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English Premier League Preview with @Sirtomiwo

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MATCHDAY 2

Star Match
Tottenham Hotspurs vs Chelsea FC

This game is between the top two teams of last season’s. The North London team finished second behind Chelsea last season and will be hoping to make amends for that loss of the title by taking advantage of what is expected to be a weakened Chelsea side.

The Blues will be missing Captain Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas as both players were sent off last weekend during the 3-2 loss at home to Burnley. Eden Hazard and new signing Tiemoue Bakayoko are said to be back in training and might feature in the London derby at one point or the other.

Spurs got off to a winning start last weekend by beating newly promoted Newcastle United at St James’ Park although they only broke the deadlock after Jonjo Shelvey got sent off for the Magpies. However, it would be the first game of the season at the Wembley stadium where the Spurs would play this season as the White Hart Lane undergoes renovation.

This is the third season of the Spurs under Argentine tactician Mauricio Pochettino and they have no injury worries except for Danny Rose that has expressed his desire to depart the club openly. Chelsea would welcome Victor Moses back from suspension and may have star man Eden Hazard and Pedro available as both are expected to take a late fitness test.

VERDICT: I expect the attacking force of Kane, Alli, and Erikson to be too much to handle for the defending champions and expect Spurs to emerge as comfortable winners. New boy, Alvaro Morata may get on the score sheet again after an impressive display from the bench last weekend.

Star Match Prediction: 3-1

Liverpool vs Crystal Palace

The Reds were shocked in the 94th minute at Vicarage Road by an equalizing goal that denied them three points last weekend. This is the first home game of the season for Klopp’s men and the Kop would gladly get behind their men. With the pace and power of Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah, Liverpool is expected to be such an explosive force this season with the counter-attacking style; Gengen Pressing adopted by their German manager.

Crystal Palace was stunned last weekend by newcomers Huddersfield as they lost 3-0 at home. They would have hoped for an easier fixture but they would be hoping to take advantage of defensive lapses that Liverpool are prone to making. With loanees Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Timothy Fosu-Mensah from Chelsea and Manchester United respectively, they would be hoping to cause an upset at Anfield.

VERDICT: A Liverpool win is expected with a lot of goals. With Sturridge back in training and Firminho likely to combine with Salah and Mane, the attack of Liverpool should be too much for Palace to handle.

Swansea vs Manchester United

The swans just sold Icelandic midfielder Gyfil Sigurdsson to Everton for 45 Million Pounds after a disappointing performance last weekend that ended in a draw at Southampton. It would be the first home game of the season and the team will be hoping to make a new signing to replace the midfielder before the end of the transfer window. The last team they would want to play right now would be the new Manchester United side that put four fantastic goals past West Ham United last weekend.

With new boys Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic settling in comfortably at the Red Devils, the Manchester United squad is starting to look as formidable as they used to be under the great Sir Alex Ferguson. Lukaku got a brace on his debut and he would be hoping to add to his goal scoring tally at the Liberty Stadium. Pogba, Rashford, Martial, and Mhikitaryan also had good games against the Hammers and would be hoping to continue the trend as they hope to mount a challenge for the title this season.

VERDICT: Another comfortable win for Manchester United as they look to have clicked together as a team under Jose Mourinho.

Stoke City vs Arsenal

The Potters lost to Everton by a Wayne Rooney header at the Goodison Park last weekend and will hope to get back to winning ways when they host the Gunners this weekend at the BET 365 Stadium. The game is never easy for anyone as the Stoke is known for playing great physical football that is hard to fight against especially when they are at home.

The Gunners won a dramatic game on the opening weekend at home to Leicester. New signing Alexandre Lacazette got on the score sheet and Olivier Giroud got the winner in the 4-3 thriller.           The Gunners will still be without star man Alexis Sanchez who is out injured while he tries to force a way out of the Emirates.

Verdict: This would be a tough game to predict as Arsenal seems to have defensive problems especially after conceding two of the three goals against Leicester from set pieces. I am predicting a draw in this game or Arsenal struggling to edge a win.

Manchester City vs Everton

The Monday fixture sees Manchester City host Everton at the Etihad on Monday night. The Citizens have spent a lot of money this window bringing new faces to the club as Manager Pep Guardiola looks to make a statement in the English league. They won at Brighton over the weekend with star man Sergio Aguero getting on the score sheet as they ran out 2-0 winners and they face an Everton side that has strengthened itself over the past two windows.

Everton sold their last season’s top scorer Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United and have brought back Wayne Rooney to spear head their attack and bring in his experience into the squad. “Wazza” got on the score sheet last weekend and would be hoping to get another goal against Manchester City to increase his tally of 11 goals against them.

Verdict: City remain favorites to win the game but they drew at home and lost heavily away to Everton last season. They would be hoping for revenge this time around and Everton would miss Lukaku but they cannot be written off. I expect a draw but the home advantage of City may prove to give the Manchester team an edge.

These verdicts and predictions are purely mine but I would love to get the feedback of the readers. I would be taking score line predictions of these five games and if any three are correct, a reward would be given to the winners.