What on earth is going on?

Manchester United players walk off the pitch after losing their English FA Cup soccer match against Swansea City at Old Trafford in ManchesterPremier League preview

CAN anybody shed any light on to what is going on in the Barclay’s Premier League because every week, the results are getting stranger and stranger.

One thing is for sure: it is proof that this is one of the strongest leagues in the world. Those who spend the money and assemble the biggest and best squads rise to the top by the end of the season (well, some do). But the so-called smaller clubs are certainly giving a good account of themselves and making life difficult for those big boys.

It was another win for me last week, so I’m asking: Who can Beat Benson? This week I take on Emma Benson (no relation), from La Caleta.

Liverpool v Everton

It seems teams have worked out how to play Liverpool after last season. Famed for their fast starts, they have just not “happened” so far. In fact, teams are doing well against them, and their defence is still not up to the task.

However, form and previous results go out of the window in a derby match. But Liverpool, quite simply, need a win!

Everton are another team stuttering this season – and losing to Crystal Palace will have dinted their confidence. But they will be pumped up for this game as ever, especially with bragging rights at stake. Both managers will not need much of a team talk!

Prediction: Home win

Beat Benson: Home win

Sunderland v Swansea

Sunderland, who already look as though they will be involved in a relegation fight, just haven’t got it together yet. They missed out on one or two transfer targets, notably a striker, and they are struggling to score goals.

It is important to get results against teams around you, but they drew a blank against a poor Burnley side and things are not looking good!

The Swans had been flying (pardon the pun), but they have had their wings clipped (yes, another one) in recent games, albeit against decent opposition. They need to get back to winning ways and will feel confident this game gives them a chance to do just that.

Prediction: Away win

Beat Benson: Draw

Southampton v QPR

There were plenty of people jumping on the Southampton relegation bandstand after they supposedly sold their best players in the summer. But they are sitting pretty in second spot, despite a lack of superstars. Koeman has them playing good football and they could be a surprise package for a place in European.

But their opponents looked a relegation-threatened team against Man Utd, although they looked confident hosting Stoke until, again, silly defensive mistakes cost them. In the end, they were lucky to go home with a point.

Prediction: Home win

Beat Benson: Home win

Man Utd v West Ham

So Van Gaal, the saviour, has made a worse start than David Moyes did after spending considerably more money on players..

Everybody could see United needed defenders, but no one of any real class arrived, and against Leicester they looked nervous.

West Ham started quickly and physically against Liverpool – and it worked with two goals in seven minutes. If they come here with the same game plan, United could be in real trouble The Hammers will be full of confidence and will not fear their hosts, so this is a difficult test for Van Gaal’s team.

Prediction: Home win

Beat Benson: Away win

Hull v Man City

Hull will be disappointed to let a two-goal lead slip against Newcastle last weekend, so they will be anxious to get back on the pitch and make amends swiftly.

It might be a big ask, though, against the champions. However a glance at the league table shows they are above Liverpool and United – a position I am sure they could hardly have expected, so they can take confidence from that.

City managed a point against title rivals Chelsea but wanted more, so they need a strong performance to show they are still challengers to retain their crown, Anything less than three points will be viewed as a disaster.

Prediction: Away win

Beat Benson: Away win

Crystal Palace v Leicester

Palace had an excellent win against a strong Everton side, which will have given the club a huge confidence boost ahead of this fixture. They looked tight at the back and capable of scoring goals, but they need to be careful they don’t get carried away.

Many thought Leicester had made a mistake by paying a large sum for a Championship striker untested in the Premier League. But Ulloa now has five goals from five games and looks a bargain.

But if Palace are confident, then Leicester are flying after coming from behind against Man United, scoring four in a row to win 5-3 after trailing 3-1. The players and fans will now believe they can beat anyone, so let’s hope they don’t slip up here!

Prediction: Away win

Beat Benson: Draw

Chelsea v Aston Villa

Whether they admit it or not, I am sure Chelsea would have been happy with a point before their game against City. But they’re still unbeaten and three points clear, which stands them in good stead. And they’ll be happy to be back at Stamford Bridge, which they have turned into a fortress, Diego Costa wasn’t on the score sheet, but he will want to rectify that.

Villa started the season well, but they now have a run of games against strong teams. And losing at home against Arsenal by conceding three goals in as many minutes was not the kind of build-up they needed for this clash. They must keep it tight, but Chelsea are such a strong, attacking team that it will be a tough test for them

Prediction: Away win

Beat Benson: Draw

Arsenal v Spurs

Another tasty derby game sees Arsenal taking on their North London neighbours. The Gunners had an easyish game against Villa and will feel fresh going into this fixture. Sanchez should come back into the side, and they will be buoyant that Welbeck has opened his account. I expect Arsenal to attack quickly and score early on to settle the nerves.

Spurs haven’t been convincing and looked poor against West Brom. They are failing in front of goal and are weak at the back.

Prediction: Home win

Beat Benson: Away

West Brom v Burnley

The Baggies just about dragged themselves out of the relegation zone after their win at Spurs on Sunday, but there is still much to be done. Confidence is everything in football and, with their first win of the season secured, they will look to kick on and win this one as well.

Burnley have three draws from three games, but their lack of goals must be worrying the fans. Last season in the Championship, they had one of the best strike forces. But because of injury and form, they haven’t played together yet in the Premier League

Prediction: Away win

Beat Benson: Home win

Stoke v Newcastle

Stoke threw away two points against QPR after leading twice in a game they dominated. Mark Hughes has tried to add guile to his team and is trying to get them playing more attractively. But it has yet to pay dividends.

Newcastle pinched a point from the jaws of defeat against Hull. The fans want manager Alan Pardew out, but despite their protests during the match, they still got behind their team. Newcastle need to follow up that performance with a win, especially as they are still bottom of the league.

Prediction: Away win

Beat Benson: Away win

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