Football Flakes With Emmanuel Nwachukwu
Liverpool are on yet another campaign to break what now seems as a Premier league title curse. After an impressive opening day at home to Norwich, they visit Southampton, hoping that the Champions and title favourites drop points at home to Tottenham.
Lampard fell terribly short on his Premier league managerial debut at Manchester United, now, he hopes to make the bridge the sort of fortress it was in his playing days as Chelsea host Leicester City.
Monday night sees the Devil try to barnish his demons as Manchester United goes away to battle Wolves.
Emmanuel, previews all 10 games and makes predictions.
Arsenal v Burnley
The Burnley team were very impressive in their 3-0 win over Southampton last week. Last season saw Burnley play with the handbrake and most time got lost between defending and attacking. Last week, they were brave with their attack, got more men into yet kept shape behind. That will trouble a few teams because Wood and Barnes will cause problems in the box and can guarantee you double digit goals.
I think Arsenal was controlled in that slim but comfortable win at Newcastle, kept the ball well and looked dangerous despite not close to full strength. At the Emirates, Arsenal always look like a different animal and few teams can cope with them at home. With Lacazette, Ozil back in the team, and Pepe with Ceballos getting closer to full fitness, i think they will be too much for Burnley to handle.
Emma’s prediction: 3-1
Aston Villa v Bournemouth
I think Aston Villa were very good for long periods against Tottenham and the 3-1 scoreline flatters the London side. Villa will look at that defeat blame themselves for losing a game they were the better tactical side to costly individual errors. Playing against a Bournemouth side which tends to leave spaces behind while implementing their attack-driven strategy, I think that Grealish, Wesley, Kodija and McGgin will find spaces to run into.
In midfield and up front, Bournemouth are a threat to almost all teams in the league, but defensively, I am always unsure as to what exactly is the shape and strategy of Eddie Howe. They always look panicky at the back, like they are not sure when to pass or just kick the ball away.
I expect both teams to score, and I also expect Villa to win
Emma’s prediction: 3-2
Brighton v West Ham
I am still surprised that Brighton not only defeated Watford away, but, scored 3 goals from the 6 yard box and conceded non. Watford were unbelievably poor that evening, but credit when due, it was an impressive display from the Seagulls. It’s just a game, so I’ll be careful not to expect this to be the new way, but, Potter made very good investments in attacking and creative players in the summer, so, maybe they will go for it in games a lot more this season.
West Ham is every pundit’s nightmare, you just don’t know if it will be West Ham or the Hammers turning up. West Ham were just taken apart by Manchester City so easily. Yes, Pep’s side are miles ahead of every other team in the league, but, with the squad and manager at West Ham, you at least expect to see a team in shape and with some purpose.
Brighton will be greatly encouraged by the performance and results of both sides, and they are at home. I will go for a home win.
Emma’s prediction: 2-1
Everton v Watford
Everyone expects Everton to play a more expressive style of football win more points and push the top six teams all the way for a Europa league place, and this is why i have Silva is one of the first three managers to get the boot. On their day, the Pensioners are a force to be reckoned with, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin, Bernard, Theo, Iwobi, Tosun, Gilfyi all have the capacity to bring goals, but they all also can be frustratingly inconsistent. Everton backline are always looking like they are ready to concede.
Watford’s home defeat by Brighton was a bad result, one I think was a bad day at the office. Usually compact, physical and mobile, i am sure they will look for a response. Deeney has got the ability to trouble Mina and Keane, and hope that Deulofeu, Gray and Sarr have a better game.
Think both teams will score but will end in a draw
Emma’s prediction: 2-2
Norwich v Newcastle
Norwich impressed and disappointed me in equal measure last week at Liverpool. They attacked like Premier league champions but defended like some neighbourhood five a side team. If they play like they played last week, i think they will score more goals, just not sure Newcastle has got the clinical players to profit from the Canaries generous defending.
The Magpies are a team in transition and I think Steve Bruce is still unsure what his first team is and how best to setup his team. In Joelinton, they have a centre forward built for the EPL, but now Bruce needs to get Saint-Maxim, Almiron, Atsu closer to him as he is not such a prolific striker yet.
I am going to enjoy watching Farke’s Norwich this season, they are safe bets to score goals and also concede.
Emma’s prediction: 2-1
Southampton v Liverpool
After Wednesday’s Super Cup in Istanbul against Chelsea that stretched into extra time and penalties, Klopp has a decision to make on some players for this game. Fabinho looked in pain as the game ended, Mane just back from AFCON exertions and a few others have now played about 220 minutes of football in 6 days. But, such is the demand at the top.
Klopp will take comfort in that the next opposition is Southampton. No disrespect, but Hasenhuttl side looks to me like they are in for a relegation scrap. I thought they needed to shore up the attack over the summer, but they did not. They look short in about all the department quality wise.
Against Burnley, they were all over the place and very unimaginative. I know they will be looking to respond immediately, but, unfortunately, it is Liverpool next.
Liverpool are a wrecking bull with an obsession to win the EPL. I see a very comfortable win
Emma’s prediction: 0-4
Man City v Tottenham (17:30 BST)
I think Tottenham were poor at home to Aston Villa last week. Really struggled to create much and opened up easily by the guys from the Championship. You may say that they found a way to get the job done, but they now play Manchester City and can’t afford to be poor again and hope for a Harry Kane moment to get out of jail. I think that the absence of Son is telling and Spurs needs to get more dangerous in the wide areas. Ndombele looks decent on the ball, but may need to make decisions a lot quicker.
City were in cruise control last week against West Ham, but I am expecting a much stronger and more dangerous opposition because Spurs have got the weapons to hurt them on the break or even press them high. Rodri will be targeted by Poch as he appears to still be struggling with pace.
This definitely going to be a very interesting game with both teams going at each other. I still expect Pep Guardiola’s side to win as I also expect the game to produce about 5 cards and quite a few VAR moments to talk about.
Emma’s prediction: 2-1
Sheff Utd v Crystal Palace
When i saw Billy Sharp score to earn Sheffield United a point last week, I remembered some great predatory strikers like Inzaghi, Batistuta, Nisterooly. You can’t see what else they bring to the team, but, you know that as long as they are on the pitch, a goal is likely to be scored. I think the Blades were really brave and unrelenting last week at Bournemouth and fully deserved the draw. The 3 at the back allowed the midfield to protect the back while giving support to McBurnie and McGoldrick upfront. Bramall Lane will be a full house and there will be a great noise and you will expect to see a super charged Blades.
Wilfried Zaha should start for Palace. I think Palace looked better when he came in last week and they would need him focussed this season to stay afloat. Palace has got the physicality to cope with the Blades energy levels, but i worry for their pace. Palace will be put under huge pressure, especially in the middle. Captain Milivojevic was lucky not to get a red against Everton, if they lose their heads to the noise and energy levels of the Blades, then, they may drop points here.
Emma’s prediction: 1-1
Chelsea v Leicester
Chelsea looked an attacking threat at Old Trafford on Sunday, but you could see the tactical naivety from Lampard. Some say the 4-0 scoreline faltered the Red Devils, i say they took a gift from Chelsea and ensured they thanked their guests very well.
They are going to have to be a lot tighter defensively and be a little less cavalier in their approach, especially as they are in transition.
Lampard really needs players like Willian and Antonio Rudiger and N’golo Kante back to full fitness to provide leadership and quality to the team.
Leicester will be tricky opponents. Rodgers is a good coach and has made some decent signings. Really shocked that Rodgers has not brought in another striker, hence, will rely on Vardy for goals.
I watched Chelsea against Manchester United and Liverpool and they really appear to lose steam in the second half. Rodgers will unleash pace at Chelsea and target players like Azpilicueta, Zouma, Jorginho.
Reckon this will be an open game with both teams scoring. I am going with a home win, but not without a scare
Emma’s prediction: 3-2
Wolves v Man Utd
4-0 win against a rival is probably the perfect start to any campaign. The trio of James, Rashford and Martial has got the pace and goals to put any team to the sword. But, they will need a midfield that can win the ball, hold and find them with good balls behind the opposition backline.
I think the Pogba and Scott were easily passed over by Chelsea last week and Manchester United were saved by poor choices by the Blues in the final third. Wan Bissaka will need to repeat his performance thus far, while Shaw needs to show more awareness.
Wolves is a very tricky customer with movements on and off the ball so exciting to watch but difficult to track. I suspect the trio of Moutinho, Neves and Dendocker will win the better share of the ball in the midfield. How quickly United midfield can track runners, win the ball back and transition to attack will be key.
I think we are in for an exciting Monday night football, but how much fun Manchester United will have is what I am unsure of. If Wolves turn up as they do against top teams, it could be a long night for Ole.
Emma’s Prediction 3-2
Emmanuel is @emma-dele on twitter