The Premier League made an entertaining return last weekend, with newly-promoted Leeds United’s seven-goal thriller with champions Liverpool being the stand-out game. This weekend, Manchester United, Manchester City, Burnley and Aston Villa all get their campaigns underway. We’ve previewed this Saturday’s games below.
Everton v West Bromwich Albion
The happiest Premier League manager following last weekend’s results was more-than-likely Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti. The Toffees – who faced a challenging trip away at Spurs for their curtain-raiser – emerged from Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with three points and a clean sheet.
New signings James Rodgriguez, Allan and Abdolaye Doucoure looked the part on their debut, and Everton fans have every right to be excited about their club’s prospects this season.
In contrast, newly-promoted West Brom had a weekend to forget, losing 3-0 at Leicester City. Former Everton defender Slaven Bilic takes his Baggies side to Goodison Park in the early kick-off on Saturday, but on last week’s evidence this looks like a straightforward task for the home team.
Leeds United v Fulham
The majority of teams that score three goals away from home go on to take at least one point home with them, but unfortunately for Leeds United they were outscored 4-3 when they visited Anfield last weekend.
There was widespread jubilation when Marcelo Bielsa’s men were promoted back to the big time, after a 16-year absence. Fulham are the first visitors to Elland Road in the Premier League this season.
Scott Parker’s side were comprehensively beaten by Arsenal last weekend, and their last visit to Leeds United – not that long ago, in June – finished by the same 3-0 scoreline. That win helped Leeds United march on to the Championship title, but it is also United’s only win against Fulham in the last eight meetings between the clubs. We’re going for a draw here.
Manchester United v Crystal Palace
Manchester United’s belated Premier League campaign gets underway with Crystal Palace visiting Old Trafford.
The Red Devils looked very impressive in the Premier League behind-closed-doors last season, and are the only top-flight side with an unbeaten record post-lockdown.
Crystal Palace would have been very happy with their start to the season, with a 1-0 win over Southampton last weekend – and, arguably, their best result of last season came as a 2-1 win at the ‘theatre of dreams’ – the Eagles’ first away league win over Manchester United in the Premier League era.
However, Manchester United are in a different place now compared to where they were at last August. This could be a comprehensive home win for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men.
Arsenal v West Ham United
Arsenal looked very impressive indeed when putting Fulham to the sword at Craven Cottage last weekend. New signing Willian had a hand in all three of the Gunners’ goals, one of which was scored by fellow arrival Gabriel, another by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who this week committed his future to the club.
In contrast, West Ham United – whose only inbound transfer business so far has seen Czech international Thomas Soucek join permanently – ambled to a feeble home defeat against Newcastle United.
The Hammers are in a bad way right now, and having lost each of their last five matches at the Emirates, it’s hard to see anything other than another defeat for David Moyes side this Saturday night.