Liverpool aim to reclaim the title lead as the races for sevenths and survival take centre stage on opening day of this weekend’s Premier League action.
Elsewhere, Manchester United aim to close in on a top four spot as they head to Fulham whilst Crystal Palace meet West Ham in a London derby.
Fulham vs Manchester United (12:30pm)
After their home win over Brighton, Fulham still haven’t turned that corner with a poor performance at Crystal Palace last weekend.
You therefore now have to wonder if the Cottagers will seriously be in mix for survival or whether their defence will ultimately be what sends them down to Championship.
Manchester United meanwhile had to really work for their victory at Leicester but this should be more comfortable.
Prediction: Fulham 0-3 Manchester United
Jake predicts: Fulham 0-2 Manchester United
Result: Fulham 0-3 Manchester United
Crystal Palace vs West Ham UnitedEmbed from Getty Images
Crystal Palace have been playing some solid football in recent weeks and their home form is finally picking up with just two defeats in last six at Selhurst Park.
West Ham however will be tough opposition with their strong midfield but they have lost their last three away games, without scoring and are in another slump after taking one point from last three.
This fixture has also seen plenty of goals in past 11 meetings, with just four meetings failing to see both teams score so I am going for an entertaining draw here.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-1 West Ham United
Jake predicts: Crystal Palace 2-2 West Ham United
Result: Crystal Palace 1-1 West Ham United
Huddersfield Town vs Arsenal
After being outclassed on their travels last weekend, this is a huge opportunity for both clubs to correct their fortunes.
Having now had two matches to understand Huddersfield’s issues, Jan Siewert needs to get his Terriers clinically firing and defensively stronger if they’re to do a great escape.
As for Arsenal, defence is still their Achilles but Huddersfield’s is far worse so their attack will mask defensive defiencies.
Prediction: Huddersfield Town 0-3 Arsenal
Jake predicts: Huddersfield Town 1-3 Arsenal
Result: Huddersfield Town 1-2 Arsenal
Liverpool vs Bournemouth
After losing the title lead to Manchester City in midweek, Liverpool now have that game in hand but need to keep winning to maintain pressure on the Citizens.
Bournemouth however are inconsistent and have lost their last five away league games, so need to be on top form here if are to get any points.
Injuries however have weakened both sides so shouldn’t expect a particularly lively match, although Liverpool should still claim the three points.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-0 Bournemouth
Jake predicts: Liverpool 2-0 Bournemouth
Result: Liverpool 3-0 Bournemouth
Southampton vs Cardiff CityEmbed from Getty Images
This is a difficult game to call following the tragic but expected confirmation of Emiliano Sala’s death on Thursday evening.
Southampton are unbeaten in last five with Matt Targett a particular highlight down the left, assisting in the Saints’ last two goals, despite defensive issues still arising.
Cardiff however have a dire away record which is something that Southampton really ought to capitalise on, as this is the perfect opportunity to try and find that clean sheet and kick on.
I however won’t be surprised if Cardiff turns up motivated to produce a brilliant defensive performance with winner coming on counter.
Ultimately, a draw would be a great result for both teams here.
Prediction: Southampton 1-1 Cardiff City
Jake predicts: Southampton 1-1 Cardiff City
Result: Southampton 1-2 Cardiff City
Watford vs Everton
With Wolves not playing until Monday, this is a massive opportunity for both teams to pile on the pressure in race for seventh.
After an impressive performance at Tottenham 10 days ago, Watford were kept subdued by Brighton last weekend, so am expecting a more vibrant attacking display now they’re back at Vicarage Road.
Everton really need to find their best defending boots because with three wins in 13, they are lucky that those around them have also slumped otherwise that is relegation form.
The Toffees however have netted in four of last five away games but Watford are the much stronger side for my liking.
Prediction: Watford 2-1 Everton
Jake predicts: Watford 2-0 Everton
Result: Watford 1-0 Everton
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Burnley (5:30pm)
This should be a cracker because Brighton are difficult to beat at home but Burnley are back to their fighting best.
The key factor here will be the freshness of Brighton after playing 120 minutes in midweek, meaning that changes will definitely be made.
Burnley meanwhile need to be more solid in central defence after conceding their last two goals with such ease against Southampton and Manchester United.
Ultimately, I am going for an away win because fitness will eventually tell for Brighton here.
Prediction: Brighton & Hove Albion 1-2 Burnley
Jake predicts: Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 Burnley
Result: Brighton & Hove Albion 1-3 Burnley
With the season past the half way point, so is Prediction Wars between me and Boro Rants writer, Jake Self.
Rules remain the same as last season and goes as follows alongside latest standings;
Correct score – 3 points
Correct result – 1 point
Incorrect result – 0 points