Arsenal v Man City is the biggest match on the opening day of the 2018 season, but how do you think all the other teams will perform as well? Here are Dan’s Premier League Match Predictions for Week 1 of the 2018 season.
Manchester United 2-2 Leicester
Given his brand of football and just how far they finished behind their city rivals, Jose was under enough pressure to start the season well. Why then put further spotlight on yourself by angering senior players and dismissing the clubs youth policy. No man has ever put so much negativity based on pre-season results and he stopped short at saying unless a couple of huge names arrive this week, there won’t be a title challenge. Man City won the Premiership based on a stunning start last year. They put together a winning sequence which meant they had won it by Christmas. The rest can’t afford to start slowly. Ruining the mood round Old Trafford makes it less of a fortress and lessens the chance of flying out of the traps. If the Foxes are positive they can take advantage of the depression Jose has created.
Newcastle vs Spurs 1-2
A bit like Jose, Rafa hasn’t hidden his bad mood meaning St James Park won’t be buzzing, something they need if they are to get anything out of this game. As long as Mike Ashley runs the club how he is, it’s when and not if he loses the Spaniard. The owner is gambling with the Toons future when he doesn’t need too.
Bournemouth vs Cardiff 3-2
I’m in the minority but I’m happy Neil Warnock gets a final crack at the big time, having only ever been given one full season in the top flight. His employers are unpredictable and showed last time they won’t be patient just because they are newly promoted. While Warnock’s there he will make the Welsh side physical, hard working and organised. The Cherries don’t cope well when in position of favourites but should still have too much fire power.
Fulham vs Crystal Palace 2-1
For a team promoted from the play offs, I’m confident the Cottagers won’t be near the drop zone. A feel good factor combined with a positive style of play, there’s goasl in this team. Newcastle might regret letting Mitovic leave while I’m excited to see Sessegnon at the highest level. Palace should never have been in the drop zone and with their manager’s experience won’t be this time. With Zaha on form they could be a surprise package.
Huddersfield 0-1 Chelsea
A new manager only having 3 weeks to work with a squad whose big names will be rumoured to leave up to the close of the European transfer window. For a team who finished 5th last year this has been an unorganised pre-season for such a big club and could Impact where they finish. By the time they settle they could be chasing the rest and even Roman Abramovich might have to accept no title bid. Given all of the above, the last fixture they needed was a tricky away game against underdogs with nothing to lose. A good time for the Terriers to welcome the FA winners but will they be positive or park the bus ?
Watford vs Brighton 1-0
Garcia is my fave to be first manager to be sacked, given how Watford run the club. Yet, in terms of being a stable top flight side, constant changes In personnel works for them. Like Huddesfield, Brighton have to cope with second season syndrome. Can Chris Hughton adapt his tactics to go again?
Wolves vs Everton 3-2
A nightmare Toffess debut for Silva, travelling to a ground where there will still be a party/feel good factor. It’s odd to see a newly promoted side so confident about where they can finish. The way their owners are talking 17th would be a disappointment. You could go as far as saying Everton could learn a few things from Wolves in terms of recruitment, especially in terms of value. While Wolves owners have ambition to take this club to the top , many will tell them it’s not that simple.
Liverpool vs West Ham 2-0
Out of the other ‘big 6’ Liverpool seem the only ones with the confidence to start a challenge to Man City. Where they have been smart is trying to build from a position of strength, following the Champion’s League Final with a recruitment drive that proves the Henry’s ambitions. Unlike our American owners they have fixed problem areas with the very best.
It’s funny how the Hammers are quick to complain about what Sullivan and Gold don’t do, then say nothing when they prove them wrong. What their supporters and fans need to prove is they can cope better with adversity.
Southampton vs Burnley 1-0
First chance to see how Burnley juggle playing Thursday – Friday. The reality is though that they should accept a drop off in Leguge form if it means an experience in Europe. I like that Sean Dyche requires individuals with a certan mentality rather then buying just for the sake of making his squad bigger. None the less playing in Europe makes them perfect opposition for Southampton. I’m surprised the Saints didn’t lift the mood by bringing in fresh faces but under Mark Hughes they should stay out of trouble.
Arsenal vs Man City 1-1
Gooners told ourselves with so many City players at the World Cup maybe this would be a good time to face the champions.
The Community Shield showed that may be wishful thinking. Statistics highlight it’s not simple In retaining your title yet if one manager has the obsessive nature to ensure zero complacency it’s Pep Guardiola. Still, you rather face them on day one rather then when they hit their stride. How Unai Emery approaches his first game as boss will be fascinating. He has worked with the majority of his talent in the summer. Is that long enough to mentally convince his men they can compete with the best? Arsenal looked scared in games against Man City in the last campaign but will the Emery factor change that?
How do you think the opening League games will end this weekend?