The Premier League season starts this weekend and there has been a lot of buzz surrounding the key signings of major clubs and how they will perform this season. A few big storylines include Manchester City looking to retain the title, Arsenal trying to push for top four, Fulham and Nottingham Forest returning to the Premier League and if Leeds and Everton can have bounce back seasons among many other narratives. Here are my predictions for the week.
Arsenal @ Crystal Palace:
Last season Arsenal had a rough start to the season but they ended up finishing two points behind Tottenham for fourth place. Crystal Palace actually exceeded expectations last season under managers Patrick Vieira's first season as they finished in 12th place. Last season Crystal Palace went 1-1-0 against Arsenal with a 3-0 home victory and a 2-2 draw on the road. Both clubs are entering the season on a two game winning streak from the pre-season and are in great form. Arsenal's signing of Gabriel Jesus is massive and I'm excited to see how he kicks off the season in this opening match-up that should be good against a very solid Crystal Palace side.
Prediction: 2-1 Arsenal
Liverpool @ Fulham:
Fulham are back in the Premier League after a tremendous season in the Championship where they finished 1st with 106 goals in 46 season games. Liverpool are hoping to win the title after finishing 2nd last season by one point with a 28-8-2 record. Liverpool just won the FA Community Shield 3-1 against Manchester City this past week and are hoping to hit the season on great form. I think Fulham will put up a fight early on in the match but I believe that Liverpool will get the victory with a strong second half.
Prediction: 3-1 Liverpool
Aston Villa @ Bournemouth:
AFC Bournemouth are back in the Premier League after spending the past two seasons in the Championship and they open their Premier League campaign at home against Aston Villa. Aston Villa have made some tremendous signings this summer with Diego Carlos, Boubacar Kamara and a permanent deal with Philippe Coutinho. AFC Bournemouth have lost three club friendlies in a row entering this season while Aston Villa beat French club Stade Rennais this past weekend and they drew Manchester United earlier in July. I think Steven Gerrard will get the boys ready and Villa will earn a great result for the opening week.
Prediction: 3-0 Aston Villa
Nottingham Forest @ Newcastle:
I have really liked the signings made by newly promoted Nottingham Forest and I believe they are entering the season with a decent chance of survival from relegation. They have added keeper Dean Hendersen on loan, defenders Moussa Niakhate, Omar Richards and Neco Williams, midfielders Orel Mangala and Jesse Lingard and forward Taiwo Awoniyi. All of these players have experience for top clubs and I really hope they can form chemistry together and earn results. Newcastle made a couple key signings to strengthen their team defensively and I think they will conduct more business either during this window or the winter transfer window with their financially strong owners. I would be tempted to pick Nottingham Forest in this match-up but it's at St. James Park and I think Newcastle will get the victory at home.
Prediction: 2-1 Newcastle
Southampton @ Tottenham:
One of the best summer transfer windows belonged to Tottenham as they were able to add Yves Bissouma, Ivan Perisic and Richarlison to strengthen their team as they will play in the Champions League this season. Southampton added some solid youth players but they didn't really change up their first team too much from last season. During last season Southampton went 1-1-0 against Tottenham and their victory actually came on the road. I like Tottenham in this match-up and I really think they can push the score up on Southampton at home.
Prediction: 4-0 Tottenham
Wolves @ Leeds United:
The big story line for Leeds United over the summer has been the club losing their two best players but they have used the transfer money to acquire a number of first team players to add to their depth. Wolves only real signing was adding defender Nathan Collins from Burnley. Last season both these team struggled offensively but Wolves were very solid defensively and Leeds United conceded the second most goals in the Premier League. Last season Leeds United actually went 1-1-0 against Wolves including a very important 3-2 victory on match-day 30. Wolves are so solid defensively and I'm unsure about Leeds United on that front so this is shaping up as either a 1-1 draw or a 1-0 Wolves victory.
Prediction: 1-0 Wolves
Chelsea @ Everton:
Everton barely survived relegation last season but the club is back and hoping to have a bounce back season but they have a tough road facing Chelsea on week one. Last season Chelsea were unable to earn a victory against Everton as they drew 1-1 and Everton won a key game on matchday 35 1-0 at home. I think Chelsea will find the victory now on week one.
Prediction: 2-0 Chelsea
Brentford @ Leicester City:
This match-up is difficult to predict because Leicester City have the majority of their star players in transfer rumors and Thomas Frank is a fantastic manager for Brentford in close game situations. Leicester City won both games last season against Brentford 2-1. I can easily see the same result happening this season on week one but I'm going with a conservative prediction of a 1-1 draw.
Prediction: 1-1 Draw
Brighton @ Manchester United:
It was a roller coaster season last year for Manchester United and all eyes will be watching the match at Old Trafford on Sunday to see how manager Erik ten Hag's career at Manchester United begins. The clubs split the games last season with the home team winning on both occasions. Brighton is a good side but this is the perfect match-up for the beginning of the Premier League campaign for Erik ten Hag to get a result.
Prediction: 2-0 Manchester United
Manchester City @ West Ham United:
The champions from last season enter this season with a lot of anticipation for their new world class striker Erling Haaland and how the Norwegian will fit in the Premier League. West Ham United also added a prolific striker in Italian forward Gianluca Scamacca during this past summer transfer window. Last season Manchester City won 2-1 against West Ham and the earned a 2-2 draw on the road. Manchester City's road to repeat as champions begins with a key match-up against West Ham and I think they will earn the win.
Prediction: 1-0 Manchester City