Michael Owen has made his predictions for the upcoming round of fixtures in the Premier League and backs Arsenal to come away from Manchester United with a point this weekend – as long as they can keep Marcus Rashford quiet.
United are unbeaten in their last four matches in all competitions and will be especially buoyed by their outstanding display in a comprehensive 5-0 victory over Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s form has taken a nosedive after a promising start to the season under Mikel Arteta and the north London club have lost their last two games in the English top flight to Manchester City and Leicester respectively.
Former United striker Owen has been impressed with the Red Devils’ recent performances and feels Rashford could cause Arsenal problems after his stunning hat-trick at home to Leipzig in midweek.
But Owen can see the Gunners coming away with a draw if they are able to keep Rashford at bay at Old Trafford.
‘Manchester United take on Arsenal in a match that always draws plenty of media attention prior to kick off,’ he said in his BetVictor column.
‘Arsenal’s early season rise has been dampened slightly with recent results, so they’ll be looking at this as the perfect platform to get going again.
‘United themselves have picked up. Their outstanding European results must have raised the confidence levels at Old Trafford. Marcus Rashford is really starting to fire and he could be United’s danger man here.
‘However, I think if Arsenal can keep him quiet, they could come away with a point.’
Chelsea travel to Turf Moor to face a Burnley side without a win in the league this season and Owen envisages a comfortable win for the visitors on Saturday.
‘Burnley take on Chelsea after losing out narrowly to Tottenham Hotspur last week,’ he said.
‘They haven’t got going in front of goal so far this season, and they come up against a Chelsea side that are beginning to show some positive signs.
‘They were excellent at times against Krasnodar midweek, and I think they’ll have gained a lot of confidence from that.
‘If Chelsea appear in the same mood, I think they could win this by a couple of goals.’
On Liverpool’s clash with West Ham at Anfield, Owen said: ‘The Reds have lost both Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho to injury, so it will be very interesting to see how they adapt.
‘They come up against a West Ham side that have put in some excellent performances this season, but at the same time have flattered to deceive on occasion.
‘I think the Hammers could cause Liverpool problems, but I fancy Jurgen Klopp’s side will have too much going forward and I reckon we’ll see a home win with both sides scoring.’
League leaders Everton travel to Newcastle on Sunday and Owen has predicted a score draw at St James’ Park.
Owen said: ‘Newcastle host Everton in a match where both sides will fancy their chances of getting a result.
‘It will be interesting to see how Everton react after last weekend’s defeat against Southampton.
‘It could have dented their spirits slightly, and if Newcastle sense that, I think they’ll cause problems.
‘This one could be tight, so I’m going for a score draw.’
Sheffield United vs Manchester City
Manchester City were in full flow against Marseille in the Champions League midweek. City fans will be hoping for more of the same against a Sheffield United side that were unlucky to leave empty handed from Anfield last weekend.
For all City can be so slick moving forward, there are still concerns regarding their backline. I think City will take the points here, but not without the Blades casing Pep’s side some problems.
Aston Villa vs Southampton
Aston Villa host Southampton at Villa Park with the home side looking to get back on track. They were well in the game until they conceded their second goal against Leeds last Friday night, and will be hoping to pick up three points again here.
Southampton’s win against Everton was very impressive, but if Villa can recapture their form, I think they’ll win with both sides scoring.
Tottenham vs Brighton
Tottenham take on Brighton after a good result on the road against Burnley. Jose Mourinho will have been delighted that his side kept a clean sheet and will go into this aiming for another 3 points.
Brighton have been a bit stop start this season, and I think they might get caught out against a superior side that are very dangerous when going forward. I’m going with a home win for Jose Mourinho’s men.
Fulham vs West Brom
Fulham host West Brom still in search of their first Premier League win of the season. The Cottagers have been unlucky over the last couple of weeks, having played well at times. They haven’t had much luck in front of goal, but the same can’t be said of shot shy West Brom.
I think I’ve seen enough of Fulham to think this could be their week. I’m going for a narrow home win.
Leeds United vs Leicester City
Fresh from their smash and grab win against Arsenal, Leicester are on the road again. This time they visit Elland Road with talisman Jamie Vardy back in the side, so they will feel confident going into the match.
Leeds striker Patrick Bamford rightfully grabbed all the headlines as he scored a hat-trick against Aston Villa and I think this could be a very entertaining match. Leeds have been so good to watch this season, and with Bamford firing in front of goal right now, I can see the points staying in Yorkshire.