Over the last two years I have ran a premier league prediction competition, and on the basis of three points for a correct score, and one point for a correct result, a weekly average of 7-8 points is an excellent score. This of course takes into account the weeks when you have absolute stinkers, and then again the weeks when you score more than 10 points, which is a great score.
So here are my week 1 predictions:
Manchester United 2-2 Tottenham
Throughout the early stages of the season Tottenham usually keep pace with their top four rivals, and I feel they will have to get off to a quick start with the potential loss of star striker Harry Kane to this week’s opponents. Manchester United have clear problems with the goalkeeper position, with anyone from three potentially starting in goal, two of whom are yet to make a Premier League appearance, and a lack of chemistry between the defenders and the ‘keeper could lead to Tottenham having plenty of opportunities.
Bournemouth 2-1 Aston Villa
With the loss of their two best players Aston Villa are an ideal start for the BPL newcomers, after they just survived the drop last season. The likes of Matt Ritchie and Callum Wilson will be desperate to prove their worth at the top level, while Junior Stanislas and Dan Gosling need to realise their BPL potential. No offence to Aston Villa, but they’re an ideal start for Bournemouth.
Everton 3-0 Watford
Everton will be looking to improve drastically on last season, and will be looking to get off to a flying start against newbies Watford. With quality players like Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku in their squad, I’m afraid they will have just too much for the Hornets, who will almost certainly be involved in the relegation dogfight.
Leicester City 1-1 Sunderland
Leicester City were last season’s miracle men, and will be hoping they can continue that momentum through to this season and get off to a great start. Sunderland have recruited the likes of Sebastien Coates, Yann M’Vila and Jermaine Lens who are high profile captures for a club aiming for mid-table security. Both these teams seem equally matched, and both will be hoping to avoid a relegation scrap.
Norwich 1-2 Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace have pulled off a coup in the signing of Yohan Cabaye who is a top class player. Over the last couple of seasons Palace have consistently upset the big boys, most notably Liverpool, with their fast-paced attacking football. Norwich haven’t recruited heavily in the off-season and will mostly be reliant on the squad that helped them gain promotion last season. However Crystal Palace have plenty of BPL experience and should be too strong for the Canaries, although I expect them to put up a fight.
Chelsea 1-0 Swansea City
With question marks over whether Diego Costa will be available for the opening game, Falcao, who hasn’t exactly set the BPL alight, could be set with the task of leading Chelsea’s front line. Albeit this isn’t the hardest job in the world with Hazard and Oscar operating behind, but without Costa Chelsea are certainly losing goals. Swansea are a very tight unit and are always pushing for that top seven, and should make this a real contest, however I feel Chelsea have players who can produce match winning moments.
Arsenal 2-1 West Ham United
Arsenal have been quiet in the transfer window, however they have signed a world class ‘keeper in Petr Cech, who will certainly help tighten a sometimes leaky defence. West Ham have improved their forward play with the sigings of Mauro Zarate and Dimitri Payet, however whether they can produce the goals without Andy Carroll, and prevent them, is the key question.
Newcastle 1-3 Southampton
Southampton have strengthened in all areas, and the signings of Jordy Clasie and Juanmi are excellent buys. Hoping to continue to improve again, this year they have the added focus of European football which will certainly be a test for their squad. However they should be too strong for Newcastle who’s notable signings include Aleksandar Mitrovic, and Chancel Mbemba, who we still don’t know the age of!
Stoke City 1-2 Liverpool
Liverpool return to the scene of their 6-1 humiliation at the end of last season, however have recruited heavily in a hope to push for the coveted top four places, and BPL proven players such as Christian Benteke and James Milner could prove crucial. They will come up against a former player in the shape of Glen Johnson who left on a free in the summer, and he will certainly have something to prove. However Liverpool should have too much in the tank for mid-table regulars Stoke.
West Brom 1-3 Man City
Man City are the club in the top four who you could say have gone backwards this summer, however they should have too much for West Brom despite a lack of strikers. West Brom have been quiet in the transfer market, and will be susceptible at the back against an all-star attack, despite the potential unavailability of Sergio Aguero.