The Premier League Returns

Everything you need to know about this weekend’s games

The Premier League returns this weekend after the two-week international break wraps up and we’re in for an exciting list of fixtures with some guaranteed blockbusters included. Here is my preview for each game along with my predictions. Think you can do better than me? Feel free to submit your own predictions in our forum here.

Everton vs Liverpool

The international break came at an ideal time for Liverpool. After a strong start to the season, they suffered a humiliating 7-2 defeat at the hands of Aston Villa. Jurgen Klopp has had two weeks to regroup, closely monitor his player’s international performances. To get to the bottom of what caused their shock embarrassment at the start of the month.

Their return to the Premier League sees a baptism of fire as they face in-form Everton in a Merseyside derby which promises to be a classic.

Liverpool will be out for blood. The extra incentive of silencing their noisy neighbors will lead to a convincing win for the reds in my opinion.

Everton’s shaky defense will surely be exposed by a fully fit Salah, Mane, and Firmino. The last of which scored an impressive double for Brazil last week.

Prediction: Everton 1-4 Liverpool

Chelsea vs Southampton

Going into the break, Frank Lampards Chelsea had failed to make the impressive start to the season that they desired after a £200m summer spending spree. They did, however, pull off a convincing 4-0 win over Crystal Palace in their last Premier League game. And will be hoping to carry the same form into Saturday’s clash against Southampton. The star man from that day, Ben Chilwell, was sent home from the England camp. This week as a precaution due to an existing injury but is still expected to feature for the blues.

Southampton has had an average start to the season with two wins and two losses so far. But look very beatable and Lampard will want another strong win to reinforce Chelsea’s intention to challenge for silverware this season.

Prediction: Chelsea 3-0 Southampton

Manchester City vs Arsenal

In my pick for game of the weekend, Manchester City host Arsenal. In what will be a far-from-straightforward test of character for Pep Guardiola and his players. Since the appointment of Mikel Arteta in December 2019, Arsenal has looked like a transformed side. With Guardiola’s former assistant leading his team to an F.A Cup triumph in his first season in charge. Manchester City has only won one of their opening three games this season. However, will go into the game as favorites with the bookies expecting a narrow win. I, however, think we’ll be in for an entertaining draw and look forward to watching it unfold.

Prediction: Manchester City 2-2 Arsenal

Newcastle United vs Manchester United

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 11: Alexis Sanchez of Manchester United in action with Deandre Yedlin, Mohamed Diame, Jonjo Shelvey and Jamaal Lascelles of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St. James Park on February 11, 2018 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by John Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Alexis Sanchez; Deandre Yedlin; Mohamed Diame; Jonjo Shelvey; Jamaal Lascelles

Saturday’s late kick-off sees Newcastle United host Manchester United. Who will still be licking their wounds after the 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Tottenham two weeks ago?

Questions are being asked of captain Harry Maguire’s ability after a disastrous performance against Tottenham was followed up by a shambolic 31-minute red card during England’s 1-0 defeat to Denmark this week. Maguire’s name has been in the spotlight off the pitch recently. He was arrested in Greece earlier this year under accusations of repeated bodily harm, attempted bribery, violence against public employees, and insult. It could be a defining moment in Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer’s career if he chooses to play him against Newcastle.

Regardless of this, the red devils will be desperate for a statement result this weekend. Despite the absence of star striker Martial through suspension, I can see them achieving it against a hit-and-miss Newcastle side.

Prediction: Newcastle United 0-4 Manchester United

Sheffield United vs Fulham

Sheffield United host Fulham on Sunday in a match that sees 19th face 20th. Both teams are yet to register a single point from their opening four games of the season and have been less than impressive to watch. My prediction is that we will be in for the first goalless game of this crazy season and will certainly be one to miss.

Prediction: Sheffield United 0-0 Fulham

Crystal Palace vs Brighton

Crystal Palace and Brighton have one of the more surprising rivalries in the Premier League. Far from the glamour and magnitude of such games as the Manchester and North London derbies. These games are often grudged matches that result in genuine malice between supporters.

Palace started the season strongly with an opening day victory over Manchester United but have since dropped off, whilst Brightons form has been more eratic. I can see a cagey affair but ultimately Palace will win the day.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 3-1 Brighton

Tottenham Hotspur Vs West Ham

In the lead up to the international break. Tottenham played an eye-watering four matches in just eight days. Leading manager Jose Mourinho to send out a plea to National team managers to rest his players. This message was received well and Jose will be pleased to see that his squad has returned without the injuries that plagued the latter half of last season. They face in-form West Ham this season in a London derby that is sure to be a tight game.

If Spurs want to prove that they are the real deal, these are the types of matches that they need to be winning and I think they will grind out a result on Sunday.

Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 West Ham

Leicester vs Aston Villa

Along with Everton, Aston Villa has been this season’s surprise package. After escaping relegation by just one point last season, Villa has won all 4 opening games including the previously mentioned shock destruction of Liverpool before the break. Leicester have also started the season strongly but were outdone by West Ham comfortably in the last game week and will be looking to get back on their feet.

I’ve got a feeling that like Everton, Aston Villa’s fairytale start to the season will be coming to an end this week and can see Leicester winning with relative ease.

Prediction: Leicester 2-0 Aston Villa

West Brom vs Burnley

Another game between two teams that have had a disappointing start to the season, West Brom host Burnley on Monday night. The sides have one point between them coming from West Broms entertaining 3-3 draw with Chelsea on the 26th of September. Whilst you would consider this a good result on paper for the Baggies, it sure felt more like a defeat as they were leading 3-0 at half time before an inspired second-half comeback from Frank Lampard’s men.

This is yet another game that I can see being low scoring and relatively uneventful and think both of these teams are in for a long and difficult season.

Prediction: West Brom 1-1 Burnley

Leeds vs Wolves

The final game this match week sees Premier League newcomers Leeds host Wolves. Both teams will be fighting to make a name for themselves this season, with Leeds looking to restore their previous legacy of dominance in English football and Wolves looking to solidify themselves as a top-six team.

Unlike the other Monday night game, I can see this one being high scoring and with Wolves’ fierce away form in the league last season, I think Leeds will struggle to handle their pace and power up top.

Prediction: Leeds 2-5 Wolves

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