This weekend I take on the Production and PR team at the Offside Rule. Sean Thorne, Alexandra Lever and Natasha Bougourd will be looking at going up against me.
Burnley 0-3 Manchester United: The good news from Angel Di Maria’s signing was quickly extinguished as the MK Dons tore United’s second string to pieces at Stadium MK on Tuesday night. Even so, players are signing and others are slowly getting back to fitness. United should have enough to beat Burnley as the improvement continues. The game may come too soon for Burnley’s Sam Vokes but he and Danny Ings will be what Sean Dyche will build his team’s survival campaign around going forward.
Alex Predicts… Burnley 1-3 Manchester United: Manchester United’s awful, sloppy, defensive problems will be highlighted with an early goal from Burnley. The team will receive yet another shock, quite a usual feeling for the Manchester United of late, but this time they will bounce back with three goals. Don’t get me wrong, it will still be an unconvincing United performance and a shock reality for new signings for Angel Di Maria and Marcos Rojo.
Manchester City 2-0 Stoke City: After being outplayed by Liverpool for half an hour on Monday night, Stevan Jovetic popped up with a double in a 3-1 win over last season’s runners-up. City were solid if not spectacular and the fact that Edin Dzeko’s injury will see him probably replaced by Sergio Aguero, who touched the ball twice before scoring, shows how strong they are. Stoke have been disappointing and will leave Manchester empty handed.
Sean predicts… Manchester City 3-0 Stoke City: I don’t see City becoming the second team in Manchester to be upset this week. It’s going to be a long afternoon for Mark Hughes’ men which will end with Sergio Aguero at the top of the goalscoring charts.
QPR 1-1 Sunderland: QPR were demolished by Tottenham last Sunday but those are the games that will not determine the London club’s survival. The signings have been shrewd but will need time to gel and a point should be all Harry Redknapp’s side can gather from their hosting of Sunderland. The Black Cats were well worth their draw against Manchester United and will be looking for three points at Loftus Road but will probably leave with another point.
Natasha Predicts… QPR 1-2 Sunderland: Sunderland will be on a high after their performance against Manchester United and I think QPR will again struggle to keep their Premier League status with a squad past their best. I can see the Black Cats leaving Loftus Road with all three points.
Newcastle 3-0 Crystal Palace: Having watched Newcastle at first hand in their Capital One Cup victory at Gillingham on Tuesday night, it was surprising to see Alan Pardew’s side solid, if unspectacular. Siem De Jong looks like he will make the number ten role his own at St James’ Park and will be looking to earn a comfortable victory in Neil Warnock’s first game in charge of Palace. The new manager’s positivity usually has an effect but I think Newcastle look far too strong.
Alex Predicts… Newcastle United 2-1 Crystal Palace: At the weekend, Newcastle will be solid yet without any real flare. Neil Warnock’s first game in charge could bring some confidence to the Palace side but Newcastle will have the edge and beat them 2-1.
Swansea City 2-0 West Brom: Two wins out of two for Gary Monk and Swansea City so far is a solid start and another home three points look on the cards. West Brom picked up a point at St Mary’s but didn’t look like scoring. Swansea should win by a couple of goals this Saturday to keep their 100% record going.
Sean Predicts… Swansea City 0-1 West Brom: West Brom managed to sneak through to the next round of the Carling Cup against Oxford, and I think they’ll sneak through at the Liberty.
West Ham 0-2 Southampton: Southampton struggled to open West Brom up last Saturday whilst West Ham knocked three past Crystal Palace. The Hammers have been struggling to make an impression at home though, including losing on penalties in the Capital One Cup to Sheffield United on Tuesday. The Saints could pick up their first win of the season at Upton Park this weekend.
Natasha Predicts…West Ham 0-0 Southampton: Neither of their squads are at their best and I can’t see anything other than a dull 0-0.
Aston Villa 0-0 Hull City: Hull have a Europa League tie against Lokeren to look forward to on Thursday night as they look to overturn a 1-0 deficit. This could affect them as they travel to Villa park on Sunday. Villa looked blunt in attack against Newcastle last week so another bore draw for the home fans should be expected.
Sean Predicts… Aston Villa 1-1 Hull City: An 80th minute snooze fest will be brought to life in the dying minutes thanks to headed goals at either end by Ron Vlaar and Curtis Davies.
Everton 1-1 Chelsea: According to most people, Chelsea have already won the Premier League so apparently we should just stop now. A polite reminder though: they have defeated Burnley and Leicester, two promoted teams. In one they were impressive, in the other they laboured so what have we learned? Not that much.
They will be in the top two but going to Goodison this Saturday evening could see them drop points. Martinez’s side let a two goal lead disappear against Arsenal last weekend but would be happy with a point against this season’s early favourites. There are two former Chelsea strikers wanting to prove a point to the Blues too.
Alexandra Predicts…Everton 0-2 Chelsea: Probably my most unsure prediction. Should really go for a 1-1 but I think Everton will be lacking confidence after throwing away their lead against Arsenal last weekend. Chelsea will come out strong and have a comfortable win.
Tottenham 2-0 Liverpool: Tottenham had the freedom of White Hart Lane last weekend as they impressed against QPR. Erik Lamela ran the show and will be looking to do the same this weekend. The players seem to be loving life under Mauricio Pochettino. They have the defensive solidity of AVB’s team and attacking flair that will put any defence under pressure. Liverpool have a new look defence and a few injury issues after Monday’s match at the Etihad. Balotelli will be available but he may not be enough for a Tottenham side with their tails up.
Natasha Predicts… Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool: Liverpool will want to bounce back as quickly as possible after failing to exact revenge on the team who snatched the title away from them last season, so I think they’ll go to Tottenham all guns blazing and take the three points back to Merseyside.
Leicester City 1-3 Arsenal: Leicester have been given a horrific start in terms of fixtures. Everton, Chelsea, Arsenal and Man United in their first five matches is a baptism of fire. Even so, they have acquitted themselves well thus far. Arsenal have had a few injury concerns but Aaron Ramsey looks to be thriving and will be fresh after having a week off following his European suspension.
Alex Predicts… Leicester City 0-3 Arsenal: No Giroud for Arsenal until January! However, I don’t think this will harm Arsenal at all and they’ll have an enjoyable victory over Leicester this weekend.
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