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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Premier League predictions: More misery for Chelsea at Tottenham as Manchester United march on and Arsenal held at Stoke

Graham Caygill makes his predictions as the top flight of English football prepares for a second weekend of action.

Romelu Lukaku seems to have revived Manchester United's fortunes up front. Jason Cairnduff / Reuters
Romelu Lukaku seems to have revived Manchester United's fortunes up front. Jason Cairnduff / Reuters

Swansea City 0 Manchester United 3

Why? United looked the best of the title contenders on the opening weekend and there is no reason not to expect another impressive show from Jose Mourinho's side. Romelu Lukaku has galvanised United's forward line and he will be confident of adding to the two goals he scored at home to West Ham United against opponents expected to fight against relegation this season.

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Bournemouth's Jermain Defoe, right, is likely to be in the thick of action against Watford. Nick Potts / AP Photo
Bournemouth's Jermain Defoe, right, is likely to be in the thick of action against Watford. Nick Potts / AP Photo

Bournemouth 1 Watford 1

Why? The past four Premier League encounters between these sides have ended in draws and this one could well be another stalemate too. Bournemouth were underwhelming in their 1-0 loss at West Bromwich Albion last Saturday, and Jermain Defoe will likely make his first start since joining from Sunderland to improve their goal threat. Watford did well to draw 3-3 with Liverpool, with Nathan Chalobah shining in midfield, but Marco Silva's side do look suspect in their rearguard still.

Tony Pulis will see his West Bromwich Albion side in action against Burnley. Nick Potts / Press Association
Tony Pulis will see his West Bromwich Albion side in action against Burnley. Nick Potts / Press Association

Burnley 0 West Bromwich Albion 1

Why? Burnley did fantastically well to beat Chelsea, but the champions did have two men sent off. Trying to break down and deal with Tony Pulis's well-drilled side will be a tough test and this should tell us more about about how Sean Dyche's men are going to cope with the loss of two of their best players in Michael Keane and Andre Gray in the long term.

Leicester City's Jamie Vardy, right, will likely be a handful against Brighton. Alastair Grant / AP Photo
Leicester City's Jamie Vardy, right, will likely be a handful against Brighton. Alastair Grant / AP Photo

Leicester City 3 Brighton & Hove Albion 0

Why? They may have contrived to lose to Arsenal thanks to two late goals in their 4-3 loss, but Leicester, at least in attack, looked like the side who won the 2015/16 title. With Jamie Vardy on form upfront, they should be too strong for Brighton.

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Mohamed Salah, right, has been dynamic up front for Liverpool. Daniel Hambury / AP Photo
Mohamed Salah, right, has been dynamic up front for Liverpool. Daniel Hambury / AP Photo

Liverpool 4 Crystal Palace 1

Why? Yes, the defence is still a shambles, but Liverpool still looked great going forward at times against Watford, and Mohamed Salah already looks a great addition. Even with the issues at the back, they should have too much for Palace, who looked awful in losing 3-0 to Huddersfield Town last Saturday.

Southampton's Manolo Gabbiadini may be too hot for West Ham to handle. Adam Holt / Reuters
Southampton's Manolo Gabbiadini may be too hot for West Ham to handle. Adam Holt / Reuters

Southampton 2 West Ham United 1

Why? Only wasteful finishing cost Southampton a win against Swansea last Saturday, and with players of the calibre of Manolo Gabbiadini and Nathan Redmond upfront, they should finally find the net this weekend. This is a tough start for West Ham, having lost so heavily at Manchester United last weekend, and how they fare here is an early test of their resolve.

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Alexandre Lacazette scored on his debut for Arsenal last weekend. Shaun Botterill / Getty Images
Alexandre Lacazette scored on his debut for Arsenal last weekend. Shaun Botterill / Getty Images

Stoke City 2 Arsenal 2

Why? It feels like Groundhog Day again with Arsene Wenger's side. They look good going forward, with Alexandre Lacazette scoring on his debut and gelling with his teammates, but the defence again looks to be the weak link. Stoke will be salivating at the prospect of putting that creaking backline under pressure at set-pieces.

Huddersfield Town's Steve Mounie, left, is one to watch out for. Scott Heavey / AP Photo
Huddersfield Town's Steve Mounie, left, is one to watch out for. Scott Heavey / AP Photo

Huddersfield Town 1 Newcastle United 1

Why? Rafa Benitez's side had defended well against Tottenham Hotspur until Jonjo Shelvey's moment of indiscipline opened the game up, and they will fancy their chances of at least getting a point at fellow newly promoted side Huddersfield. David Wagner's side will again look to Steve Mounie for goals after the striker's double at Crystal Palace.

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Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli is among the goals again. Lee Smith / Reuters
Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli is among the goals again. Lee Smith / Reuters

Tottenham Hotspur 3 Chelsea 1

Why? When you are in as much disarray as Chelsea appear to be at present, both on and off the pitch, facing the side that pushed you hardest on your way to the title is a less than ideal prospect. Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen all looked in good nick in Tottenham's 2-0 victory at Newcastle, and they will be confident of starting life at Wembley Stadium for the season with three points.

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Kevin de Bruyne of Manchester City will be difficult for Chelsea to rein in. Dan Istitene / Getty Images
Kevin de Bruyne of Manchester City will be difficult for Chelsea to rein in. Dan Istitene / Getty Images

Manchester City 2 Everton 0

Why? Everton picked up four points off City last season and the 4-0 battering at Goodison Park was one of the low points of Pep Guardiola's first year in English football. Despite having not conceded in their first four games of the campaign (three were Europa League matches), Everton will find City too hot to handle, with Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero both impressing in the win at Brighton.