Here are Mazic News’s predictions for the opening weekend of the Premier League.
After what feels like a very long summer without men’s football, the Premier League finally returns tonight.
Crystal Palace and Arsenal will start the new season at Selhurst Park before the remaining 18 teams compete in their opening games at the weekend.
The first round of matches in the top division is always very difficult to predict as teams take their time getting started while others are relegated to a plane only to slow down after a few weeks.
That was evident in last season’s opening weekend when newly promoted Brentford shocked Arsenal with a 2-0 win while Tottenham Hotspur clinched a narrow win over Manchester City.
Before today’s game, we tried to make our predictions for the opening games…
Crystal Palace vs Arsenal
Arsenal are back in their first game of the season and this time they will want to avoid the humiliation of defeat.
The Gunners have scored ten goals against Sevilla and Chelsea in their last two pre-season friendlies and will be full of confidence ahead of their opener.
With Gabriel Jesus set to make his competitive debut, it’s hard to see him score his first goal for the club and lead his new side to their first win.
Crystal Palace will no doubt have a good season but I think it will take them a while to settle in with Cheick Doucoure likely to shine in the second half of the season.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-2 Arsenal
Fulham vs Liverpool
Fulham definitely lost out when they hosted Liverpool in their first Premier League game.
The Reds have had their ups and downs in preseason but looked electrified in their Community Shield win, while Darwin Nunez won’t have the added pressure to go there having already bagged one at King Power Stadium.
The only positive thing Marco Silva’s team can take away ahead of tomorrow’s game is Liverpool’s extensive injury list, which will see the likes of Diogo Jota, Ibrahima Konate and Alisson all absent this weekend.
However, I don’t see much difference in the result – especially with Mo Salah on the pitch.
Prediction: Fulham 0-2 Liverpool
Bournemouth 1-1 Aston Villa
I fully expected Bournemouth to have a very poor season after a rather disappointing transfer window while Aston Villa could go one of two paths.
Steven Gerrard’s side must have a good season after bringing in Boubacar Kamara, Diego Carlos and Philippe Coutinho but I can see them collapsing under the pressure of playing a newly promoted team on their home turf.
I think it’s going to be a close game and I definitely don’t think the Cherries have a strong enough squad to beat Villa but they could certainly get their first point since promotion.
Prediction: Bournemouth 1-1 Aston Villa
Leeds United 2-1 Wolves
Many believe Leeds United could face another relegation battle this season after losing Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips, but I think the signings they’ve made are just as exciting.
Despite losing their star I can see that the Whites fanbase is in very good spirits at Elland Road and will play a big part in their opening game.
In the meantime, I expect Wolves to continue their style of fighting in goal and put in a poor performance.
Morgan Gibbs-White and Pedro Neto could be their only hope, however the former could be on the way out.
Prediction: Leeds Utd 2-1 Wolves
Newcastle United 3-1 Nottingham Forest
Of the three promoted teams, I probably have the highest expectations of Nottingham Forest, but Newcastle United is definitely a side they didn’t want to play in their opening game.
The atmosphere at St James’ Park will be electric and we can expect some very positive football from a much improved Magpies line-up.
Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin will shine for Eddie Howe’s side at the top, while Jesse Lingard may struggle to show Newcastle what they’ve been missing.
Prediction: Newcastle 3-1 Nottingham Forest
Tottenham vs Southampton
It feels like the entire Premier League is eagerly awaiting Tottenham’s season, with many expecting them to actually challenge Man City and Liverpool at the top.
Although Southampton have made some good signings like Joe Aribo and Romeo Lavia, the strength of the Spurs squad will not match them.
I expect Harry Kane, Heung-min Son and Dejan Kulusevski to jump right in and show us exactly what to expect over the next nine months.
Prediction: Tottenham 3-0 Southampton
Everton versus Chelsea
Despite avoiding relegation last season, I see the atmosphere at Goodison Park as very frosty after a disappointing summer.
The Toffees’ transfer activity has been very poor and Richarlison’s departure means goals will certainly not come easily.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s injury also makes it even more unlikely they will be able to beat Chelsea this weekend, while Thomas Tuchel’s side could romp around and not have to worry about their unfinished squad.
Prediction: Everton 1-4 Chelsea
Leicester 1-1 Brentford
Luckily, Leicester have only said goodbye to Kasper Schmeichel so far, but the departures of Wesley Fofana, James Maddison and Youri Tielemans could come very soon.
While it’s unlikely the trio will have left ahead of this weekend’s games, it will definitely have a major impact on their performance and it’s unclear if the players will perform at King Power Stadium.
In the meantime, I can’t see Brentford performing quite as well as they did in their opening win over Arsenal last season, although I expect signings Aaron Hickey, Ben Mee and Keane Lewis-Potter to impress.
Prediction: Leicester 1-1 Brentford
Manchester United vs Brighton
Manchester United will be desperate for redemption after Brighton beat them 4-0 at the end of last season – and I expect they get it.
While the Red Devils still have a number of signings to make, their team is definitely strong enough to beat the Seagulls and I can’t see Erik ten Hag making a mistake in his first game.
The loss of Yves Bissouma and Marc Cucurella will have a huge impact on Graham Potter’s side and I just can’t see them doing well enough for their trip to Old Trafford.
Prediction: Man Utd 2-0 Brighton
West Ham versus Manchester City
West Ham v Man City was another clash also played at the end of last season – with that tie ending in an entertaining tie.
The Hammers will prove a real challenge for City, who certainly won’t underestimate their opponents.
However, I can see Erling Haaland making the difference for the current champions – and it won’t be the first time he has clinched all the points for them.
Prediction: West Ham 1-2 Man City