An exciting weekend of Premier League lies ahead this weekend – after a week of Champions League and Europa League action.
We’ve had our first manager to be sacked this season in Frank De Boer, who has been replaced by former England manager Roy Hodgson, who will be looking for a win, as Palace host Southampton in the early kick off on Saturday.
Sunday is set to be a fascinating day of football, as top London clubs Chelsea and Arsenal face off at Stamford Bridge, while Wayne Rooney and Romelu Lukaku will face their old clubs.
Two unbeaten sides in Manchester City and Watford clash, while Bournemouth will be hoping for a first win against Brighton on Friday night, and Liverpool look to bounce back after their 5-0 loss to City – at home to Burnley.
Chelsea vs Arsenal
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Chelsea are on a good run right now. After their shock loss to Burnley on the opening day, they’ve played just like the champions of last season – with three wins in a row in the league, followed by a comfortable 6-0 win in the champions league. Conte has every reason to be confident this weekend at home to an Arsenal side who bounced back from recent disappointment against Bournemouth. Wenger will know that even after a win – the problems and criticism are still there. A win this weekend though might just silence the critics, and put the belief back in this Arsenal side that they can compete for the title. However Chelsea are on a good run, and although I feel Arsenal will pose a great challenge, Chelsea should have too much in attack, with the in form Morata, and the returning Hazard.
Prediction: Chelsea 3 – 1 Arsenal
Manchester United vs Everton
Wayne Rooney returns to Old Trafford on Sunday. It will be interesting to see the reception the all time leading England goal scorer gets following recent headlines. Rooney, along with manger Ronald Koeman though will be hoping the Toffees can bounce back from a poor start and get three points. Following all their transfer activity – there was a lot of expectation with Everton this season, and results just haven’t gone their way, with one win in four along with a shocking performance in the Europa League last night. United dropped their first points of the season last weekend, but they should comfortably win this match. Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku faces his old club, and will be hoping to continue his rich form for Mourinho’s side, who will be without record signing Paul Pogba who picked up an injury in the Champions League. Even without Pogba, I expect United to bounce back from their draw at Stoke.
Prediction: Man Utd 2 – 0 Everton
Watford vs Manchester City
Pep Guardiola’s Man City look to be making the same promising start to the season as they did last year. They looked shaky in the first couple of games, but now look to be hitting their best. Despite Mane’s red card, City were much the better team. With Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero looking so threatening up front, new signings Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker looking good on the wings, along with the outstanding Kevin De Bruyne – City are looking a well balanced title challenging side. Watford though are having a really good start to the season under new manager Marco Silva – as they remain unbeaten. Watford though have never beaten City in the league, and with Guardiola’s side looking as attacking as they do, it is more than likely that City will get the three points – Watford wont be pushover though, and this could be closer than many expect.
Prediction: Watford 1 – 2 Man City
Liverpool vs Burnley
Safe to say it’s not been Jurgen Klopp or Liverpool’s week this week. After losing to City 5-0, then drawing 2-2 against Sevilla – a match Klopp would have wanted to win, they also face Burnley without August’s Player of the month Sadio Mane after his controversial red card. Reds fans will be hoping their side can bounce back at Anfield this weekend, with both Coutinho and new signing Oxlade-Chamberlain likely to start. Burnley meanwhile are actually above Liverpool in the league – with two wins so far. New signing Chris Wood already has two goals in two games, while Sean Dyche will be confident the Clarets will get something away from Anfield, having beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and drawing to Tottenham at Wembley. Liverpool should recover from a poor week – taking the three points, but no doubt Burnley will be tough opponents.
Prediction: Liverpool 2 – 1 Burnley
Tottenham vs Swansea
Much was expected of Swansea after their transfer deadline day deals, but against Newcastle – it’s safe to say Paul Clermont’s side were hugely disappointing. They haven’t had too much to cheer about, with just one win at winless Crystal Palace. At Wembley, I can’t see their fortunes changing either. Spurs will want a first league win at Wembley, after their 3-1 win over Dortmund in the Champions league. They beat Everton 3-0 in their last league outing, which is a real confidence booster for Pochettino’s side after failing to win in the previous two matches. Harry Kane is back amongst the goals, and will be looking to add to his two goals mid week by scoring against the Welsh side.
Prediction: Tottenham 3 – 0 Swansea
Crystal Palace vs Southampton
Frank De Boer was sacked after just 77 days at the club, having failed to score a goal in the first four matches. Many have disputed the decision, but like it or not, Roy Hodgson is now in charge. Hodgson will have a tough job to turn around the Eagles form, and this match against the Saints is huge, given Palace’s upcoming fixtures – which aren’t easy. First of all – they need a goal, if they take the lead against Southampton, expect them to hold onto the lead. The Saints meanwhile haven’t had a good start. Just one win in four means this new manager too is struggling. Mauricio Pellegrino also needs goals, with the Saints having failed to score in three out of four matches this season. Both managers need a win badly, but I feel these two will be hard to separate at Selhurst Park.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 2 – 2 Southampton
Bournemouth vs Brighton
Friday night football returns as Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth desperately need something. The Cherries have had a tricky start admittedly – and have been unlucky, but four games in and no points is not the start any side would want. Jermain Defoe needs to open his account this season, and Cherries fans will hope he can score his first goal for the club against Brighton tonight. The Seagulls meanwhile, will be on a high after achieving their first ever Premier League win against West Brom. Chris Hughton’s side had shown promise before this win, but to finally get the three points would have done his team a lot of good. These two sides actually meet again next week in the league cup, but for this first game, I back Bournemouth to finally get a win this season, put expect Brighton to make it a tight contest.
Prediction: Bournemouth 2 – 1 Brighton
West Brom vs West Ham
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Slaven Bilic will be mightily relieved his West Ham got their first win of the season on Monday night. Tony Pulis meanwhile will be so frustrated at his West Brom’s performance against Brighton. With the start to the season the Baggies hava had, Pulis would have fully expected to win that – but they were poor. Their new signings will be looking to make an impact this weekend against the Hammers, who will be looking for back-to-back wins. Should Gareth Barry feature, it’ll be his 632nd appearance in the Premier league, equaling Ryan Giggs’ record, and I believe his West Brom side will bounce back from the Brighton loss.
Prediction: West Brom 2 – 0 West Ham
Huddersfield vs Leicester
Huddersfield came back down to earth on Monday night – as they lost their first game of the season at the Olympic Stadium. They’ve still looked good so far this season – but were caught out in the second half against the Hammers. They face a tough challenge at home to Leicester – who have had a tough start to their campaign. They faced tricky matches against Arsenal, Man Utd and Chelsea – failing to take any points from these matches. They will want a win badly this weekend, a loss here and pressure will mount on Craig Shakespeare. They’ve already beaten one promoted side this season – and I expect them to do it again this weekend.
Prediction: Huddersfield 1 – 2 Leicester
Newcastle vs Stoke
Newcastle surprised many when they beat Swansea in Wales last weekend. The Magpies had a poor transfer window, but to have picked up six points so far is a positive achievement for Rafa Benitez. A win against a confident Stoke will give Newcastle supporters every belief they will avoid relegation this season. Stoke fans will be enjoying how their side is playing right now. They’ve beaten and drawn against top clubs Arsenal and Man Utd at home – but have failed to get a win away. Despite their confidence, Stoke have only one win this season, and mark Hughes will desperately want a win this weekend, but being at St James’ Park, I feel these sides can’t be separated.
Prediction: Newcastle 1 – 1 Stoke