Matchweek 2 : Preview

matchweek 2

Swansea City vs Manchester United

Venue : Liberty Stadium

Swansea face the table-toppers without charismatic midfielder, Gylfi Sigurdsson, who signed for Everton this week. They lacked creativity, with limited supply to Fernando Llorente’s replacement, Tammy Abraham, in their previous game against Southampton, ending it as a goalless draw.

Manchester United cruised past West Ham United, with striker Romelu Lukaku bagging a brace on his Premier League debut for the club. United look a more balanced club this season and, if they manage to minimize the number of injuries they sustain, could be a potent threat in the title race.

This fixture seems to have only one winner written all over it, but nothing is predictable in the Premier League.

Prediction : 1-3

Liverpool vs Crystal Palace

Venue : Anfield

Liverpool watched in agony as Watford equalised in the dying minutes to share the points last weekend. New signing Mohamed Salah was influential in the absence of Philippe Coutinho, as he grabbed a goal and an assist, but it was Liverpool’s defence that looked largely unconvincing. Andy Robertson is yet to start a game, despite the other option being Alberto Moreno.

Crystal Palace were dismantled by newly-promoted side Huddersfield, conceding 3 and scoring 0. The situation will prove to be a nightmare for the new manager, Frank de Boer, as he now faces an even tougher fixture, in his second game in charge of the club.

If Liverpool manage to defend well to a certain extent, their attacking threat could ensure they get away with all three points this week.

Prediction : 3-1

Stoke City vs Arsenal

Venue : bet365 Stadium

Following their 1-0 loss to Everton last weekend, Stoke City will be looking to turn their fortunes around. They have signalled their intent, with the loan signing of Jese Rodriguez from Paris Saint Germain.

Arsenal entertained watchers with their comeback 4-3 win ove Leicester City on the opening day of the season, but also highlighted their attacking prowess and defensive fragility. Arsene Wenger needs a consistent defence, with Laurent Koscielny serving the last match of his suspension, Skhodran Mustafi still not match-fit, and Gabriel set to return to La Liga.

This will prove to be a feisty encounter on the physical front, as it always does.

Prediction : 0-2

Tottenham Hotspurs vs Chelsea

Venue : Wembley Stadium

Chelsea put in a disappointing performance against Burnley in their 3-2 loss last weekend, despite being 2 men down and almost clawing their way back to a point. Gary Cahill’s and Cesc Fabregas’ suspension could cost the title holders in this early test against their London rivals. Morata seems like a beacon of light, replacing the absent Diego Costa,

Spurs relied heavily on the creativity of Christian Eriksen to break open Newcastle United’s defence, and will have to put in a stronger performance this time. They will look to regain their home form, as their record at Wembley is not very pleasant to look at, compared to last season’s fortress at White Hart Lane.

This is as unpredictable as it gets, with both sides having problems pulling them down. Expect nothing more than a hard-fought draw.

Prediction : 2-2

Manchester City vs Everton

Venue : Etihad Stadium

Ronald Koeman masterminded one of the league’s biggest upsets last season, with Everton putting 4 goals past Pep Guardiola’s Manchester side. However, both sides have spent considerably this summer, in order to bring a new look to their squad.

Wayne Rooney scored on his return for Everton in a 1-0 win over Stoke City, and will be keen to put the ball in the back of the net against his former rivals, with the assistance of new signing Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Manchester City’s new signings impressed in their first game for the club, as City overcame a gritty performance from Brighton and Hove Albion, to win 2-0.

This game will be decided on the basis of which team made better signings, and will present a tactical battle between Pep and Koeman.

Prediction : 3-2

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