The Premier League opening weekend is upon us and with that, there are some excellent matches to look forward to.
In this article, I will be sharing with you my top picks for this weekend along with score predictions and players to watch.
Sneaky Good Matches To Watch!
- Watford vs. Aston Villa
On one hand, you have a team returning to the Premier league after being relegated a few years back. The story of Troy Deeney at Watford continues and its one to keep an eye on. However, this years’ Aston Villa squad is loaded up with some serious additions and a team that I think will continue to impress. Yes, Jack Grealish departed their team. One thing people seem to disregard though, is the amount of signings this team made. Here’s a team that will quietly get into the top 10 in the standings this year as I said yesterday. Also, Emiliano Martinez will be a huge part of their success this year, can’t count him out!
Score prediction: 3-1 Aston Villa.
- Everton vs. Southampton
Whenever they meet, its a great one to watch! Do not expect any less this time around. Yes, Everton has a huge management change now that Rafael Benitez is in charge, even more so the reason to watch this game and get a sense of where Everton could go this season. It is important to note the Theo Walcott (Southampton) aspect here as Theo will lead the offensive charge for the Saints.
Another important piece here will be James Rodriguez’ (Everton) drive to show what he can do this year. James was out of the Colombian National team due to injury and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him itching to show his talent once again.
Score Prediction: 2-1 Everton.
- Leicester City vs. Wolves
Wolves were busy this offseason! They moved on from Espirito Santo and Rui Patricio. In this years’ team, Wolves get to see the return of Raul Jimenez after a horrible injury suffered by the Mexican forward. Additionally, this team is getting a new keeper in Jose Sa who will have big shoes to fill. Meanwhile for Leicester, the addition of Soumare and now Vestergaard add a component to this team of defense but also midfield strategy.
Score Prediction: 1-1 Tie.
Must – Watch Games This Weekend!
- Tottenham vs. Manchester City
What a premier league opening match this is for both teams!
Both teams come into this season with some serious changes. Manchester City secured a major signing and added the services of jack Grealish to this heavily talented team. Tottenham on the other hand had some serious moves too. New manager, 4 new players and a new vision. If you are a Hotspur fan, there’s got to be some excitement at least. Could this be the possible return of the star that Dele Alli once was for this team?
Lastly, will this game help address the elephant in the room? Meaning, is Harry Kane going to leave Tottenham and move over to Manchester City?
Score Prediction: 2-1 Manchester City.
- Manchester United vs. Leeds United
I’m amazed at how lowly people are thinking of United even after some serious additions to this squad. People forget the fact that last year, even with a struggling offensive lineup, United blasted Leeds to the moon in a 6-2 game with a lineup that had Anthony Martial upfront and hardly had Cavani ready to start his chemistry with this team.
It also amazes me to see how people have forgotten how good this rivalry was years’ past and basically still is. However, in this game while Leeds will continue to be the pest that they were last year, the question is how much can they handle. Yeah, we saw how good Kalvin Phillips is as a CDM. However, there is only so much you can defend when both wings are being attacked by your opponent who possesses creativity, great technique and quickness. If anything, this is a match where the only concern should be how Ole will align this team. Other than that, United has a lot of key components to make them a high-value this year.
Score Prediction: 3-1 Manchester United.
Other Interesting Games to Follow?
So with the Premier League opening weekend ahead, what are some of the other interesting games to follow? Here’s a quick rundown of some I’d suggest to watch.
- Newcastle vs. West Ham: The Moyes’ led West Ham united last year impressed a lot. However, this year without Jesse Lingard, do they still pose that creativity? Meanwhile for Newcastle, this year is a tough one where this team could very-well be relegated if these players aren’t on top form. I’d say this game ends 2-1 for West Ham.
- Chelsea vs. Crystal Palace:
I would’ve put the Chelsea game as one a must watch. However, I truly couldn’t come to it. Chelsea is heavily stacked and this Crystal Palace team faces a TOUGH challenge here. I would be very surprised if Palace can make it a competitive game. However, I expect Chelsea to blow out Palace. 4-0 Chelsea victory.
- Norwich vs. Liverpool: A decent game here for sure. However, ever since Klopp took over this team, they’ve gone 5-0. Sorry Norwich but I don’t see much in your lineup to concern Liverpool here. 3-0 Victory for Liverpool.
- Burnley vs. Brighton: Here is the snoozer of the week in my opinion. Brighton barely survived last season and out of these two, the one team to watch is likely Burnley because they have been a nightmare for everyone in this league. If anything, this is more a 2-0 victory for Burnley. Otherwise, likely a 1-1 tie with not much to offer.
Lastly, make sure to follow the Yellow Card Podcast as streams and coverage on this years’ EPL will make a return with this crew on Twitch via Couch Guy Sports’ Channel.
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~Diego Galvis (@Diego_TheDJ on Twitter).