Predictions

Questions to answer

After the mother of all opening weekends, there are several questions for some teams.

Manchester United currently lead the league from Burnley so can either keep up their momentum or will the likes of Chelsea and Leicester start to mix the table up?

Can West Ham and Crystal Palace claim redemption after spectacularly woeful performances last time out?

Come the full time whistle, there will definitely be some answers but without further ado, here are the previews.

 

Swansea vs Manchester United

Swansea will come into this match full of confidence, having kept a clean sheet at Southampton last time out. Man Utd however will be keen to maintain their quality from last time out.

One thing definitely happening is at least one goal because we have to go back to 1982 to find the last time this fixture finished 0-0.

Recent seasons has however seen variation in results at the Liberty Stadium, despite the Louis van Gaal era seeing this fixture finish four times with a 2-1 result. The Swans won three of those games with United winning the last meeting under the Dutchman’s reign.

The Red Devils however has Jose Mourinho in their corner, who has a strong record against the Swans. With him at the helm and with strong signings, I can’t see anything other than an away win.

Prediction: Swansea 1-2 Manchester United

Jake predicts: Swansea 0-3 Man Utd

Result: Swansea 0-4 Man Utd

 

Bournemouth vs Watford

This fixture is quite interesting because both teams like their possession but defence can be wobbly at times.

The four Premier League meetings between these teams have all ended in draws, which means that a draw here would probably make them the record holders for most consecutive draws in first Premier League meetings without a winner.

Striker wise, Bournemouth has Joshua King, who scored against Watford in both of last season’s meetings. New signing, Jermain Defoe however is still to net against the Hornets therefore making the starting eleven an intriguing situation.

Although the Cherries’ home record is quite strong, I expect Watford to emerge victorious given the increased goal scoring firepower throughout their squad.

Prediction: Bournemouth 1-2 Watford

Jake predicts: Bournemouth 1-1 Watford

Result: Bournemouth 0-2 Watford

 

Burnley vs West Bromwich Albion

Last weekend saw wins for both teams so expect this to be a proper test of how much stronger each club is compared to last season.

The Baggies have dominated this fixture despite the Turf Moor games both ending 2-2. That doesn’t distract from how strong Burnley are at home in first half of the season and with Sam Vokes currently in top form, I expect them to keep that run going.

West Brom however are strong at set pieces so expect them to try and frustrate the Clarets and force free kicks.

Its easy to say that this will be a draw but I see Burnley surprising people here.

Prediction: Burnley 2-0 WBA

Jake predicts: Burnley 1-1 WBA

Result: Burnley 0-1 WBA

 

Leicester vs Brighton

Leicester will certainly fancy themselves here at home against newly promoted Brighton.

Last weekend saw the Foxes back to their sharp best in the 4-3 defeat at Arsenal. Brighton however sat back and defended deep against Manchester City. If the Seagulls do the same here, Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez will rip them apart quite quickly.

These sides last met in the top flight in 1980-81 when Brighton did the league double but this time around, I reckon Leicester will produce a knockout win despite Robert Huth’s absence.

In turn, a win here for the Foxes is key ahead of matches against Man U and Chelsea coming up.

Prediction: Leicester 3-0 Brighton

Jake predicts: Leicester 2-0 Brighton

Result: Leicester 2-0 Brighton

 

Liverpool vs Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace have to deliver something here if want to answer their critics. Liverpool however will be keen to push on after last weekend’s 3-3 draw at Watford.

Both teams have strong attacks but are terribly let down by their crazy defence lines.

New Eagles boss, Frank De Boer likes to play a possession based game with high pressing but the defence last weekend were totally humiliated. Any repeat here then changes will be needed at the back as the transfer window approaches its end.

The Reds have won their last four opening home games of a new season but Crystal Palace have won on their last three trips to Anfield. Something will definitely have to give here but there is another factor cancelling each club out.

Both teams have woeful set piece records with Klopp’s side conceding 27 goals to Palace’s 28 last season via free kicks or corners.

Given how finely balanced both teams are, I am predicting a draw although Christian Benteke could swing it the Londoners’ way if he scores.

Prediction: Liverpool 2-2 Crystal Palace

Jake predicts: Liverpool 3-2 Crystal Palace

Result: Liverpool 1-0 Crystal Palace

 

Southampton vs West Ham

This match will probably throw up more questions than answers.

Southampton’s home record lately has seen several blanks but West Ham look beatable given how unstable their defence is.

At Old Trafford, the Hammers just went walkabouts after half time. The key now will be to try and get something in the first half or come out and be better organised defensively. If they don’t, the Saints have several players ready to inflict damage and plunge the East London club further into despair.

The good news is that West Ham haven’t taken back to back victories over the Saints since 2000-01 season. Southampton have however only scored once in their last six home games against West Ham.

Realistically this match looks like a seventh consecutive 0-0 draw for the home fans. I however feel that Southampton might sneak something late on.

Prediction: Southampton 1-0 West Ham

Jake predicts: Southampton 2-1 West Ham

Result: Southampton 3-2 West Ham

 

Stoke City vs Arsenal

Arsene Wenger will be glad to get this match out of the way early on, given that the BET365 stadium is Arsenal’s bogey ground. The Gunners have only two wins from their last nine trips here.

Stoke might fancy their chances but haven’t got many wins before end of September, when their season truly commences. Will the loan signing of Jese from PSG prove valuable from the get go against Arsenal’s soft defence.

Arsenal are like Liverpool in that their attack is brilliant but the back leaves a lot to be desired. Their best hope is that their winning record in first away games of a season is extended here although Stoke have avoided defeat in six of the last seven clashes here.

With this being Arsenal, you got no idea what to expect but should just pull through here if lucky.

Prediction: Stoke 1-2 Arsenal

Jake predicts: Stoke 2-0 Arsenal

Result: Stoke 1-0 Arsenal

 

Predictions battle

This season, me and fellow Sport Grill writer, Jake Self are having a Premier League predictions battle to find out who is the best predictor.

 

The points system is like a normal league system. If totally wrong, zero points will be rewarded but one point will be given for a correct winning side. Three points will be rewarded for a correct score.

 

Here is how the points look after week one;

Name Points
James Gregory 8
Jake Self 4

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