The Barclays Premier League is off and running again and after some shock results on match-day 1, the second set of games prepares to be another very entertaining one. Here is my preview and predictions for Gameweek 2 in the Barclays Premier League.
Manchester United 2-1 Southampton
Southampton will put up a good fight at Old Trafford but will ultimately have a lot of difficulty bearing the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba. Zlatan Ibrahimovic will score at least 1 goal for United while Shane Long will net his first of the season for the Saints.
Man of the Match: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Key Matchup: Zlatan Ibrahimovic vs. Vigril Van Dijk
Manchester United – De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Shaw, Fellaini, Pogba, Martial, Rooney, Mkhitaryan, Ibrahimovic
Hopefully, Mkhitaryan gets the start of Juan Mata this week despite the Spaniard scoring United’s opener against Bournemouth last week. Manchester United fans should also be excited to see Paul Pogba back at Old Trafford and will be hoping he has a big impact on Friday’s game.
Southampton – Forster, Cedric, Fonte, Van Dijk, Targett, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Davis, Tadic, Redmond, Long
Jose Fonte will almost certainly make his debut of the season after catching up on rest from his exertions at Euro 2016. Matt Targett will also retain his place ahead of the injured Ryan Bertrand.
Stoke 1-2 Manchester City
Stoke-Manchester City games have been some of the most entertaining encounters over the past few years in the Premier League but with Guardiola in charge of Manchester City this season, expect a more dull and direct game of football. City will be very good defensively, will be tough to break down and will pass the ball around until Stoke can no longer handle it. Sterling will get off and running for the season while Aguero will bag the other goal of the game for the blue side of Manchester.
Man of the Match: Raheem Sterling
Key Matchup: Kevin de Bruyne vs. Gianelli Imbula
Stoke – Given, Bardsley, Wollscheid, Shawcross, Pieters, Imbula, Allen, Shaqiri, Bojan, Arnautovic, Joselu
If Stoke don’t want all this money to go to waste than Joe Allen better start against Manchester City and show that he is the man for the big occasion. Xherdan Shaqiri wil be a driving force for Stoke City’s attacks after a solid opening match while Shay Given retains his place in goal due to Jack Butland’s horrible injury troubles.
Manchester City – Caballero, Sagna, Stones, Kolarov, Clichy, Fernandinho, Sterling, de Bruyne, Silva, Nolito, Aguero
Caballero gets the number 1 spot in the XI again due to Guardiola’s disinterest in Joe Hart, while a 4-1-4-1 formation is likely to stick after a very impressive showing with the formation in a midweek Champions League qualification match against Steaua Bucharest.
Burnley 0-3 Liverpool
Liverpool will enjoy another fine afternoon in the Premier League and will secure their second three points of the season with an emphatic victory over relegation contenders Burnley. Coutinho, Sturridge and Firmino will be the goal scorers.
Man of the Match: Roberto Firmino
Key Matchup: Philippe Coutinho vs. Matthew Lowton
Burnley – Heaton, Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward, Defour, Jones, Boyd, Arfield, Gray, Vokes
Steven Defour will make his debut for the Clarets while Johann Berg Gudmundsson continues to wait on the bench for his chance at a crack inside the starting 11. Jon Flanagan is also ruled out due to being a Liverpool player on loan.
Liverpool – Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Klavan, Moreno, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Lallana, Firmino, Sturridge, Coutinho
4-3-3 will be how Liverpool lineup just as they did last Sunday against Arsenal. Only problem is that Sadio Mane picked up a shoulder injury in training after his stellar debut against the Gunners. The severity of the injury is still unknown to the media and fans alike but will mean that Daniel Sturridge comes in to take his place and pushes Roberto Firmino out wide. Adam Lallana was also very good in that Arsenal match and will be looking to be a key member to Liverpool’s attacks again on Saturday.
Swansea 1-1 Hull
Swansea and Hull both got off to opening day wins but will struggle to find a win against each other in their second matches of the season. Llorente was a big presence in Swansea’s opening match against Burnley and will find the back of the net for the first time with his new club this time around, while Abel Hernandez will also net his first goal of the season.
Man of the Match: Adama Diomande
Key Matchup: Fernando Llorente vs. Curtis Davies
Swansea – Fabianski, Naughton, Fernandez, Amat, Kingsley, Cork, Fer, Barrow, Sigurdsson, Montero, Llorente
Kingsley and Amat will retain their places in the XI due to Neil Taylor’s injury while Jefferson Montero claims a spot in the side once again ahead of Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer.
Hull – Jakupovic, Elmohamady, Livermore, Davies, Robertson, Clucas, Huddlestone, Meyler, Snodgrass, Hernandez, Diomande,
Livermore continues as a centre-half as Michael Dawson sits out with injury and the front three of Diomande, Hernandez and Snodgrass will be hoping to link-up just as well as they did on opening day against Leicester.
Tottenham 2-0 Crystal Palace
The signing of Christian Benteke won’t due much to help Palace against Spurs as Tottenham steamroll to a 2-0 victory. Alli and Kane will grab the goals.
Man of the Match: Dele Alli
Key Matchup: Dele Alli vs. Joe Ledley
Tottenham – Vorm, Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Dier, Wanyama, Lamela, Alli, Eriksen, Kane
Vincent Janseen will likely play a prominent role in the side despite not being a starter and Victor Wanyama will continue in central midfield for the suspended Mousa Dembele. Michel Vorm will also earn the goalkeeping gloves as Hugo Lloris picked up a hamstring injury last match.
Crystal Palace – Mandanda, Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souare, Cabaye, Ledley, Townsend, Chung-Yong, Zaha, Benteke
Mandanda will enter the frame after arriving from Marseille while Joe Ledley and Christian Benteke will also come in for Crystal Palace in this crucial encounter.
Watford 0-2 Chelsea
Chelsea won’t have any difficulty keeping a clean sheet against Watford as Antonio Conte polishes up his defense. Costa and Hazard will grab the goals again.
Man of the Match: Eden Hazard
Key Matchup: Eden Hazard vs. Allan Nyom
Watford – Gomes, Nyom, Cathcart, Britos, Prodl, Zuniga, Capoue, Behrami, Guedioura, Deeney, Ighalo
Isaac Success and Brice Dja Djedje remain injured as Walter Mazzarri continues to stick with 3-5-2. Guedioura is expected to come in for the suspended Ben Watson who picked up a red card in the last match against Southampton.
Chelsea – Courtois, Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Matic, Kante, Willian, Oscar, Hazard, D. Costa
Chelsea will field the exact same lineup that they did on Monday’s match against West Ham. Kurt Zouma still remains injured and Cesc Fabregas still remains out of favour.
West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Everton
West Brom secured an opening day win with a very convincing performance against Crystal Palace but might find it a little more difficult against an Everton side that seems full of confidence ever since the arrival of Ronald Koeman.
Man of the Match: Ross Barkley
Key Matchup: Jose Solomon Rondon vs. Phil Jagielka
West Brom – Foster, Dawson, McAuley, Olsson, Evans, Phillips, Yacob, Fletcher, McClean, Rondon, Berahino
West Brom had a fantastic time against Crytsal Palace on opening day and will be hoping for more of the same with the exact same lineup they fielded on opening day with the one exception of James McClean, the provider of Rondon’s goal, coming in for Craig Gardner.
Everton – Stekelenburg, McCarthy, Holgate, Jagielka, Mori, Baines, Barry, Gueye, Barkley, Deulofeu, Lukaku
3 at the back worked out well for Everton against Spurs last weekend and they will likely continue to field the same team with McCarthy at right-wing-back and Baines at left-wing-back. Lukaku could come into the team for Kevin Mirallas.
Leicester City 2-2 Arsenal
Leicester City got off to a bad start in their attempt to defend their Premier League title after a surprising opening day loss to Hull City. Arsenal meanwhile also got off to a bad start against Liverpool and might have to settle for a draw against the reigning champions.
Man of the Match: Riyad Mahrez
Key Matchup: Daniel Drinkwater vs. Granit Xhaka
Leicester City – Schmeichel, Simpson, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs, Drinkwater, King, Mahrez, Albrighton, Okazaki, Vardy
Shinji Okazaki and Marc Albrighton might retain their places in the XI from last season after Ahmed Musa and Demarai Gray had poor opening day performances. Jamie Vardy will continue to lead the line and Mahrez could also be key after recently signing a new contract with the Foxes.
Arsenal – Cech, Bellerin, Chambers, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Elneny, Walcott, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sanchez
Granit Xhaka had a horrible time after coming off of the bench against Liverpool but will likely earn a place inside the XI this time around despite that. Santiago Cazorla on the other hand had an excellent time off of the bench against Liverpool assisting two goals and will also come into the side. Hopefully this time Laurent Koscielny will also be fit to play.
Sunderland 0-1 Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough almost secured a 1-nil win over Stoke last weekend and should be able to topple over struggling Sunderland this weekend. Alvaro Negredo will grab his second goal of the season.
Man of the Match: Gaston Ramirez
Key Matchup: Gaston Ramirez vs. Jack Rodwell
Sunderland – Mannone, Love, Kaboul, Kone, Van Aanholt, Rodwell, Gooch, Januzaj, Borini, Khazri, Defoe
Gooch was a surprise starter on opening day and may feature again this Sunday while Adnan Januzaj could make his first start for the Black Cats after having more time to adjust to his new team.
Middlesbrough – Valdes, Nsue, Barragan, Gibson, Friend, Forshaw, Clayton, Adomah, Ramirez, Downing, Negredo
Daniel Ayala remains injured so Antonio Barragan will continue to play as an unorthodox centre-half while Adam Forshaw will also earn his first start of the season after coming on for Marten de Roon last time against Stoke after the latter got injured. Alvaro Negredo and Gaston Ramirez will continue to be Boro’s best attacking threats.
West Ham 2-1 Bournemouth
West Ham lost their opening match against Chelsea by a score of 2-1 and despite having to play an extra game in the middle of the week in Europa League qualifying, they will likely take this one against Bournemouth by that exact same scoreline.
Man of the Match: Dimtiri Payet
Key Matchup: Andy Carroll vs. Steve Cook
West Ham – Adrian, Antonio, Reid, Collins, Masuaku, Noble, Nordtveit, Kouyate, Tore, Carroll, Payet
West Ham will continue with a 4-3-3 against AFC Bournemouth but a horrible injury to Andre Ayew in their opening fixture means that Gokhan Tore may earn his first start in the Premier League. Havard Nordtveit also retains his place in the XI despite having a shockingly bad debut against Chelsea and Dimitri Payet comes back into the side to fix that lack of spark that the Hammers had in that first half against the Blues last Monday.
Bournemouth – Boruc, A. Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels, Ibe, Surman, Arter, Gradel, Wilson, King
Eddie Howe could revert back to a 4-4-2 after the 4-3-3 didn’t work out well at all against Manchester United last Sunday which could mean that Max Gradel comes into the side for Lewis Cook. Everything else should remain the same
So there it is! The Mastermind‘s preview and predictions for Gameweek 2. Like what you read? Check back soon for more posts like this.