It is week 2 of the Premier League and we have a number of juicy fixtures to look forward to. Manchester City versus Chelsea headline the group, but a number of equally matched teams face off this weekend.
Below are my game-by-game scoreline predictions:
Aston Villa vs Manchester United
Jordan Ayew and Rudy Gestede are good additions, but Aston Villa will sorely miss Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph against United. I expect Villa to grab a goal thanks to suspect Red Devils defending, but they do not have enough quality to deny Manchester United scoring chances. Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata will both open their accounts as United continue their perfect start.
Prediction: Aston Villa 1 Manchester United 2
Southampton vs Everton
Everton did not look at all convincing against newly-promoted Watford, needing a couple of fine individual efforts to manage a home draw. Next they travel to the imposing Saint Mary’s stadium against a Southampton side that have once again replaced departed starters well. Everton will start on the front foot, but Southampton’s organization and patience will pay off with a couple of goals as they roll over the Toffees.
Prediction: Southampton 2 Everton 0
Watford vs West Bromwich Albion
West Brom were dreadful against Manchester City on Monday night, and the Baggies did not respond well to bad losses last season, securing just five points in nine games right after losing by two or more goals. I expect that trend to continue as Watford, who impressed in an opening match draw at Goodison Park, come out winners at home to continue their brilliant start.
Prediction: Watford 1 West Brom 0
Sunderland vs Norwich City
Sunderland have spent money to add a central defender (Younes Kaboul) and a left winger (Jeremy Lens), but have not improved nearly as much as their mid-table rivals. Norwich were unlucky not to get a result against Crystal Palace, playing impressive, attacking football and showing plenty of shrewdness in the top-flight. I expect Norwich’s style and energy to cancel out Sunderland’s talent in a relatively high-scoring affair at the Stadium of Light.
Prediction: Sunderland 2 Norwich City 2
Tottenham vs Stoke City
Mark Hughes and Stoke have assembled an impressive roster by adding players like Glen Johnson, Ibrahim Afellay, and Xherdan Shaqiri, but the team still needs time to find its feet with all the new faces. That cohesion period has yet to run its course, and Tottenham will take advantage of that with Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane combining to great effect. A hard-fought game, but ultimately one in which Spurs will take all three points.
Prediction: Tottenham 2 Stoke City 1
West Ham vs Leicester City
Two of the first week’s “Cinderella stories” meet at Upton Park after Leicester City ran riot against Sunderland and West Ham shocked Arsenal at the Emirates. All eyes will be on Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy for the Foxes, who both combined for three goals on the opening day. Newcomer Dimitri Payet was the main man for the Hammers, grabbing an assist and pulling his team’s strings. I think this will be an entertaining, end-to-end affair in which West Ham’s more rigorous summer gives them the edge to grab a late winner.
Prediction: West Ham 3 Leicester City 2
Swansea City vs Newcastle United
Papiss Cisse, Georginio Wijnaldum, and Moussa Sissoko have all the talent in the world, but finding consistency playing next to each other is a completely different matter. After an impressive draw against Southampton last week, I expect the Toons to falter against a Swansea City side that drew against champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The front three of Jefferson Montero, Andre Ayew and Bafetimbi Gomis promise to cause Newcastle’s defence problems.
Prediction: Swansea City 3 Newcastle United 1
Crystal Palace vs Arsenal
Much like Stoke and Swansea, Crystal Palace were active in the transfer window, adding more talent to a team that already looked phenomenal last spring. Yohan Cabaye and Mile Jedinak give the team stability in midfield while Yannick Bolasie and his team-mates promise to make life difficult for the Gunners. With Alexis Sanchez and Hector Bellerin just returning to match fitness, I expect another blunt performance from Arsenal as they struggle to match Palace’s energy at Selhurst Park. Olivier Giroud grabs a late equalizer after Palace take the lead through Bolasie.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 1 Arsenal 1
Manchester City vs Chelsea
In an early-season clash between title contenders, Courtois-less Chelsea travel to the Etihad to face Manchester City. The impending arrival of Kevin de Bruyne aside, City looked impressive in attack against West Brom, with Yaya Toure looking like the machine that bagged twenty goals in 2013-2014. Chelsea’s defence and midfield appeared vulnerable against Swansea, and I look for Manuel Pellegrini to exploit those weaknesses. It will be a back-and-forth affair in which Jose Mourinho will play for the draw but, unlike last season, Toure and City will break through and open up a five point gap between themselves and the Blues. Check out the bet365 bonus code and have a wager on this result!
Prediction: Manchester City 2 Chelsea 1
Liverpool vs Bournemouth
Bournemouth are no pushover with dangerous attackers like Callum Wilson and Matt Ritchie on the pitch, but Liverpool will just be too strong at Anfield. I expect Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino to grab their first Liverpool goals as the Reds build from their opening week win over Stoke.
Prediction: Liverpool 2 Bournemouth 0