We look ahead to the opening fixtures in the 2017/18 Premier League season
The Premier League fixtures are out for the new season and we have just a few weeks until the action starts. Here are our early predictions for the opening weekend.
Friday 11th August 2017
Arsenal v Leicester City 19:45
Arsene Wenger faces a battle to keep Alexis Sanchez and the Gunners don’t have a good record when it comes to opening fixtures. Craig Shakespeare has been confirmed as Leicester manager although how will he fare without Riyad Mahrez?
PREDICTION: Arsenal 2 Leicester 1
Saturday 12th August
Watford v Liverpool 12:30
Liverpool head to Vicarage Road hoping to get off to a flyer, although Marco Silva got a tune out of Hull City and we wouldn’t be surprised if the Hornets opened with a win.
PREDICTION: Watford 2 Liverpool 1
Chelsea v Burnley 15:00
Antonio Conte couldn’t have hand-picked a better opener and this could be a straightforward win for the champions. The Clarets struggled on the road last term.
PREDICTION: Chelsea 3 Burnley 0
Crystal Palace v Huddersfield Town 15:00
New boys Huddersfield travel to Selhurst Park with nothing to lose although it might take the Terriers a while to adjust to the top flight. Palace are retaining their best players and can open with a win.
PREDICTION: Palace 3 Huddersfield 1
Everton v Stoke City 15:00
Everton have a tricky run of games after this one although Ronald Koeman is wheeling and dealing in the transfer market and we think they can open with a win against a Potters side who aren’t much changed from last term.
PREDICTION: Everton 2 Stoke 0
Southampton v Swansea City 15:00
The Saints continue to shed their best players, while Swansea could be in for a season of struggle under Paul Clement. We’re expecting this one to end all square.
PREDICTION: Southampton 1 Swansea 1
West Bromwich Albion v Bournemouth 15:00
Tony Pulis continues to keep teams in the top flight and he’ll be hoping for a strong start, with Bournemouth an unpredictable side who still have a weak underbelly on the road.
PREDICTION: West Brom 2 Bournemouth 2
Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester City 17:30
Not an ideal opening fixture for City who travel to one of the promoted sides. Pep Guardiola has been busy splashing the cash although Brighton boast excellent home form over the past two seasons and they could get a point.
PREDICTION: Brighton 2 Man City 2
Sunday 13 August
Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur 13:30
Rafael Benitez’s Magpies have a tough opener although this might be a good time to tackle Tottenham. The Spaniard will have done his homework on Spurs and perhaps Newcastle can pinch a valuable point.
PREDICTION: Newcastle 1 Tottenham 1
Manchester United v West Ham United 16:00
A home win is on the cards for Jose Mourinho’s side, with United looking to improve on sixth place and they face a Hammers side who could struggle against the drop next term.
PREDICTION: Manchester United 2 West Ham 0