Thank goodness that international malarky is over and we can get back to our normal weekend routine, hey folks? This time last week many of you will have been sitting there, considering life. Why? Well, you’d just lost 90 minutes of it watching England overcome Malta, for example. Or for our one Dutch reader, contemplating a future with a team that had lost 4-0 to France will have been tough. But enough of that because Sky has informed me that the greatest show on earth is back as of this afternoon!
Manchester City vs Liverpool
Whoa there, what’s this breaking news? Vincent Kompany is injured you say? Where is the shock klaxon when you need it? How many seasons in a row has it been that City have started well with big Vinny commanding the brainless chickens around him at the back only for his early season injury to kick in and the winning run to end? I wasn’t counting. Pep Guardiola, massively disliked by the northern journalists we hear on the grapevine but don’t tell anyone we said so, was bemoaning the fact that his club “were unable to afford” the £25m needed to sign West Bromwich Albion’s Jonny Evans. Yes Pep, that’s because you spanked the best part of £150m on full backs. But hey. Liverpool will be giving debuts to…. well nobody actually. Of all the promises made in the last part of the transfer window, the only one that came true was Philippe Coutinho not going to Barcelona. And, of course, he is now mentally unfit to take part in this massive game. Doesn’t £100k a week mean anything to anyone anymore?
Manchester City 2 – 3 Liverpool
Arsenal vs AFC Bournemouth
Each season that goes by it looks less and less likely that (a) Arsene will ever leave and (b) if he does Eddie Howe will be the man to replace him. I’d go as far as suggesting that Howe could end up on the same list as Owen Coyle if Bournemouth don’t kick start their season soon. A trip to the Emirates is as good as place as any for Bournemouth to start as Arsenal get used to life without the likes of Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gabriel, and Lucas Perez. Oh, and Kieran Gibbs. And Carl Jenkinson. Alexis Sanchez is still there though, so that makes it all OK then! Arsene has said this week that FIFA may as well scrap FFP as he feels like a bit of a mug for being the only man in football to follow the rules for the last 15 years. Poor Arsene. I can see this being a high scoring draw myself, Bournemouth failing to see the game out.
Arsenal 2 – 2 AFC Bournemouth
Brighton & Hove Albion vs West Bromwich Albion
It’s not often you get two Albions playing each other, I can tell you. I am sure Brighton must have signed a couple on Deadline Day so I would suggest they pick them. They are yet to score in the Premier League and now they are up against a traditionally miserly defence which still has Jonny Evans in it. West Brom look decent, Brighton do not so all logic says WBA will win, 1-0. Therefore you can probably expect Brighton to pick up their first win.
Brighton & Hove Albion 0 – 1 West Bromwich Albion
Everton vs Tottenham Hotspur
There was me thinking City and Liverpool were the only decent teams to be matched against each other this weekend. Presumably, Wayne Rooney will have sobered up enough to take part and Tottenham fans may well get a glimpse of Fernando Llorente for the very first time. What do we reckon folks, another big striker unable to score when in Harry Kane’s shadow? As it is now September Kane should start scoring but people keep suggesting this Everton team is on the verge of being special. However, they’ve been saying that about both teams for a bloody long time so I am going to go for a 1-1 draw.
Everton 1 – 1 Tottenham Hotspur
Leicester City vs Chelsea
The two most recent league champions go head to head at the King Power and Antonio Conte would have loved to have been handing ou debuts like confetti. As it is, will Danny Drinkwater go straight into the team against his old club and let N’Golo Kante start making him look like a good player again? Probably not, I’d imagine there is some clause in there preventing this. I genuinely cannot remember if Leicester signed anyone on Deadline Day, but I do know they thought they’d signed Adrien Silva only to miss the deadline. We’ve not heard if Riyad Mahrez has been found, but if he can start playing like we know he can then that would be like a new signing to the Foxes.
Leicester City 1 – 3 Chelsea
Southampton vs Watford
There we go, the first fixture I really couldn’t care less about. Southampton are horrible at home unless West Ham are visiting and Watford will be one of those tricky teams to beat on the road. I like Marco Silva, and I really want to like the new Southampton manager, Mauricio Pellegrino. The Saint’s new signing Lemina has to play as he is quite good, and as long as Richarlison plays for Watford and scores I’ll be happy.
Southampton 0 – 2 Watford
Stoke City vs Manchester United
It’s been a few season since you could look at a fixture like this and chalk it up as three points to United with no questions asked. There is no denying it, Jose is well on track for this second season thing. Stoke City have been getting away with it for far too long now and even though they beat those mentally-tough boys from Arsenal in their last home game even Peter Crouch won’t be able to save them in this one.
Stoke City 0 – 2 Manchester United
Burnley vs Crystal Palace
For all the new season ticket holders at Burnley, which comes with free WiFi if you do it right, don’t get your hopes up. Chris Wood is alright, as you saw on his debut. But he’ll be up against big Mama in the Crystal Palace defence, who has several points to prove once again since his £26m switch from Liverpool. Sakho might be the spark to the Palace season that keeps Frank de Boer in the job. If Palace players need any further motivation, then the fact that Roy Hodgson is waiting in the wings has to be it. Frank, don’t ever change though. We want to see more from Crystal Ajax.
Burnley 0 – 1 Crystal Palace
Swansea City vs Newcastle United
Swansea City will be unveiling Wilfried Bony for a second time and, yes, Bayern Munich’s Renato Sanches. Newcastle United will be unveiling a much smaller wage bill and a somewhat disgruntled Spanish manager. And you know what? Newcastle will only go and win this somehow. Joselu could be the next Alan Shearer for all we know…
Swansea City 1 – 2 Newcastle United
West Ham United vs Huddersfield Town
I like Slaven Bilic. The way he handled himself this week surrounded by the farce of “the dildo brothers” has been exceptional. However, me liking you does not a good manager maketh. Huddersfield Town are a team with a clear identity and game plan. West Ham United often look like a bunch of guys thrown together at the last minute and told to do their best, many of which reminding each other “I used to play for Manchester City back in the day”. Huddersfield to win, Bilic to leave “by mutual consent” and the Terriers to be closest to Manchester United at the top of the table come Tuesday morning!
West Ham United 0 – 3 Huddersfield Town