Premier League Fixture Preview #2

The opening weekend of the Premier League lived up to expectations with some fantastic games taking place over the course of three days. Liverpool and Arsenal’s 9-goal thriller stood out whilst fans could finally watch Zlatan Ibrahimovic in England’s top league as the Swede opened his Manchester United account.

We preview the games in match day two…

Manchester United vs Southampton

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KO: 8:00pm – Friday 19th August
Odds: Home – 4/9, Draw – 10/3, Away – 13/2

Jose Mourinho will look to build on an opening weekend win against Bournemouth as he welcomes Southampton to Old Trafford for his first home game since taking over at the club. Although Bournemouth were poor, the Red Devils were in fine form and will have record-signing Paul Pogba back into the side following his suspension. Henrikh Mkhitaryan may also feature after starting on the bench against the Cherries. Southampton drew against Watford in their first game but new signing Nathan Redmond looked sharp and could cause problems for the Manchester United defence. Mourinho will also welcome back Chris Smalling meaning United should have no trouble in seeing off the Saints.

TBG predicts: Manchester United win

Stoke City vs Manchester City

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KO: 12:30pm – Saturday 20th August
Odds: Home – 19/5, Draw – 14/5, Away – 7/10

Stoke face a Manchester City side in great form after an opening day victory against Sunderland and a rampant win in the Champions League over Steaua Bucharest. Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling looked dangerous and the Potters will be wary of City’s frontline. The Potters could look to take advantage of City’s vulnerability at the back with the goalkeeping situation still unclear and Pep Guardiola’s preferred centre-back pairing still yet to be decided. Stoke were fortunate to draw against Middlesbrough and will struggle against the Citizens.

TBG predicts: Manchester City win

Burnley vs Liverpool

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KO: 3:00pm – Saturday 20th August
Odds: Home – 5/1, Draw – 3/1, Away – 8/15

Jurgen Klopp’s side were in fantastic form against Arsenal after battling from 1-0 down to win 4-3 at the Emirates. Liverpool’s attack was too much for Arsenal’s inexperienced defence but the Reds still looked vulnerable at the back. Klopp has lost Sadio Mane to a shoulder injury but has James Milner and Daniel Sturridge returning to full fitness. Burnley have never scored a Premier League goal against Liverpool but were unfortunate to lose against Swansea. The Clarets will be hoping new signing Steven Defour can perform on his debut and will hope Andre Gray can cause some headaches at Turf Moor if they are to have any chance of a result on the weekend.

TBG predicts: Liverpool win

Swansea City vs Hull City

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KO: 3:00pm – Saturday 20th August
Odds: Home – 3/4, Draw – 12/5, Away – 4/1

Swansea managed to pinch a 1-0 win against Burnley and face fellow Premier League newcomers, Hull City, in their second game. The Tiger surprised everyone when they beat reigning champions Leicester 2-1, despite having only 13 senior players fit. Hull will be no pushovers but the Swans will welcome record signing, Borja Baston, into the starting eleven who will cause problems alongside Fernando Llorente. Swansea are unbeaten in their last five Premier League games and should have enough quality to beat Hull but it will be closely fought encounter.

TBG predicts: Swansea win

Tottenham vs Crystal Palace

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KO: 3:00pm – Saturday 20th August
Odds: Home – 1/2, Draw – 16/5, Away 11/2

Tottenham started poorly against Everton but Mauricio Pochettino will be encouraged by his side’s second half performance at Goodison Park. Spurs could have won the game if not for Maarten Stekelenburg’s heroics after falling behind to a Ross Barkley free-kick. The Lilywhites lost Hugo Lloris to injury allowing Michel Vorm his chance between the sticks. On the other hand, Crystal Palace have lost their best player in Yannick Bolasie to Everton and are struggling to find an adequate replacement. Their deal for Christian Benteke has stalled but should welcome Yohan Cabaye back to the starting eleven. Alan Pardew will be hoping for Andros Townsend to make an impact against his former club and get his side’s first points of the season.

TBG predicts: Tottenham win

Watford vs Chelsea

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KO: 3:00pm – Saturday 20th August
Odds: Home – 19/5, Draw 13/5, Away 3/4

Antonio Conte got his Chelsea career off to the best possible start as Diego Costa handed the Italian all three points against West Ham with a late goal at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea face a tricky trip to Vicarage Road to face Watford who drew with Southampton in their opening game and The Hornets lost Ben Watson to suspension following a late red card. Conte has met Walter Mazzarri in the past in the Serie A and will hope that Eden Hazard can continue his good form to bring home the points.

TBG predicts: Chelsea win

West Brom vs Everton

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KO: 3:00pm – Saturday 20th August
Odds: Home – 19/10, Draw – 21/10, Away – 6/4

West Brom managed to nick a victory against Crystal Palace last week when Salomon Rondon headed home late on to give Tony Pulis all three points. Everton drew against Tottenham which is a respectable result considering Ronald Koeman admitted his side were not fully fit. The Toffees will be hoping to push on from their opening day fixture and should bring £25m signing Bolasie into the starting eleven. Ashley Williams could also make his debut in a blue shirt whilst Koeman will hope Romelu Lukaku can win a race for fitness to face his former club at the Hawthorns.

TBG predicts: Draw

Leicester vs Arsenal

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KO: 5:30pm – Saturday 20th August
Odds: Home – 19/10, Draw – 13/5, Away – 13/10

Both Leicester and Arsenal struggled in their Premier League openers with both sides taking a loss against Hull and Liverpool. The Foxes couldn’t find their rhythm but Jamie Vardy and Ahmed Musa looked dangerous on the counter-attack. The champions will be boosted by the fact that PFA Player of the Year, Riyad Mahrez, has signed a new four-year-deal at the King Power. For Arsenal, it was the same old story. A lack of transfer activity led to a weakened side against Liverpool and the Gunners could not handle their much-improved attack. However, with Mesut Ozil and Laurent Koscielny back in the side, Arsene Wenger should hope for a much better result in their second match.

TBG predicts: Draw

Sunderland vs Middlesbrough

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KO: 1:30pm – Sunday 21st August
Odds: Home – 7/5, Draw – 21/10, Away – 21/10

Sunderland face Middlesbrough on Sunday lunchtime as both sides are looking for their first win of the season. David Moyes’ side were unlucky to lose against Manchester City whilst Middlesbrough could have easily walked away with three points against Stoke. The result could be dependent on both team’s strikers as Jermain Defoe and Alvaro Negredo both opened their account on the opening weekend. Adnan Januzaj could start after making an appearance from the bench whilst Aitor Karanka is not expected to make any changes to his starting line-up.

TBG predicts: Draw

West Ham United vs Bournemouth

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KO: 4:00pm – Sunday 21st August
Odds: Home – 17/20, Draw – 11/4, Away – 16/5

Both West Ham and Bournemouth started their Premier League campaign with a loss. The Hammers almost snatched a point against Chelsea before Costa fired late on and also lost £20m signing, Andre Ayew, to injury. The Cherries could not cope with the Manchester United attack but will be hoping to get their season back on track. Slaven Bilic should have Dimitri Payet ready for action in a sell-out London Stadium. Playing at their new home for the first time in the Premier League, the atmosphere should be electric meaning Eddie Howe’s men will find it hard to grind out a result.

TBG predicts: West Ham win

Don’t miss our Premier League round-up of all the weekend’s games!

Follow me on Twitter – @MarcusBanks7 | Visit my blog for more articles @ www.marcusbanks7.com

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