The Second Round of Premier League Fixtures Kick off, Who Will Triumph?
Saturday 19th August
Swansea City v Manchester United – 12:30
Paul Clement will look to build on his great momentum last season, steering the Swans to safety with a string of brilliant results. However, this is a Man United team which impressed hugely with their opening day 4-0 win against West Ham. The Red Devils have real firepower going forward, so Swansea’s defence will be tested in the early kick off. The purchase of Nemanja Matic in holding midfield looks like a move which will give Paul Pogba more license to get forward. The threat of Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Romeulu Lukaku will be too much for Clement’s side.
My prediction: 0-3
Bournemouth v Watford – 15:00
This should be a cracker for the neutrals. Both teams are referred to much more so for their attacking flair and eye for goal. Bournemouth started their campaign with a cagey 1-0 defeat away at West Brom, whereas Watford managed to collect their first point of the season as they took part in a 3-3 thriller with Liverpool at Vicarage Road. Bournemouth fans will be hoping for the introduction of talisman Jermain Defoe, while Hornet fans will be eager to see new signing Andre Gray partner with Troy Deeney up front. Which defence will be most resilient?
My prediction: 2-2
Most goals in Europe’s top 5 leagues this season by players aged 33+:
Old but gold. pic.twitter.com/D9brxNnFLY
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 25, 2017
Burnley v West Bromwich Albion – 15:00
I can’t see many goals in this game. These two sides are very defensive minded, every team in the league respects West Brom for their consistency in the Premier League. Tony Pulis’ men have a robust back four which look to limit attacking threat through narrowing their backline. As for Burnley, their home form last season was magnificent. Turf Moor is a true fortress for any visiting team.
My prediction: 1-0
Leicester City v Brighton and Hove Albion – 15:00
A few seasons ago this was a regular fixture in the Championship. Leicester have come along way, especially in their heroic 2016/16 campaign, defying all odds to be crowned Premier League Champions. Brighton on the other hand are difficult to assess as they have only played Manchester City so far, losing to an admirable score line of 2-0. The Foxes new boy Kelechi Iheanacho is set to make his home debut, partnering Jamie Vardy up top. I see Craig Shakespeare’s men coming out on top and winning quite convincingly.
My prediction: 2-0
Kelechi Iheanacho’s shots on target in the league for Man City:
19 shots on target 🎯
12 goals scored ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/E7g25BYi2y
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 1, 2017
Liverpool v Crystal Palace – 15:00
This is a fixture which never fails to impress, with both teams scoring in numbers against each other. Liverpool are strong at Anfield and will be hoping to clinch their first three points as victory was snatched under their noses in the dying seconds away at Watford last weekend. Frank De Boer’s Palace side really need Wilfred Zaha fit for this one as he poses their greatest threat going forward. The absence of the dynamic winger will lessen the impact of frontman Christian Benteke’s return to Anfield. This matchup is guaranteed to entertain.
My prediction: 3-1
Southampton v West Ham United – 15:00
Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino’s second game in charge at Saints Mary’s features a West Ham side who were taken apart at Old Trafford last weekend. This is a perfect opportunity for Southampton to build on their 0-0 draw against Swansea and secure a much desired win. Pellegrino is working with many of Southampton’s original squad members, whereas Slaven Bilic has a number of new recruitments who are still finding their feet. The difference in this fixture will be determined through the front men. Saints striker Manolo Gabbiadini started brightly last season but suffered a grey patch towards the final months, whilst Javier Hernandez will be hoping to rekindle his fine form in 2015/16 season for Leverkusen, after having a disappointing campaign last year. Will Gabbiadini or Javier Hernandez prevail?
My Prediction: 1-1
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) December 17, 2015
Stoke City v Arsenal – 17:30
It’s tough to take away positives from Arsenal’s dramatic 4-3 marathon victory against Leicester. They were unorganised at the back and made constant errors in their own half. They missed the leadership of absentees Alexis Sanchez and Laurent Koscielny, who are both set to miss this fixture also. This being said, with new signing Alexandre Lacazette they have a goal scoring machine. Mark Hughes’ Stoke side have recruited some strong signings with Kurt Zouma coming in at centre-half and winger Jese Rodriguez who switched from PSG. The Britannia isn’t the same ground everyone once feared, however this is a trip Arsene Wenger’s team tend to find challenging. This will be a nervy test for Arsenal.
My prediction: 1-2
Sunday 20th August
Huddersfield Town v Newcastle United – 13:30
The Terriers got off to a flyer with their eye-catching 3-0 win at Selhurst Park. They have been tipped by many to go straight back down to the Championship, however last weekend has sent around a serious statement to the big league. Newcastle will be aware of Huddersfield’s capabilities, having faced them for a number of seasons continuously. Rafa Bentiez’s outfit will count themselves a little unlucky at the Sports Direct Arena as a rash red card for Jonjo Shelvey derailed what was shaping up to be a solid performance against Tottenham. This will be a cagey affair, settled by a single goal.
My prediction: 2-1
Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea – 16:00
The late kick off London derby is the mouth watering fixture of the Premier League weekend. This rivalry has been turned up a notch in recent years as Spurs have become more competitively involved. Mauricio Pochettino’s men were perhaps a bit fortunate to walk away with three points away at Newcastle, creating little in the first half before a game-changing red card was shown. Chelsea’s shocking 2-3 loss at Stamford Bridge will have surely rattled them at the back. Additionally, they have a number of suspensions in Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas, and injuries in Eden Hazard, whilst there are late checks on the fitness of Pedro and new signing Tiemoue Bakayoko. I can only see a Tottenham win here, particularly with the players Chelsea will have side-lined.
My prediction: 2-0
GRAPHIC: Chelsea vs Tottenham Combined XI — Who would make your Chelsea vs Tottenham combined XI? pic.twitter.com/OyeS0LA8e3
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) April 22, 2017
Monday 21st August
Manchester City v Everton – 20:00
This is a hot prospect of a game. Pep Guardiola has had a busy summer signing star names such as Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy, Danilo, Bernardo Silva and Ederson. City have brought in players who are sure to tighten up their flimsy defence of past seasons. Whereas Everton have similarly been busy in the transfer market, signing Sandro, Michael Keane, Jordan Pickford, Davy Klaassen, Gylfi Sigurdsson and debut scorer Wayne Rooney. This is a well-put together Toffee’s starting XI which promises to deliver a surge for a European place this season. Manchester City won’t have this all their own way but I do expect them to come out on top.
My prediction: 2-0