The new season is well underway and there’s plenty to look forward to over the coming weekend. The reigning champions (Man City) and Liverpool both made strong statements in their opening fixtures but will that continue into week 2?
Arsenal vs Burnley
Sat 17/08 at 12.30
To start the weekend, Arsenal host Burnley in the early kick-off on Saturday.
Arsenal started their campaign positively with a win over Newcastle last weekend despite missing some key players. Keeping a clean sheet away from home is never easy.
Despite the win, Arsenal still find themselves down in 7th in the table thanks to goal difference. The Gunners will certainly be looking to turn possession into more goals come Saturday.
Meanwhile, Burnley also got off to winning ways at home. They comfortably beat an inaccurate Southampton at Turf Moor.
In terms of team news, Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac are both available and it may be a first Premier League start for summer signing Nicolas Pepe. Alexandre Lacazette should also be available after recovering from illness.
Granit Xhaka is set to miss this one after an injury in the Newcastle fixture.
At the other end, Burnley will be without both Danny Drinkwater and Robbie Brady.
Prediction – Arsenal win
Southampton vs Liverpool
Sat 17/08 at 15.00
Liverpool picked up from where they left off last season in their opening fixture against Norwich. The game was already over at half time.
Despite the convincing win, there are still points for Klopp to work on. He won’t be pleased with the Norwich goal in the second half although leading 4-0 at half time is difficult to move on from. Klopp needs to get his defence firing on all cylinders to mount another league fight.
In terms of attack, Salah was once again on target with a fine goal in the first half. Divock Origi also netted perhaps making Jurgen Klopp’s dilemma of playing Sadio Mane or not even harder. However, Mane did score twice during their Super Cup win over Chelsea during the week.
Meanwhile, at the other end, Southampton were beaten easily by Burnley away from home. If Liverpool continue the fine attacking form they are currently in, this is set to be another one sided affair come Saturday afternoon.
Naby Keita and Alisson Becker are set to miss this one for Liverpool and there’s set to be some tired legs after their Super Cup win against Chelsea.
The Saints have no new injury concerns however they may juggle their team after a thrashing in their opening fixture.
Prediction – Liverpool win
Man City vs Tottenham
Sat 17/08 at 17.30
This is certainly the highlight of the weekend and certainly not a bad way to spend your Saturday afternoon.
Are Man City the best team in the world right now? You could certainly argue that.
With a Sterling hat-rick and further goals from Sergio Aguero and Gabriel De Jesus, Man City kicked things off brilliantly in the opening weekend of the Premier League. Keeping a clean sheet would also have pleased Pep Guardiola.
This week, the only bad news for Man City came off the field when they were fined £315,000 for breaching transfer regulations.
None the less, Man City once again find themselves at the top of the league table, a position I think they’ll occupy quite a bit this season.
However, Tottenham are no easy opponent and Poch will be looking for a better performance from his team come Saturday evening. Tottenham were lucky to salvage a win from their game against Aston Villa in the opening round.
Once again Harry Kane came to the rescue and scored twice late on to win 3-1.
In terms of team selection, Man City will be without Leroy Sane and Benjamin Mendy both due to injuries. Fernandinho may start this one after building up his match fitness.
At the other end, Tottenham have a longer list of absentees. Heung-min Son is still suspended, Dele Alli, Juan Foyth and Ryan Sessegnon are all still out with injuries and Ben Davies is getting close to a return.
Prediction – Man City win
Chelsea vs Leicester City
Sun 18/08 at 16.30
This should be a cracker for your Sunday afternoon.
There’s no denying Frank Lampard had a difficult start to his managerial role at Chelsea last weekend. They were thoroughly beaten by a clinical Man Utd team boosted by the signing of some new players including Harry Maguire.
However, the scoreline did not tell the complete picture. Chelsea were dominant for large parts of the game and just lacked the execution to score. Lampard certainly has some things to work on but it was a promising start despite the loss.
With some key players absent from the starting lineup, you’d expect some better performances in games to come when they return to the fray. Their performance against Liverpool during the week was much improved.
Chelsea will be looking for a strong performance in their first home league game this season.
Meanwhile, Leicester City only managed a goalless draw despite having the majority of possession at home to Wolves. Brendan Rodgers will be looking for a more clinical performance this week.
In terms of team news, Chelsea are nearly back at full fitness with Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek the only two injured. At the other end, Leicester have a fully fit squad apart from Filip Benkovic.
Prediction – Chelsea win
Wolves vs Man Utd
Mon 19/08 at 20.00
It’s the first instalment of Monday night football in the Premier League this season. With Man Utd in action, there’s a lot to look forward to.
Man Utd were very clinical against a Chelsea side that lacked the execution to put away any chances. Rashford scored twice to potentially set up a claim for his first Golden Boot.
New signing Harry Maguire was solid in defence and the clean sheet along with a man of the match performance has set him up strongly at his new club. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be pleased with his new signing. Expect another strong performance from Solskjaer’s team.
As I mentioned earlier, Wolves held Leicester to a goalless draw at the King Power Stadium and I’m sure they’ll be looking for more points come Monday evening.
In terms of team news, Wovles have a fully fit squad ahead of the Man Utd clash. Having played on Thursday night, Wolves are likely to rotate their team a little. In terms of the visitors, Solskjaer also has a pretty full squad to pick from apart from Eric Bailly and Alexis Sanchez.
Prediction – Man Utd win