Gameweek 1 Predictions
Arsenal 3-1 Burnley
Aston Villa 2-1 Bournemouth
Brighton 1-1 West Ham
Everton 2-0 Watford
Norwich 1-0 Newcastle
Southampton 1-2 Liverpool
Manchester City 3-1 Tottenham
Sheffield.Utd 1-1 Crystal Palace
Chelsea 2-1 Leicester
Wolves 2-2 Manchester United
All the newly promoted sides pop their home cherries this weekend, with Sheffield United being the only ones to pick up a point last week. However, my predictions see them being leap-frogged by both Norwich and Villa, who should be able to see off Newcastle and Bournemouth, respectively, two teams who travel poorly.
Arsenal have an incredible record against Burnley, winning 10 times in a row in competitive matches. Look for No.11 this week. Meanwhile, Chelsea have had brilliant patches in their opening two games, despite losing both encounters. I expect them to put it all together this weekend, as Frank Lampard makes his managerial home debut. Wolves saw off Manchester United twice last year on their patch, and both times by the same 2-1 scoreline. I expect more goals on Monday night.
Game of the Week: Manchester City vs Tottenham
Despite knocking them out of the Champions League last year, City have also won 7 of their last 9 Premier League home games against Spurs, losing just once. They have also won their last 9 home league games in a row and won 18 of their 19 home league matches last season.
To make matters even more daunting for Spurs, 13 of Manchester City’s 18 home league wins last season were by more than a single goal margin, making the -1 handicap a tempting bet, if the 8/15 on City is too short for you. The combined XI saw me struggle to find room for many Spurs’ players, and I was forced to change the formation to get in both Kane and Aguero.
You will have noticed that Son isn’t in my combined XI. This is due to the fact he’s still suspended, otherwise he would’ve got the edge over Bernardo Silva. With that absentee, City have a clear edge, given that Son caused City major issues in both Champions League ties last year. City are at home, in form and have better players on the pitch. Spurs aren’t ready to challenge for the league this season, and I believe we will see why on Saturday, when City demonstrate a clear gulf in class.
Manchester City 3 Tottenham 1