Preview of English Premier League Gameweek 2
The English Premier League is a notoriously difficult league to predict. Whether it be the league winner, relegated teams, or singular matches, the league ridiculously competitive and any team could win on any given matchday. What will happen this weekend?
Cardiff City v Newcastle United
Newcastle will come into this game feeling as though they should win after putting up a good fight against the highly rated Spurs last gameweek, they will be decently high on confidence which could be bad for their opponents. Cardiff, on the other hand, will probably be rather low on confidence after being welcomed back to the league by a resolute Bournemouth side, losing 2-0. I think Newcastle will be too much for Cardiff to be able to handle, I’m predicting a comfortable Newcastle win.
Everton v Southampton
After losing their most influential player in the summer, Dusan Tadic, Southampton looked devoid of creativity in their draw last week against Burnley. Their fans will hope that new signings Danny Ings and Mohamed Elyounoussi will be able to spark life into their attacking play against Everton at the weekend. Everton also drew during the opening weekend, against Wolves, a game which they probably should have lost given Jagielka’s first half red card; however, they held on to get an important point. It does look as though Everton’s new poster boy, Richarlison, will be ruled out due to injury, enhancing Southampton’s chance for a result. I think it will be a cagey affair, but in the end Everton will top Southampton.
Leicester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers
This is a promising fixture, both teams will want to get a result after their disappointing first game week. On paper, I’d say that these teams are pretty evenly matched, but there is something about Wolves that makes me want to believe they’ll have a solid season. Wolves made some great signings over the summer and have a strong midfield this campaign, however, Leicester’s midfield look strong as well with new signing Maddison having a good debut against Manchester United. This one is very close to call, I’m going to say that Wolves will win, just.
Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham
Tottenham looked anything but convincing in their narrow win against Newcastle last Saturday, Newcastle came dangerously close to a draw with the post denying them a goal on more than one occasion. Fulham also had a difficult opening weekend; however, they didn’t grind out a win, losing 2-0 to an impressive Crystal Palace. Tottenham will definitely be the favorites going into this fixture, being that they are the bigger club, but Fulham will want to make up for their disappointing showing last week. In the end Tottenham will win this game comfortably, with Harry Kane hopefully able to break his August scoring curse.
West Ham v Bournemouth
West Ham fans had high hopes last week before Liverpool embarrassed them ultimately winning 4-0. West Ham looked lackadaisical and weak on defense and really didn’t put up much of a fight against the reds. Don’t expect this to be the norm for the hammers this season though, they made a statement in the transfer window signing talented players all over the pitch and bringing in a Premier League winning manager in Pellegrini. West Ham look, on paper, like they will be a strong side this year. Bournemouth didn’t do too much business in the transfer window and they ended up winning their first game of the season comfortably, 2-0. Bournemouth will certainly be more confident than West Ham at the moment, but expect West Ham to make a statement this weekend. I believe West Ham will confidently and comfortably win this matchup.
Chelsea v Arsenal
When the two largest clubs in London face off it always seems to be a spectacle. Arsenal lost their first match of the season, against premier league favorites Manchester City, and in all honestly Arsenal didn’t put up too much of a fight. This was always going to be a transition period for Arsenal after Wenger left, but let’s hope they can perform well against Chelsea and force a good match. Chelsea faced an easier opponent on matchday one, Huddersfield, and won comfortably 3-0. They looked strong and composed under their new boss, Sarri, and could be a handful this season. This matchup looks like it could deliver a fantastic match of football, and I believe it will be a close game which ends in a draw.
Burnley v Watford
Burnley will be feeling pretty good after advancing to the playoffs for the Europa League midweek, however, they may also feel worn out. Playing matches in European competition has the potential to tire a team and make weekend matches difficult; the fact that Burnley aren’t used to the strain of Europe could play a role in their match on Sunday. Watford performed well in gameweek one, winning 2-0 against a tough opponent in Brighton, they will feeling confident heading towards this weekend. Overall, due to the strain put on Burnley and Watford’s performance last week, I think that Watford will narrowly win this game.
Manchester City v Huddersfield Town
Manchester City performed very well in their first game of the season against none other than Arsenal. They looked slick and ready to pick up where they left off after last season’s record-breaking Premier League triumph. Huddersfield are not going to feel confident coming into this tie, they’ve been handed a tough schedule to start the season with matches against Chelsea and Manchester City on their opening two matchdays. After losing 3-0 last weekend against Chelsea I can’t see Huddersfield putting up much of a fight against City, City will win this one by, most likely, a high scoreline.
Brighton and Hove Albion v Manchester United
Manchester United will be looking to build off a decent showing against Leicester last Friday night, where they won 2-1. Their new midfield of Pogba, Fred, and Pereira look as though it could be a frightening prospect, especially for Brighton this coming Sunday. Brighton are coming off a disheartening 2-0 loss to Watford in gameweek one, they really didn’t show too much drive to get forward or stubbornness on defense. If Pogba plays as well as he did last weekend and Lukaku start for Manchester United, Brighton could be in for a tough afternoon. I predict a confidence building win for Manchester United this weekend.
Crystal Palace v Liverpool
Liverpool always seem to struggle in this particular fixture, ever since their collapse at the end of the 2013/14 season in which they dropped a 3 goal lead to eventually tie 3-3 against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. They will be wanting to get rid of their voodoo against Palace this coming Monday with a statement result. Palace, however, could be a challenge for Liverpool after their solid result last weekend against league newcomers Fulham. Zaha had a great game and will hope to continue his form this weekend. After coming off a great 4-0 win against West Ham I think Liverpool will be too much for Palace and will ultimately win comfortably.