Liverpool v Burnley
Liverpool to win 2-0
You can call me biased but I really like the look of this Liverpool team. Virgil Van Dijk is back, and the squad seems a lot more settled already. It was a comfortable win against Norwich last Saturday and I thought Mo Salah and Diogo Jota looked very sharp.
This could be a tough season for Burnley. Losing to Brighton at home, particularly having led in the game for so long, can’t have done much to boost the confidence of the squad. I’m sure Sean Dyche will be looking to add a couple more players to this squad before the end of the window.
The atmosphere inside Anfield for this will be brilliant. Burnley famously won here last season and brought Liverpool’s 68 game unbeaten run at home to an end. I can’t see that happening this time around though and I fancy a comfortable 2-0 home win for Liverpool.
Aston Villa v Newcastle
Aston Villa to win 2-1
It was a terrible start for Villa at Vicarage Road last week, finding themselves 3-0 down just after the hour mark. The Jack Grealish move is bound to have unsettled the side and Dean Smith was not happy with the performance. They showed some signs of life though with those two late goals and new signing Leon Bailey looked a threat when he came on.
Newcastle looked dangerous in the first half against West Ham last Sunday and could have scored more than the two they did. Steve Bruce must be concerned though at how easy it was for West Ham to create chances against them.
After their disappointing away defeat, a game back at Villa Park is just what Villa need. I’m sure Steve Bruce would love to upset his old side but I think Villa will have too much firepower and narrowly edge this one 2-1.
Crystal Palace v Brentford
Brentford to win 1-0
It was fantastic to be at the ground to see Brentford beat Arsenal last Friday. The fans were fantastic, and their side were more than worthy of the 2-0 win. Toney, Mbeumo and Canos caused the Arsenal defence problems all night.
I feel sorry for Patrick Vieira to have had his first Palace game in charge, away at Stamford Bridge. The pressure is now firmly on him, and this won’t be much easier. He’ll be hoping to get some of his new signings into the starting line-up as soon as possible.
Brentford are bound to be full of confidence after last week’s win. It’s an ideal first away game and Selhurst Park will be rocking for this one. I don’t think there will be much in this, but I fancy Brentford to secure a narrow win.
Leeds v Everton
Everton to win 2-1
It was a shaky start, but Everton responded well after the break to give Rafa Benitez a debut home win. Rafa does what he does best and made a few tactical changes to change the game. Calvert-Lewin got on the scoresheet and there are already signs that he could flourish in this system.
As for Leeds, it couldn’t have gone much worse for them at Old Trafford. They started brightly but some of the defending in the second half was atrocious. They’re the risks Bielsa plays with, but they’ll need to tighten up at the back.
Benitez will have won some of the Everton faithful over with last week’s win and I think he can add to it with another win here. Leeds had a poor preseason and took that form into the opening game. I’m tipping Everton to leave Elland Road with a 2-1 win.
Man City v Norwich
Man City to win 5-0
After a disappointing result against Spurs, I’d expect City to bounce back in style here. They created chances and kept the ball well, but they just couldn’t take their chances. I know Pep has shown he can win without a natural striker but the old striker in me thinks City need to bring in a goal scorer.
Norwich looked very similar to the side that got relegated two years ago in that defeat to Liverpool. They keep the ball well, but they don’t create enough chances and always look a little weak at the back. Unless both those things change, it could be a long season.
This should be the perfect game for City to respond.
Norwich aren’t the best team defensively, so I’d expect City to create plenty of chances and win this game very comfortably.
Brighton v Watford
Brighton to win 2-0
It looked like a familiar story of missed chances for Brighton, but two late goals at Turf Moor gave them the win. It may sound too early to say but that’s a huge win for them and should give them confidence going into this game. It was the sort of game they’d have lost last year, so if they can win more of them this year, they should have a pretty decent season.
It was a very good win for Watford over Villa last Saturday. They had to hang on a bit at the end but were deserving of the three points. I like the balance of the attack and Ismaila Sarr could cause problems to a lot of teams this season.
I think Brighton will build on that win over Burnley by claiming the win here. I’m tipping them to win this 2-0.
Southampton v Man United
Man United to win 3-1
Manchester United looked outstanding in that home win over Leeds. Don’t get me wrong, I think Leeds made it easy for them but some of United‘s play was superb. Pogba and Fernandes were sensational and created chance after chance. I was glad to see Greenwood on the scoresheet and believe that he really could become a world-class striker. United are still to add Sancho and Varane to the starting eleven so they are looking good at the moment.
Southampton started well at Everton and new man Adam Armstrong took his goal superbly. The way they faded in the second half is worrying though and aside from Armstrong, I don’t see where the goals can come from. They conceded the second most amount of goals in the league last year, and I don’t see much improvement in that area so far.
I can’t see anything but a United win here. They looked in great form last week and I fancy them to exploit what is an error-prone Saints defence.
Wolves v Tottenham
Match to be drawn 1-1
Wolves will need to start taking more of their chances. Adama Traore had a few good opportunities in the defeat to Leicester, but he’s never been a consistently reliable finisher. Raul Jimenez will need to be at his best, but he may take a while to find his feet after so long out injured.
I was happy to see Nuno Espirito Santo start with a win against Man City. The uncertainty around Harry Kane’s future can’t have been easy to manage but Spurs attack on Sunday looked dangerous. Son was outstanding and regardless of what happens with Kane, he will be key to Spurs’ success this season.
Wolves tend to do well at home to the top sides and I can’t see them losing here. I’m predicting a 1-1 draw.
Arsenal v Chelsea
Chelsea to win 2-0
I was very disappointed with what I saw from Arsenal on Friday. I know they were missing a few of their first team but Brentford were deserved winners. They’ve spent money this summer, but have they improved much from where they were last season? I don’t think so. I’d be surprised if they finished any higher than sixth this season.
It’s a totally different story at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea are looking formidable. They remain such a difficult side to score against and I think Lukaku will be a brilliant signing for them. They finished fourth with Jorginho as their top scorer last season with seven, so imagine what they could do with a prolific striker.
Anything can happen in derbies, but this London Derby looks like a mismatch. I think Chelsea will comfortably win this 2-0 and pile the pressure on Arsenal.
West Ham v Leicester
Match to be drawn 1-1
I liked what I saw from both these teams last week, particularly going forward. West Ham scored four against Newcastle but could easily have scored more. The pace and power of Antonio continues to cause defences headaches and Benrahma is beginning to show his best form for the Hammers.
Leicester were impressive in their win and should have scored more than the one goal they did. Vardy looked sharp and took his goal superbly. They have great options in the forward positions and can cause any team problems.
Just the one point separated these two in the league last season and I don’t think much will separate them here. I’m tipping a 1-1 draw.