After a long, desolate two months, the English Premier League is finally back in action this weekend. With the race for the top four places becoming tighter than ever, and the fight to avoid relegation becoming bigger every year, this season promises to be another exciting rendition of the English Premier League. Let’s take a look at this weekend’s opening set of matches to kick-off the 2017-2018 season.
Friday, August 11
Arsenal v Leicester City
Prediction: Arsenal 3-2 Leicester City
Arsenal is notorious for starting the season off slow (see last year’s loss to Liverpool here) but with no European football for the Gunners this season, they simply can’t afford to dig themselves a hole. Leicester City won’t be an easy opponent, however, and I don’t expect them to roll over for the Arsenal. The game being at the Emirates should be enough to inspire Arsenal to a hard-fought victory.
Saturday, August 12
Watford v Liverpool
Prediction: Watford 0-2 Liverpool
Last time these two teams met, Liverpool won in part due to a spectacular Emre Can goal. The prospect of Mane and Salah on the wings, however, might be the difference this year for Watford. It basically depends on which Liverpool decides to show up.
Crystal Palace v Huddersfield Town
Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-1 Huddersfield Town
Southampton v Swansea City
Prediction: Southampton 1-0 Swansea City
Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester City
Prediction: Brighton & Hove Albion 0-4 Manchester City
Brighton & Hove Albion will have one of their toughest matches of the season as their opener. Playing Manchester City is never easy, especially when you’re a club recently promoted to the Premier League for the first time. It’s hard not to see City running away with this one.
Chelsea v Burnley
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Burnley
Everton v Stoke City
Prediction: Everton 0-0 Stoke City
Everton has decent hype built around them this season due to their activity during this current transfer window. Stoke City will be a great test for them due to Stoke’s uncanny ability to just sit back, play long ball, and frustrate other teams. I think Stoke will be able to do just that this weekend and frustrate Ronald Koeman’s side.
West Bromwich Albion v AFC Bournemouth
Prediction: West Bromwich Albion 1-2 AFC Bournemouth
Sunday, August 12
Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur
Prediction: Newcastle United 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur
I have a feeling that this will be the game of the week. St. James’ Park will be absolutely rocking this weekend for Newcastle’s return to the English Premier League. Tottenham are a free-playing side and play with great style and enthusiasm, and Newcastle will look to feed off of the fans’ energy to produce a great performance. I see goals and chances aplenty.
Manchester United v West Ham United
Prediction: Manchester United 1-1 West Ham United