The 2018/19 Premier League commence following a three-month break. The new season will be ushered in at the historic Old Trafford on Friday night, in an action-packed weekend.
Manchester United and Leicester City kick off the new league season with the curtain raiser starting from 9:00 pm on Friday night at Old Trafford. The Red Devils have endured a torrid pre-season, failing to convince amid transfer speculations linking a host of departures, notably Paul Pogba.
On the other hand, the Foxes have quietly gone about preparations in the aftermath of Riyad Mahrez’s sale and the absence of Jamie Vardy and Harry Maguire due to World Cup engagement with England. That void has afforded Nigeria international Kelechi Iheanacho to grab the headlines during pre-season for Leicester, and he can be fairly confident of leading the line against Manchester United.
Considering the unimpressive preparations United have faced, coupled with Jose Mourinho’s growing frustrations at the club, this is a massive opportunity for Leicester to get something out of the game and we predict a point for the Foxes at the start of the season.
For a second successive season, Newcastle and Tottenham Hotspur play each other in their respective season openers.
The tie, the first on Saturday, 1:30 pm at Saint James’ Park could see the Magpies fancy a strong start to the league campaign. While Spurs have failed to make any notable additions, added to the late return of the World Cup stars to pre-season training, Newcastle has made some signings, Salomon Rondon and Kennedy top of the list.
This could be a testing game for Spurs, who are likely to be without a few key first-team players, an advantage we expect Newcastle to fully capitalise on.
The John Smith’s stadium comes alive from 4:00 pm on Saturday when Huddersfield Town hosts Chelsea. It was a blistering start to the campaign for Huddersfield last year, as they were big winners on the road at Selhurst Park, while Chelsea was stunned on an opening day at home by Burnley.
However, despite new Blues’ boss Maurizio Sarri still in a period of adaptation to the Premier League and a lack of trusted and reliable centre-forward, we expect Chelsea to find a way to get maximum points on the road.
Premier League big spenders Liverpool welcome West Ham to Anfield (Sunday, 2:30 pm). The Hammers themselves were quite busy in the transfer window, notably recruiting the services of experienced manager Manuel Pellegrini and club record signing Felipe Anderson.
This season is tipped to be the defining campaign for Jurgen Klopp as he is assumed not to have any excuses not to win the title. The charming German tactician can count on goalkeeper Alison Becker, Naby Keita and Fabinho from the start. Any result other than a win for Liverpool could create instability within the club for the entire season.
Champions Manchester City will attempt to hand Unai Emery the worst possible start to life in charge of Arsenal when both teams meet at the Emirates Stadium in the final game of the weekend at 5:00 pm on Sunday.
The Citizens were solid last weekend in the Community Shield and should attempt to extend that form against an Arsenal side that has equally looked sharp and impressive in pre-season. Considering Manchester City’s dominance of this fixture in the last fixtures, we tip them to start stronger, though we expect the Gunners to play some beautiful football on home turf.
In other Premier League fixtures, newly promoted Fulham is home to Crystal Palace starting from 4:00 pm on Saturday at Craven Cottage in a London derby. The Cottagers have a strong squad on paper (Jean Michael Seri, the peak of the signings) and we predict a score draw to settle a game involving slow starters, Palace. Prediction: Fulham 1 – 1 Crystal Palace
Watford will hope to carry their impressive pre-season form into the new season when they host Brighton at Vicarage Road at 4:00 pm on Saturday. The Hornets have enough quality to send their opponents packing empty-handed. Prediction: Watford 2 -0 Brighton
Everton is away to new boys Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Molineux Stadium in Saturday’s final game starting from 6:30 pm. New Everton manager Marco Silva will be desperate for a strong start to the season, notably with the club record acquisition of Richardson.
It might not be a particularly straightforward outcome against a Wolves side parading a strong experienced Portuguese contingent. Everton will struggle to find a way past the Championship winners and we expect a score draw to settle what potentially looks an explosive game.
Disclaimer- Predictions are just for fun, based on an analysis. We do NOT sell or guarantee results.