Just 6 weeks after the last ball was kicked in the 2019/20 season, the EPL returns and so do my weekly Premier League predictions. Manchester United and Manchester City sit the first week out – due to their European exploits. However, we still have 8 games with all the usual intrigue that the EPL brings.
Premier League Predictions-
Fulham 0-1 Arsenal
Crystal Palace 0-2 Southampton
Liverpool 3-0 Leeds
West Ham 1-2 Newcastle
West Brom 1-1 Leicester
Tottenham 1-0 Everton
Sheffield Utd 0-1 Wolves
Brighton 1-3 Chelsea
Big Weekend Schedule –
Things kick-off with newly promoted Fulham hosting Arsenal, with lots expected from the latter after their FA Cup victory and defensive improvements under Arteta’s management. We’ll we see the fixtures staggered across 3 days at all different times. That means even games like Crystal Palace vs Southampton and West Brom vs Leicester will make it onto the tele box.
The EPL Champions will kick-off on Saturday night against the Championship Champions, Leeds. However, the most intriguing team on Matchday 1 will undoubtedly be Chelsea. After an incredible transfer window, which saw them add Havertz, Werner and others, all eyes will be on the West Londoners. How will they gel together as they make the trip to Brighton on Monday night? It makes for some interesting EPL predictions.
EPL Prediction – Game of the Week: Tottenham vs Everton
Chelsea’s opener that will generate the most interest. However, the Brighton vs Chelsea combined XI would yield an 11-0 result in favor of Chelsea, so it doesn’t qualify as a competitive game in my eyes. So, Tottenham vs Everton gets the nod as Game of the Week.
These are teams with similar ambitions. Everton wants to creep into the top 6, while Spurs are looking to get back into the Champions League. Jose Mourinho enters his first full season in charge of Tottenham in 2020/21. With the bedding in period complete since his November 2019 appointment, a top 4 finish is the obvious target for a Spurs team who ended the previous campaign in 6th.
The combined XI is dominated by 7 Spurs players, but predictably sees Everton’s Digne and Richarlison make the cut. However, they are joined by 2 fresh Everton faces, signed to create Everton’s new-look and much-improved midfield, as Allan and Doucoure find their way into the XI.
This should subsequently make Everton a much more difficult team to break down. New signing James Rodriguez wasn’t considered, as he isn’t fit to play Gameweek 1. On his day, James would get the edge over Dele Alli. Unfortunately, missing games seems to be a consistent issue for the Colombian throughout his career. I’m not sure a move to the most physical league in the world is going to work out for him.
Premier League Prediction-
Tottenham 1 Everton 0
Best Bet- Under 2.5 Goals @ Evens
Tottenham are unbeaten in 15 previous meetings with Everton, with Spurs winning 8 of those, and 5 of the 8 played on Spurs’ home turf. Despite their new signings, it’ll be difficult to penetrate a team who Mourinho will have defensively drilled to not concede in this opener. I look for Tottenham’s better quality to edge out a tight game that will go a against the statistical data which usually sees plenty of goals in this fixture- with 25 scored in the last 8 H2H matches.