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Hull v Leicester
It’s a funny situation at Hull where after being promoted with Steve Bruce they are now managerless due to a fall-out with vice chairman Ehab Allam. He is also the man behind the idea to change Hull City to Hull Tigers. Protests have been arranged for this match against his “ill-considered ideas”. Hull also with no new signings look like they will struggle against a fiery Leicester side. Leicester have strengthened this summer in the right areas with Musa joining however losing Kante will be a big loss. Vardy, Ranieri, and Schmeichel have all signed new contracts and Leicester are working on getting Mahrez to stay at the club amongst interest from Spain. This shouldn’t be too tough for the Premier League champions.
My Prediction: Hull 0-2 Leicester
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Burnley v Swansea
Burnley have bounced back to the Premier League with only a single season in the championship. They look better prepared this time and look good for survival. Andre Gray is one to watch and has been electric in pre season scoring 9 goals in 6 games. Sean Dyche has many of the same players he did two years ago but this time they have more experience and understanding of how to hold out and win games. Swansea could be in trouble this season. They have lost Andre Ayew and captain Ashley Williams without these two you wonder where they will get points from however Sigurdsson looks set to stay another season and with him they could easily get mid table. Burnley will be up for this and Swansea may still be shell-shocked from losing their captain.
My Prediction: Burnley 2-1 Swansea
Crystal Palace v West Brom
Palace struggled last season and at one stage you would not have put it past them to go down. They have signed Tomkins from West Ham for £10m however defending was not a problem for them last season. Alan Pardew has got a headache trying to sort out their striking issues with Adebayor not working out for them last season. With bids for Benteke and Berahino being rejected Steve Parish has work to do before the closing of the transfer window. The Baggies will always be safe under Pulis and this season should be no different. They were very exciting scenes last season of Berahino, Rondon and Sessegnon all combining well. If they manage to hold on to Berahino they should be full of goals up top and as usual tight at the back. Palace need to find a striker soon to challenge the baggies.
My Prediction: Crystal Palace 0-1 West Brom
Everton v Tottenham
Everton have had a pretty good transfer window, £47.5m for Stones reinvested into Ashley Williams for only £10m seems like pretty good business. Williams will certainly sort out Everton’s shocking amount of goals conceded from last season. They have one of the best managers in the league in Ronald Koeman and I expect them to do well. If they hold on to Lukaku they’ll be in good shape. Spurs have also had a good transfer window and Wanyama for £11m is a unbelievable buy and will provide good assistance for Eric Dier in midfield. Although Kane had a poor Euro 2016 he has looked good in pre-season and will be back to scoring goals. Two ex-Saints managers will go head to head here. I think Spurs will just nick it here.
My Prediction: Everton 1-2 Tottenham
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Middlesbrough v Stoke
Boro have brought in a couple of good strikers in Negredo and Rhodes. Rhodes has scored tons of goals in the championship for Blackburn season after season so he is one to watch. Boro look like a solid team and should be fine for the season. Stoke have spent a lot money recently most notably £18.3m on Imbula. It will be a tough match for both Boro and Stoke, Middlesbrough will be looking to establish themselves in the league quickly and Stoke will be after the 3 points. It’s going to be a scrappy, goalless affair.
My Prediction: Middlesbrough 0-0 Stoke
Southampton v Watford
Every season people have their doubts about Southampton and yet they almost always surprise people. After Pochettino left some people had them done for relegation but new manager Ronald Koeman has led them to two very successful finishes. Now he has moved on it is down to new man Claude Puel. He has had success in Ligue 1 and there is no news to suggest he cannot bring that to England. Saints have lost a couple of key players in Mane, Wanyama and Pelle but Redmond looks like a very good buy. Another top ten finish could be on the cards. Losing Flores is a massive loss for Watford which will cause them problems down the line however their squad remains in tact. Deeney and Ighalo began to suffer at the end of the last season but they should be back to their best when this campaign starts. Saints at home, surely 3 points against a lost Watford side.
My Prediction: Southampton 2-0 Watford
Manchester City v Sunderland
City have already spent a lot of money on their team and with Sane and Stones costing them around £85m they surely have to be expecting the Premier League title especially with Guardiola in charge. A rocky pre-season has seen them lose to Arsenal 3-2 but they should be fine come Saturday. Aguero looks fit so he looks set to start against Sunderland. The Black Cats suffered massively when Big Sam took the England job however they have a good replacement in David Moyes who knows the Premier League as good as anyone. Signs looked good for Sunderland at the end of last season. They played good flowing football and Jermaine Defoe’s goals up front were a great reason to their survival. Moyes will set up defensively against City but over time City will grind them down and have the ball in the back of the net. A tough fought win for Manchester City with Aguero bagging a couple.
My Prediction: Manchester City 2-0 Sunderland
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Bournemouth v Manchester United
The Cherries look set for another season in the big time. Losing Matt Ritchie to Championship Newcastle would have been devastating for Eddie Howe, he’s replaced him competently though with the signing of Jordon Ibe for £15m. Ibe will thrive under the positivity and game time under Eddie Howe and will link up well with the Cherries main man Callum Wilson who is now fit after nearly 9 months after his injury. United cannot argue that they haven’t tried to buy the league. Although they have spent the best part of £150m they have got some of the best players in the world to come to United when they are not even playing Champions League football, Jose Mourinho must have a huge part to play in that. Mourinho has got to live up to the high expectations or pressure will rise quickly. Visiting Bournemouth is never easy however the Cherries will be shell-shocked at the class of united. Could see Ibra getting a goal on his premier league debut.
My Prediction: Bournemouth 1-3 Manchester United
Arsenal v Liverpool
Arsenal could be in trouble here against Liverpool as 3 of their main centre-backs are out. Gabriel, Koscielny and Mertesacker are all out with injuries. It was a strange signing by Arsene Wenger when he signed Granit Xhaka because you would have thought that Arsenal have already got enough deep-lying midfielders, nonetheless he looks like a good player that will add composure to the Arsenal team. Liverpool have been busy in the transfer window and Wijnaldum looks like he could be very influential in Liverpool’s season. He is a great replacement for Ibe and probably slightly better. Klopp knows that he has to perform this season and has admitted that “it is my team” and therefore if they don’t perform it is his fault. Could be cagey affair but there’s definitely a goal or two in it.
My Prediction: Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool
Chelsea v West Ham
Chelsea have got the best deal this summer so far. N’Golo Kante for £32m compared to Pogba for £89m is an unbelievable deal. If Conte can get the best out of him then they have surely got to be competing for the league. Chelsea have to build themselves up again after last season but with a new face directing the club they should be allright. Firstly they have to defeat West Ham. The Hammers have done well to hold onto Payet and also bring in Andre Ayew. Slaven Bilic was watching Euro 2016 and he must be very excited to have Dimi Payet in his squad, he was simply unstoppable until the final. West Ham will have to be physical to stop bullish Diego Costa ruling their area but Winston Reid looks to have gained much needed experience from last season and should be there to stop him. Monday night football will be back with a bang here.
My Prediction: Chelsea 2-2 West Ham
Article by @GusSkinner