Three at 3: Lampard looks for first home win as Blues boss

Matthew Crist previews the best of Saturday's 3pm games in the Premier League as Frank Lampard looks for a first win at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea manager.

Matthew Crist

Chelsea vs Sheffield United, Stamford Bridge, 15:00

Sheffield United haven’t won away at Stamford Bridge in the league since the inaugural Premier League season back in 1992/93 with goals from Adrian Littlejohn and Brian Deane securing a 2-1 victory, but after something of an inconsistent start to this campaign for the Blues who would bet against something similar happening this time around?

Frank Lampard’s side recorded their first win of the season last weekend as they overcame a useful looking side 3-2, but having scored four and conceded seven in their opening three fixtures it’s difficult to see anything other than another goal-fest – especially as the Blades have not kept a clean sheet away at Chelsea since 1922.

Despite an encouraging start to the season for Chris Wilder’s men previous form suggests they don’t enjoy their trips to the capital have only won two of their last 22 top-flight matches in London – though both of those victories were actually at the expense of the Blues so who is to say to say they can’t make it a hat-trick on Saturday afternoon?

However, Chelsea are pretty useful against newly promoted sides having only lost twice in the Premier League against newcomers in 80 matches since 1992 so it’s easy to see why the visitors are 9.75* to take all three points here with a home win and BTTS maybe the safer option.


Crystal Palace vs Aston Villa, Selhurst Park, 15:00

Both of these teams finally got off the mark last weekend so trying to find a winner here could prove difficult with either side showing indifferent form in the early stages of the campaign.

Having returned to the Premier League after an absence of some three years, Villa will be looking to record back-to-back top-flight wins for the first time since May 2015 when they overcame Everton, who they defeated 1-0 last Friday and West Ham while their last league win at Selhurst Park came back in 2014.

Roy Hodgson’s Eagles have enjoyed a pretty solid start to the 2019/20 season with a defeat to Sheffield United being sandwiched between a home draw with Everton and the club’s first win at Old Trafford for 30 years having stunned Manchester United last weekend.

Palace have won 10 Premier League matches this calendar year with only Manchester City Liverpool and Arsenal registering more victories in 2019 so despite Villa looking to have found their feet back in the big time it’s difficult to see past a home win in this fascinating encounter.


Roy Hodgson

Newcastle v Watford, St James’ Park, 15:00

It’s been a tough start for Steve Bruce and Newcastle but an away win at Tottenham last Sunday might just give the Magpies the momentum they need as they look to pull away from the foot of the Premier League.

A meeting with Arsenal probably wasn’t the start that Toon fans had hoped for as they began the new era following the departure of Rafa Benitez in the summer and it’s tough to criticise too much after going down to a solitary goal in the season opener, though a defeat to Norwich will have been more disappointing.

They now face bottom-of-the-table Watford who are without a win this campaign and having grabbed all three points with a 1-0 win in the capital last week Bruce’s men will no doubt feel confident going into this one.

However, the last time these two met at the end of January, Watford took all the three points with two second-half goals securing a 2-0 win, so the Hornets will not be short of confidence as they go in search of their first win of the campaign and with Newcastle winning four and Watford three in this fixture over the last seven games an odd goal might just be the difference.



Steve Bruce

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