With the international break and deadline day coming up, this weekend is a huge one for each Premier League club as they look to get some momentum behind them.
Before all that, there is another round of league action to complete. Highlights include Manchester United hosting Leicester and Manchester City’s trip to Bournemouth.
Who will enter the fortnight off in a strong position and which clubs will be digging into the transfer market as deadline day nears?
Bournemouth vs Manchester City
Bournemouth have had a surprisingly poor start meaning that this match will be a test of how strong their squad really is.
Manchester City on the other hand haven’t really shown their full potential yet.
The Cherries are yet to beat City in the Premier League but with a stronger squad this time out, the result should be closer but not enough for a point sadly.
Prediction: Bournemouth 0-2 Manchester City
Jake predicts: Bournemouth 0-3 Manchester City
Result: Bournemouth 1-2 Manchester City
Crystal Palace vs Swansea
Both teams come into this meeting still looking for their first league goals of the season.
Frank de Boer will be hoping his Eagles can fly high and avoid making him the second Dutch manager to lose their opening three matches in England after Martin Jol. I however can see that stat repeating itself here given Palace’s poor home record.
Swansea are the only team with no shots on target yet so expect them to be more clinical here when taking chances.
Ultimately, this match looks like a dull 0-0 draw here to me.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 0-0 Swansea
Jake predicts: Crystal Palace 2-2 Swansea
Result: Crystal Palace 0-2 Swansea
Huddersfield vs Southampton
You can find a preview for Huddersfield vs Southampton at https://sportgrill.blog/2017/08/26/huddersfield-town-vs-southampton/
Newcastle vs West Ham
Newcastle have been poor in both league matches so far. For a manager of Rafa’s capability, this is sure to be hurting his reputation so now is time to start delivering.
August has categorically been the Toon Army’s worst in recent memory but West Ham are also looking for their first point.
Unlike Newcastle, the Hammers have at least produced gutsy performances, particularly against Southampton last weekend.
St James Park has however been a difficult place for Slaven Bilic’s men, who have lost seven of their last 13 trips there.
Interestingly, the last time they failed to win their opening three Premier League games of a new season, it included a 0-0 draw against West Ham.
I am expecting this to be competitive but given the Magpies’ inability to create chances, can see the visitors claiming all three points.
Prediction: Newcastle 0-2 West Ham
Jake predicts: Newcastle 1-1 West Ham
Result: Newcastle 3-0 West Ham
Watford vs Brighton
Watford will be hoping to continue their strong start by seeing off newcomers, Brighton. There is plenty of history in this fixture to chew on.
These two have been in the top flight before with some fun results, back in the 1982-83 season. Watford finished runner up of the First Division whilst Brighton made the FA Cup final despite suffering relegation.
The Hornets just two years ago, secured promotion by beating the Seagulls and have avoided defeat in nine of their last 10 clashes with Chris Houghton’s men.
Watford also has Andre Gray amongst their ranks, who has scored in each of his last four appearances against Brighton.
Brighton are solid defensively but I can see Watford’s attack overwhelming them eventually with a brace.
Prediction: Watford 2-0 Brighton
Jake predicts: Watford 2-0 Brighton
Result: Watford 0-0 Brighton
Manchester United vs Leicester
Manchester United come into this as league leaders with 4-0 wins in their two matches so far.
With a fully fit squad, I am expecting United to again dominate and put pressure on Leicester’s defence.
There is however a bad omen regarding the Red Devils and winning their opening three league games. Just once have they converted that start into league champions from five occasions.
Jose Mourinho’s past clubs however have gone on to win that season’s title after winning their three opening games. Is this a double edged sword?
Leicester might of had a mixed start but their 4-3 defeat at Arsenal demonstrates that they can compete against the big guns. They have however only won once at Old Trafford, in February 1998 via Tony Cottee.
I think with this game having so many internationals called up, both teams will try and play things slightly safe with a draw.
Prediction: Manchester United 1-1 Leicester
Jake predicts: Manchester United 2-0 Leicester
Result: Manchester United 2-0 Leicester
After I took an early lead last week in our prediction war, Jake has closed the gap right down to just a single point, mainly by correctly correcting Leicester’s 2-0 win over Brighton.
Here is how the table looks after the second round of fixtures.