The English Premier League remains tightly packed–at least with the exception of top of the table Liverpool who remain five points clear of the rest of the field heading into the weekend fixtures. Second place might be the biggest shock at the moment–not because Manchester City is there with 10 points but because AFC Bournemouth is there tied with the defending Premiership champs also with 10 points. Bournemouth has played one more game than City so this standing will likely not survive the weekend. Even so, it is no doubt a thrilling sight for Bournemouth backers to see their team tied with Pep Guardiola’s team. Last season, Bournemouth finished 14th with 45 points putting them a whopping 53 points back of first place Manchester City.
After the aforementioned two sides we’ve got a huge pack of teams with 8 points. They include fourth place Tottenham Hotspur all the way back to 9th place West Ham United. There are then three more teams with 7 points meaning the middle of the Premiership table is still completely up for grabs. Manchester United is in 5th place–also with 8 points–by virtue of goal differential. The ‘Red Devils’ are 2-2-1 on the season but are still winless on the road going 0-2-0 with two goals scored and conceded away from Old Trafford.
The biggest issue for Man U is their sputtering offense. They got a 1-0 win over Astana in Europa League play on Thursday but that with the 5th straight contest in which they’ve not scored more than a single goal. In fact, the 4-0 opening game thumping of Chelsea is their only multi-goal game of the season. Man U is winless in their last 8 in all competitions away from home. West Ham United has the double whammy going on their home field at London Stadium. They’ve scored just 2 and conceded five in EPL play with a 1-0-1 record.
West Ham has won 5 of their last 8 Premiership games here at London Stadium scoring two or more in 6 of 8. They’re now unbeaten in five straight in all competitions. They’ve only lost 1 of their last five games against Man U at home. Last year, they each beat the other on their home field. This fact plus Man U’s struggles away from Old Trafford make the visitors a dubious favorite. We’ll take a half goal with the home team and look for this one to stay under the total.