After arguably the best opening weekend in Premier League history, England’s top flight is officially off and running for the next nine months. We’re going to take a look at each game this week, including a derby at Wembley featuring last season’s top two teams. Without further-a-do, let’s look at all the game coming this weekend.
Swansea City vs Manchester United
The Swans are in for a nightmare as they welcome the Red Devils who are high on confidence heading into Liberty Stadium. They’ve sold playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson to Everton, while striker Fernando Llorente is still short of full fitness heading into the weekend. Midfielder Leon Britton is struggling with a back problem, meaning summer signing Roque Mesa could be in line to make his debut. In short, Paul Clement’s men are in for another relegation fight this season.
Manchester United couldn’t have played better as they thrashed West Ham 4-0 opening weekend. And with a near fully sit squad, expect the same team to play in Wales as they look to make two wins from two games.
Prediction: Swansea City 0-3 Manchester United
Bournemouth vs Watford
Watford manager Marco Silva will be proud of team’s fight as they grabbed a thrilling 3-3 draw against Liverpool. They now head to Vitality Stadium against a Bournemouth squad looking for its first goal and points of the campaign.
The Cherries will hope striker Jermain Defoe will be able to play the full 90 after making a cameo appearance last week against West Brom. Winger Jordan Ibe will also look to make a start, but Simon Francis is likely to miss the game as he recovers from a hamstring problem that subbed him off last week. Manager Eddie Howe will hope the possession his team has on the ball will convert to goals.
For the Hornets, they are down a few bodies for this one. Midfielder Roberto Pereyra and defenders Daryl Janmaat and Younes Kaboul are out as they were both injured against Liverpool. Striker Troy Deeney is close to full fitness, and will rely on signings Andre Gray and Richardson to get them a result.
Prediction: Bournemouth 1-2 Watford
Burnley vs West Bromwich Albion
Two teams looking to make it two wins in a row face off at Turf Moor, as the Clarets take on the Baggies. The home side will be in very spirits after producing the first major shock of the season, winning 3-2 at the home of champions Chelsea.
Expect the same Burnley team for this one, and look for Robbie Brady to be the main attacking outlet. Sam Vokes will also look to continue his good form, he bagged a brace last week. Manager Sean Dyche will look to make Turf Moor a fortress once again, where they won 30+ points last season.
Tony Pulis will be without the pair of Gareth McAuley and James Morrison for this one, while new signing Gareth Barry could make his debut. The status of defender Jonny Evans could go down to the last minute, he’s trying to get to full fitness and is also on Manchester City’s radar.
Prediction: Burnley 1-1 West Brom
Leicester City vs Brighton & Hove Albion
Two teams coming off defeats in the opening weekend face off at the King Power Stadium. Craig Shakespeare’s men will hope his side’s attacking flair is on display again after scoring three goals at the Emirates and nearly defeating Arsenal.
The pace of Leicester duo Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez will cause problems for the Seagulls, who defended very well against Manchester City before conceding twice. Midfielder Danny Drinkwater is doubtful and is also linked with a move to Chelsea. Summer signing Vicente Iborra is ruled out, he isn’t fit enough but could feature next week.
As for Brighton, playmaker Anthony Knockaert is expected to start after coming off the bench last week, while Isaiah Brown is doubtful due to a hamstring injury. Club-record signing Jose Izquierdo may feature next week if he’s fit enough.
Prediction: Leicester City 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
Liverpool vs Crystal Palace
Coming off a nice win against Hoffenheim in the Champions League in midweek, Liverpool host Crystal Palace – who’ve won at Anfield three years in a row.
The Reds will be looking to grab their first win of the season after seeing it snatched from them at the death against Watford. Defense, especially in set-pieces, is becoming a serious problem for them and will have to improve dramatically if they want to challenge for the title. The Philippe Coutinho saga continues as he won’t feature, so look for Jurgen Klopp to roll out the same starting eleven as he did last week.
For Crystal Palace, things have turned ugly quick. They were humbled by Huddersfield at home last weekend in a devastating 3-0 loss, and Wilfred Zaha is out for a month with a knee injury. Frank De Boer is searching for answers as he looks to transform his side into a new formation and style of play. Striker Christian Benteke seems to be their only big attacking threat, especially in the air and in set-pieces.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Crystal Palace
Southampton vs West Ham United
Two teams look to find their shooting boots as the Saints host the Hammers. Southampton got the better of Swansea City last weekend but were disappointed by a scoreless 0-0 draw. Scoring has been an issue for them, especially at home, Mauricio Pellegrino will hope that changed quickly. No injuries for Southampton, the only omission is Virgil van Dijk as he looks for a transfer, while new signing Mario Lemina could make his debut.
West Ham were – excuse the pun – hammered at Old Trafford 4-0 and will need to get going quickly to get a result. A fast start from them in this is game is required, as the hosts will look to control the game from the start. Michail Antonio could feature for West Ham, which will be a much needed boost in order to give Javier Hernandez more chances to score.
Prediction: Southampton 1-0 West Ham
Stoke City vs Arsenal
The Bet365 Stadium will have to be a daunting place for opponents to visit at Arsenal come into town. The Potters under manager Mark Hughes are trying a new 3-4-3 formation in the hopes of bringing in more attacking flair. Speaking of attacking flair, new signings Jose Rodriguez and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting could feature as Stoke look to play a more attractive brand of football.
As for Arsenal, they’re riding high after a crazy 4-3 win at home against Leicester, with Alexandre Lacazette looking like the real deal scoring on his debut. Alexis Sanchez is still not fit to feature, and is also subject to transfer speculation. Arsene Wenger could switch up his defense, who were shaky last week.
Prediction: Stoke City 1-3 Arsenal
Huddersfield Town vs Newcastle United
History will be made as Huddersfield play their first ever Premier League at the John Smith’s Stadium against Newcastle. The two teams spent last season in the Championship and will get reacquainted here, as the Yorkshire club look to continue its dream start in the Premier League.
David Wagner’s men ran away 3-0 winners at Crystal Palace and look to have a real bargain in the form of Steve Mounie, who bagged a brace in that game. The tall striker cuts an imposing and devastating figure for his opponents, and will be tricky against the Magpies. Expect the same team to feature.
As for Newcastle, they lost 2-0 to Tottenham, which isn’t bad. But what was bad was Jonjo Shelvey’s stupid red card and he will now serve a three-match ban. He’s out, along with Paul Dummett, Florian Lejuene and DeAndre Yedlin. On the bright side, new signing Joselu could make his debut.
Prediction: Huddersfield 2-1 Newcastle
Tottenham vs Chelsea
It’s the big one – last seasons’ top two and the first “Top-6” matchup of the season at Wembley. Although it’s only the second week, this London derby is massive for both teams to make an early statement.
Tottenham come into this one on the back of a 2-0 win against Newcastle. Erik Lamela is still out, so is Danny Rose who’s subject to transfer speculation. On the bright side, they have finally signed a player, powerful centre-back Davinson Sanchez from Ajax. He won’t be able to feature in time, but expect the same eleven to play against the Blues.
Chelsea are scrambling to find players to play in midfield and defense after both Cesc Fabregas and Gary Cahill picked up red cards in their shocking 3-2 loss at home to Burnley. New signing Tiemoue Bakayoko won’t be fit in time, so expect David Luiz to partner N’Golo Kante in midfield. Also expect Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to start in their three-man defense. Pedro isn’t fit after suffering a knock on his ankle, and it’s a toss up between Michy Batshuayi and club-record signing Alvaro Morata leading the line.
The “Wembley Factor” will be played up heavily leading into this one, should Spurs acclimate to their new home, they could steamroll their opponents. If the curse is real, they’ll lose.
Prediction: Spurs 2-1 Chelsea
Manchester City vs Everton
The last match on here sees two attack-minded teams come to the Etihad. Manchester City – the odds-on favorites to win the title – started their season grinding out a 2-0 win against Brighton & Hove Albion. It’ll be difficult to predict who starts against the Toffees, as Pep Guardiola has an amazing array of attackers to choose from. Expect both Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus to start up top, as they worked well together last weekend. Ilkay Gundogan is still doubtful as he made his return in a friendly against Girona in midweek, he won’t feature. The same goes for Fabian Delph and new signing Benjamin Mendy.
As for Everton, new club-record signing Gyfil Sigurdsson will finally make his debut for the club. Ross Barkley is out for an extended period of time due to hamstring trouble. Sandro Ramirez didn’t play in the Europa League on Thursday, but will be fit and able to play. Look for Wayne Rooney to try and stick it to his old Manchester rivals in blue once again. This could be the game of the week.
Prediction: Manchester City 3-2 Everton