Niall: Manchester United looked comfortable last week against West Ham and seemed to have that extra potency up top that they missed last season. Swansea on the other-hand were fortunate to get a draw at Southampton.
Romelu Lukaku will be key as this is the type of match he excels in. He bagged a brace against West Ham and it will not be a shock to see him add to his tally against Swansea. It will likely be a comfortable win for United, and they will probably maintain top spot for another weekend.
Prediction: Swansea 0-2 Man United
Neil: The Red Devils looked ominously impressive versus West Ham last weekend, but United have been in a similar position before under Louis van Gaal, however Jose Mourinho’s men cut far more an attacking stance versus the Hammers, as Lukaku got off to a flying start.
Ahead of a trip to South Wales, I am expecting more of the same. For Paul Clement’s side now they have finally been relieved of Gylfi Sigurdsson, I just don’t see where the goals will come and fear for their season.
Niall: Bournemouth have made some solid additions for this season and will look to once again cement a top half finish. Watford have been tipped by many for relegation, and whilst I think they are a better side than some give them credit for, Bournemouth at home will be a too big of a task.
Prediction: Bournemouth 2-1 Watford
Neil:Eddie Howe’s men lacked creativity at The Hawthorns last week, and the Cherries boss will be looking to change that as they host Watford. The visitors shared six goals with Liverpool last weekend and it is evident Marco Silva’s approach this term will be attack over defence.
As the Vitality Stadium hosts its first game of the campaign, the hosts should have too much for the Hornets.
Niall: Burnley will be hoping to continue their fine start to the season at home to a West Brom side that also won their opening match of the season.
The Clarets’ home form was key to their success last season, and it will be vital to their survival prospects again. West Brom are a solid side too and are particularly dangerous from set plays. This will be a low scoring contest, but one that I see Burnley edging.
Prediction: Burnley 1-0 West Brom
Neil: After stunning champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last week, much will be expected of Sean Dyche’s men on their return to Turf Moor this Saturday. The Clarets took full advantage of Gary Cahill’s dismissal last weekend, with Sam Vokes looking in clinical form.
The Baggies similarly recorded an opening way courtesy of Ahmed Hegazy’s headed effort on his Premier League debut, as Tony Pulis’ men frustrated Bournemouth.
Both sides will be looking to make in two wins from two, but I think a share of the spoils may be on the cards, with old boy Jay Rodriguez set for his Lancashire return.
Niall: The Foxes looked good despite losing to Arsenal on the opening day of the season. Jamie Vardy looked more like his former self, and Leicester looked dangerous going forward. Brighton did not offer much against Man City despite an organised defensive effort, and whilst Leicester are an easier task than the Citizens, it is unlikely the Seagulls will get a result against Craig Shakespeare’s men.
Prediction: Leicester 2-0 Brighton
Neil: For the Foxes to come away empty handed from the Emirates Stadium in last Friday’s curtain-raiser versus Arsenal, would have been a bitter pill for Shakespeare’s side to swallow. Despite the loss, Leicester looked in fine shape offensively, with Vardy’s early brace a reminder of his talents.
Brighton travel to the King Power to sample away day hospitality for the first time this weekend, keen to move on from baptism of fire versus Manchester City, having been starved of the ball for large periods. Whilst the Seagulls will have more of that this Saturday, the hosts should be too much to handle.
Niall: Liverpool’s defensive problems reared their ugly head again last weekend, but they are now back in front of their home fans and that should play to their attacking strength.
Crystal Palace were poor in their defeat to Huddersfield last weekend, showing that they are still a work in progress under Frank De Boer. Their issues will not be fixed in a week and I expect Liverpool’s fluid frontline to be too much for the Eagles on this occasion.
Prediction: Liverpool 3-0 Crystal Palace
Neil: The Reds defensive frailties once again reared their ugly head at Watford and despite as predicted Jurgen Klopp’s attack showing a glimpse of what could be to come this season, whilst issues in the back four exists, a title tilt remains a distant prospect.
The Eagles having been humbled by Huddersfield on their Premier League bow, will be keen to remedy matters with a trip to Anfield. In previous years, this would be the sort of fixture that could cause Liverpool problems and with their juggling act in the Champions League having begun, there may be similar pitfalls.
However, I am tipping the hosts to come out on top.
Niall: Southampton dominated Swansea last week, but poor finishing cost them two points as they were held to a goalless draw. West Ham did not fare well against Man United, but they are a better side than they showed last week.
This will be a competitive match for sure and it is one of the harder ones to predict. Both teams will likely find the back of the net, but will one get that crucial extra goal or two to grab the three points. With both their struggles last week though, the honours may end up being shared.
Prediction: Southampton 1-1 West Ham
Neil: Mauricio Pellegrino’s Saints were barely troubled on the south coast by the Swans last time out, but just like last term, goals were an issue. In their second home game on the bounce, Southampton will be keen to not only break their goal drought, but get points on the board.
At Old Trafford, West Ham looked ragged, but Javier Hernandez on debut worked tirelessly. Last season Slaven Bilic’s men had a better away record than home and I am backing them to find the net this time around.
Niall: Arsenal kicked off their season with a win over Leicester, and whilst the game was entertaining to watch, the Gunners did not look overly impressive. Stoke fell away at Everton the following day and will be looking to right the ship with a home win against Arsenal.
The Potters have assembled a good squad and should be competing for a place in the top half come the end of the season. Arsenal are one of the top sides most prone to an upset alongside Liverpool, and Stoke are certainly capable of doing so.
I expect Arsenal’s attacking strength to be slightly too much however, and with Alexandre Lacazette hitting the ground running, the Gunners could edge a tight encounter.
Prediction: Stoke 1-2 Arsenal
Neil: Arsenal showed some serious character in coming from 3-2 behind versus Leicester with just six minutes to go, last Friday night. Once again though, the Gunners were pitiful in defence, particularly from set-pieces and against will be sorely tested on Saturday evening.
With both sides deploying three centre-backs, the clash will be an intriguing one, in a place where historically Arsene Wenger’s side have struggled. Stoke could hand a debut to Jese Rodriguez following his loan move from PSG and accordingly will be a threat up front, but the visitors should just about nick the contest, with Lacazette looking to add to his tally.
Niall: Huddersfield were mightily impressive against Crystal Palace last weekend and have shown they are certainly not here to be rolled over.
Newcastle were stern against Spurs until Jonjo Shelvey saw Red in more ways than one and will offer better resistance against the Terriers than Palace did last week. I believe Huddersfield will also feel more pressure to get a result given it is against a fellow promoted side.
Prediction: Huddersfield 1-1 Newcastle
Neil: Two promoted sides go head on Sunday, as the John Smiths Stadium hosts its first top-flight encounter. Huddersfield made a stunning start to life in the promised land and will fancy their chances against a Newcastle side that looked ragged in defence and will be missing the petulant Shelvey and host of others through injury.
Steve Mounie had a dream Premier League debut in notching a brace for the hosts and it will be interesting to see if the Frenchman can continue his goal-scoring exploits this weekend. In the Championship last year, both sides won their respective away games, but with the Terriers high on confidence, David Wagner’s side could make it two from two.
Niall: Undoubtedly the main event of the weekend pits last season’s runners up against the Champions. Tottenham make their Wembley Premier League debut against Chelsea and it promises to be a cracker. Chelsea were poor against Burnley and they did not just lose the game either, they also had two men sent off. The Blues are lacking in midfield depth and that will hurt them when they face Spurs on Sunday.
Tottenham were solid against Newcastle last weekend, but they are playing their home games at Wembley this year, a pitch they have traditionally struggled to play on. This is a very tough match to predict, but with Spurs possibly struggling with the pitch and Chelsea struggling with their midfield, the top two sides from last season may end up sharing the points.
Prediction: Tottenham 1-1 Chelsea
Neil: The season’s first marquee fixture sees Spurs hosts Chelsea in their temporary home of Wembley Stadium, as last year’s champions travel to the runners-up. After a cagey start at St. James’ Park last weekend, goals from Dele Alli and Ben Davies saw Mauricio Pochettino’s side pick apart 10-man Newcastle with ease.
In contrast, Chelsea have problems after their shock loss at home to Burnley. Without Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas through suspension and Pedro and Eden Hazard with injury, Antonio Conte is staring down the barrel of a second defeat in succession.
Spurs have a so far scratchy record at Wembley however and for that reason, I can see Chelsea bouncing back with a draw.
Niall: The first Monday Night Football offering is an intriguing one as title favourites Manchester City welcome Everton to the Etihad Stadium.
The Citizens looked comfortable but hardly overwhelming against Brighton last weekend, but they showed they will be a force to be reckoned with. Brighton hardly tested their defence however, so there are still question marks over their backline.
Everton showed enough to say they will once again have a solid season, but with Lukaku now gone their attacking threat might be slightly lessened. Wayne Rooney will be key once again to the Toffees success.
City will likely prove too much going forward for Everton, but I will not be surprised if the Citizens concede in the process.
Prediction: Man City 3-1 Everton
Neil: Former Barcelona greats go head to head at the Etihad on Monday evening. Pep Guardiola’s men eased to a comfortable victory away to Brighton on the opening day and in truth could have scored more than the two goals they registered.
Everton are set to give Sigurdsson his Toffees debut, but will need more than even the Icelandic wizard to match the Citizens. Rooney return to Manchester for the first time since leaving United to face former rivals and could be the ace up Ronald Koeman’s sleeve.
However, City are beginning to look imperious across the pitch and I am backing the hosts for a comfortable win.
Prediction: Man City 3-0 Everton
The Premier League continues on Saturday August 19th
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