Played? Stamford Bridge
TV Channel/Live Stream? BT Sport Box Office
Read 90min's preview here.

Things are yet to really click for Chelsea this season, which is perhaps understandable given the number of new faces that have arrived at Stamford Bridge. But fans expect more and at least want to see a first Premier League goal from Kai Havertz, Timo Werner or both.

There is a chance that Christian Pulisic could make his first start of the season after recovering from a hamstring problem and appearing as a substitute last time out. But N’Golo Kante and new goalkeeper Edouard Mendy are doubts. That could mean an awkward reprieve for Kepa.

As for Southampton, they have put back-to-back opening defeats behind them to record back-to-back wins in their two most recent Premier League games. The Saints will also take hope from the fact they beat Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in this very fixture last season.

From a quality standpoint, Chelsea should have enough to win.

Prediction: Chelsea 3-1 Southampton

Manchester City vs Arsenal

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Arsenal are in better form than Man City | NEIL HALL/Getty Images

What Time Is Kick Off? 17.30 BST
Where Is it Played? Etihad Stadium
TV Channel/Live Stream? Sky Sports
Read 90min's preview here.

Arsenal have been played off the park by Manchester City on more than one occasion in recent seasons, most recently in the pair’s respective first game of ‘Project Restart’ in June. Yet the form guide right now is reversed and the Gunners are the one in the ascendancy.

Despite a strong win over Wolves to open the season, City have found it hard going since. They were humiliated by a ruthless Leicester side at the end of September and could only draw with newly promoted Leeds as Pep Guardiola went up against his coaching inspiration Marcelo Bielsa.

Arsenal, on the other hand, have enjoyed better results, winning three from four so far – their sole defeat was against champions Liverpool. What’s more, the Gunners will be hoping to hand a debut to £45m deadline day signing Thomas Partey to strengthen in midfield.

City have doubts over Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne.

Prediction: Manchester City 1-1 Arsenal

Newcastle vs Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be under pressure if Man Utd lose | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

What Time Is Kick Off? 20.00 BST
Where Is it Played? St. James' Park
TV Channel/Live Stream? Sky Sports Box Office
Read 90min's preview here.

With Manchester United desperate for a win to allay fears of a full blown crisis following a 6-1 collapse against Tottenham last time out, there is an element of déjà vu from the context of a game against Newcastle at St. James’ Park from October 2018.

On that occasion, Jose Mourinho’s United had just been comfortably beaten by West Ham and had won only three of their opening seven Premier League games of the season. It was even rumoured on the day of the game that Mourinho was facing the sack if his team lost.

United made the worst possible start, going 2-0 down early on, before eventually fighting back to win 3-2 at the death – Alexis Sanchez scored the winner.

Victory is the minimum requirement for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Saturday night, but it will be far from easy against a Newcastle side that has made a decent start to the new season, taking seven points from a possible 12 on offer and sitting in the top half of the table.

Prediction: Newcastle 1-2 Manchester United

Sunday

Sheffield United vs Fulham

Sander Berge
Sheffield United have lost seven Premier League games in a row | Pool/Getty Images

What Time Is Kick Off? 12.00 BST
Where Is it Played? Bramall Lane
TV Channel/Live Stream? BT Sport Box Office

Neither Sheffield United nor Fulham have taken a single point yet this season, having each lost all four Premier League games they have played so far. But that obviously has to change when the league’s bottom two clubs face each other this weekend.

Many expected an ill-equipped Fulham to struggle on their return to the top flight, but the Cottagers only lost by a single goal to Wolves in their last game before the international break, while manager Scott Parker has a new signings still to integrate into his squad.

For Sheffield United, it has been a considerable fall from grace since defying the odds last season to finish 10th in the final standings. But this slump actually set in during ‘Project Restart’ and they have actually now lost seven league games in a row. Their last win was a 3-0 battering of Chelsea.

Prediction: Sheffield United 2-1 Fulham

Crystal Palace vs Brighton

Wilfried Zaha
Crystal Palace are looking for a return to winning ways | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

What Time Is Kick Off? 14.00 BST
Where Is it Played? Selhurst Park
TV Channel/Live Stream? Sky Sports

Rivals Crystal Palace and Brighton have one major thing in common this season – they have both comfortably outplayed Manchester United in the Premier League. But only Palace managed to win as the Seagulls couldn’t take their chances.

Neither side is in ideal form ahead of this latest edition of the ‘M23 derby’, having each lost their last two league games. Both also conceded four goals in their last game before the international break.

Brighton have a number of players facing late fitness tests to determine their availability, while Palace are missing several bodies at the back. They will have Michy Batshuayi back, though, after he was forced to miss the last game against parent club Chelsea.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-0 Brighton

Tottenham vs West Ham

Harry Kane
Harry Kane has been the centre of a club vs country row | Pool/Getty Images

What Time Is Kick Off? 16.30 BST
Where Is it Played? Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
TV Channel/Live Stream? Sky Sports
Read 90min's preview here.

Despite what appeared to be a dreadful summer transfer window and opening the 2020/21 campaign with back-to-back Premier League defeats, West Ham have managed to turn things around in recent weeks and have scored seven without reply in their last two league games.

They got four against Wolves, who have only conceded three in their other three games combined, and three against Leicester, who had a 100% record prior to that contest.

Spurs have also improved since a poor start to the season when they lacked any sort of…anything against Everton. In their last two games alone in all competitions, Jose Mourinho’s side have scored 13 goals, the last a 6-1 annihilation of Manchester United.

The international break saw a brewing club versus country row over Harry Kane’s fitness, with Mourinho reported to be against his talisman playing for England. But Gareth Southgate insisted there was no injury problem and Kane played against Denmark unscathed.

Prediction: Tottenham 3-1 West Ham

Leicester vs Aston Villa

Ollie Watkins
Aston Villa stunned Liverpool in their last game | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

What Time Is Kick Off? 19.15 BST
Where Is it Played? King Power Stadium
TV Channel/Live Stream? Sky Sports Box Office

Few would have had predicted that Leicester would lose 3-0 at home to West Ham in their last outing before the international break, while nobody could have foreseen the 7-2 annihilation that Aston Villa dished out to champions Liverpool later that same day.

Leicester should bounce back from their defeat, but confidence is an enormous factor in football and Villa have loads of it right now. The win over Liverpool alone would have made every Villa player feel 10 feet tall, but add to that it was also their third win of the season and maintained a 100% record.

Ollie Watkins is the man to watch for Villa, with his first half hat-trick ultimately what set the tone against Liverpool. In fine club form, Jack Grealish also has a point to prove to England manager Gareth Southgate after only one appearance in the three games this month.

Leicester could hand an immediate debut to 19-year-old summer signing Wesley Fofana, with Caglar Soyuncu and Jonny Evans both doubts.

Prediction: Leicester 3-3 Aston Villa

Monday

West Brom vs Burnley

Romaine Sawyers, Nathan Redmond
West Brom are looking for their first win back in the Premier League | Robin Jones/Getty Images

What Time Is Kick Off? 17.30 BST
Where Is it Played? The Hawthorns
TV Channel/Live Stream? Sky Sports Box Office

West Brom vs Burnley is an early relegation scrap, with neither club yet to win any of their opening four Premier League games.

The Baggies should have beaten Chelsea in late September, having thrown away a 3-0 lead in that one. Their other results have been more expected, while the Clarets have not been their usual resilient selves and have twice lost by two goals.

West Brom have the leakiest defence in the Premier League so far, conceding 13 times in four games. Yet Burnley have the joint least effective attack and it remains to be seen whether they have it in them to take full advantage.

With a lack of neutral interest compared to Newcastle vs Man Utd or Chelsea vs Southampton, this game is also a significant test for the controversial new Box Office model. Will fans who would otherwise have been going to the match be prepared to pay £14.95 to watch it at home?

Prediction: West Brom 1-1 Burnley

Leeds vs Wolves

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Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds have won plenty of Premier League fans | CATHERINE IVILL/Getty Images

What Time Is Kick Off? 20.00 BST
Where Is it Played? Elland Road
TV Channel/Live Stream? Sky Sports

The last time Leeds and Wolves met it was a Championship fixture in March 2018. Both clubs have come a long way since then and now it is a top Premier League game with plenty of intrigue, not least because of the managerial contest between Marcelo Bielsa and Nuno Espirito Santo.

So far this season, each club has won two of their four games, coincidentally both against struggling Sheffield United and Fulham. Leeds have been otherwise more impressive, pushing Liverpool all the way on the opening weekend and holding Manchester City to a draw last time out.

Wolves, conversely were beaten by City earlier in the campaign and, in a very un-Wolves like performance, were thrashed 4-0 by West Ham at the end of last month.

Leeds will be expecting Jack Harrison back after he was ineligible to face parent club Manchester City last time out. The 23-year-old, whose unconventional route to the Premier League took him first to MLS, has impressed in his debut English top flight campaign.

Prediction: Leeds 2-1 Wolves

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