Having managed just four correct results last time out, Paul Merson is back for another crack at this week’s Premier League predictions.
The Magic Man correctly tipped wins for Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool in the final round of matches before the international break, matching the four correct results predicted on the second weekend of the season.
With the Premier League back after the international break, can Merse do better this week? Read on to find out who he’s backing…
Manchester City v Liverpool – Premier League Live, Saturday, from 11.30am, Sky Sports Premier League
What a game to start with! Sometimes with a big game the anticipation is there but it can fizzle out. However, I can’t see that happening with this game. These two teams play one way and one way only – attack, attack, attack!
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be hoping to make his Liverpool debut but with England captain Jordan Henderson and Emre Can, who I’m a big fan off, set to play I don’t see him getting a game. That’s unless he plays out of position but I thought he went to Liverpool to play in central midfield, no?
I can’t see anything but goals in this game. Both are brilliant going forward and not great at the back. However, I’m just going to side with City because I believe they are slightly better at the back.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-2 (18/1 with Sky Bet)
Man City vs Liverpool
September 9, 2017, 11:30am
Get Sky Sports Get a Sky Sports pass Burnley v Crystal Palace – Nissan Super Sunday, from 12.30pm, Sky Sports Premier League
Frank de Boer is desperate for a result. It’s a massive match for Palace because after this game Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea loom in the not too distant future. For me, they have to go to Turf Moor and make sure they don’t lose.
Meanwhile, Burnley had a shocking result at home against West Brom but two excellent results away at Chelsea and Tottenham. It’s a total reverse to their form last season but I can see them getting back to winning ways at home against Palace, who are struggling without Wilfried Zaha.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (17/2 with Sky Bet)
Burnley vs C Palace
September 10, 2017, 12:30pm
Get Sky Sports Get a Sky Sports pass Swansea City v Newcastle – Nissan Super Sunday, from 3.30pm, Sky Sports Premier League
Swansea made a few additions on Deadline Day and that will have lifted the club. I didn’t think they were great against Palace but did what they had to do.
I’m looking forward to watching Renato Sanches. If he gets anywhere near to the form he showed at Euro 2016 everybody in Europe will be thinking: “How did Swansea get him?” Obviously it’s because of Paul Clement, who was Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant at Bayern Munich so fair play to him, it’s an excellent signing.
Newcastle had a superb result against West Ham but I think the Premier League class will show in this one. Swansea have been there and done it and will have too much for Newcastle.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (10/1 with Sky Bet)
Swansea vs Newcastle
September 10, 2017, 3:30pm
Get Sky Sports Get a Sky Sports pass West Ham v Huddersfield – Monday Night Football, from 7pm, Sky Sports Premier League
Slaven Bilic needs a win. It’s West Ham’s first home game of the season and the fans will be turning up expecting the team to put on a show and beat Huddersfield. I wouldn’t want to be a West Ham player in the first 20 minutes of this match. If they don’t score early doors it could be messy because the frustration will build in the stands.
You wouldn’t put a penny on West Ham but if they get an early goal it could well turn into an easy night for them. However, if and Huddersfield keep things tight, the more the game goes on the more difficult it becomes for Bilic’s men.
My heart is going with the Londoners, who have been there before and have home advantage. But they are not playing well and they are up against an in-form side in Huddersfield. I’m just going to go for West Ham but again, I would not be surprised one bit if Huddersfield picked up all three points.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1 (15/2 with Sky Bet)
West Ham vs Huddsf’ld
September 11, 2017, 7:00pm
Get Sky Sports Get a Sky Sports pass Arsenal v Bournemouth – Saturday, 3pm
This is a massive game for Arsenal. A few years ago I would have said Arsenal to win 3-0 or 4-0, however, I just don’t see that now. I am going to favour Arsenal slightly but something just tells me they are not going to win. I watched the game at Liverpool and they were an embarrassment. I just don’t know how you turn that around, especially after the international break as all the players have been apart for over a week.
Bournemouth will go to the Emirates and have a real go and that’s the best way to do it in my opinion. This Arsenal team are good going forward but they are terrible at the back.
I am going to give Arsenal the edge but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there was a shock in this one. This is certainly not going to be a walk in the park for the Gunners.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1 (15/2 with Sky Bet)
Leicester City v Chelsea – Saturday, 3pm
This is another good game. Leicester have started well this season. They had chances at Old Trafford, especially at 0-0 but their play in the final third was poor.
This will be a very good test for Chelsea. Antonio Conte’s side did really well at the King Power last season, picking up a 3-0 win. That will stand them in good stead and I expect them to pick up all three points again, but it won’t be as comprehensive a scoreline.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-2 (15/2 with Sky Bet)
Southampton v Watford – Saturday, 3pm
Watford did well against Brighton last time out because playing with 10 men for that long in the Premier League is not easy. I watched them rip Bournemouth apart – they’ve started the season really well.
However, Southampton are a difficult side to beat at St Mary’s and home advantage should make all the difference, helping Mauricio Pellegrino’s side to their second win of the season.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-0 (11/2 with Sky Bet)
Everton v Tottenham – Saturday, 3pm
This is a big game for both sides. If Everton get beat at home to Spurs you’ll get the voices saying: “They’ve spent all this money but are still a million miles away.” Spurs have also started poorly and really need to win otherwise they could be chasing even at the early stage.
This is a hard game for both teams and one they won’t want to lose. It’s a game both teams will be scared to lose so I’m going for a draw.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (5/1 with Sky Bet)
Brighton v West Brom – Saturday, 3pm
Brighton probably looked at this game at the start of the season and thought this would be the one to win. They haven’t had the easiest of starts with Manchester City and two away games at Leicester and Watford. This is probably the game they highlighted that they must win. It’s a must-win football match for Brighton and, no disrespect to West Brom, who have been excellent so far, they have to beat teams like West Brom at home to have any chance of surviving in the Premier League.
However, you know what West Brom are like, Tony Pulis will make life very difficult for Brighton, who don’t score many goals.
PAUL PREDICTS: 0-1 (11/2 with Sky Bet)
Stoke City v Manchester United – Saturday, 5.30pm
I haven’t really bought into Manchester United so far this season. They won games by an impressive margin, yes, but I don’t think they’ve clicked yet. They scored three goals in three minutes against Swansea, West Ham were comfortable for 25 minutes before throwing the towel in and, as I said before, Leicester had good chances at Old Trafford where a top quality team would have punished them.
United do look a better team than last year. They look strong, they look quick with plenty of pace on the break but I don’t think Jose Mourinho will see his side as the finished article. Maybe he will stick himself in goal after his performance in the #Game4Grenfell – just not for penalties.
Joking aside, if they can go to Stoke and win then fair play to them. The bet365 Stadium has always been a hard place to go but I can see United edging it.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-2 (7/1 with Sky Bet)
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