It is finally back! After seemingly decades of watching friendly after friendly, the Premier League returns to our screens this weekend. The first taste of competitive top flight football we have had for months kicks off with a cracking weekend of action. Here I preview all the games, with my predictions and short analysis added for good measure.
Manchester United 2 – 0 Tottenham Hotspur
This game starts us off with the early kick off on Saturday. Normally a game with plenty of goals, but I just can’t see Spurs scoring against a Man Utd team that I have backed to finish higher than City in the league. Don’t get me wrong, Tottenham will put in a good show, but United should see it out, and I fancy Wayne Rooney to kick off a season of high scoring with a first game goal.
Bournemouth 0 – 1 Aston Villa
Newcomers Bournemouth will be happy at having a home tie to open their Premier League account, but Aston Villa will be wanting to show that they can not just survive but excel in the Premier League after a poor showing last term. I think Villa will beat Bournemouth, who’s players will be soaking up the occasion, but it should be tight with just one goal in it.
Everton 2 – 1 Watford
Watford will be tasting top flight football for the first time in eight years but they face a tricky game when they travel to the Goodison to take on Everton. The Blue’s will be wanting to show that they can once again battle for European football this season, and they should beat Watford to get a good start to their season. Everton to win, but we will see goals in this one.
Leicester 1 – 1 Sunderland
Not a glamour tie that the Premier League is used to, and even the most diehard Sunderland and Leicester fans may have trouble getting excited for this one. And I think the game will live up to expectation. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this one last on Match of the Day on Saturday night, but there may well be goals. Both defences probably need a little work, so I see a score draw in the mist.
Norwich 1 – 0 Crystal Palace
My tip of the season is Crystal Palace to finish in the top ten of the Premier League, but I think their signings may take a little time to bed in, and for this reason I am tempted by Norwich to snatch this one. The newly promoted side come in with confidence, and many have experience at this level. Close, but a Canaries win should see them start their battle to stay up well.
Chelsea 2 – 0 Swansea
The champions will start their campaign with a win; Jose Mourinho wouldn’t have it any other way. I also can’t see Swansea getting past the superior defence that John Terry captains, so certainly not a game that both teams will score. Knowing Chelsea, a two-nil lead will see them employ their best player – the driver of the bus they dump in front of the goal. Not that that’s a bad thing, they did win the Premier League by doing it remember.
Arsenal 3 – 0 West Ham
Not the most famous of London derby’s but one it is, and they usually lead to goals. I don’t think West Ham have the ability to create against a team such as Arsenal’s, but Slaven Bilić won’t be worried about that if he can get a couple of players sent off. If I was a Gunner’s fan, I would be seriously worried about the health of my favourite midfielders, especially seeing as most have legs made of Playdough, and West Ham have been given to brutally mutate their prey this season.
Newcastle 1 – 0 Southampton
Newcastle have made some sensible additions to their line-up this season and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if their new players get on the scoresheet, but it will only be one of them. Southampton are also a good side, but I couldn’t go for anything other than a Newcastle win on the first day of the season could I?
Stoke 0 – 2 Liverpool
Last season ended on a massive low for Liverpool after their smashing at the expense of Stoke, and they will be looking to right that wrong as quickly as possible. They should do it as well. I don’t fancy them at all this season, and I don’t think Brendan Rodgers will be manager at the end of the season, but they should get one over on Stoke. City, have made plenty of additions, a lot of good players as well, but the physicality of the Red’s could be enough.
West Brom 0 – 4 Manchester City
I’m backing Man City to annihilate West Brom in the Monday night fixture, and despite me thinking that City will scrape top four, their players will outclass West Brom’s by a long way. The home team have made some great signings and I think Rickie Lambert will show people he still has it after a disappointing spell at Liverpool. I like West Brom, but City should have too much.