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Five crucial Premier League fixtures to look out for in October

Saturday 5th October – Liverpool vs Leicester City
The meeting with Leicester City starts a difficult October for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side as after they host Leicester, they travel to Old Trafford before hosting Mauricio Pochettino and Tottenham at the end of the month.
To date, Liverpool remain undefeated in the league and sit at the top of the tree with six wins from six. Their three fixtures in October are all crucial in their desire to win their first Premier League title though and a win at home to Leicester, who look like certain top-six contenders this season, could be a superb start to the month and could make it eight wins from eight in this seasons campaign (depending how they fair against Sheffield United in game week 7 this weekend).
The Foxes currently find themselves third in the Premier League table and after the visit to Liverpool they will likely agree that they have a run of rather winnable fixtures, until they welcome Liverpool on Boxing Day at the KP. Before this fixture on Boxing Day, they face Manchester City at the Etihad but before these two fixtures, Brendan Rodger’s side could definitely find themselves still in the top-four – especially if they continue their early season form.
The Foxes have not beat Jurgen Klopp’s men in the previous two Premier League seasons (D1 L3) yet will take comfort in impressive performances against the likes of Chelsea and Spurs this season. As for Liverpool, aside from their visit to Stamford Bridge, where they were tested during spells of the 90 minutes against Lampard’s men, they have likely not faced a harder test then Rodger’s men this campaign in the league. A win against Leicester would certainly be a huge statement from Klopp’s men, with a win for the Foxes an even bigger statement to the rest of the league.
It will certainly be an entertaining end-to-end fixture in Merseyside with Liverpool’s closest title rivals, Manchester City, hoping Rodger’s men can do them a favour and at least take some points off of them as the Citizens have had done to themselves in the opening six game-weeks.
Saturday 5th October – Norwich City vs Aston Villa
Many would have expected it be Aston Villa who were putting the cats amongst the piegons in their return to the Premier League yet it is their hosts on the 5th October who have impressed since returning from the Championship.
Aston Villa, despite impressing in most fixtures so far this campaign, have not been clinical in-front of goal and will be disappointed in their inability to win/pick up points against 10-men – something which they have failed to do against both West Ham and Arsenal. Before the start of the season, Dean Smith certainly would have targeted games against the teams they arrived with and this fixture could be a crucial one in both teams seasons.
Surely Norwich and Daniel Farke will be favourites for this one though considering their more than satisfactory beginning to the campaign, especially at Carrow Road. The Canaries have picked up wins against Newcastle and Manchester City at home already this season and were unlucky to not pick up any points against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea. They have been disappointing away from home this campaign and Farke will notice this, yet he will eye this home fixture against Aston Villa as a certain three-pointer.
As for Villa, they currently find themselves in the relegation zone and results will need to start to turn the corner soon otherwise it could be a long season for the Villains. Before traveling to Norwich they host Burnley and after the international break, they host Brighton. After this trio of fixtures, they face Manchester City and Liverpool so wins/points of any description in these three fixtures will be seen as paramount. Despite Carrow Road being a difficult place to go, this fixture should have goals and will be full of fight and desire to pick up points in both sides hope of remaining in the league this season.
Saturday 19th October – Everton vs West Ham United
Looking at this fixture at this moment in time, it really is a tale of two sides seasons. Many picked out Everton at the beginning of the season to be one of those sides who would be challenging the traditional ‘top-six’ this season yet they have done nothing but that and it is their visitors on the 19th October who currently find themselves in the top six.
Despite Everton sitting on seven points (2W, 1D, 3L) they have yet to face any of last seasons top-six and have disappointed in fixtures against Bournemouth and Sheffield United.
As for West Ham, putting aside their 5-0 hammering against the Champions on the opening day, they have looked like a side capable of breaking into the European places this campaign. Their last outing was a deserved win against Manchester United in which a beautiful Aaron Cresswell free-kick gave the Hammers all three points. Manuel Pellegrini has been given time at the London Stadium and after a few disappointing campaigns from his side, they finally look ready to challenge for Europe.
This fixture will be crucial for Marco Silva and the Toffee’s and a win for West Ham could see the end of Silva’s reign on Merseyside. His side face Manchester City at the weekend which many expect a loss. They then face Burnley before the international break before the welcome the Hammers to Goodison – a poor performance in the previous fixtures against the Citizens and Burnley could mean nothing but a win would save Silva’s tenure. As for West Ham, a win could see them remain in the top six depending on how they get on before the international break.
Sunday 27th October – Newcastle United vs Wolves
Given the way Wolves have begun their 2019/20 Premier League campaign, Newcastle will take great satisfaction in the fact that one – they are playing in front of their home crowd and two, Wolves have a Europa League fixture on Thursday before they travel to St James’ Park.
Not just that, but Wolves have to travel to Slovakia to face Slovan Bratislava – a 2,000-mile round-trip for Nuno Santo’s side. This will instil even greater confidence in Steve Bruce’s men; who similar to their visitors have struggled at times so far this campaign.
Only one point separates these two sides at this moment in time with Newcastle sitting in 17th and Wolves two positions below in 19th. Despite this fixture not coming until game week ten, it could be a seen as a real six-pointer clash in this seasons campaign. Newcastle have struggled for goals so far this season, scoring only four in six games; yet Steve Bruce will hope by the time they welcome Wolves that goals will not be as big as an issue and he will be hoping three points pulls his side away from the bottom three.
As for Wolves, they have a winnable Premier League fixture before the trip to Newcastle as they host Ralph Hassenhuttl’s Southampton. A win against the Saints and a good performance away in Slovakia could be what Wolves need to find the form from last season that found themselves in the Europa League campaign they are currently in.
Sunday 27th October – Liverpool vs Spurs
This fixture is the last of a difficult October for Liverpool in which they face Leicester and Manchester United in the league as well as two Champions League fixtures as they welcome Salzburg to Anfield and travel to Genk. As for Tottenham, they too face two Champions League fixtures as they welcome Bayern Munich and Crvena Zvezda to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Their league fixtures before they travel to Liverpool are slightly easier though as they travel to Brighton before hosting Watford.
Spurs currently find themselves seventh in the league, six places and 10 points behind Liverpool and a win in this fixture would not only be a huge statement of intent but would close the gap which could still be 10 points come the end of October.
Spurs currently find themselves under mountains of pressure after they let slip a two-goal lead to both Arsenal and Olympiakos whilst letting a lead away at Leicester slid away. To make matters worse for Poch and his side, they then fell out of the Carabao Cup at the hands of League Two Colchester United – if this form continues than Poch may not may the Liverpool fixture, however, they do face a few easier tests as mentioned in the next few game-weeks.
As for Liverpool, their 100% record could still be intact by time they welcome Spurs and if they can get through Leicester and Manchester United as well as their two Champions League ties whilst still sitting top of the tree, then maybe, just maybe, some may begin fancying them to pip Manchester City to the Premier League title.

Eamon Kitching

Leicester City fan still holding onto our 15/16 Premier League success.

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Premier League Table

# Team MP W D L P
1 Arsenal 8 7 0 1 21
2 Manchester City 8 6 2 0 20
3 Tottenham Hotspur 8 5 2 1 17
4 Brighton & Hov… 7 4 2 1 14
5 Chelsea 7 4 1 2 13
6 Manchester United 7 4 0 3 12
7 Newcastle United 8 2 5 1 11
8 Fulham 8 3 2 3 11
9 Liverpool 7 2 4 1 10
10 Brentford 8 2 4 2 10
11 Everton 8 2 4 2 10
12 Leeds United 7 2 3 2 9
13 AFC Bournemouth 8 2 3 3 9
14 Aston Villa 8 2 2 4 8
15 West Ham United 8 2 1 5 7
16 Southampton 8 2 1 5 7
17 Crystal Palace 7 1 3 3 6
18 Wolverhampton Wanderers 8 1 3 4 6
19 Leicester City 8 1 1 6 4
20 Nottingham Forest 8 1 1 6 4

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