It was a great week of predictions last time out for Michael Owen, he’s back with his latest Premier League preview.
Manchester City v Arsenal
Man City to win 2-0
Norwich was an ideal fixture for City to get back to near their best in. They were always going to create chances against a team like Norwich and it was a good opportunity for Jack Grealish in particular, to get on the scoresheet. Obviously, it wasn’t the prettiest of goals, but he won’t care one bit. Believe me, they all count!
It’s been a terrible start to the season for Arsenal and it’s not going to get any easier here. Of course, they were missing some starters on Sunday against Chelsea, but it was still far too comfortable a win for Chelsea. It wasn’t even a surprise to see Arsenal struggle, in fact, the only surprise was that it wasn’t more. If not for Leno in goal, this could have been embarrassing.
I still don’t think City are fully firing on all cylinders in an attacking sense just yet, but I still see no other winner here. Arsenal have yet to score a goal this season and I don’t think that will change. I’m going 2-0 City.
Aston Villa v Brentford
Aston Villa to win 2-1
There’s only one place to start here, what a goal from Danny Ings! I thought he would prove to be an excellent pickup and he’s proving me right so far and that bicycle kick finish against Newcastle was outstanding. I don’t think Dean Smith knows his best line-up just yet but even without Jack Grealish, Villa boast some excellent attacking options.
Brentford’s draw away at Palace certainly won’t live long in the memory, but it was still a valuable point. I’m sure if you were to ask Thomas Frank prior to the season he would have paid good money for four points from their first two games!
I think Villa will prove too strong for Brentford here, particularly with this being at Villa Park. I fancy Brentford to nick a goal but I fancy Villa to get the win.
Brighton v Everton
Game to finish 1-1
Graham Potter must be delighted with his team’s start to this season. Six points from six signals the club’s ambition and they could be the surprise team of this season. It was a comfortable win for them against Watford and they look solid at the back.
I’m sure Everton fans will be pleasantly surprised with Rafa Benitez’s start as the boss and five goals scored in two games shows they may be more attacking than they had envisaged. I fancied Calvert-Lewin to have a good season and with two goals in two games, he’s started well.
I don’t see much between these sides. Brighton haven’t lost to Everton at home since being in the Premier League and I don’t think they will lose here. I can see another draw.
Newcastle v Southampton
Newcastle to win 1-0
I’m not sure what to make of Newcastle this season. They’ve lost both games, but I don’t think they’ve played badly in either. They’ve certainly created chances and with the attacking players they have, they’ll always be a threat. I do worry about them defensively though and that’s now six goals conceded already.
I didn’t see Southampton’s draw at home to Man United coming. They showed a lot of spirit in that draw and Ralph Hasenhüttl will be looking to build on that going forward. Armstrong and Adams look like a duo that will cause defences problems with their pace and movement, but the Saints are still a very young team.
I fancy my old side here. Newcastle haven’t lost to Southampton at St James’s Park since 2015 and I think they will narrowly edge this one 1-0.
Norwich City v Leicester City
Leicester to win 2-1
I feel sorry for Norwich as they couldn’t have asked for two worse games to start their season with than Liverpool and Man City. Despite this, I still worry about them defensively and worry where the goals will come from. Pukki is a reliable finisher but if he doesn’t score, who will?
Unfortunately for Norwich, things don’t get any easier here. I’m not going to concentrate too much on Leicester’s defeat at West Ham as they had ten men, but I expect a response here.
Norwich are the sort of team Leicester will enjoy playing against. There will be space on the counter for the likes of Vardy and Barnes to exploit and I can see Leicester coming away from Carrow Road with a win.
West Ham v Crystal Palace
West Ham to win 2-0
West Ham have picked up where they left off last season and are playing some great stuff. I love the balance of this team with a mixture of experience and youth. Michail Antonio keeps getting better and has developed into a proper number nine. His movement, strength and pace will cause problems to every defence in the league and if he can stay fit, West Ham can challenge for Europe again.
Crystal Palace looked solid against Brentford in what was an uneventful game. They remain as reliant on Zaha as ever and frankly; without him they don’t look like scoring. The sooner they can get Eze back from injury the better for Vieira’s men.
I fancy West Ham to win this London Derby. Palace are still yet to score, and I don’t see that changing here.
Liverpool v Chelsea
Liverpool to win 2-1
What a match this should be. Let’s start with Liverpool. It’s been a perfect start for Klopp’s side, with two wins from two. I’m sure the thing that Jurgen will be most pleased about so far is keeping back-to-back clean sheets. Van Dijk has looked like he has never been away and being able to play in front of a packed Anfield crowd makes a massive difference to my old club.
Chelsea are looking fantastic though. They don’t seem to have any weaknesses so far and the size of their squad makes them a hard team to look beyond. I loved what I saw from Lukaku against Arsenal and his movement in particular was outstanding. He bullied the Arsenal defence so I’m curious to see how he gets on here. If any defender could deal with him, it would be Van Dijk, what a duel that will be.
Call me biased but I still like Liverpool’s chances here! With the fans back at Anfield, this will feel like a proper occasion, and I think they can edge it 2-1.
Burnley v Leeds
Leeds to win 1-0
Burnley competed well at Anfield, and Sean Dyche must be happy with the performance that he saw. Wood and Barnes will always be a nuisance for defenders to deal with and if they can get them service, will score goals. In Dwight McNeil, they have someone who should provide that quality from wide areas.
It was an entertaining 2-2 draw with Everton, but that’s now seven goals that Leeds have conceded in their opening two games. I know that’s the Bielsa way but even he must be concerned at the number of chances they are giving up.
I’m looking forward to this, talk about a contrast of styles! I fancy Burnley to narrowly win it 1-0.
Tottenham Hotspur v Watford
Spurs to win 2-0
You’ve got to hand it to Nuno Espirito Santo for the way he’s started his tenure as Spurs’ boss. With all the drama surrounding Harry Kane, and to start with games against Man City and Wolves, to come away with six points is fantastic. There seems to be a good feeling around the club at the minute and it’s good to see Dele Alli showing some form.
Watford didn’t impress in the away trip against Brighton, and you get the feeling that their hopes will rest on having a good record at Vicarage Road. I don’t think this will be a successful away trip either and think we’ll see a comfortable Spurs win.
Wolves v Manchester United
Man Utd to win 1-0
Wolves have had 42 shots in their first two games but are yet to find the net. They need more cutting edge up top, and they’ll be hoping Raul Jimenez can start scoring again soon. It’s been a tough start for boss Bruno Lage as he tries to change Wolves’ style of football.
After that thrilling opening weekend win against Leeds, United laboured to a draw at Southampton. It’s hard to know what to make of them but one thing is for certain, give Mason Greenwood chances and he will score. I know all about being the starting striker at a young age and believe me, this boy has all the qualities.
I think United will get back to winning ways here. I don’t think it will be a thriller but think United will win this 1-0.