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Declan Rice comes into his own ahead of Liverpool test

Another entertaining Premier League weekend in the books, with a few shocks and standout performances along the way. The title race and battle for European football continues to heat up.

Declan Rice leaves Aston Villa's John McGinn on his backside during a supreme performance last week when West Ham won 4-1 at Villa Park (Photograph by Rui Vieira/AP)

Fantasy managers have some new faces to watch out for in the coming weeks. Declan Rice is a good budget midfield option, while Wolves striker Hwang Hee Chan remains a strong mid-price attacking option. The fantasy landscape continues to ebb and flow nicely.


Southampton v Aston Villa


Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy made several key saves to preserve their 1-0 away win over Watford. Che Adams scored the lone goal midway through the first half.

Aston Villa lost their discipline after defender Ezri Konsa was sent off in their 4-1 home thrashing by West Ham. They have now lost four straight league matches, and manager Dean Smith is under slight pressure.

This rivalry is very even, with Saints edging Villa 15-14 through their 38 meetings. However, the visiting side earned a 1-0 win on their last visit to the South Coast.

Prediction: 1-2


Manchester United v Manchester City


Manchester United cruised past Tottenham Hotspur in a 3-0 away victory. That ended a winless run of four league matches for the Red Devils, including that 5-0 drubbing by Liverpool the previous week.

City were made to pay for poor finishing in their shock 2-0 home defeat by Crystal Palace. Defender Aymeric Laporte, who was sent off for a late challenge on Wilfried Zaha, will be suspended.

This derby has been dominated by the Reds in recent times. City last triumphed over United in the league back in April 2019.

Prediction: 2-0

Brentford v Norwich City


Brentford have slipped up recently after a strong start to their debut Premier League season. The Bees were handed a 3-1 away defeat by an inspired Burnley side last week, their third straight loss.

Norwich slumped to a 2-1 home defeat by Leeds, their eighth already through ten games. One positive, though, was a debut goal from young defender Andrew Omobamidele just before the hour mark.

These sides have never met in the top flight, but the Canaries earned a point on their last visit to West London in the Sky Bet Championship last season.

Prediction: 1-0

Chelsea v Burnley


Chelsea cruised to a 3-0 victory over Newcastle at St James’ Park. Reece James scored his first career brace for the Blues, including a fantastic volley from just inside the penalty area midway through the second half.

Burnley earned their first win of the season, 3-1 over Brentford. Maxwel Cornet stole the show with his fourth goal for the Clarets.

The West London side have dominated this battle, winning ten of the 14 meetings. They cruised to victory in this fixture last year, with wing backs César Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso scoring in a 2-0 win.

Prediction: 2-1

Crystal Palace v Wolverhampton Wanderers


Crystal Palace showed excellent organisation in their upset 2-0 away win over champions Manchester City. Wilfried Zaha and Conor Gallagher scored either side of half-time to lead the Eagles to their second win of the season.

Wolves continued their fine form with a 2-1 home win over Everton. Defender Max Kilman scored his first career goal for the West Midlands side on Monday night.

Wolves have edged this rivalry, winning three of the six previous league meetings. However, Palace came out on top in their January meeting in South London 1-0.

Prediction: 2-1

Brighton & Hove Albion v Newcastle United


Brighton came from two goals down to earn an excellent 2-2 draw away to title challengers Liverpool. A strong first-half ending was underlined with a first goal by Enock Mwepu. Leandro Trossard scored the equaliser midway through the second half.

Newcastle were humbled by a strong and resilient Chelsea side 3-0 at home last Saturday. Since the takeover, the Magpies have gone winless in three games.

The Seagulls are unbeaten in their first eight previous battles, with four wins and four draws. They smashed Newcastle 3-0 on their last visit to the South Coast.

Prediction: 2-0


Arsenal v Watford


Arsenal are unbeaten in seven league matches, earning five wins in that run. Their best performance came with their best result thus far, a 2-0 away win over Leicester City. Gabriel scored his first goal for the Gunners in the win.

Watford stepped into the brick wall that is Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy in their 1-0 home defeat by the Saints. They have earned just one win in their past five, and are slipping into the relegation tussle.

The Gunners have won 11 of their 14 battles with the Hornets, and held on for a thrilling 3-2 win when the promoted side last visited the Emirates.

Prediction: 2-0

Everton v Tottenham Hotspur


Everton have struggled recently, earning just one win in their past five league matches. They fell to a 2-1 away defeat by Wolves, with Alex Iwobi scoring his first goal in over eight months for the Toffees.

Spurs have suffered three defeats in their past five games, scoring just one goal in those matches. Manager Nuno Espirito Santo was sacked less than 24 hours after their 3-0 home loss to Manchester United, replaced quickly by Antonio Conte.

Tottenham have dominated this head-to-head, but they could manage only a 2-2 draw on their last visit to Goodison.

Prediction: 2-2

Leeds United v Leicester City


Raphinha was involved in both goals of Leeds’s 2-1 away triumph over Norwich City. The Brazilian opened the scoring with a lovely feint and low finish. Fellow attacker Rodrigo scored a beautiful winner from just outside the penalty area on the hour mark to secure the points for the Yorkshire side.

Leicester could not find a way past the elastic arms of Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale in their 2-0 home defeat. James Maddison had the best chance from a free kick, but the English shot-stopper made a sprawling save.

Leeds hold the edge in this battle, winning nine of the 18 previous encounters. However, the Foxes were rampant in a 4-1 win on their last visit to Elland Road, and have won the past three league meetings.

Prediction: 3-2

West Ham United v Liverpool


West Ham dominated Aston Villa in a 4-1 win at Villa Park, their fourth win in five matches. Declan Rice stole the spotlight, scoring his second goal of the season and adding an assist.

Liverpool blew a two-goal lead in the second half, but still managed to hold on to the 2-2 home draw with Brighton. They remain the only unbeaten team in the division, but have three draws in their past five games.

The Hammers are winless in their past five meetings with the Merseyside team. We may see an upset here, though, as the home side have put in the more consistent performances right now.

Prediction: 2-1

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Published November 05, 2021 at 7:54 am (Updated November 05, 2021 at 7:54 am)

Declan Rice comes into his own ahead of Liverpool test

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