Harry’s Picks: Week Three8 min read
We enjoyed a great opening weekend to the Premier League Season. For some clubs, it was business as usual; Liverpool and Manchester City looking irresistible already. There were a few surprises elsewhere to add to the excitement from the best league in the world. We’re in for another cracking season in 2019/20.
The Championship has begun in equally thrilling fashion. We’re two weeks into the new campaign and the goals are flying in. We’ve only seen one goalless draw up to now across the two rounds of fixtures!
I’m already looking forward to the coming weekend. Here are my five picks from another set of mouth-watering matches.
Harry's Picks this week are:
✅ Man City
✅ West Brom
— betvictor (@BetVictor) August 12, 2019
Everton to get off the mark at Goodison
The Toffees drew a blank at Crystal Palace last week with their developing squad unable to really threaten much in attack. At the back, however, they have a solid base with the likes of Michael Keane, Yerri Mina and Lucas Digne all beginning to look comfortable in Marco Silva’s set-up.
This bodes well for their home form, where they can look to build on an excellent record and run of clean sheets in the second half of last season. They don’t yet look like a side that will be prolific, but I feel they have enough attacking talent to find a way against most sides in front of their home crowd at Goodison Park.
On the evidence of their 3-0 home defeat to Brighton on the opening weekend, Watford may take a few weeks to get going this season. They were second-best all over the pitch against Graham Potter’s impressive Seagulls. I think Everton will have enough to make home advantage count and condemn the Hornets to two defeats from two.
On paper, a fixture against Tottenham should present one of the bigger tests for Manchester City’s title defence. It could still turn out that way; Spurs finished their match strongly against Aston Villa as they fought back to claim an opening-weekend win and Harry Kane found the back of the net twice with two great finishes. There’s no sign of him starting this season slowly, like he’s been accused of in previous years.
Can anyone stop this Manchester City side at the moment, though? They look every bit at the same level as the team that secured the treble back in May. It’s frightening that they can go away to West Ham for an early kick-off on the opening Saturday and hit five like that, with Sergio Aguero left on the bench too.
Spurs are capable of hurting City, but I think this fixture might have come too early in the season for them. Guardiola’s men look in the mood.
Reds should see off Saints
After their heroics last season, Liverpool – much like Man City – look like they don’t need any time to find their level again this campaign.
The Reds had the game against Norwich wrapped up within half an hour in a blistering first-half performance. Goals from Salah and Origi, along with an Alexander-Arnold assist, told a familiar story, which isn’t a great sign for Southampton going into this weekend.
The Saints collapsed at Burnley in the second half of their match and will require a huge defensive improvement if they are to stand a chance on Saturday. With Salah and co coming to St. Mary’s, I’m not so sure they can keep the Liverpool attack at bay for a full 90 minutes. Then, there’s the challenge of breaching last season’s best defence.
Leeds can capitalise on leaky Latics
Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds are many peoples’ favourites for promotion. They’ve begun with four points from two games – a solid enough start, although there was clear frustration in their ranks with the way they were pegged back and held to a draw at home by Nottingham Forest last weekend.
That doesn’t particularly worry me, though. They showed plenty of class away at Bristol City previously and this time they go away to last season’s strugglers Wigan, who have already shipped five goals in their first two fixtures this time around.
Wigan like to play open, attacking football, especially at home – which should play into the hands of Bielsa’s well-drilled side.
Bilic’s Baggies mean business
West Brom have taken four points from six and much like Leeds, there was a hint of regret about only managing a home draw against Millwall last weekend. However, they controlled the game well for the large part and can take plenty of positives overall from their start to the season under new manager Slaven Bilic.
They look like a team that will continue to improve as they adapt to Bilic’s demands and should have enough quality to push for promotion this season.
Luton have done incredibly well to achieve back-to-back promotions the last two years. Losing Nathan Jones as their manager mid-way through last season didn’t seem to make a difference but naturally, a further step up to the Championship and facing a team like West Brom will be a huge challenge for this squad.
I expect the Baggies to have a bit too much for the Hatters.
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