So the Premier League is back and with that starts my weekly predictions blog. For matchweek one I have decided to go with two trebles, one for the Saturday fixtures and a second for the Sunday fixtures.
Saturday treble pays 11/4 (William Hill)
Newcastle vs Nottingham Forest - Newcastle win
For the first selection in my Saturday treble I am backing my team Newcastle to take the points against newly promoted Nottingham Forest. Forest have made a lot of new signings which could stand them in good stead for the season, but how long will it take them to adapt to a new team, system and league? As for Newcastle they have been tremendous under Eddie Howe and have added real quality to their team over the summer in Sven Botman and Nick Pope. St James Park will be rocking for the first game of the season and I am expecting the Geordie faithful to roar the Magpies on to a win.
Tottenham vs Southampton - Tottenham win
Tottenham have had a hugely succesful transfer window and it looks as though there are more new faces likely to come to North London over the coming weeks. Antonio Conte has really been putting his squad through their paces over summer and it is clear he is looking to build a squad full of players ready to be called upon at anytime. Southampton haven’t had the most inspiring transfer window and I worry about their lack of threat in front of goal having not found a replaced for Broja who was their one bright spark in attack last season.
Everton vs Chelsea - Chelsea win
Everton could be in for a long season with Richarlison having left for Tottenham. They have improved their defense but I still see them having troubles over the campaign unless new faces are brought in this summer. Chelsea have had a strange transfer window, seemingly linked with everyone but missing out on some major targets. The addition of Raheem Sterling was a really wise move but I am unsure why they felt the need to spend £60m on Cucurella when they have a £50m player in Ben Chilwell returning from injury, surely another centre-back was more important? Everton’s home form was their saving grace last season but I think that Chelsea will just have too much for them in their opening game.
Sunday treble pays 4/1 (William Hill)
West Ham vs Manchester City - Manchester City win & over 2.5 match goals
Last season this fixture produced 7 goals over the course of the 2 Premier League meetings, with the Hammers taking an impressive 4 points against the eventual league winners. This time round though I can see Guardiola’s side being too well prepared for their opponents and keen to start their season with a win. All eyes will be on Erling Haaland in his first Premier League game, and there will also be a lot of focus on Julian Alvarez who impressed off the bench in City’s Community Shield defeat to Liverpool. As for West Ham they have spent big on a new forward and Scamacca is expected to lead the line on Sunday. They could have completed the signing of Maxwell Cornet from Burnley by then, but I expect the game will come too soon for the Frenchman.
Manchester United vs Brighton - Manchester United win
Manchester United have had a mixed preseason and the Cristiano Ronaldo saga can only have had a detiremental effect. I am still expecting them to make a winning start to the campaign at Old Trafford with new manager Erik Ten Haag taking his first competitive game at the helm. We have seen plenty of managers make encouraging starts to their Manchester United careers over the last 7/8 years, maintaining that over multiple seasons has been their undoing. As for Brighton I think the loss of Cucurella just before this game will have a big impact on the team. I think everyone will be keen to see if Ten Haag includes Ronaldo in both the squad and in the starting XI.
Leicester vs Brentford - Both teams to score - yes
This could be a tricky game to call a winner from, but I do think we could see goals at the King Power. Both teams have scored in all of the last 3 meetings between these sides and I think that we could see the same outcome again on Sunday. Losing Kasper Schmeichel will come as a huge blow to the foxes, so expect to see some nervy performances at the back. As for Brentford Ivan Toney will be looking to build on an impressive first Premier League campaign with Brentford where he provdid 17 goal contributions last term.