Michael Owen has made his predictions for this weekend’s Premier League action (Picture: Metro.co.uk)As the first international break of the 2018-19 season comes to an end, Michael Owen has delivered his Premier League predictions for the weekend.
Joint-leaders Liverpool travel to Tottenham in Saturday’s early kick-off, while reigning champions Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal are all in action from 3pm.
Manchester United face Watford in the late game on Saturday evening, while struggling Burnley and West Ham are among the teams in action on Sunday.
Tottenham v Liverpool
This is a real test of Liverpool’s title credentials and a win at Wembley will go a long way to proving their doubters wrong.
With a star-studded side full of attacking options the Reds are almost always guaranteed to score and will look to heap more misery on the hosts who were beaten at Watford last time out.
Liverpool have made an excellent start to the new season (Picture: Getty)Dele Alli hopes to be fit for the Londoners after missing England’s game with Switzerland and although Harry Kane was quiet against Spain he is still the go to man for his club.
Whether Spurs can stop a rampaging Liverpool forward line looks unlikely, however, and five wins on the bounce for Jurgen Klopp’s side beckons.
Michael’s Prediction: Tottenham 1-2 Liverpool
Bournemouth v Leicester
Bournemouth were well beaten at Chelsea before the International break but are a much tougher opponent on home soil.
There is usually a partisan atmosphere and the tight little Vitality Stadium generates a terrific atmosphere.
Leicester should welcome back star striker Jamie Vardy from suspension and after tough games with Manchester United and Liverpool the Foxes will fancy themselves on the South Coast.
Leicester have won two and lost two so far this term (Picture: Getty)They should be looking for maximum points if they wish to challenge for a top six berth but just look a little short of squad depth to perhaps make that leap at present.
Sitting on the fence I envisage a share of the spoils.
Michael’s Prediction: Bournemouth 1-1 Leicester
Chelsea v Cardiff
Maurizio Sarri is certainly changing the way Chelsea approach their football and his refreshing attacking attitude is already making him a fans favourite at the Bridge.
Indeed, Chelsea have attempted and completed more passes than any other side in the Premier League so far this season.
Maurizio Sarri has already made a significant impact at Chelsea (Picture: Getty)Their perfect start to the season is likely to be maintained on Saturday against a Cardiff side without a win in six in all competitions.
The Bluebirds did well to reach the top-flight, but the truth is they look set for a quick return and it is likely to be a long afternoon for Neil Warnock’s side at the Bridge.
Michael’s Prediction: Chelsea 4-0 Cardiff
Huddersfield v Crystal Palace
Without the injured Wilfried Zaha Crystal Palace suffered a surprise home reverse against Southampton in their last game and have failed to build on an opening day win over Fulham.
The Eagles are likely to have the Ivorian international available for their trip to Huddersfield, however, and it should be noted that they have won all three top-flight away games between the sides without conceding a goal.
Crystal Palace have been reliant on Wilfried Zaha (Picture: Getty)Huddersfield are yet to taste victory so far this term but picked up a useful point at Goodison before the International break although scoring goals is likely to be a problem for the Terriers this term. I feel Palace will secure a narrow success.
Michael’s Prediction: Huddersfield 0-1 Crystal Palace
Manchester City v Fulham
The Citizens will be looking for goals when they host new boys Fulham and there have been 16 goals scored in the Cottagers’ four Premier League games to date.
Fulham have already shipped nine times in those four games although in Alexsandar Mitrovic – who scored twice, one a cracker for Serbia midweek – they have a striker at the top of his game.
Manchester City have been backed to thrash Fulham (Picture: Getty)Indeed, the Serb has scored 16 league goals since his Fulham debut in February – more than any other in the top two divisions of English football.
That said I expect City to put behind a couple of indifferent performances against Wolves and Newcastle and gain an emphatic success.
Michael’s Prediction: Manchester City 5-1 Fulham
Newcastle v Arsenal
Newcastle start the weekend in the bottom three and are yet to win, but the fixture list has not been kind to United and they look to have some easier looking fixtures after the visit of Arsenal.
Indeed, I still believe The Toon will move clear of the drop zone and it would be no surprise to me if they again finished the season in the top half.
Arsenal have yet to convince and often looked shaky at Cardiff despite running out 3-2 winners.
Mesut Ozil looks set to make his first appearance at St James’ Park (Picture: Getty)Two defeats from four outings is hardly top 4 form, however and the Gunners are already looking more like a top six outfit than one who will challenge for a Champions League spot – at least this season.
Newcastle won the corresponding fixture 2-1 last season and the Gunners have not won back-to-back away Premier League games since May 2017. I do not expect the Magpies to lose.
Michael’s Prediction: Newcastle 1-1 Arsenal
Watford v Manchester United
Watford couldn’t have wished for a better start to the season and manager Javi Gracia, who had been favourite to be the first Premier League manager to lose/leave his post, was a worthy winner of the Manager of the Month for August.
Watford fans will be hoping that is not the kiss of death, but there looks no reason to desert the Hornets just yet.
United got a valuable win at Turf Moor last time but they won’t relish a trip to Vicarage Road and I expect the resurgent hosts to get at least a point from the game.
Michael’s Prediction: Watford 1-0 Manchester United
There has been speculation over Jose Mourinho’s future at Manchester United (Picture: Getty)Wolves v Burnley
Wolves have made a good start to life back in the top flight and a late winner at West Ham has given them a platform to consolidate.
They took a useful point at home to the Champions in their previous game at Molineux and they will be relishing the visit of Burnley at the weekend.
Owen expects Burnley’s struggles to continue (Picture: Getty)Wolves are without a win in their last 14 Premier League games at Molineux but have only lost two of 28 home league games under Nuno Espirito Santo and the Clarets have lost five of their last six away Premier League games.
Things are likely to get worse before they get better for Sean Dyche’s side.
Michael’s Prediction: Wolves 1-0 Burnley
Everton v West Ham
Everton were disappointing against Huddersfield last time when they missed the skills of the suspended Richarlison who scored twice on his Brazil debut against El Salvador midweek.
The Blues must again do without the exciting Brazilian against West Ham this weekend, but I feel Marco Silva’s side can keep the points.
Manuel Pellegrini is already under pressure at the London Stadium (Picture: Getty)Everton have won more Premier League games against the Hammers (24) than any other club and Manuel Pellegrini will become the first West Ham manager to lose their first five league games of the season in their history if they lose at Goodison.
With Chelsea to come next weekend this is a massive game for the Irons, but I feel the points will stay on Merseyside.
Michael’s Prediction: Everton 2-0 West Ham
Southampton v Brighton
These South Coast rivals look well matched and should provide an intriguing contest for Monday Night viewers to enjoy.
The Saints took the bragging rights with a narrow 1-0 success away in the League Cup recently but will need to improve their home form to make an impact this campaign.
Southampton host Brighton on Monday night (Picture: Getty)Brighton will be delighted with four points from a tough opening set of fixtures and after a tremendous comeback from 2-0 down at home to Fulham to rescue a point, look full of fight this time around.
Glenn Murray bagged a brace in that stirring fightback and looks key to Albion’s hopes. I think they will do enough to add another point to their tally at St Mary’s.
Michael’s Prediction: Southampton 1-1 Brighton
Michael’s weekend treble: Chelsea, Wolves and Everton at 10/3
Michael Owen is a brand ambassador for BetVictor. For more tips from Michael read his column here.