Matchday 1 Preview

Liverpool vs Norwich

The Champions League holders versus the winners of the Championship, as Norwich travel to Anfield and start their Premier League return against Liverpool on Friday night. While in doing so, they’ll face an outfit that missed out on lifting the Community Shield last Sunday.

There was not a great deal to write about in Liverpool’s first 45 minutes. However, they were much improved after the interval and therefore they will be large favourites to win this encounter.

Prediction: Liverpool 2-0 Norwich

West Ham vs Manchester City

Pep Guardiola’s bid for a third straight Premier League title starts on Saturday, as Manchester City make the trip to the London Stadium and lying in wait, will be a West Ham side who have Europa League aspirations this season.

This campaign is going to be a test of just what Manuel Pellegrini could do with the Hammers, although we probably won’t learn a great deal in these opening ninety minutes.

Prediction: West Ham 0-3 Manchester City

Bournemouth vs Sheffield United

Bournemouth will be glad that the season has started, if only to halt their awful form at the end of the previous one and Eddie Howe’s men will be confident of getting off to a flyer against promoted Sheffield United.

The Blades under Chris Wilder will have their work cut out if they are to beat the drop and they may need the goals of former Cherry Lys Mousset both this weekend and throughout the campaign.

Prediction: Bournemouth 2-1 Sheffield United

Burnley vs Southampton

This fixture has not been one to write home about in the past couple of seasons and all signs point to this one being last on Match of the Day come Saturday evening, as Burnley and Southampton face off at Turf Moor.

Burnley have lost goalkeeper Tom Heaton to Aston Villa and although they have enough in that department, they arguably should have kept the player who was influential in their recent survival.

Prediction: Burnley 0-0 Southampton

Crystal Palace vs Everton

At the time of writing, Wilfried Zaha is a Crystal Palace player and with just two days before the transfer window slams shut, it looks as if the Ivorian international will be spending another season in South London.

With that said, he will look to use his talents to help keep Eagles soaring in the division once more. Although the majority of the attention will lie with Everton’s new forward Moise Kean this weekend.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-2 Everton

Watford vs Brighton

Watford were mauled in the F.A. Cup final last May and they will be looking to put that embarrassment behind them, when they welcome a Brighton side who are managed by Graham Potter for the first time.

The Seagulls limped towards the end of the season and survived relegation by the skin of their teeth – something that cost Chris Hughton his job. Can the new man in charge do any better?

Prediction: Watford 1-0 Brighton

Tottenham vs Aston Villa

Tottenham will be looking to put the bitter disappointment of Madrid to their back of their minds this Saturday, as they entertain an Aston Villa side that resembles more a team that has won the lottery rather than the play-offs.

Dean Smith has been incredible busy in the transfer market this season and with spending in excess of £120m, a lot is to be expected of the West Midlands outfit in the next nine months.

Prediction: Tottenham 2-1 Aston Villa.

Newcastle vs Arsenal

Newcastle’s most important signing of the summer should have been Rafael Benitez, instead it was Steve Bruce and the former Sunderland boss has his work cut out, to not only keep the fans onside but also keep the Magpies in the division.

They play host to an Arsenal side who have seemingly gambled on success in instalments this season and hopes will undoubtedly rest on record signing Nicolas Pepe, as they bid for a top four finish.

Prediction: Newcastle 1-2 Arsenal

Leicester vs Wolves

Two clubs who are looking to break the glass ceiling which is otherwise known as the ‘Big Six’ square off on Sunday and this has the potential to be one of the fixtures of the opening weekend, especially as both Leicester and Wolves play such free-flowing football.

With the Foxes no longer having Harry Maguire to call upon in defence, this is a meeting that does perhaps lend itself to a handful of goals and an entertaining clash for the neutral.

Prediction: Leicester 2-2 Wolves

Manchester United vs Chelsea

While finishing off the gameweek is arguably the best of the lot, as Manchester United play host to Chelsea and this could well be a clash in which both clubs look to place a marker when it comes to a top four finish.

Both outfits are in something of a state of flux and it will be interesting to see just how both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Frank Lampard fare in what they hope to be their first full seasons in charge.

Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea.

Tottenham Fan. Football Writer, Podcaster and Statistician.

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