Eden Hazard and Pedro help Chelsea thrash Everton; Benteke scores against Manchester United – EPL predictions



Each week, The National Deputy Sports Editor Thomas Woods predicts the outcomes of the English Premier League. In Week 4, our man got three correct results from 10 predictions, with one correct score. Can he do better in Week 5? Here are his results for the season.

Crystal Palace 1 Manchester City 2

Why? This will be a major challenge for high-flying City and don't be surprised if Manuel Pellegrini drops one of his creative players for an extra defensive midfielder. Palace have been excellent – they beat Chelsea in their last match – and you fancy them to score. But Sergio Aguero seems made for this kind of game. City will absorb pressure and strike.

Everton 0 Chelsea 3

Why? After a stuttering start to the season, I think Chelsea make a statement here with an away win and a clean sheet. We've seen the good and bad sides of Everton this season. They were brilliant in the away win at Southampton and matched Manchester City for two thirds of their 2-0 defeat. But they were flat and lacking ideas when Watford came to town and nulified their attacking threat for the majority of the game. John Stones v Diego Costa will be an interesting tussle, but could be a side show to Eden Hazard, Pedro and Cesc Fabregas.

Arsenal 1 Stoke 0

Why? Stoke will arrive at the Emirates looking to frustrate – especially since early season expectation has vanished following four games without a win. They still have an exciting squad on paper, but this game will be about pragmatism for manager Mark Hughes. Arsenal need to make a breakthrough early in this game, or there is a decent chance Stoke will take a point but Arsene Wenger pacey double act of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexis Sanchez should create at least one goal.

Norwich 0 Bournemouth 0

Why? Norwich must be concerned by the amount of goals they have conceded – eight in four games – and keeping a clean sheet will be a priority for a side whose only sniff of a win game at a woeful Sunderland team.

Watford 1 Swansea 2

Why? Watford haven't scored since the opening day and both home games have finished 0-0. Quique Sanchez Flores needs to change his team outlook and they will surely be more positive this time in front of their own fans. Unbeaten Swansea, however, have the league's in-form striker – Bafetimbi Gomis – and the signing of the summer – Andre Ayew – and all the keys to a victory.

West Bromwich Albion 1 Southampton 1

Why? Try not to overreact to either team's last result. West Brom only managed a 1-0 win against nine-man Stoke, their first of the season. Southampton smashed Norwich 3-0 after the visitors had played for 60 minutes with 10 men, also their first win of the season. A draw seems the most likely result.

Manchester United 1 Liverpool 1

Why? United and Liverpool are both coming off defeats but, as the game progesses, a draw might be a result each side settles for in such a big game. Daley Blind, the United midfielder-cum-centre-back, struggled against Swansea's Gomis in the second half last week and faces a similarly powerful striker in Christian Benteke. The Belgian scored for Aston Villa last season at Old Trafford and will be the most likely source of a goal for the visitors.

Sunderland 0 Tottenham 2

Why? Harry Kane scored in both England's games in the international break and he won't have a better chance to score this season than against a porous Sunderland defence. Christian Erikssen, his partner in crime, may well miss the game with injury but there is enough pace in the Spurs side to support him.

Leicester City 0 Aston Villa 0

Why? Midlands derbies often fall flat and this will be one of them. Leicester are flying high in the table and are most likely to grab win, but you can easily see Villa packing eight men behind the ball and settling for the draw.

West Ham 1 Newcastle 0

Why? Newcastle have scored just twice this season and are now missing their big money striker, Alexsandar Mitrovic, after he was sent off against Arsenal. Their main issue will be creating enough chances. West Ham, brilliant away from home, winless at Upton Park, have a fine chance of getting a first home win on the board.

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