EPL: Matchweek 2

Manchester City welcome Spurs to the Etihad on Saturday evening in what is set to be an absolute titanic clash, elsewhere in the League Liverpool travel to Saint Mary’s, Chelsea entertain Leicester before United travel to Molineux stadium for the season’s first instalment of Monday Night Football. 

Arsenal v Burnley 

I was impressed with Arsenal last time out, no way that was their best side but to travel to St James’, grind out a result and keep a clean sheet is always something to be proud of. Burnley enjoyed a comfortable win on the opening weekend, but I can’t see them standing up to the attack Arsenal pose upfront. I’m going to go for an easy home win in this one. 

Prediction: 2 – 0 

Aston Villa v Bournemouth 

I think this game will give us a better indication of where Villa is this season, their performance against Spurs was decent and for long periods of the game they certainly looked like they could take something from it. 

Bournemouth aren’t a terrible side but defensively they just look like they have a couple mistakes in them (or maybe more). I don’t doubt their attacking prowess though and in King, Fraser and Wilson they’re always going to offer something in the final third. 

Prediction: 2 – 1 

Brighton v West Ham 

Brighton would have been responsible for many people losing plenty last weekend – in certain cases Grandmothers pension, I’m not sure too many people saw that result coming if I’m honest. It just goes to show how successful a team can be when they decide to have a go and attack as opposed to sitting deep and compact and really just looking not to be beaten. 

West Ham were absolutely rinsed by City, it was never a competition. Now surely Brighton have a look at that and decide to have a go again? I don’t think West Ham lose the game, but I can’t see them winning it either. 

Prediction: 0 – 0 

Everton v Watford 

This is a very different Everton, Goodison Park seems to be sitting on a rising expectation from their side to have a very good campaign, with better football and competitive results, and why not?

They have been fantastic in the window and I’ve backed them to gate-crash the top 6 in the League this year. 

Watford suffered a home defeat by Brighton last time out, and I think they lose this one as well, but I wouldn’t be too concerned about their season. 

Prediction: 2 – 1 

Norwich v Newcastle 

Norwich seriously surprised me in their game against Liverpool, to go to Anfield and create the chances they did is applaudable. The only issue facing Daniel Farke is their defensive ability, you don’t get anywhere in this league with just a fine attack. 

Newcastle on the other hand were largely disappointing against Arsenal, I’m not sure Steve Bruce knows his best side – I guess that does take time – but I think they could have offered more going forward. 

Norwich will hope their loyal fans make a Carrow Road an intense place to play and if they are more compact at the back, I think they could be a surprise package this year. 

Prediction: 1 – 1 

Southampton v Liverpool 

I can’t see past (even if I try) the Liverpool win here, Jurgen Klopp’s men will have a short turnaround between their Super Cup game in Istanbul and their League fixture against the Saints, but I still think the Reds ease to victory on England’s south coast. 

I know Liverpool were criticised for their second half performance at Anfield last week but I think we need to look at the game in context, it’s the first one of the season and your 4-0 up at the half…you can expect a team to have a dip in intensity and switch off at times. 

Prediction: 0 – 3 

Manchester City v Spurs 

Spurs looked absolutely nowhere until the final half hour of their win over Villa, Christian Eriksen is an incredible talent and Spurs will do well to do whatever it takes to keep the man for as long as possible. 

City were their usual selves really, registering a big win over West Ham but I think this game will be a lot tighter than people think. Spurs have the players to hurt City on the counter which might have the likes of Kyle Walker think twice before making those incredible overlapping runs. 

I don’t think this is going to be straightforward and to be honest I’m siding with City largely because, well its City; but I wouldn’t be surprised if this ended with Spurs getting something out of the game. 

Prediction: 2 – 1 

Sheffield United v C Palace

This is my banana skin game for the weekend, Sheffield got themselves a really good result at Bournemouth and I think they beat Palace at Bramall Lane. That stadium will be a full house come match day and I think the home side will be able to play with a bit of confidence and have a go at the Eagles. 

Wilfried Zaha should start, I mean he’s their best player surely? But when your best player wants to leave it can’t cause a positive vibe amongst the team.

Prediction: 2 – 1 

Chelsea v Leicester 

When you look at the 4-0 score line, you’d think the Blues were absolutely lashed by Ole’s United, but I’ll be the first person to say they weren’t. they were the better team in the first half and should have found the back of the net on two separate occasions.

Lampard would have learnt some valuable lessons though, defensively they have to be better and whilst placing trust in youth is fantastic, experience can never be underestimated – as displayed in their Super Cup game this past Wednesday. 

Leicester will be tricky opponents; I still think they rely too heavily on Jamie Vardy for goals but there’s no denying the potential some of their youngsters possess. I think if they can get at Chelsea, isolating their wide players and exploiting the space in behind they could get something from the game, 

Prediction: 1 – 1

Wolves v Manchester United 

United got off to the perfect start with a brilliant result against Chelsea, a 4-0 win was the perfect way to start the season. The challenge now becomes building on to that win over the course of the year and to do that they need to beating teams like Wolves, who did incredibly well against top 6 sides last year and in lest we forget, beat United at Molineux in both the League and the FA Cup.

I don’t think this game will be as wide open as Sundays purely because I think Wolves will do a better job at suffocating the space and sitting deep which won’t allow united to counter. Instead United will need to show intent and creativity to break them down which does suggest an expectation on the likes of Paul Pogba in midfield. 

Nonetheless I think United can come into this fixture full of confidence and should be able to edge this game by the odd goal. 

Prediction 0 -1 

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