Can the Devils withstand Saints’ onslaught? Will Gunners bounce back?


CHONG YEE FATT

Kuala Lumpur assistant coach

SOUTHAMPTON vs MANCHESTER UNITED

Predicted score: 2-1

THE Saints will punish the Red Devils at Saint Mary’s this weekend.

Austrian coach Ralph Hasenhuttl has turned Southampton into a well-oiled machine and they are rightly flying high, placed sixth in the table with 17 points from nine matches and are unbeaten in their last five matches.

This form, and minus the distraction from midweek action, will make the difference in the clash against the frustratingly inconsistent Manchester United who played their Champions League match on Wednesday.

The Saints’ overall team play has been top-notch and I believe it was their key attribute for the season. Being a well-organised side, it will be tough to break down too.

As for United, their over-reliance on midfield maestro Bruno Fernandes is worrying and eventually, their luck may run out.

No doubt, coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has guided the team to an impressive 4-1 win against Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League but it came with a heavy price - with injuries to several players, including Victor Lindelof and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

It will be a tight game but I fancy Southampton claiming the full points at home.

VICTOR NIRENNOLD

UITM captain and centreback

CHELSEA vs TOTTENHAM

Predicted score: 1-1

THIS will be a hotly contested affair as both teams have been in good form in recent weeks.

Tottenham are top of the table with 20 points, with only goal difference separating them from second-placed Liverpool, while Chelsea are third with 18 points.

One would look to remain top, while the other wants to stay in the top three – so expect the game to go either way. That’s why I’m expecting this match to end in a draw.

Both sides have great attacks, and their defences have been solid too. I’m anticipating the match to be an end-to-end with Spurs’ Hugo Lloris and Chelsea’s Eduard Mendy having a busy day.

The ones I expect to emerge as game changers are strikers Timo Werner and Harry Kane.

Both players are currently lighting up the football world with their inspiring performances, and will be tightly marked.

It will be a good game.

T. AVINESHWARAN

StarSport writer

ARSENAL vs WOLVES

Predicted score: 2-1

ARSENAL’S performances in the Premier League have been drab. Mikel Arteta has outlined his defensive moves clearly, but what’s lacking is creativity.

The straightforward navigation does not seem to work for the Gunners, and players like Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette wished they had a creative midfielder, ahem, like Mesut Ozil breaking down defences with breathtaking passes. Especially against a side like Wolves, that work and press hard for 90 minutes, Arsenal need a moment of genius to break them down. Who can do that? At the moment, it is hard to choose one, but if he ever wants to, Arteta should turn to Dani Ceballos, as he is capable of switching on plays with his movement and passes.

If he is on song and able to wriggle his way out of Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho in midfield, I expect the Gunners to get a win, and they know a win could pull them out of the bottom half of the table.

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Chong Yee Fatt , Saturday Sidelines

   

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