GW1 Premier League predictions: Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea to dominate the opening weekend
Here are NationalWorld’s predictions for the opening weekend of the Premier League
After what feels like a very long summer without men’s football, the Premier League is finally set to return tonight.
Crystal Palace and Arsenal will kick off the new campaign at Selhurst Park, before the remaining 18 teams compete in their opening fixtures across the weekend.
The first round of matches in the top tier is always very hard to predict as teams take their time to kick on, while others get off to a flier only to slow down after a few weeks.
This was shown on last season’s opening weekend when newly promoted Brentford shocked Arsenal with a 2-0 win, while Tottenham Hotspur claimed a narrow victory over Manchester City.
Ahead of tonight’s match, we have attempted to make our predictions for the opening fixtures...
Crystal Palace v Arsenal
Arsenal are once again featuring in the first match of the season and this time they will want to avoid the humiliation of defeat.
The Gunners put ten goals past Sevilla and Chelsea in their final two pre-season friendlies and will be brimming with confidence ahead of their opener.
With Gabriel Jesus set for his competitive debut, it is hard not to see him scoring his first goal for the club and leading his new side to their first win.
Crystal Palace will undoubtedly have a good season but I think it will take them a while to get into it, with Cheick Doucoure likely to shine in the second half of the campaign.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-2 Arsenal
Fulham v Liverpool
Fulham have definitely drawn the short straw in hosting Liverpool in their first match back in the Premier League.
The Reds have had an up and down pre-season but looked electric in their Community Shield victory, while Darwin Nunez won’t have the added pressure of getting off the mark as he already bagged one at the King Power Stadium.
The only positive Marco Silva’s team can take ahead of tomorrow’s fixture is Liverpool’s extensive injury list, with the likes of Diogo Jota, Ibrahima Konate and Alisson all absent this weekend.
However, I can’t see it making much difference to the outcome - especially with Mo Salah on the pitch.
Prediction: Fulham 0-2 Liverpool
Bournemouth 1-1 Aston Villa
I fully expected Bournemouth to have a very poor season after a rather disappointing transfer window, while Aston Villa could go one of two ways.
Steven Gerrard’s side need to have a good campaign after bringing in Boubacar Kamara, Diego Carlos and Philippe Coutinho, however I can see them buckling under the pressure of facing a newly promoted team on their home turf.
I think it will be a tight game and I definitely don’t think the Cherries have a strong enough squad to break Villa down, but they may well claim their first point since promotion.
Prediction: Bournemouth 1-1 Aston Villa
Leeds United 2-1 Wolves
Many think Leeds United could face another relegation scrap this season after losing Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips, however I think the signings they have made are equally just as exciting.
Despite losing their star man, I can see the Whites’ fanbase being in very good spirits at Elland Road and will play a huge role in their opening fixture.
Meanwhile, I expect Wolves to continue their form of struggling in goal and put on a poor performance.
Morgan Gibbs-White and Pedro Neto may be their only hope, however the former may be on his way out.
Prediction: Leeds Utd 2-1 Wolves
Newcastle United 3-1 Nottingham Forest
I probably have the highest expectations of Nottingham Forest out of the three promoted clubs, however Newcastle United are definitely one team they wouldn’t have wanted to face in their opening fixture.
The atmosphere at St. James’ Park is going to be electric and we can expect to see some very positive football from a much improved Magpies line-up.
Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin will shine up top for Eddie Howe’s side, while Jesse Lingard may struggle to show Newcastle what they missed out on.
Prediction: Newcastle 3-1 Nottingham Forest
Tottenham v Southampton
It feels like the entire Premier League is waiting for Tottenham’s season in anticipation, with many expecting them to actually challenge Man City and Liverpool at the top.
Despite Southampton making some good signings in the likes of Joe Aribo and Romeo Lavia, the strength of Spurs’ squad is going to be no match for them.
I expect Harry Kane, Heung-min Son and Dejan Kulusevski kick on straight away and show us exactly what to expect for the next nine months.
Prediction: Tottenham 3-0 Southampton
Everton v Chelsea
Despite avoiding relegation last season, I can see the atmosphere at Goodison Park being very frosty after a disappointing summer.
The Toffees transfer activity has been very poor and the departure of Richarlison means goals certainly won’t come easy.
Injury to Dominic Calvert-Lewin also makes it even less likely that they will be able to overcome Chelsea this weekend, while Thomas Tuchel’s side could run riot and may not need to worry about their unfinished squad.
Prediction: Everton 1-4 Chelsea
Leicester 1-1 Brentford
Thankfully Leicester have so far only said goodbye to Kasper Schmeichel, but the departures of Wesley Fofana, James Maddison and Youri Tielemans may come very soon.
While the trio are unlikely to have left before this weekend’s fixtures, it will definitely have a big impact on their performance and it is unclear whether the players will feature at the King Power Stadium.
Meanwhile, I can’t see Brentford putting on quite the same performance as they did in their opening win against Arsenal last season, though I expect new signings Aaron Hickey, Ben Mee and Keane Lewis-Potter to impress.
Prediction: Leicester 1-1 Brentford
Manchester United v Brighton
Manchester United will be desperate for redemption after Brighton hammered them 4-0 at the end of last season - and I expect them to get it.
While the Red Devils still have a number of signings they need to make, their team is definitely strong enough to beat the Seagulls and I can’t see Erik ten Hag slip up in his first match.
The loss of Yves Bissouma and Marc Cucurella will have a big impact on Graham Potter’s side and I just can’t see them being good enough for their trip to Old Trafford.
Prediction: Man Utd 2-0 Brighton
West Ham v Manchester City
West Ham v Man City was another fixture that was also played out at the end of last season - with that tie ending in an entertaining draw.
The Hammers will prove to be a real challenge for City, who certainly won’t be underestimating their opponents.
However, I can see Erling Haaland being the difference for the current champions - and it won’t be the first time he claims all the points for them.
Prediction: West Ham 1-2 Man City