The Premier League returns this weekend and there’s plenty to look forward to with Liverpool hosting Arsenal on Saturday evening.
Norwich vs Chelsea
Sat 24/08 at 12.30
Norwich host Chelsea in the lunchtime kick-off on Saturday.
So far, it’s been a great start to the season for newly promoted Norwich City. Last time out, they put in a great display in front of their home fans watching their team play in the Premier League for the first time since the 2015/16 season.
Teemu Pukki scored a hat-trick on the way to beating a poor Newcastle side 3-1.
However, Chelsea at home will be a different challenge and Frank Lampard will be hoping for something finally to go his way at the start of his managerial career.
After only managing a draw at home to Leicester, The Blues need some points to lift them out of the mid-table.
In terms of team news, Norwich are still without Christoph Zimmerman. Timm Klose is recovering however, he’s still a doubt for this one. Meanwhile, Onel Hernandez is likely to be sidelined for a while after suffering a knee injury last week.
For the visitors, Antonio Rudiger is likely to return to the starting XI after completing the full 90 minutes for the development squad on Monday.
Prediction – Chelsea win
Man Utd vs Crystal Palace
Sat 24/08 at 15.00
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his team host Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.
Unbeaten and sitting fourth in the table, United should be fairly pleased with their work so far this season. Their defence is looking solid and attack is also starting to come together. However, Solskjaer wants Rashford and Martial to be more clinical in front of goal.
Talking of taking opportunities, United should have beaten Wolves last time out if it weren’t for a missed penalty by Pogba.
If another penalty is awarded this weekend, Rashford should get the nod after netting one against Chelsea in the opening round.
Palace suffered their first defeat of the season last time out, losing out to an energetic Sheffield United team. Dangerman Wilfried Zaha was well marshalled throughout and Palace didn’t have another strategy to call upon.
Roy Hodgson will be looking for a better performance from his team come Saturday afternoon.
United may change their team around ahead of the Palace fixture. However, they’ll have to do without Eric Bailly due to a knee injury. The future of Alexis Sanchez and Marcos Rojo is still up in the air, so they’re unlikely to play.
At the other end, Hodgson has pretty much a full squad to call upon apart from James Tomkins and Mamadou Sakho.
Prediction – Man Utd win
Liverpool vs Arsenal
Sat 24/08 at 17.00
Arsenal make the trip to Liverpool for the late kick-off on Saturday evening and this is set to be a cracker.
The only two teams to have won both games so far this season go head to head at Anfield. Arsenal sit just behind Liverpool in the table thanks to goal difference.
Last time out, Liverpool beat Southampton 2-1 away from home with Mane and Firmino hitting the back of the net. Mane’s goal, in particular, was a brilliant strike from the edge of the box.
Liverpool have not dropped a point in the Premier League since 3 March when they were held at Everton making it 11 wins in a row.
Meanwhile, Arsenal beat a battling Burnley 2-1 in London last weekend. Lacazette and Aubameyang netted for the Gunners giving Arsenal a two from two record. This is the first time since 2009, they’ve recorded successive victories at the start of season.
Dani Ceballos, the midfielder on loan from Real Madrid looks a classy player in the middle of the park. Meanwhile, David Luiz still needs time to settle into his new team so defensive issues can be explained at these early stages.
In terms of team news, Liverpool will once again look to Adrian to keep goal as Alisson Becker remains sidelined. Klopp will be hoping last weekend’s mistake against Southampton which led to their goal was a one-off.
Fabinho and Henderson may return to the starting lineup but Naby Keita is set to miss this one thanks to injury.
For the visitors, Summer signing Nicolas Pepe could feature at Anfield. Ceballos should retain his place ahead of Ozil, who has returned to training this week.
Prediction – Liverpool win
Bournemouth vs Man City
Sun 25/08 at 14.00
Bournemouth host Man City on Sunday.
After a win away from home at Aston Villa, Bournemouth have a difficult game against Guardiola’s team.
Last time out, King and Wilson hit the net for Bournemouth despite having far less possession. Wilson on loan from Liverpool scored on debut so he’ll be looking for another strong performance come Sunday.
In less positive news for Bournemouth, they’ve picked up a number of injuries over the last few weeks which we’ll look at below.
Meanwhile, Man City will be looking to bounce back from a draw against Tottenham last weekend. It was a controversial outcome with Man City scoring a late winner which was then ruled out by VAR.
Considering Man City had the majority of the possession last weekend, Pep Guardiola will want his team to be more clinical.
In terms of team news, Bournemouth are without David Brooks, Arnaut Danjuma, Dan Gosling, Simon Francis, Lloyd Kelly and Junior Stanislas.
The visitors are without Leroy Sane and Benjamin Mendy whilst John Stones is recovering well and should feature soon.
Prediction – Man City win
Tottenham vs Newcastle
Sun 25/08 at 16.30
Struggling Newcastle head to Tottenham on Sunday afternoon.
Tottenham have started the season with mixed form. Having saved a win against Aston Villa in the opening round Poch’s men managed to salvage a draw against a much better Man City team.
Whilst Pochettino will take the results and the points, Tottenham have a lot of work to do.
Meanwhile, Newcastle are struggling and it’s not been an easy start for Steve Bruce. They’ve lost two games on the bounce despite a decent performance against Arsenal.
New record signing Joelinton, who Newcastle paid £40 million for was off target and it’s fair to say they’ve got issues all around the park.
In terms of team news, Tottenham welcome back Heung-Min Son from suspension. However, Tanguy Ndombele, Juan Foyth and Ryan Sessegnon all sit out with injuries.
Andy Carroll, Dwight Gayle miss out for Newcastle.
Prediction – Tottenham win