The International break is over and players headed back to their respected teams.This week matches kick off with the Merseyside derby Liverpool taking on Everton.
Liverpool have dominated this fixture in recent times, with Everton achieving just one win in the last 28 games between the two teams. However, that win came in 2020 and was also at Anfield as Carlo Ancelotti guided the Blues to a 2-0 victory over their most fierce rivals. Richarlison and Sigurdsson with the goals.
Other than that though, this is a game that has either seen a Liverpool win or a draw with an almost equal division between those two results of the remaining 27 matches over that period. In truth, a draw won’t help either side much in their immediate ambitions, with Liverpool trying to stay in contention at the top of the table and Everton moving away from the drop zone.
The home side will be without one key player in Andy Robertson, whose shoulder injury sustained while playing for Scotland will keep him out a while. Tsimikas will likely come in for the Scottish captain whose absence will be missed by the Reds both defensively and going forward.
Despite that, I still feel Liverpool have the edge here. Darwin Nunez was superb against Brazil for Uruguay in the break, leading his country to their first win over Brazil in 33 years and I think if he starts, he could be the key man to send Liverpool home from this Merseyside derby with all three points, but I do expect it to be a closely fought contest.
Tip: Liverpool Win
Chelsea take on Arsenal
This promises to be an interesting game, especially with Chelsea winning both their last two games in the Premier League. Arsenal, of course, remain one of the two unbeaten teams in the EPL this season and they know that a win here or a point, would put them top of the table for at least 48 hours or so, until Spurs play on Monday.
The Gunners fans will certainly feel that they have a great chance to do that with a win. They have won six of the last seven between the two teams and Chelsea’s home form this season has been very poor with their only notable result being a 1-1 draw with Liverpool on the opening round of games this season.
In contrast, Arsenal come into this game after a hugely significant win over Manchester City and there seems to be real belief that the Gunners can go one better than last season and make a serious challenge for the Premier League title.
To do that, they need to win games like this one and I think they will, even if Bukayo Saka does not play in the game as with Martinelli back from injury, the Gunners should have enough quality to claim a key win here.
ARSENAL TO WIN
Manchester City vs BRIGHTON
Manchester City vs Brighton Predictions
Manchester City have won each of their last 13 home league games
Both teams have scored in all eight of Brighton’s league fixtures this season
Both teams have scored in four of the last five meetings between the pair
Citizens can get their title defence back on track
Having suffered back-to-back Premier League defeats against Wolves and Arsenal, Manchester City will be desperate to get the show back on the road against Brighton.
The Citizens had won their opening six games, conceding only three goals during that period, but they have been found out on their last two away trips.
Crucially, however, the international break came at a perfect time for Pep Guardiola and he is able to welcome back influential trio John Stones, Bernardo Silva and Rodri, who returns from a three-game suspension.
City are a different beast with defensive protector Rodri in the starting line-up and his inclusion means they are expected to return to winning ways.
Since making his debut in the 19-20 campaign, Rodri has missed only 15 Premier League games, which includes recent outings against Wolves and Arsenal, and City have lost five of those fixtures.
But with the slick Spaniard dictating the midfield, City have lost only 19 of their 144 outings, which highlights how vital he has been to their success.
Kevin De Bruyne remains out but that didn’t halt them from winning their opening six games, which includes all three home outings this season with Newcastle, Fulham and Nottingham Forest.
In fact, Manchester City have won each of their last 13 home league games and they are often at their most dangerous following a setback.
The goals have dried up for Erling Haaland, who has failed to score in his last three City starts, although a brace for Norway in Cyprus last week may have refocused him.
Brighton, on the other hand, are also in need of a mood change after failing to win any of their last four matches in all competitions.
Sloppy Seagulls may be punished
The Seagulls have rightly been praised for their pretty football and positive tactics under Roberto De Zerbi, but they have been shipping goals all too freely.
Brighton snatched a 2-2 draw at home to Liverpool in their final league game before the international break but that came on the back of a 6-1 hiding at Aston Villa, who cut them open all too easily.
That means De Zerbi’s men have conceded 16 goals in eight league games and they still await their first clean sheet of the campaign.
Those defensive flaws are sure to be punished by a City side determined to get back to winning ways, although the visitors will pose their problems on the counter-attack.
Brighton are league’s leading scorers with 21 goals from eight outings, with both teams scoring on every occasion.
Both teams have also scored in eight of their last nine away league games, although they have gone on to lose five of those matches.
So City are taken to maintain their Etihad dominance in an entertaining affair