As the majority of pundits predicted, Man City and Liverpool have begun the new campaign most impressively of all. John Newsome predicts routine wins for both of these northern powerhouses, in game-week 3.
WOLVES v MAN CITY
Early Saturday afternoon kick-off live on Sky Sports sees newly promoted Wolves take on High Flying Man City at Molineux. Wolves have had an indifferent start to life back in the Premier League getting a draw against Everton in their opener and a 2-0 loss against Leicester. It’s highly unlikely that they will get the third result on offer in football against Man City. Matt Doherty scored a brilliant own goal in the loss against the Foxes, obviously not what he had meant but still good to watch. The Wolves faithful will relish this challenge having City visit their stadium and if City hit form will be in for a long afternoon against the current Premier League Champions.
Man City hammered Huddersfield 6-1 on Sunday with goals from Gabriel Jesus, David Silva, a Huddersfield own goal and a superb hat-trick from Sergio Aguero. Sergio was immediately taken off after his 3rd. The downside to City’s brilliant start to their defence of the title is the injury to star player Kevin De Bruyne. KDB has damaged his knee and will be out for a good 3 months. Pep still has other superstar players to call upon and youngster Phil Foden may just get his chance to fill Kevin’s boots. Bookmakers Bet 365 have Wolves at 15/2 and City as favourites at 2/7. The Draw is offered at 5/1. City should be too strong for Wolves and prove Bet 365 right.
Away Win 0-3
SOUTHAMPTON v LEICESTER
Southampton have had a difficult start to their Premier League campaign getting a very predictable 0-0 draw in their opener at home against Burnley then a 2-1 loss away at Everton. Mark Hughes must be one of the favourites in the amusingly named ‘sack race’ to be the first Premier League Manager to be sacked this season. Mark was a top class player for clubs such as Manchester United, Barcelona and Chelsea but his management style is simply outdated. He moves from clubs to clubs and changes Ties but his football methods are just the same and his players are of the same mould. Danny Ings and Charlie Austin both started against Everton so at least Mark is using his strikers. Danny,q recently signed from Liverpool, got the goal against Everton and is up and running but the Saints will need Ings and Austin to score plenty to avoid a relegation scrap and prevent Mark from being sacked.
Leicester lost their opener against Manchester United but the actual performance was encouraging for the Foxes faithful. Youngster James Maddison had a great debut against United having signed from Norwich and added to that start with a great goal in Leicester’s 2-0 win against Wolves. They were helped on the way in that game with a Wolves own goal from the unfortunate Matt Doherty. Matt got his head onto a cross and directed the ball past his own goalkeeper. This would have been a brilliant header if it was in the opposing net. Jamie Vardy was involved too, however, not for scoring any goals as usual for Jamie, but the Sheffield lad got himself sent off for a horrendous challenge on the unlucky Doherty and will miss this game against the Saints. This game last season was played in the cold of December and finished 4-1 to Leicester. The surprise in that scoreline was that Jamie did play but didn’t score. Bet 365 have this one pretty even with Southampton at 6/4, the Draw at 11/5 and Leicester 15/8. Without Jamie, there might not be many goals.
HUDDERSFIELD v CARDIFF
Huddersfield fans have been fortunate up to now having not had to travel far for their opening 3 games. That’s probably the only thing they can take from watching their beloved Terriers. They lost their opener at home to Chelsea and only had to travel 29 miles over the Pennines to watch City dismantle Huddersfield and now are back at the John Smith’s Stadium to see this clash against newly promoted Cardiff. Huddersfield had a great debut season in the Premier League but will find this 2nd term much harder as teams will target the West Yorkshire club as a winnable game and will know more about the strengths and weaknesses Huddersfield have to offer.
Cardiff got a valuable point away at Newcastle on Saturday but have failed to score in their opening 2 games. The Bluebirds gave away a 96th-minute penalty at St James Park and were staring a 2nd defeat in a row until goalkeeper Neil Etheridge pulled off a great save to deny a certain Newcastle win and earn Cardiff the point. Neil became the 1st player from the Philippines to play in the Premier League and subsequently the 108th different nationality to play in England. Neil also has a 100% record saving penalties in the Premier League having saved one in the opener against Bournemouth so is now 2 from 2. Neil Warnock managed Huddersfield from 1993 to 1995 and again worked his magic in West Yorkshire gaining promotion to the Championship from the 3rd Tier. Huddersfield fans will hopefully give the Legend a huge amount of respect that he deserves. On the 1st of December this year, Neil will be 70. Take a moment to think about that. Neil Warnock will be 70.
Bet 365 have Huddersfield as clear favourites offering 23/20 for a home win. Cardiff are 13/5 and the Draw is 21/10. The Draw might not be a bad bet.
ARSENAL v WEST HAM
Two games in and Arsenal have no points, the doom and gloom merchants are already saying it’s the same old Arsenal, however, look at the facts first before judgement is made. Arsenal played High Flying City in their opener and although they subsequently lost 2-0, City were under the cosh for a considerable part of the game and at one point on the hour mark, were actually time wasting. The Gunners then had to travel to Stamford Bridge and play Chelsea. Ultimately the Gooners lost that game too and were outplayed for most of the game, but did have plenty of chances and Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan and Iwobi all missed simple chances to give Arsenal the lead. So all is not lost at the Emirates and they will definitely target this game against the Hammers as a chance to get their first points of the season.
West Ham are joint bottom of the Premier League on the same zero points as Arsenal but they have lost both their opening games to somewhat lesser teams the Man City and Chelsea so the Hammers faithful might feel more worried then the Gooners. West Ham were completely outplayed in their 1st game away at Liverpool, no disgrace there as most teams will lose at Anfield this year. The disappointing result was the Home loss to Bournemouth 2-1. Marko Arnautovic gave the Hammers the lead against the Cherries converting a 33rd-minute penalty. West Ham then conceded 2 goals in the second half gifting Bournemouth the win and heaping pressure on new boss Manuel Pellegrini. Last season this game was played towards the end of the fixture list in April and finished 4-1 to Arsenal. Bet 365 have Arsenal at 2/5 to get a repeat of last terms result with West Ham 13/2 to get an away win. The Draw is 7/2. A bet to look at is Yellow Cards. West Ham have accrued 8 Yellow Cards in the 2 games played. Arsenal should be too strong.
Home Win 3-1
BOURNEMOUTH v EVERTON
Bournemouth are 1 of 5 teams to have won their opening 2 games which considering they lost the 1st 4 games last season is a tremendous achievement. The big difference this term is the fitness of Callum Wilson. Callum missed the beginning of last season through a knee injury and having had a full pre-season is on fire at the minute scoring in both the opening games. The 2nd against West Ham was a beautiful individual goal, collecting the ball and taking on 3 Hammers defenders before coolly slotting the ball home. Callum actually missed a penalty in the opening game so could be on 3 goals. The Cherries came from behind against West Ham to win 2-1 with big defender Steve Cook scoring the first before the brilliant solo effort of Callum.
Everton have started the season pretty well too, drawing their first game against Watford 2-2 and then beating Southampton 2-1 at Goodison Park last time out. New signing Richarlison has scored 3 up to now and is certainly becoming a fans favourite on Merseyside. Ex-Arsenal star Theo Walcott notched against the Saints and will surely want to start performing to the best of the ability he has shown in the past but only shown it in brief spells and not consistently over his career. This game last season was played the day before New Year’s Eve and finished 2-1 to the Cherries with Ryan Fraser and Callum getting the goals for Bournemouth and Idrissa Gueye scoring for the Toffees. Bet 365 have it pretty even with Bournemouth at 31/20 to Win the game, Everton are 7/4 and the Draw is 11/5. With the starts, both teams have made and Callum and Richarlison both in fine goalscoring form, a draw is not out of the question.
LIVERPOOL v BRIGHTON
Liverpool take on Brighton in this late Saturday afternoon kick-off live on BT Sports. Liverpool have made an impressive start to the season comfortably beating West Ham in their opener 4-0 and then winning away in London against Crystal Palace. The majestic Mo Salah didn’t score against Palace, but did win a penalty to allow James Milner to score the opener. Sadio Mane got a late 2nd for Liverpool but in truth weren’t in any danger after Palace were reduced to 10 men. Liverpool are genuine title contenders with Man City and the pair will finish Top 2, it’s just what order.
Brighton stunned Manchester United on Sunday in an eventful game at the Amex. They simply blew United away which, after their opening day defeat to Watford, was very unexpected. United were poor, but nothing should be taken away from the brilliant performance of the Brighton boys. Glenn Murray opened the scoring in the 3-2 win against United, Shane Duffy got a 2nd 2 minutes later and Pascal Gross rounded off the scoring before halftime. This game at Anfield will be a lot more difficult for the Seagulls as visiting Liverpool will be tough for most clubs this season. This fixture last term was the final game of the season and Liverpool ran out easy winners bearing Brighton
4–0. Mo Salah, Dejan Lovren, Dominic Solanke and Andy Robertson getting the Reds goals. Bet 365 have Brighton at 14/1 to get the Away Win which is way too big a price. Liverpool are 1/6 to win and the Draw is 6/1. Despite the great win against United and the massive price Bet 365 are offering, Liverpool should still get the win.
Home Win 3-0
WATFORD v CRYSTAL PALACE
Early Sunday Afternoon Football live on Sky Sports. Watford got arguably the result of the weekend scoring 3 away at Turf Moor. Normally Burnley are solid at home and seldom let 3 goals in. Andre Gray opened the scoring for the Hornets against the club he was at up to 2017. Watford legend Troy Deeney got the second and Will Hughes finished the scoring off. Young Hughes will be in the England squad before long and is a great acquisition for Watford. Big Troy does what Big Troy does and pops up with a vital goal at the right time.
Crystal Palace started off well beating Fulham in their opener but were well beaten themselves on Monday night against Title contenders Liverpool losing 2-0. The Eagles did have young Right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka sent off in the 2nd-half but were comprehensively beaten in the end. The youngster has played well in his games for Palace and will be a real star moving forward. Bet 365 have this pretty even with Watford at 6/4 for the Home Win and Crystal Palace at 15/8 for the Away Win. The Draw is 11/5. Watford should get the win.
Home Win 2-0
NEWCASTLE v CHELSEA
This late Sunday afternoon kick-off is live on Sky Sports. Newcastle are back at St James Park after their long trip to South Wales and the 0-0 Draw with Cardiff. The annoying thing about that trip to Cardiff for the Toon Army is they were awarded a 96th-minute penalty for a handball incident against Cardiff captain Steve Morrison. Chelsea loanee, Kenedy took the vital spot-kick but his poor effort was easily saved by the Cardiff goalkeeper Etheridge and the game ended 0-0. Earlier on in the game, Kenedy kicked out at a Cardiff player and may get retrospective punishment from the officials and could see a ban coming his way. Either way, he won’t play against Chelsea as because he is loaned to Newcastle from Chelsea and not signed permanently he is not allowed to play against his parent club. Another player not allowed to play is defender Isaac Hayden who was shown a straight red for a challenge on Cardiff’s Josh Murphy. The unfortunate Hayden had only been on the pitch 20 minutes after coming on as a substitute at half-time.
Chelsea have got off to a flyer in their opening 2 games scoring 3 goals in each. However, the worrying signs for the Chelsea faithful is that they are conceding goals and if the Arsenal players had their shooting boots on, the Blues could have lost that 2nd game against the Gunners quite easily. At least the fans will see plenty of goals along the way. Pedro opened the scoring against Arsenal and Alvaro Morata got the 2nd to give Chelsea a 2-0 lead. Arsenal then replied with 2 themselves before left-back Marcos Alonso got the winner for Chelsea giving them a 100% start to the campaign under new boss Maurizio Sarri. Last term this fixture was the final game of the season and Newcastle ran out easy 3-0 winners. Dwight Gayle got the opener and Ayoze Perez got the other 2. Bet 365 understandably make Chelsea favourites at 8/11 with Newcastle at 15/4 to repeat last season’s result and 13/5 for the points to be shared. There should be goals in an entertaining game.
Away Win 1-3
FULHAM v BURNLEY
Fulham have found life in the top flight hard work up to know after a 2nd defeat in a row away at Tottenham. Aleksandar Mitrovic got Fulham’s 1st Premier League goal of the campaign in the 3-1 loss at Wembley which is a start. These 2 last played in the 2015/16 season, however, this wasn’t a Premier League fixture, both teams were in the Championship that year and Fulham lost both games. Fulham have played Burnley in the Premier League but you have to go back to the 2009/10 season which Fulham got a win and a draw in the 2 games played. The win coming at Craven Cottage.
Burnley got hammered at home on Sunday against Watford. Andre Gray who had a spell at Turf Moor came back to haunt his old club. Burnley are juggling the Premier League with the Europa League at the moment and may struggle this year. Whilst it’s a great adventure for the Turf Moor faithful, playing Thursday and Sunday can take its toll on a team. Burnley need to keep one eye on their Premier League games as a priority as it’s no point playing well in Europe but having a relegation scrap. Bet 365 have Fulham at 23/20 to get their maiden win, the Draw is 21/10 and Burnley are 13/5 to get the Away Win.
Burnley will have played in Greece on the Thursday night this week so a Fulham win is not out of the question.
Home Win 2-0
MAN UNITED v TOTTENHAM
Monday Night Football live on Sky Sports sees these 2 Premier League heavyweights go head to head at Old Trafford. Things are not right at Manchester United. The win against Leicester masked certain frailties in the make-up of the club and things got worse on the South coast on Sunday. Brighton beat United last term towards the end of the season and it could be argued they were fighting for Premier League survival. United visited the Amex after Brighton had been beaten by Watford so should have put up more of an effort then they did. They were simply dreadful especially at the back and Eric Bailly had one of the worst games of his United career. They did manage 2 goals from a very quiet Romelu Lukaku and a late penalty from Paul Pogba. Paul had a bad game too, giving the ball away too many times. It must be said though about Paul is that he did give 100% and cannot be judged for his lack of trying, he just couldn’t get it right. Jose doesn’t look like a ‘Special One’ anymore and seems like he’s wanting out of Manchester. This will be a tough game against Tottenham who are in fine form, the only shining light for the United faithful is that this game is at Old Trafford where they do perform better.
Tottenham are on fire at the moment with their star players all performing even after a busy summer in Russia. Lucas Moura got the opener, Kieran Trippier scored a 28-yard free kick in the 3-1 win against Fulham, however, it could be argued that if the Fulham goalkeeper had not had a wall in place, Kieran wouldn’t have scored and Harry Kane rounded off the scoring. Kane has finally scored in August, that will be a great relief for the big man. Tottenham are having problems with their new stadium and may not be in there for quite a while yet. Bet 365 have United at 7/5 to win and 2/1 for a Tottenham win, the Draw is 11/5. 2/1 is way too big for a Tottenham side in form and a United side who are not.
Away Win 0-2
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