After a hectic, unpredictable opening weekend of Premier League football, nobody could possibly predict what is going to happen in this set of fixtures. But I am going to give it a go anyway.
Arsenal vs Burnley
Both sides started with wins and clean sheets in their first games, with wins against high-fliers Newcastle and Southampton respectively. This perfect record will, of course, have to end for one of these teams in this fixture, and I think it might be the northern side who come away with three points.
Arsenal were clinical but average in their win against the Toon, with last season’s top scorer Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang grabbing the only goal. Burnley meanwhile, comfortably dispatched Southampton, with danger man Ashley Barnes grabbing a brace, and I think they will continue this run away at the Emirates. Arsenal to play brilliant, free-flowing football before Ashley Barnes tucks home a 90th-minute penalty to win it.
Arsenal 0-1 Burnley
Aston Villa vs Bournemouth
Villa impressed in their opening day defeat at Champions League finalists Tottenham Hotspur, although giving their players and fans reactions, you would think they would have won 6-0.
Bournemouth meanwhile were denied three points by journeyman Billy Sharp in their opening day draw, but I still think they will have too much for the Premier League new boys.
I predict that Tyrone Mings, playing against his old side (who are still laughing about the fee they received for him), will have a shocker and Callum Wilson and Josh King will terrorise all afternoon.
Aston Villa 1-4 Bournemouth
Brighton vs West Ham United
I know these are supposed to be terrible tips, but I think I went slightly over the top when predicting West Ham to beat Manchester City last week.
I also wrote off Brighton, who earned probably the biggest surprise result of the weekend in their 3-0 win at Watford. Graham Potter worked his magic in that win, and I think he will do so again against the hammered Hammers. Neil Maupay might be the man to do the damage against the away side’s fragile defence, whilst Lewis Dunk looks a safe option for your fantasy team at centre-half.
Brighton 2-0 West Ham
Everton vs Watford
The ten men of Everton snuck an away point at Crystal Palace last weekend, whilst Watford were outclassed by Brighton at home, a sentence I never thought I would write.
Morgan Schneiderlin’s sending off at Palace might be a blessing in disguise for Everton, as he seems to have rediscovered the form that made him so popular at Old Trafford. Marco Silva is, of course, facing his old side in Watford, and I think that his boys in blue will help him come back to bite the hand who used to feed him. Richarlison to score a hattrick against his old side and celebrate each goal more emphatically than the last.
Everton 3-0 Watford
Norwich vs Newcastle
It’s the battle of the N teams at Carrow Road, with both sides having predictably suffered defeats in their opening games against top 6 opposition… and Arsenal.
Norwich, in fairness, played some lovely football at Anfield and even managed a goal through Teemu Pukki in the second half.
Newcastle meanwhile, looked threatening on rare occasions against the Gunners, but couldn’t find a goal. The Canaries probably have a similar, if not stronger standard of defence than Arsenal, so should have little trouble keeping out the away side.
If they can find a goal, and Newcastle cannot, then they will probably win the game.
Norwich 1-0 Newcastle
Southampton vs Liverpool
St Mary’s welcomes Southampton and ex-Southampton players alike on Saturday, with Sadio Mane, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and of course, the self-proclaimed greatest centre-half on the planet Dejan Lovren set to return to their old hunting grounds.
As much as I want to be sarcastic about the likelihood of this game, Southampton literally just lost 3-0 to Burnley, who must have scored three goals in a single game for one of their first times in their history, so surely this Liverpool attack will have little problem getting through.
That being said, Liverpool did face a trip to Istanbul in mid-week, so might be a little more tired in defence than usual, so the home side might get to open their account for the season.
Southampton 2-5 Liverpool
Manchester City vs Tottenham
Spurs will be without last season’s Champions League heroes Fernando Llorente and Heung-Min Son for their trip to the Etihad, and I think that will prove devastating for the London side.
City, who had VAR against them at West Ham, still managed five goals, and it would not surprise me to see a similar return in this fixture.
Spurs took 70 minutes to wake up against newly-promoted Villa, they cannot afford to do the same in this game.
Harry Kane to claim a late own-goal as his own, after another demolition job from Pep Guardiola’s men.
Manchester City 6-1 Tottenham
Sheffield United vs Crystal Palace
There is no doubt in my mind that Brammall Lane will be rocking for Sheffield United’s first Premier League game there in 12 years.
The Blades snatched a late equaliser in their opening game at Bournemouth and will be the much more buoyant side when you compare Palace’s bore draw against ten-man Everton.
It will be interesting to see how away sides set up against United’s formation, and I think Palace will be the first of several teams to struggle in Sheffield this season. Palace to open the scoring but bottle it late on to gift the home side their first win back in the top division.
Sheffield United 3-1 Crystal Palace
Chelsea vs Leicester
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea couldn’t have started much worse in their 4-0 opening day defeat at Old Trafford.
Although they looked decent in spells, it seems as if this young Chelsea side could struggle under new manager Lampard. Opening day defeat, plus a penalty shootout loss in the Super Cup, makes me think that Leicester could spring a (sort of but not really) surprise at Stamford Bridge.
The Foxes shared an opening day point with fellow top-eight hopefuls Wolves in their first game, and I think this game could allow us to see the fast counter-attacking football that has been associated with Leicester in recent years. Chelsea to dominate, but Jamie Vardy has the experience that Tammy Abraham lacks, and when he gets a chance, I think he will take it.
Chelsea 1-3 Leicester
Wolves vs Manchester United
The good times are back at Manchester United apparently, because they’ve won one game against a frankly quite poor Chelsea side.
United played well in that fixture, there is no doubt about that, but they were also very fortunate not to concede, and I don’t think they will be as lucky in their game at Molineux.
Wolves picked up a solid point at Leicester and will want to push on in their first home game of the season. Diego Jota is my starting forward in FPL, so I’ll predict him to score the only goal in a close match between two similar sides.
Wolves 1-0 Manchester United