It promises to be another exciting weekend of premier league football yet again this weekend as most interestingly, the fans do not have to wait for the usual Saturday lunch time kick off as the league has introduced the Friday night football usually experienced in other leagues.
Without further ado, we get down to business with the preview of the games;
Manchester United vs Southampton; Friday 8:00p.m
This should definitely be an interesting game. Manchester United will be buoyed by their impressive showing against Bournemouth last weekend while Southampton will be looking to improve on their performance after dropping points at home against Watford. Mourinho has indicated he is ready to launch record signing, Paul Pogba while Southampton has found Old trafford a hunting ground having won in their last two visits to the theatre of dreams. Anything other than a Manchester United win here will definitely be a shock result as Jose Mourinho definitely wants to bring the fear factor back to the ground.
Stoke City vs Manchester City; Saturday 12:30p.m
City haven’t found it much easier at the Brittania in recent years. They didn’t win at Stoke until the seventh attempt and were beaten again there in December. For that reason among others, it’s the ideal setting for Pep Guardiola’s first taste of a Premier League away day.They had to work hard to get a vital 2-1 win over Sunderland in the opening weekend while Stoke City claimed an impressive 1-1 draw against Middlesbrough. This will be a very tough game with both teams playing good football but I think that extra quality might swing Pep Guardiola’s side to get at least a point in this game.
Burnley vs Liverpool; Saturday 3:00p.m
I’m still trying to lean towards Burnley having a good season in the premier league this time around and was surprised to see them loose to Swansea last weekend. Liverpool on the other hand were all shades of awesome against Arsenal, putting up a performance reminiscent of a typical Dortmund side under Jurgen Klopp. I expect them to continue such dominance in this game as Burnley have shown in their first game they have not gotten used to the tempo of the premier league just yet.
Swansea City vs Hull City; Saturday 3:00p.m
Both teams had a very good opening weekend, with Swansea winning impressively against Burnley, while Hull City against all odds defeated the premier league champions Leicester city. Both sides will be buoyed and ready for this. Will Hull City send a statement their win over Leicester city was no fluke? Or will Swansea city continue their impressive run which has spanned from last season. One thing I see in this game is both sides scoring but who wins is what will be determined after 90 minutes.
Tottenham vs Crystal Palace; Saturday 3:00p.m
Tottenham were impressive in their opening premier league game at goddison park and claimed a vital draw while Crystal palace lost their game at home against Tony Pulis’s team, West Brom. This should look straightforward, Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and everyone except Hugo Lloris is fit while Crystal Palace have sold Yannick Bolasie and have just agreed a fee for Benteke but he definitely wouldn’t make it in time for this game. Anything other than a Tottenham win here will be a shocker.
Watford vs Chelsea; Saturday 3:00p.m
This will be another test of character for Chelsea as Antoni Conte takes his team to the Hornets. Chelsea labored to an impressive win over West Ham, while Watford also claimed a vital draw away against Southampton. Both coaches are also not new to each other, Walter Mazarri will be very familiar with what to expect from Antonio Conte as they were both rivals in the Italian league some years ago. Expect Hazard and Deeney to be the key men for this game. I was very impressed with Chelsea on Monday but I think this is a game any of them can win.
West Brom vs Everton; Saturday 3:00p.m
You just never know what to expect from a Tony Pulis team. They claimed an impressive win last weekend and would be buoyed by that. Everton on the other hand will be more solid under Ronald Koeman and signing Yannick Bolasie and Ashley Williams will be a smart move in the long run.A tight game which has all shades of draw written over it.
Leicester City vs Arsenal; Saturday 5:30p.m
In reality, this looks like a game of redemption. Leicester city were not at their best last weekend and were deservedly beaten by newly promoted side, Hull City. Arsenal was even worse, putting up one of the most tepid performances I’ve ever seen from an Arsenal side in the loss to Liverpool. Both teams really need a win in this game to set a good tempo for the season as loosing two straight games in the first month of the premier league season will indeed be bad. Arsenal will be confident coming into this game after beating Leicester city twice in the premier league last season and will be looking to get another one over the premier league champions. Leicester city on the other hand will hope Vardy will find his scoring boots after missing numerous open chances last weekend. Leicester city lost just three premier league matches in thirty-eight matches last season and on this premise, I just don’t see them loosing a second premier league game just yet.
Sunderland vs Middlesbrough; Sunday 1:30p.m
Sunderland weren’t bad against Manchester city at the Etihad last weekend and almost got a vital point. Middlesbrough on the other hand played well against Stoke City but were unfortunately undone by a sweet Shaquiri freekick to share the spoils. Both teams have good veteran strikers in Negredo and Defoe to get the job done and like I said in last week’s preview, Middlesbrough would either do very well based on their good signings, or they might just not gel just like QPR, and this is one of the games they would use to prove what lane they would go through. Sunderland will hope David Moyes’s experience in the premier league would see them through games like this. A very tight game, very close to call but David Moyes just wouldn’t afford loosing this kind of game.
West Ham vs Bournemouth; Sunday 4:00p.m
I seriously expect the stress of the Europa league to take its toll on West Ham sooner or later and they come into this game after a very solid 90 minutes game in Romania on Thursday night with Slaven Bilic sticking to his starting XI for that game. Bournemouth on the other hand weren’t bad against Manchester United, they just lacked that extra quality in the final third. I expect them to take this game to West Ham, and see West Ham having an eye on the return leg of their Europa league qualifier second leg. I’m definitely not sure Bilic will start the same XI for the three random matches in just seven days so I expect a draw here or West Ham might just nick it.