Can you feel it? There is a renewed sense of optimism in the air all around the country. The new EPL season is about to kick off and throughout it I’ll be bringing you Premier League predictions. For every new year’s opening set of fixtures, predictions can be extremely tricky due to comings and goings within each team. There’s also the uncertainty of how well the promoted clubs will cope with life after the Championship, but here’s how I see things shaping up:
Saturday, 8th August
Manchester United 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur
For the season opener, I expect a close game but home advantage is key. The Red Devils have splashed out on some exciting looking new players including former PSV Eindhoven forward Memphis Depay and the Dutchman should join Wayne Rooney up front. United are more than ready to banish the memories of Radamael Falcao’s misses and forge a new strike partnership to frighten any opponent. There will be no David DeGea (being kept in cool storage for a certain Spanish club) or Bastian Schweinsteiger (fitness) on Saturday.
Tottenham’s last visit to OT ended in a 3-0 loss which was their first defeat to United in a few years, so they will be looking to a new-look defence to keep in the game until the end. As for Spurs’ forward threat, it seems to be all about Harry Kane again. The White Hart Lane team have not strengthened in their attack much and will hope that he stays fit for as long as possible until some backup arrives. Soldado and Adebayor surely must be leaving during this window.
Bournemouth 2-0 Aston Villa
I think that Villa are going to find themselves in a real cauldron on Sunday and the Premier League new boys will find what it takes to take the points.
Everton 3-0 Watford
At Goodison, the Toffees surely will grab the points with all of those experienced PL players. Plus, Martinez will be pumped up and ready to get his team to improve on last season’s slip down the table.
Leicester City 2-1 Sunderland
Can see Leicester continuing on their good form of last season, spurred on by strong home support.
Norwich City 0-2 Crystal Palace
Palace under Pardew were going places fast last term and Norwich might find them too much if that confidence continues.
Chelsea 1-0 Swansea
Last season, the little horse turned into a stallion that galloped away with the title almost from the start. Built again around defensive quality first and foremost, it’s a sure bet that Blues boss Mourinho will again set up not to lose games in 2015/16. Not that he’s got a bad midfield or forward attack either! However, their rivals are also trying to buy their way to the title just like Chelsea have consistently done thanks to their mega-wealthy owner’s backing.
That said, Swansea are no mugs and have proven that they can push top teams away from home in recent seasons. We’ll have to find out which Swans turn up but the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson, still just 25 years old and with plenty of experience, is a dangerous goalscoring midfielder to watch.
Sunday 9th August
Arsenal 5-1 West Ham
Arsenal tend to hammer the Hammers home and away but they do it especially hard at the Emirates. Expect this trend to continue.
Newcastle United 1-3 Southampton
This season, the Magpies need to get off to a good start to give their long-suffering fans a lift. However, I think that the Saints will prove too strong. It will be interesting to see if I’m right.
Stoke City 2-2 Liverpool
As everyone knows, these two met one Premier League match ago at the same venue and Liverpool got absolutely caned. That kind of pain can work wonders for plotting revenge – but the Potters are strong at home and can share the points.
West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Manchester City
It’s hard to see West Brom overcoming a Citizens side who have added even more quality players. Raheem Sterling will be there, champing at the bit to play well with his new Money City team mates. Perhaps the Baggies can thwart them but it would take a brave punter to bet against City.
Good luck – @edcashmoretips