Round 2 of the Premier League and already we have what the media are calling the earliest title decider in Premier League history when champions Chelsea travel to the Etihad Stadium Sunday afternoon to take on main challengers Manchester City.
Elsewhere we get Friday football when Manchester travel to Villa Park to take on Aston Villa and a London derby as Arsenal travel to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace.
We as ever are here with our predictions.
Friday 14th August
Aston Villa vs Manchester United: 7:45pm (Sky Sports)
No David De Gea again. Aston Villa have not beaten Manchester United at home for 20 years, so it is safe to say Manchester United are a bit of a bogey side for them.
Despite how underwhelming Manchester United were against Tottenham, it is hard to see them coming away with anything but the three points.
Friday night football and once again Louis van Gaal has decided to drop David De Gea. It’s really beginning to look like he might be off to Real Madrid before the transfer window closes.
Both sides were disappointing in their opening fixtures but came away with 1-0 wins, Villa beating Bournemouth and Man United beating Tottenham (match review here).
I’m going to go for a Manchester United win. Just look at the players they have at disposal.
Saturday 15th August
Southampton vs Everton: 12:45pm (BT Sport)
Both teams drew last weekend. Everton will be without Leighton Baines for three months, which is a huge loss for them in defence, which wasn’t great for the whole of last season or last weekend.
Given the fact that the Saints are at home and how vulnerable Everton can be at the back, I am going for a Southampton win.
With the transfer saga of young John Stones still ongoing and Roberto Martinez growing increasingly upset as a result. The distraction caused by it all could give Southampton the advantage.
Even without the Stones saga I’d go with a Southampton win, they have better players and play better football. Everton seem to be struggling under Martinez after an initial good first season.
Sunderland vs Norwich: 3pm
Sunderland were poor last weekend, while Norwich were unlucky with refereeing decisions, which ultimately cost them a point, maybe even more.
Despite their poor performance last week, I don’t think Sunderland will lose, but I do think Norwich will have enough to get something from the game. So a draw for me.
I’m going to go for a Norwich win here.
They were unlucky last weekend against Crystal Palace where they had a goal wrongly disallowed which would have made things 2-2. Sunderland meanwhile got hammered 4-2 by Leicester and looked poor, as they do at the start of every season.
Swansea vs Newcastle: 3pm
Both teams drew last week. However, Swansea were impressive away at the Champions, and being the home team, I think they will win this.
I’m going for a Swansea win.
Steve McClaren got off to a good start as Newcastle manager drawing 2-2 at home with Southampton but Swansea were really impressive last weekend against the champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge (match review here).
They managed to come away with a 2-2 when arguably they should have won. They were the better side for much of the match and in Andre Ayew and Jefferson Montero they have wingers that will cause sides problems.
Tottenham vs Stoke: 3pm
Both these sides lost 1-0 last week, both could claim they were unlucky as they probably didn’t perform any worse than their opponents, but that is just how it goes in football.
I am predicting a draw for this match, it is hard to pick between them.
Both sides lost their opening games, Tottenham lost 1-0 to Manchester United at Old Trafford (match review here) thanks to an own goal by Kyle Walker after a bright and promising start. While Stoke lost 1-0 at home to Liverpool (match review here) thanks to a wonder goal by Philippe Coutinho.
I’m struggling to pick between either side for this one so I’m going to go for a draw. They both have good players and feel evenly matched.
Watford vs West Brom: 3pm
Watford got a good result away at Everton last weekend, while West Brom were shambolic against Manchester City on Monday.
I think Tony Pulis will sort out his team, and they will be like a different team this weekend.
I think this could be the perfect game for West Brom to bounce back. I think West Brom will win this.
Watford will be hoping that the West Brom that played against Manchester City on Monday night (match review here) show up for this one. Even they do this is a Watford win.
I can’t ever remember seeing a Tony Pulis so poor or naive as West Brom Monday night. I’m sure he won’t be happy with their performance and will be expecting them to put that behind them and get a result against Watford.
But with this being Watford’s first home game back in the Premier League I think that might just swing things in their favour.
West Ham vs Leicester: 3pm
Both these sides got great results last weekend. West Ham put in a fantastic performance in away at Arsenal, while Leicester were good at home against Sunderland.
I think West Ham will win this game though, I think the confidence of beating Arsenal and the fact that they are at home will see them pick up all three points.
West Ham win.
Leicester thrashed Sunderland 4-2 on the opening day but West Ham will be full of confidence after beating Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium (match review here) in their opening game after already having been knocked out of the Europa League.
If that West Ham show up, it could be a long afternoon for Leicester. And I’m hoping we get to see more of Reece Oxford in this match.
Sunday 16th August
Crystal Palace vs Arsenal: 1:30pm (Sky Sports)
Palace will be a difficult place for Arsenal to go, but after losing last week with a below par performance, three points will be expected.
Palace can be deadly on the counter attack, and will have the belief they can beat Arsenal. However, Palace do concede goals, which will be an issue given the talent Arsenal have in their team.
Arsenal got their season off to a bad start after losing 2-0 at home to West Ham thanks to two errors from new signing Petr Cech (match match here). Arsenal looked poor in the match, struggling to break West Ham down and getting exposed by quick counter attacks, something which Crystal Palace have the players to take advantage off.
After seeing West Ham win at the Emirates last week I think Crystal Palace will be full of confidence and believe they can beat Arsenal on Sunday. I’m going to go for a narrow Crystal Palace win.
Manchester City vs Chelsea: 4pm (Sky Sports)
Chelsea will look to bounce back after a difficult weekend, while Manchester City will look to back up their good away win against West Brom with a win against the Champions.
I can see this game being a draw though. Both these games ended in a draw last season, and I just feel it is likely to happen again.
Champions Chelsea have got their title defence of to a rocky start after drawing 2-2 at home with Swansea (match review here). Chelsea looked poor and second best for much of that match and most of the week has been spent on the whole circus surrounding Jose Mourinho and his medical staff, or rather one member of it because hey no one seems to care that Jon Fearn also got told off and demoted.
Manchester City meanwhile put in the best display of any of the sides in contention for the Premier League when they beat a very very West Brom side Monday night (match review here). Despite how poor West Brom were they still managed to give the Manchester City defence quite a few problems and caught them out a couple of times.
Performances would suggest a Manchester City win but I’m going to go for a Chelsea win.
Jose Mourinho is a better manager than Manuel Pellegrini and he’ll know how to tailor his tactics to get a job done. He’ll want to see improvements from his side and won’t dare let them fall 5 points behind their rivals after just two games.
Monday 17th August
Liverpool vs Bournemouth: 8pm (Sky Sports)
Liverpool will win this. Liverpool weren’t spectacular against Stoke and Bournemouth weren’t bad against Aston Villa, but I can’t see past a Liverpool win.
However, there is always room for surprise, especially when no expectation is on you.
I’m going for a comfortable Liverpool win here.
After getting out of jail against Stoke last weekend thanks to a late wonder strike by Philippe Coutinho (match review here) Liverpool will want to push on and record a comfortable victory over newcomers Bournemouth.
Brendan Rodgers invested heavily in his squad over the summer and this is the perfect match for them to show what they can do.