Southampton v Manchester United:
Che Adams came off the bench to inspire Southampton’s comeback from a goal down and secure their first win of the Premier League season with both goals in a 2-1 victory at Leicester. The 26-Year-Old striker then netted another brace in the midweek Carabao Cup win at Cambridge. Given he also scored when these two sides last met, we should expect to see him start here.
Monday night saw an unrecognisable Manchester United inflict a first league defeat of 2022 on arch rivals Liverpool. The trick now for Erik ten Hag is to ensure that wasn’t a one off.
Something has to give this Saturday lunchtime at St. Marys. Man Utd have been losing at both half time and full time in their last seven away matches but are undefeated in their last 14 visits to Southampton in all competitions. I have no idea what version of either of these sides we will see so it makes sense to sit on the fence. Draw!
Man City v Crystal Palace:
After seeing his side came from two goals down to salvage a 3-3 draw at Newcastle Pep Guardiola described it as a “proper football game,”. As a spectacle it will take some beating this season.
A Wilfried Zaha double helped the Eagles to a 3-1 win against Aston Villa, the Ivorian international has now scored 12 EPL goals in 2022 – only Spurs duo Son Heung-min and Harry Kane (15) have more.
Palace have taken seven points from their last four visits to the Etihad scoring at least twice in three of those meetings. Patrick Vieira’s men also kept clean sheets against the champions both home and away last term. Bogey team? Maybe? But I still have to side with a home win here, albeit a narrow one.
Liverpool v Bournemouth:
Injuries, suspensions, on-field showdowns and a defeat to arch rivals Manchester United. Things can only get better for Jurgen Klopp and his mentality monsters. The fixture list has at least been kind enough to offer the perfect opportunity to register that all important first win.
The Cherries were outclassed by league leaders Arsenal last weekend and will have to raise their performance levels several notches if they are to take anything away from Anfield. The game was quickly lost during a first half Scott Parker described as unacceptable from his team.
Bournemouth have won only two of their last 17 EPL road trips and I cannot see them adding to that tally here. Home win.
Chelsea v Leicester:
Edouard Mendy dropped a clanger and new signing Kalidou Koulibaly saw red as Chelsea were routed 3-0 by a rampant Leeds side at Elland Road.
The Foxes defensive frailties were once again on full show as they took the lead through James Maddison only for a Che Adams brace to ensure the Saints returned to the South Coast with all three points.
Wesley Fofana will once again be missing for Leicester as he hankers for a move rather than just a visit to Stamford Bridge. Neither side are in a good place right now but I will take Chelsea just to shade it especially if as expected Maddison is also likely to miss the trip with injury.
Brentford v Everton:
For a second successive away game the Bees fought back from 2-0 down to level at 2-2 – however this time there was a sting in the tail at Craven Cottage as Aleksandar Mitrovic headed home a 98th minute winner for Fulham.
The Toffees collected their first point of the season as Demarai Gray rescued a late point against new boys Nottingham Forest at Goodison Park.
Everton had the joint worst away points total in the EPL last season and have lost 14 of their last 18 league road trips. Following the 4-0 humiliation of Manchester United in their opening home game of the season, Brentford will fancy their chances of adding another three points here as they continue to pay no notice to former reputations.
Brighton v Leeds:
The high-flying Seagulls have picked up seven points from their opening three fixtures following a comfortable win over West Ham last weekend. Graham Potter shrugging off the loss of key duo Yves Bissouma and Marc Cucurella simply putting the secret of his success down to having a team of hard-workers who try their best.
Leeds have also started the season well matching their hosts tally of seven points following a high octane beating of Chelsea at a white-hot Elland Road. A win that surely ranks as the best of the Jesse Marsch regime.
Two sides fresh from very impressive performances who I have a feeling may cancel each other out as they did in both games last season. Draw.
Arsenal v Fulham:
The Gunners continue to impress, roaring in to a two-goal lead at Bournemouth with just 11 minutes on the clock. A lead Mikel Arteta’s side never looked like surrendering and starting a campaign with three successive wins for the first time since 2004.
No player in the EPL has had more shots, shots on target or headers at goal this season so far than Aleksandar Mitrovic. The last of which resulting in the decisive goal of five in the 98th minute against Brentford and moving his unbeaten Fulham side up to 7th.
Arsenal have a very good record against newly promoted sides and an even better one against Fulham – I’m taking that to continue here.
Wolves v Newcastle:
Despite a promising opening 45 minutes at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Wolves continue to show a lack of cutting edge. One goal in their opening three games highlights that and is a continuation of their goalscoring woes of last season where only the three relegated sides scored fewer.
At the other end of the spectrum is the buoyant Magpies, fresh from their exhilarating 3-3 draw with the champions. Despite surrendering a two-goal lead Eddie Howe has now guided his side to 43 points in 2022 – only three clubs have accumulated more.
Wolves have failed to win any of their last 10 matches, the longest winless run in England’s top flight. However, if Callum Wilson’s thigh injury keeps him out that will be a big blow for the visitors but regardless of that I am taking Newcastle to edge this one.
Aston Villa v West Ham:
Despite Ollie Watkins firing the Villains into an early lead at Selhurst Park they once again left empty handed on the receiving end of a 3-1 defeat. Steven Gerrard bemoaned a harsh penalty award against his team – but in truth they were second best against the impressive Eagles.
The Hammers terrible start to the season continued as they were kept at arm’s length by a confident Brighton side. The 2-0 defeat means it’s three games played, zero points and zero goals scored for David Moyes’ men with the veteran manager conceding his side were second best on the day.
A huge game for both sides and one I can see ending all square.
Nottm Forest v Tottenham:
Brennan Johnson’s 81st minute strike looked to have secured a second win of the season for newly promoted Forest. Steve Cooper would have been disappointed to see his side pegged back seven minutes later especially as a result of a route one pass straight down the middle from Jordan Pickford.
Spurs’ 1-0 defeat of Wolves on Saturday lunchtime brought their tally to seven points for the season – seven more than they gained from the exact same fixtures last term. Antonio Conte once again showing his worth as his side’s dominate second half showing contrasted totally to their lacklustre performance in the opening 45 minutes.
Certainly, a potential banana skin here for Tottenham but if Forest offer as many chances as they have done in the opening three fixtures, 61 shots, 57% of which inside the box and 23 on target the visitors will make them pay.