The Premier League returns after the international break with a bang as some of the league’s top sides go head-to-head this weekend. It is the perfect way to shake the cobwebs from what has felt like a very long break from club football. Here are my predictions for this Premier League match week.
Saturday, 12:30 pm
Manchester City vs Liverpool
Both sides claimed very different wins last time out. City stole victory in the dying moments against Bournemouth with Raheem Sterling striking late before receiving his marching orders. Liverpool, on the other hand, demolished Arsenal 4-0 in the most one sided game of that weekend. The two sides bring outstanding attacking talent to the face-off and a weak defensive underbelly. However, I am going against the grain here and backing an away win.
Manchester City 1 Liverpool 3
Saturday, 3 pm.
Arsenal vs Bournemouth
Arsenal were hammered by Liverpool last weekend and, with just three points from three games, the pressure is well and truly on Arsene Wenger and his men. Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth were unlucky not to have claimed their first point of the campaign against City, and they are a very difficult proposition. However, if Alexis Sanchez plays, then he will surely lead them to a win, or Wenger could be facing a revolt.
Arsenal 2 Bournemouth 0
Brighton vs West Brom
High flying West Brom visit newly promoted Brighton on Saturday looking to make it three wins from a possible four. Tony Pulis has seen perhaps the most underrated of transfer windows this summer and it is seeing a renewed sense of optimism for the Baggies. Brighton, on the other hand, are off the mark points wise, but Pulis is exactly the sort of manager that points don’t come easily against.
Brighton 0 West Brom 2
Everton vs Tottenham
The match of the weekend. While City and Liverpool could see a lot of goals, Tottenham’s trip to play Everton could be an incredibly tight game. Ronald Koeman’s side are much improved from last campaign, although they are still missing the presence of Romelu Lukaku. With a top class goalkeeper in Jordan Pickford and a younger centre-half in Michael Keane, Everton are looking like a real prospect for European football. Tottenham on the other hand were disappointing against Burnley last week and will look to bounce back. With Harry Kane now out of August (a month he is yet to score in), there could be goals.
Everton 2 Tottenham 2
Leicester City vs Chelsea
The combined champions of the last three seasons, Craig Shakespeare pits his wits against Antonio Conte in what could be a hugely entertaining game. Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have good memories of playing against Chelsea, while the Blues saw their campaign get back on track with a very professional win over Everton two weeks ago.
Leicester 1 Chelsea 3
Southampton vs Watford
This is probably the most difficult match to call. Southampton aren’t renowned for their scoring ability, while Watford are about the same. It is likely to be a very tense game between the two with a mistake perhaps deciding the contest.
Southampton 1 Watford 0
Stoke City vs Manchester United
Stoke City have been fairly impressive thus far, picking up a very good win over Arsenal. Mark Hughes seems to be moving forward of late and they are playing some good football whilst maintaing that defensive solidity. Manchester United, on the other hand, look very good so far. Three wins, 10 goals and three clean sheets displays their might, and the three points are likely to go back to Old Trafford too.
Stoke City 0 Manchester United 3
Sunday, 1:30 pm
Burnley vs Crystal Palace
If I had looked at this fixture before a ball had been kicked this season, I would have predicted this would be a close game with few goals. However, Burnely, while still defensievly solid, have looked good in front of goal too. Crystal Palace on the other hand have been abject thus far. A 2-0 defeat against Swansea last time around saw pressure heaped on the London side, and a further loss could be the final nail in the coffin for Frank de Boer.
Burnley 2 Crystal Palace 0
Sunday, 4 pm
Swansea City vs Newcastle
Swansea City have been flying high of late. The signings of Renato Sanches and Wilfried Bony added a real gloss to their deadline day dealings, while their victory over Crystal Palace sent them into the international break with an invaluable three points, and four from a possible nine. Newcastle by contrast failed to seriously add to their squad, but they did run out 3-0 winners of West Ham last game week. While many see this as a close game, the Welsh club’s new signings should see them over the line.
Swansea City 3 Newcastle 1
Monday, 8 pm
West Ham vs Huddersfield
What can you say about the two teams so far? West Ham were tipped to excel this season and comfortably see themselves to safety. Huddersfield were the betting mans pick to go down. However, things have been turned on their head, with West Ham yet to earn a point and Huddersfield currently in a Champions League spot. While a lot is likely to change by the time 38 games have been played, on form, there is only one winner here.
West Ham 1 Huddersfield 2