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 United

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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 City

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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

 

Prediction Wars

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

Name Points
James Gregory 169
Jake Self  175

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