O’Hara and Enrique’s Premier League Matchweek 9 Preview
With another international break behind us, we jump right back into the Premier League with the ninth round of fixtures of the season.
Grosvenor Sport ambassadors Jamie O’Hara and Jose Enrique give their thoughts on three of the weekend’s marquee match-ups including the Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton, Chelsea versus Arsenal, and Tottenham versus Fulham.
Watch the full episode of The Counter Attack with Jamie O’Hara and Jose Enrique here.
Liverpool v Everton
Liverpool have a lot of quality in their side and I think they can definitely get back to winning ways. I have been disappointed with Alexis Mac Allister recently but he is not a number six and that is the role which he is having to play because Liverpool don’t have any other top players in that position.
Everton have looked a lot better recently and I would be surprised if they’re fighting relegation come the end of the season. I like what Sean Dyche is doing because even though he does not play football that is stylish and fun to watch, he gets you the results that you need.
To be honest I think Liverpool are just so much better in every area and I think they are going to destroy Everton. Mohamed Salah saved them against Brighton last time and he loves this fixture so I can see him finding the back of the net.
It’s obviously a massive game for both clubs and Liverpool won’t want to give Everton anything to shout about. They’ve dropped points in the past couple of games and they will want to put a stop to that. I haven’t been impressed with Mac Allister because I had such high expectations for him, but he still needs time to settle in so I think it is too early to properly judge him.
I think Sean Dyche and Everton have turned a corner after their convincing win against Bournemouth. They’ve now shown that they can actually organise themselves and win games. I think they’ll be fine this season and I can’t see them struggling with relegation.
I can’t see Everton getting anything out of this game, especially with it being at Anfield. Liverpool need an emphatic win here to get back on track and I think they will get it. Dominik Szoboszlai has made an unbelievable start and, not that he needs to do anymore, a Merseyside derby goal would really win over the fans.
Chelsea’s form hasn’t been great but they did string together a few wins before the international break and you can’t get over the fact that they do have a very talented squad. If it starts to really click then they’ll be a side that no one wants to play.
Of course Arsenal will still be seen as the better side but I just think this might be the wrong time for them to play Chelsea, especially at Stamford Bridge, which I expect to be rocking with the mood around the club improving after a couple of wins.
Chelsea still have a noticeably long injury list and they haven’t put the ball in the back of the net too many times this season, whilst Arsenal just aren’t as convincing as last year. I think it will be a good game but I just can’t see either side coming away with all three points.
Chelsea have the right manager and a great group of players, it just all needs to come together. They need to really gel as a team rather than being a group of individuals. In the last few games it looks as though that might be starting to happen and they are improving.
Arsenal will obviously be the favourites given how they have performed this season and last, but they don’t look as strong this year and derbies aren’t played on paper.
Although Arsenal are the side in better form when you look at the numbers, they don’t have the greatest record against Chelsea and the game being at Stamford Bridge makes me think it will be tough for them to win, especially with the likes of Raheem Sterling in good form.
Tottenham are absolutely flying at the moment and they definitely didn’t need the international break. Ange Postecoglou has won two manager of the month awards already and this game should be another walk in the park for Spurs.
If Spurs lose a couple of key players to injury before January then they don’t have top quality replacements and I think they could be in trouble. Unfortunately for Fulham this Spurs squad are flying at the moment and they are almost all available.
Fulham look really poor at the moment and I don’t think Spurs are going to show any mercy. It doesn’t look like James Maddison is going to stop performing anytime soon and if he is on form then I think Spurs win comfortably.
Tottenham have started very well but we have to remember that it is a long season. The way the team are playing, as well as the results they are securing, is fantastic. However, the squad still isn’t as stacked as it needs to be for them to maintain it for a whole season.
Fulham look nowhere near as good as last season and Spurs look like the much better side. Yves Bissouma being suspended is the only real positive for Fulham but Spurs still have lots of quality so it will be difficult for Fulham to get anything away from home.
I expect Spurs to pick up where they left off after the international break and I can’t see this game causing them any problems. Anything can happen in football but when you have players like Heung-min Son, who will be on a high after winning player of the month, you have to expect to win.