Hughes likely to be first managerial casualty

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  • Under pressure: Southampton manager Mark Hughes

File photograph by Tim Ireland

    Under pressure: Southampton manager Mark Hughes File photograph by Tim Ireland


What do we have to look forward to for the rest of the season?

Not much, judging by the way the season has started, as the top four and bottom three already look easy to call.

Given that Manchester United and Arsenal look as if they have no chance of Champions League qualification based on their performances in the first three games of the season, the stage seems set for Manchester City and Liverpool to fight it out for the title, with Tottenham and Chelsea completing the top four.

Huddersfield Town, who have scored one goal in three games, and Cardiff City, who have yet to trouble the scorers, are certainties for relegation and may struggle to score another goal for the remainder of the season.

They will be joined in the relegation zone by Southampton if they fail to do the sensible thing and sack Mark Hughes as soon as possible.

Damn, sometimes it’s hard to be a killjoy.

11am kick-offs unless stated

Tomorrow

Leicester City v Liverpool

8.30am

Leicester manager Claude Puel was favourite to be the first manager to lose his job before a ball has been kicked, but his side has been impressive so far.

Liverpool are looking to continue their 100 per cent record but will have to perform better than they did against Brighton last week. Prediction: 1-2

Brighton & Hove Albion v Fulham

Fulham found their scoring boots with a win over tired Burnley last week but will find it harder to break down the home team, who had a fantastic home record last season. Prediction: 1-0

Chelsea

v Bournemouth

New Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has taken the reins off his players this season, and Eden Hazard looked sensational against Newcastle last week.

He should be brought into your fantasy team this week if possible. Eddie Howe will be delighted with his team’s start to the season, but his side will suffer their first defeat here. Prediction: 3-0

Crystal Palace v Southampton

Roy Hodgson’s side are playing well but their results are inconsistent.

However, the suspicion remains that Selhurst Park will become a fortress this season and they should deal with Southampton comfortably.

Saints fans are consigned to a season of struggle so should not be surprised by another poor performance here. Prediction: 2-0

Everton v Huddersfield Town

The home side are suffering with disciplinary problems, with two red cards in their first three matches.

A moment of madness from Richarlison means he will miss the next three games, which is a blow for the home team. However, his absence should not affect the result of this game, as a comfortable home win is on the cards. Prediction: 2-0

West Ham United v

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Mauricio Pellegrini will be hoping to pick up his first points as West Ham manager but his team may struggle to cope with the likely loss of Marko Arnautovic, who faces a late fitness test after limping off against Arsenal last week.

The pressure will start to build on the Chilean if they fail to register the win but Wolves showed just how classy they are when picking up a point against champions Man City in their last match. A tough game to call. Prediction: 1-1

Manchester City v

Newcastle United

1.30pm

Newcastle recorded just 19 per cent possession in their loss at home to Chelsea last week and we can expect more of the same here. It is likely that viewers of this match will be able to count using their fingers the number of times the away team have the ball in their opponents’ half. Manchester City will show patience, class and quality to prevail. Prediction: 2-0

Sunday

Cardiff City v Arsenal 9.30am

Unai Emery picked up his first win in the Premier League last week but his side’s defensive frailties were there for all to see. Cardiff’s manager Neil Warnock will send his team out to disrupt the rhythm of his opponents and his side will create chances, but they may not have the quality to finish them. Prediction: 0-2

Burnley v

Manchester United

12pm

A defeat here would surely mean the end for Jose Mourinho’s tenure at Old Trafford.

Burnley are now considered one of the favourites for relegation after a poor start to the season. Sean Dyche’s side are struggling after their European fixtures and may do so again here. Prediction: 1-2

Watford v Tottenham Hotspur 12pm

Two teams put their 100 per cent records on the line.

Watford have confounded critics who tipped them for relegation this season and are already a quarter of the way to safety.

Manager Javi Gracia has them well organised but they may have to give best here. Prediction: 1-2

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Published Aug 31, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Aug 30, 2018 at 10:01 pm)

Hughes likely to be first managerial casualty

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