Mark’s top five tips suggest he isn’t anticipating any big shocks in the top flight this weekend. This week he goes head-to-head with Laura Bassett, but does the England Women star agree?
Arsenal 2-0 Liverpool
The Gunners started the season with a poor home loss at the hands of West Ham, but sneaked past Crystal Palace 2-1 last Sunday. Arsene Wenger’s men were quicker and slicker as they pushed to their victory, and that was probably down to Alexis Sanchez being reintroduced to the team. His pace allowed Mesut Ozil the room to be effective and it brings his team further up the pitch, taking pressure off the back line.
Liverpool are yet to concede so far, but the biggest boost was Christian Benteke getting off the mark at Anfield on Monday.
The Gunners seem to have the edge over Liverpool and will be hoping that they can get off the mark at the Emirates. This Liverpool side looks there for the taking – especially if the North London club’s Chilean maestro is on form.
Laura Bassett’s prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool
Everton 1-2 Manchester City
Manchester City have been outstanding at the start of this season, winning both of their opening fixtures 3-0. The impressive thing is that they have both been tricky fixtures, away at West Brom and at home to Chelsea, but both opponents were disposed of with relative ease.
Raheem Sterling has added pace, David Silva has been at his best, while Vincent Kompany looks like a man that has lifted two Premier League titles and Sergio Aguero is being, well, Sergio Aguero.
Everton already seem like the team that no one can predict, after dropping points at home to Watford and then looking impressive away at Southampton in a 3-0 demolition last Saturday. Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley have looked particularly impressive for the Toffees, but their back line will be well and truly tested on Sunday against City.
Laura Bassett’s prediction: Everton 0-2 Manchester City
Leicester City 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Two games into the season and Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City are second in the Premier League. Their opponents this weekend are Tottenham, who have only got one point on the board after letting a two-goal lead slip at home to Stoke last weekend. For an hour Spurs looked on top of things, but then Harry Kane was taken off and they struggled at the back.
The Foxes have scored six goals in two games, with Ryad Mahrez the standout performer, given his direct approach and a new-found ability to finish off his chances. The workman-like front pairing of Jamie Vardy and Shinji Okazaki is also likely to give the Spurs defence a headache, but both attacks should thrive in what should prove a thrilling encounter.
Laura Bassett’s prediction: Leicester City 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Manchester United 4-0 Newcastle United
Memphis Depay announced himself with two superb goals and a great assist in their midweek 3-1 victory at home to Club Brugge. With the side likely to be unchanged for Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off, it could be time for league goals to fly in at Old Trafford.
Newcastle are one of Wayne Rooney’s favourite teams to play against. The England and United captain has been under pressure, but looked better on Tuesday night against the Belgians and should get off the mark in this contest.
The Magpies started with a 2-2 draw at home to Southampton and then fell to a 2-0 defeat at Swansea last Saturday. It promises to be a long afternoon for Steve McClaren on his Old Trafford return as United look to protect their 100 per cent record.
Laura Bassett’s prediction: Manchester United 1-0 Newcastle United
West Brom 0-2 Chelsea
One point from the opening two games is not exactly what Jose Mourinho and Chelsea were expecting from the start of their Premier League campaign. The Blues were well and truly beaten by Manchester City on Sunday and are languishing five points off the pace already.
Mourinho has reacted by signing Abdul Baba Rahman from Augsburg and agreeing a deal to sign Pedro right under the noses of United. John Terry was taken off at half-time at the Etihad and all eyes will be on the Chelsea team-sheet an hour before Sunday’s kick-off.
West Brom lost comprehensively to City on the first day, then drew 0-0 away at Watford. It isn’t like the Baggies have a lack of goalscoring options, but they are yet to click, and this fixture is not ideal against a wounded Chelsea.
Laura Bassett’s prediction: West Brom 1-2 Chelsea
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