The very first week of this season’s Premier League has helped us all to get an idea of what is in store in the coming months.
Week Two of the Premier League is now just around the corner and we can look forward to a number of very interesting matches, such as a London derby between Fulham and Arsenal, and the evening kick off as Aston Villa entertain Liverpool.
However, we’ll have to wait till Monday night for the match we have all been looking forward to as Champions Manchester United take on Europa League winners Chelsea.
MANCHESTER UNITED VS CHELSEA
The Londoners have got Jose Mourinho back at the helm who looks to be getting up to his old tricks while the Red Devils’ striker Robin van Persie looks to make it three in a row as the Premier League’s top scorer. Nevertheless, the spotlight will be on Wayne Rooney as his future at Old Trafford is still very unclear when at the same time the Blues have shown great interest in bringing him to Stamford Bridge.
This will definitely be a competitive match, however Mourinho could well find a way to nick those precious three points as his tactical nous in this type of game probably outweighs that of the incoming David Moyes. Prediction: Chelsea win or a draw.
FULHAM VS ARSENAL
Arsenal come into this game after a disappointing loss to Aston Villa on the first day of the season but also a triumph at the hellish Sukru Saracoglu stadium in their Champions League Qualifier. Gunners’ manager Arsene Wenger is expected to be under tremendous pressure as the fans and the media expect to see a result from the North London side, who will be missing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as well as Mikel Arteta. Martin Jol’s squad beat a dominant Sunderland last week with a goal by newcomer Pajtim Kasami but might be missing their new goalkeeper and Netherlands international Maarten Stekelenburg due to a shoulder injury.
The Cottagers failed to impress at Sunderland last week whereas the Gunners will be boosted after their victory against Fenerbahce which turned the Emirates rematch into a formality. Therefore Arsenal should emerge the victors out of this fixture and finally get themselves back on track. Prediction: Arsenal win.
EVERTON VS WEST BROMWICH ALBION
West Brom will be travelling to Liverpool to face Everton without Nicolas Anelka who has been given compassionate leave by the Albion after his agent’s death. The Toffees left Norwich with a 2-2 draw and at the same time we might be seeing Marouane Fellaini, and possibly Leighton Baines, wearing the Blue shirt for the last time as Manchester United look very keen to sign the talented duo.
The Baggies fell lost to Southampton in a game where they were dominated by Mauricio Pochettino’s squad. Both teams are looking for their first win but this Everton squad looks like it will be able to overcome West Brom. Prediction: Everton win.
HULL CITY VS NORWICH CITY
Newcomers Hull City lost to Chelsea but managed to put up a good fight during the second half whereas Norwich held their ground against Everton and managed to nab a point. Hull seem like favourites for relegation this season but the KC Stadium is a difficult place to go and Norwich will have to work for their points. It could go either way but it looks like Norwich might be able to collect their first three points of the season despite what will be a party atmosphere as the Tigers play their first Premier League match at the KC stadium after three years. Prediction: Norwich win or draw.
NEWCASTLE VS WEST HAM
It was a bad Monday for both Alan Pardew and Newcastle as the Magpies experienced a humiliating defeat of 4-0 against Manchester City. West Ham managed to win their very first match in the Premier League against Cardiff that has given them a good morale boost. The Hammers couldn’t dominate the possession last Saturday whereas the Magpies might be missing Jonas Gutierrez due to an injury, possibly Cheik Tiote as well, Steven Taylor due to a red card suspension and perhaps Yohan Cabaye who might be leaving soon. Both teams haven’t convinced yet and look like they have a lot of work to do. Prediction: Draw.
SOUTHAMPTON VS SUNDERLAND
Southampton’s Rickie Lambert is in great form and on quite a role as after his debut goal for England against Scotland the striker scored the winning goal against West Brom. Sunderland managed to play their game against Fulham last week but fell short which indicates problems in the scoring part. The Saints look to be in good form whereas the Black Cats seem like they can lose a match even if they do dominate possession. Prediction: Southampton win.
STOKE VS CRYSTAL PALACE
Crystal Palace gave Tottenham a hard time for 45 minutes last week whereas Stoke’s Asmir Begovic saved his team from a huge defeat when the Potters missed a precious penalty to get a point at Anfield. This is a match between two teams that haven’t convinced that they will manage to avoid relegation and so the three points are must-win for both clubs but Palace might be able to pull it off as they showed more ability last week than Stoke. Prediction: Crystal Palace win and Kevin Phillips becomes the oldest goal-scorer in Premier League history.
ASTON VILLA VS LIVERPOOL
Aston Villa seem to be in good form as the got an away victory against Arsenal last week thanks to Christian Benteke and also gave Chelsea a hard time two days ago. It is a squad that has improved a lot and should not be counted out but Liverpool seem to be a lot better than last year after an easy but close victory against Stoke. The Reds looked to be able to handle a match without their top scorer from last year Luis Suarez who is still getting a lot of attention regarding his future and the possibility regarding his stay at Anfield for one more season. Villa will be returning at Villa Park and both squads look equally competitive and improved so it might well be a close one. Prediction: Draw.
CARDIFF CITY VS MANCHESTER CITY
Cardiff will be playing their very first Premier League match at home against a very dominant, as proven last Monday, Manchester City. The Welsh dominated possession against West Ham even though they lost whereas the Citizens destroyed Newcastle and proved to be a force to be reckoned with this season. It looks like the Bluebirds’ debut in Wales will be unfortunate as Manuel Pellegrini’s squad look a lot stronger than last season although they will be missing captain Vincent Kompany who suffered a groin injury on Monday and are hopeful that Matija Nastasic will replace the Belgian. Prediction: Manchester City win.
TOTTENHAM HOTSPURS VS SWANSEA CITY
Spurs’ transfers showed that they are able to contribute this season and help Tottenham succeed, even though they will almost certainly lose their star forward Gareth Bale. Swansea started strong against Manchester United but conceded four goals which led to a 4-1 defeat. The North London squad will try and keep the White Hart Lane attendants’ mind out of Willian, who seems to be getting closer to Chelsea, with a second victory in a row against last year’s Capital One Cup winners which they might as well be able to get. The Swans though will be looking to make up for last week’s flop, as a second loss in a row will sink them to the bottom places and Michael Laudrup will have a lot of ground to cover, and therefore will play hard. Prediction: Tottenham win.
It is very early to predict winners and losers as all teams have not completed their transfers and preparation for this season yet. The only fact remains that these fixtures will be very exciting to watch and we might possibly get to witness a few more shockers.