Well it’s official. The English Premier League is back – and with that comes superstars, super teams and questions regarding each team’s future.
So here’s what I think about the upcoming matches.
Aston Villa versus Sheffield United; Villa Park; 3am AEST (Thursday), 6pm BST (Wednesday)
In what is a massive game for both promoted teams, Villa must win this if they’re to have even the slightest chance of survival while Sheffield United, if they win this, would stand a chance of potential European football next season (if the Champions and Europa Leagues go ahead).
Having lost their last four before the COVID-19 break, it looks like yet another tough game for The Claret and Blue. Score Prediction: Aston Villa 1-2 Sheffield United.
Manchester City versus Arsenal; Etihad Stadium; 5:15am AEST (Thursday), 8:15pm BST (Wednesday)
The bigger of the two Wednesday night games, City will be looking to stay second after a pretty inconsistent season so far. Arsenal though will be looking to challenge yet again for a European spot.
Despite winning their last three before the break, they’re still ninth, yet are only eight points behind fourth (Chelsea) and five points behind fifth (Manchester United). But they’ll need a massive performance, with City beating them the last six times by a minimum of two goals.
Can Arsenal surprise, or will it be a demolition job by the Citizens? Score Prediction: Manchester City 3-0 Arsenal.
Norwich City versus Southampton; Carrow Road; 3am AEST (Saturday), 6pm BST (Friday)
Not the biggest game this coming weekend, but it’s still big for Norwich who are dead bottom and only two games away from safety. And with Southampton near safety, they could still pull of a surprise like they did against Leicester.
Will be interesting to see what will happen though. Score Prediction: Norwich City 2-2 Southampton.
Tottenham versus Manchester United; Tottenham Hotspur Stadium; 5:15am AEST (Saturday), 8:15pm BST (Friday)
So many big games to kick us off again! But this one is bigger in terms of context, with both Spurs and United vying for European spots. But still United look potential winners, having won the last two against Tottenham and four of its last six against them.
Before the break they did manage to beat both City and Chelsea and haven’t lost since January 20th (at Anfield) while Tottenham have dropped points in its last three games.
It will still be an interesting match between two top clubs Score Prediction: Tottenham 0-2 Manchester United.
Watford versus Leicester City; Vicarage Road; 9:30pm AEST, 12:30pm BST (Saturday)
With Watford starting to slightly improve and Leicester showing a bit of inconsistency before the break, it will be interesting to see if they can change their forms.
If both teams are prepared and improved, this could be an interesting match, with Leicester dropping points in four of its last five before COVID-19 and Watford only losing 1-0 to Palace and winning 3-0 against Liverpool.
But can they perform like they did against Liverpool and scare the Prem again? Score Prediction: Watford 1-2 Leicester City.
Brighton versus Arsenal; Amex Stadium, 12am AEST (Sunday), 3pm BST (Saturday)
This is again big for both teams, with Albion looking to gain extra insurance from relegation and Arsenal again vying for European football though.
And the Seagulls should have their hopes up, being unbeaten in its last four against the Gunners (2-2-0), and they’ve lost only one of its last five, but four have been drawn (0-4-1) before the break and they also defeated the Gunners last time they met at the Emirates 2-1.
The big question is they is can they take points from the yet again? Score Prediction: Brighton 1-0 Arsenal.
West Ham versus Wolves; London Stadium; 2:30am AEST (Sunday), 5:30pm BST (Saturday)
Another game between two teams on different ends of the spectrum, West Ham will be looking for points as they battle for survival while Wolves will be looking to hold down sixth or even sneak up to fifth.
This looks likely to be a lopsided affair though, with Wolves unbeaten in their last five in the EPL (before the break (2-3-0) and West Ham losing four of its last six (1-1-4), and Wolves have won all three against the Hammers since last season. But can they do it again this time around?
Score Prediction: West Ham 1-3 Wolves.
Bournemouth versus Crystal Palace; Vitality Stadium; 4:45am AEST (Sunday), 7:45pm BST (Sunday)
A massive game for the Cherries who will look to live another day in the Prem, they face off against the relatively safe Eagles.
Palace have been hot though, having won its last three and Bournemouth having a record of 1-1-3 before the break in its last five. The Cherries did win last time out at the Vitality and have been known to pull of surprises (though the Eagles have won the last two at Selhurst).
Score Prediction: Bournemouth 1-0 Crystal Palace.
Newcastle versus Sheffield United; St. James’ Park; 11pm AEST, 2pm BST (Sunday)
A slightly quiet affair both figuratively and literally, the Magpies and Blades will face of in what could still be an intriguing match. With Newcastle winning the last match against the Blades at Bramall Lane 2-0, they’ll still need to be at their best, as Sheffield United will most likely be on a slight high having potentially defeated Villa.
They did win their last game, but have dropped points in the four other games before the break (1-2-2). But we’ll see if Newcastle can again defeat the Blades. Score Prediction: Newcastle 2-1 Sheffield United.
Aston Villa versus Chelsea; Villa Park; 1:15am AEST (Monday), 4:15pm BST (Sunday)
A battle between fourth and nineteenth, Villa will look to at least get some more points potentially against the Blues, who were a touch inconsistent before COVID-19 (2-2-1). But facing against Villa should be easy having won 2-1 last time out at the Bridge and winning its last five against them.
With Chelsea having some talented youngsters and a Champions League spot, they’ll be determined to win or even thrash Villa. Score Prediction: Aston Villa 0-3 Chelsea.
Everton versus Liverpool; Goodison Park; 4am AEST (Monday), 7pm BST (Sunday)
A Sunday night Merseyside Derby to finish of the weekend, not bad at all. There’ll be blood, there’ll be tears and it will be fun.
Yes Liverpool are on top and have only dropped four points in total this season, but Everton are always determined to win this game though, losing only 1-0 at Anfield earlier in the season and drawing 0-0 last time at Goodison.
They come into the game in decent form before the break too (2-1-2). It still looks most likely a Liverpool win, but we shall see. Score Prediction: Everton 0-1 Liverpool.
Manchester City versus Burnley; Etihad Stadium; 5am AEST (Tuesday); 8pm BST (Monday
A match between a team that is already good and a team that’s been consistent this year, Burnley will look to potentially surprise City at the Etihad.
Yes City have made it a fortress, but there’s still some weaknesses, having drawn twice and lost twice there.
They’ll most likely be looking good to having potentially defeated the Gunners and having won three of its last five before the break (3-0-2).
Burnley though have been in decent form, being unbeaten in its last five (2-3-0). But can they do it at the Etihad though were they’ve lost by five goals the last two times?
Score Prediction: Manchester City 3-1 Burnley.