So, the Premier League is well and truly back. The first match week was typically full of the much-loved controversy and drama that makes England’s elite tier the undisputed best of its kind. From Jagielka’s debatable sending off to Jorginho and Pogba’s incredible penalties, Ruben Neves’ stunner to Sadio Mane’s brace, the opening weekend had the lot. But what will Gameweek #2 bring?
So for the clever TFG’ers amongst you that correctly picked a winning team the first time around, the question now is who will be be your next choice to further cement your newfound footballing genius? And for those of you that weren’t so successful, you are now playing catch-up – so choose wisely!
There appear to be two very safe options, on paper, this weekend: Spurs, who play Fulham at home, and Man City, who are also at home, against Huddersfield. Fulham have only won two of their last 15 matches against Spurs in all competitions – a run stretching back to 2008 – and with Crystal Palace having comfortably beaten them 2-0 in their first game back in the Premier League, Spurs would appear to be a solid selection going into this one. The last time Manchester City lost to Huddersfield was way back in1998, which tells you all you need to know about that particular fixture.
The headline fixture this weekend, however, is a mouth-watering London derby – Chelsea vs Arsenal. Chelsea have been the been the victors in the last 4 encounters at Stamford Bridge between these two sides, so I would back Mauricio Sarri’s side to build upon their 3-0 success at Huddersfield with a home win, if I were to choose between the two.
Statistically, predicting Newcastle to win away at Cardiff would also be sensible (considering The Bluebirds have only beaten Newcastle twice since 1979), but seeing as it is Cardiff’s first Premier League home game since their relegation from the top division in 2014, the occasion could rally Neil Warnock’s troops into getting a result out of this game. Calling Liverpool to beat Crystal Palace also seems likely, but be wary of the fact that The Reds have not had it easy against Palace in recent years: they’ve only won one of the last seven Premier League encounters by one or more goal, with The Eagles winning three of those. Somewhat of a bogey team, perhaps?
The two teams that opened this year’s Premier League season with a grand showcase at Old Trafford – Manchester United and Leicester City – were both very impressive in that match, so the former seems good value to beat Brighton on the south coast, whilst the latter will be hoping to get the better of new boys Wolves, in their first game back at the KingPower Stadium this campaign.
The other games this weekend are Burnley vs Watford and West Ham vs Bournemouth. The Hammers will be looking to impress a home crowd after an anticlimactic showing at Anfield last weekend, whilst Burnley will also be looking to improve after they provided the only 0-0 of the first match week in their clash with Southampton – who travel to a Richarlison-inspired Everton, who also look on the money to collect a win this weekend.
As always, whatever your choice may be, all at #TFGHQ wish you the best of luck.
Team TFG and Dan Wiseman