Man United 2 C. Palace 0
Roy Hodgson’s Eagles had a decent opening 45 minutes at the Etihad Stadium last weekend in the English Premier League before imploding to a 0-5 whitewash. Crystal Palace must be more clinical if they are to get anything at Old Trafford. It is easy to envision Ruben Loftus Cheek having another crack. All the same, on form United will prevail at their fortress.
Chelsea 1 Man City 1
Chelsea traditionally boss this fixture but I have a sneaking suspicion they wouldn’t be unhappy with a draw. Pep Guardiola’s visitors are in such fine goal-scoring fettle, stopping them will take a monumental effort. The key for Chelsea is midfield control whereby fielding a triumvirate of Cesc Fabregas, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Ngolo Kante will give them a fighting chance.
Newcastle 1 Liverpool 2
For all their defensive woes, Liverpool are leading the way in terms of creating chances and shots on goal. Newcastle United’s season has so far oscillated from ordinary to brilliant and then average. I can’t see the Magpies stopping the Kop from scoring twice as the returning Sadio Mane profoundly enhances Liverpool’s goal threat.
Arsenal 2 Brighton 0
Not even the daunting Europa League trip to Minsk where they faced BATE Borisov, can stop Arsenal from grabbing all three points. Arsene Wenger will instruct his Gunners to stamp out the errors that almost handed West Brom a half-time lead Monday night.
West Brom 2 Watford 1
Believe it or not, Marco Silva’s Hornets have the joint best away record, having won all three of games on the road. I haven’t seen a Watford side play without fear for some time. That said, I believe if West Brom play with the same intensity they showed at Arsenal, they will emerge tops. Rejuvenated Jay Rodriguez is due a couple of goals.
Bournemouth 1 Leicester 1
Neither Craig Shakespeare’s Foxes nor Eddie Howe’s Cherries are firing on all cylinders. Matter of fact, this tie finds them trying to stave off relegation thoughts. None of these sides can afford a loss. I am therefore backing none to outmuscle the other as a draw represents a good result for both.
Huddersfield 0 Tottenham 2
Mauricio Pochettino’s hard running Londoners are best thriving away from Wembley Stadium because opposition teams have a go at them, creating space for their attackers. I can see David Wagner’s newcomers giving Spurs a run for their money, before succumbing to a late onslaught. Christian Erikssen and Harry Kane have the ammunition to dismantle Huddersfield Town.
West Ham 1 Swansea 0
How Slaven Bilic has allowed West Ham to descend into the league’s least fit outfit is anyone’s guess. The Hammers need extended drills to build their stamina if they are to fulfil their undoubted potential. Swansea will keep it tight at the back, but their lack of prolific strikers will prove to be their undoing.
Stoke City 1 Southampton 1
Following a summer of upheaval, Virgil van Dirk should make his first Saints start. Stoke City were all over the place against Chelsea last weekend, but they are equipped to cause problems for Southampton. However, the Saints are good travellers, so I am calling a draw for this English Premier League contest.
Everton 2 Burnley 1
Everton should stand warned. Burnley are not the clueless travellers they were last season. Ronald Koeman must make some tough choices, even if it means calling Senegal striker Oumar Niasse back to the starting line up. Burnley will ask some questions of a Toffees side still recuperating from Thursday night action, but I am backing Everton.