The highlight of the weekend schedule of live televised matches is the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium. The days of being the noisy neighbours in the words of Sir Alex Ferguson have now gone and City are now the top dogs in Manchester. While United are making hard work of beating mid-table opponents City are yet again scoring goals for fun and are on track for new scoring and conceding records.
City lost just once at home in the Premier League last season buy it was to their great local rivals, United. Overall City scored 61 goals in 19 fixtures at the Etihad and conceded 14. The champions have conceded just four goals in the league this season to date. United have picked up 10 points from 12 and will be motivated to at least draw with City and they can achieve that outcome.
Liverpool are one of three unbeaten teams in the Premier League after 11 matches. At five home matches they have scored 12 goals and conceded just one. The 2-0 loss away to Red Star Belgrade has made life difficult regards qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Fulham are now bottom of the Premier League after the damaging defeat at Huddersfield on Monday. Their manager is the favourite in the next manager to lose his job market. Stranger things have happened but Fulham won’t beat Liverpool at Anfield and damage limitation could be the order of the day.
Cardiff looked in trouble from the start of the season and now seem out of their depth in the Premier League. The club have not invested in the quality required to become established in the top tier of English football. Cardiff have lost four of their last five matches and have already lost four times at home.
Conversely, Brighton have lost four away matches from six outings. The club survived in the Premier League last season due to solid home form but they are a less effective outfit in away matches. With just over a quarter of the season played it looks like any three from seven facing the nightmare scenario of relegation. If Cardiff are to maintain their status they should be winning home matches against mid-table opponents but Brighton can avoid defeat.
Crystal Palace have the worst home record in the division and are one of just two teams (Southampton is the other) to have not win a fixture at their own stadium. It’s a much reported fact but Palace don’t win when Wilfried Zaha is missing but he should be in the starting 11 for the home match against Tottenham.
Tottenham are just about surviving in the Champions League and Real Madrid have shown interest in the manager, Mauricio Pochettino. There have been delays in the move to the redeveloped White Hart Lane but results on the pitch have been good. In fact Tottenham have won their last five matches in all competitions and are good enough to beat Palace on the road.
Chelsea have not lost in their opening 11 fixtures in the Premier League and only Manchester City have a better goal difference. Defensively Chelsea are better away from home than at Stamford Bridge. Everton have just one of five road trips but they have won four of their last five fixtures in the Premier League. A win for Chelsea and both teams to score could be the outcome of this meeting.