Manchester teams – City and United, and Liverpool, have started the season with clean sheets in the first two matches of the 2015/16 season. But this weekend could see the end of zero goals conceded as they face unpredictable and strong sides.
Manchester United vs Newcastle United
For the third week in a row, the Red Devils kick off the weekend proceedings with a home tie against winless Newcastle United. United were in action on Tuesday in the Champions League last qualifying round against Club Brugge where Memphis Depay scored his first goals to start justifying the hype and the No.7 jersey that he requested to wear.
With the maximum points from the first two league matches and no goals conceded, Louis van Gaal will be hoping that Wayne Rooney – heavily criticised in the first two matches, will score his first goal of the season. Daryl Janmaat is out and Moussa Sissoko is an injury doubt for Newcastle.
Prediction: Man Utd 3-1 Newcastle
Norwich vs Stoke
Stoke need these three points but so do their hosts, Norwich, even though they already have three points on the board. Xherdan Shaqiri is supposed to make his debut for the Potters and they could prove too strong for the newly promoted side.
Prediction: Norwich 1-2 Stoke
Sunderland vs Swansea
After two consecutive losses, Sunderland would not like their opponents this weekend, Swansea as the Swans have started well with an eye-catching opening day 2-2 draw away to Chelsea. If the Swans fly out of the stadium of Light with all three points – then crisis mode will have to be declared by the Black Cats.
Prediction: Sunderland 1-2 Swansea
Crystal Palace vs Aston Villa
Alan Pardew said his team did not get their due in their last match against Arsenal so he will be looking for a response from his players against an Aston Villa side that is still in the gelling stage.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 3-0 Aston Villa
Leicester vs Tottenham
Leicester have surprised many people with their blistering start and have signed Gokhan Inler from Napoli to replace the departed Esteban Cambiasso which means they have a better squad in place. For Tottenham who squandered a 2-0 lead last weekend at home to Stoke, it is time to show their fans that they also have a good team.
Prediction: Leicester 1-1 Tottenham
West Ham vs Bournemouth
Already it seems that Bournemouth will struggle throughout the season just like Burnley did last season because they do not have a player in their ranks that will scored 15 goals while West Ham have shown that they have good players but are unpredictable.
Prediction: West Ham 3-1 Bournemouth
West Brom vs Chelsea
Tony Pulis and Jose Mourinho are good friends but that friendship will have to be pushed aside on Sunday because both teams have started the season poorly, more so the defending champions. Chelsea were well beaten here last season though they were already champions. Mourinho could give debuts to Pedro and Baba Rahman, and the match could also see Branislav Ivanovic and John Terry on the bench.
Prediction: West Brom 1-3 Chelsea
Everton vs Manchester City
City have been imperious in their first two matches – cruising past West Brom and then crushing Chelsea. For Everton, these are matches that will test the tactical nous of their manager, Roberto Martinez. Would he play as expansively as he always does or will he be a bit cautious and try using more counter attacking football? City are balanced and Yaya Toure and captain Vincent Kompany seem to have something to prove this season with Sergio Aguero already showing devastating form and eye for goal.
Prediction: Everton 1-2 Man City
Watford vs Southampton
The Europa League might already be doing damage to Southampton’s season even though Jay Rodriguez scored his first goal for the Saints in the 1-1 draw with Midtjylland on Thursday. Newly promoted Watford have shown in their first two matches that they will not be canon fodder for any team so Southampton must be wary of another embarrassing defeat.
Prediction: Watford 2-2 Southampton
Arsenal vs Liverpool
The Gunners have the chance to catch up with one of the early pace setters, Liverpool on Monday and they also have the chance to score the first goal against the Reds. Liverpool have not been fantastic but they have not conceded and looked to have bought the right attacker in Christian Benteke. Last season, Liverpool lost all their away ties against the top four – a position they must rectify if they are to achieve their goal of qualifying for the Champions League next season.
Prediction: Arsenal 3-2 Liverpool
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