Paul Merson’s predictions: Liverpool v Man Utd, Chelsea v Leicester and more
Paul Merson is back from a refreshing international break with another round of Premier League predictions.
The Magic Man got six results correct last time out, including three perfect scores, and is looking for more of the same this weekend.
It kicks off with Leicester’s trip to Chelsea on Saturday afternoon, live on Sky Sports, while a mouthwatering Monday Night Football clash between Liverpool and Man Utd brings things to a close.
Merson’s previous predictions
|Everton 1-1 Crystal Palace||2-1|
|Swansea 1-2 Liverpool||0-3|
|West Ham 1-1 Middlesbrough||1-1|
|Hull 0-2 Chelsea||1-2|
|Sunderland 1-1 West Brom||1-1|
|Watford 2-2 Bournemouth||2-2|
|Man Utd 1-1 Stoke||3-0|
|Leicester 0-0 Southampton||1-2|
|Tottenham 2-0 Man City||2-2|
|Burnley 0-1 Arsenal||0-2|
Read on to find out what Merse is tipping…
Chelsea v Leicester City – live on Sky Sports 1 HD, Saturday from 11.30am
It’s a big game for both teams. For Chelsea, they need to get back into the race for the top four, and for Leicester, if they lose it will be one of the worst ever starts to a title defence.
I wouldn’t say a win puts Chelsea back in the title hunt, I have seen plenty of them this season and I’d be shocked if they won the league from this position. But it could get them back in the race for Champions League qualification.
Chelsea vs Leicester
I think opponents have sussed out Leicester. When Liverpool ripped them to shreds, they squeezed hard and were nicking the ball for fun.
Leicester are not going to pass around you, and when you are organised at the back, it’s difficult for them to create. I don’t see anything other than a Chelsea win.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-1 (Get Bet odds @10/1 HERE )
Middlesbrough v Watford – Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 12.30pm
M’boro vs Watford
It depends which Watford turns up – the one that beat Man Utd or the one that was poor against Burnley.
They let in goals and score plenty, and there’s not bundles between the two teams in terms of quality, so I think it will be an entertaining draw.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-2 (Get Bet odds @ 14/1 HERE )
Southampton v Burnley – Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 3.30pm
Southampton are a good team and I think some people are underestimating them. You look at their back four and they wouldn’t look out of place at a club like Arsenal.
They should have won easily at Leicester, and I don’t care what standard of football you are playing, to keep six straight clean sheets like they’ve done is some achievement.
So’ton vs Burnley
Burnley were unlucky and should have got a draw against Arsenal, but they have struggled on their travels.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (Get Bet odds @ 9/2 HERE)
Liverpool v Man Utd – Monday Night Football, live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 7pm
I don’t think Man Utd will be able to live with Liverpool’s attacking players and if the hosts start quickly they will have too much at Anfield.
This is a huge game for Man Utd, though, because I’m predicting Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City and Tottenham all to win, and the gap could grow quickly. All the top teams are capable of stringing six wins together so you don’t want to be playing catch-up this early.
Liverpool vs Man Utd
I’m not sure Jose Mourinho knows his best team yet and he needs to get that sorted. They played well for 20 minutes against Stoke, but for a large part of that game they didn’t look like scoring.
Considering the way Liverpool press high, I think Man Utd will struggle to open the game up.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-1 (Get Bet odds @ 14/1 HERE)
West Brom v Tottenham – Saturday, 3pm
Tottenham are playing very well at the moment and while the Man City result was brilliant, these are the types of games that win you Premier League titles.
If Harry Kane got injured last season you couldn’t see Spurs winning a game for toffee. Now it seems like nothing has changed despite his absence, which is a massive compliment to the other players.
West Brom have turned the corner but I have been majorly impressed by Tottenham.
PAUL PREDICTS: 0-3 (Get Bet odds @ 12/1 HERE )
Bournemouth v Hull City – Saturday, 3pm
I fancy Bournemouth at home. They are playing well and got a good result at Watford after beating Everton.
If they win this game too, they could have a really comfortable season. It’s only early but you need to win the games against the teams around you and I think Bournemouth will do that on Saturday.
They play an open style of football and Jack Wilshere looked very sharp against Watford – I know he missed a sitter but he’s getting back to where he was at Arsenal.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-1 (Get Bet odds @ 14/1 HERE )
Arsenal v Swansea – Saturday, 3pm
If I was Bob Bradley, I would probably have waited until Monday before taking charge! This is a tough first game.
Swansea have a great recent record at the Emirates and Arsenal were lucky against Burnley, but I see a Gunners victory here.
What has impressed me with Arsenal is they weren’t great against Southampton and Burnley, but they won both matches. In previous years they would have probably dropped points.
It’s always dangerous coming off an international break and star players like Alexis Sanchez will have done a lot of travelling, but the way Arsenal are playing at the moment means Swansea will do well to get near them.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-0 (Get Bet odds @ 7/1 HERE )
Stoke v Sunderland – Saturday, 3pm
These two teams are at the bottom for a reason. Still, each will think it only takes one big win to get up and running.
It would be massive for Sunderland, who have thrown away quite a few points already this season. I don’t usually go against Stoke at home, though, and I know their record is poor at the moment but there was cause for optimism at Old Trafford.
David Moyes’ side have been a bit unlucky at times but they are so reliant on Jermain Defoe it’s scary.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (Get Bet odds @ 8/1 HERE)
Man City v Everton – Saturday, 3pm
Everton have gone off the boil a little bit recently and I don’t see how they can match Tottenham’s tempo when they beat Man City.
They need to press high and make sure Claudio Bravo can’t pass it out. You let him kick it long because they have Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero and David Silva, and none of them are over 5ft 8in.
Teams are catching on to this because it forces City to take even more chances at the back, which gives you opportunities. But can Everton play that way for 90 minutes? I don’t think so.
City always have a go and Everton will create chances, so it should be high scoring.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-2 (GET Bet odds @ 20/1 HERE)
Crystal Palace v West Ham – Saturday, 5.30pm
Christian Benteke should be unplayable. He is tall, strong, quick and great in the air, and it was just a lack of confidence at Liverpool. He’s got that back now and has been great for Palace.
In contrast, West Ham are struggling and their confidence is shot, so if Alan Pardew’s side start quickly I can see them running away with it.
It is a concerning time for the Hammers because it took an unbelievable piece of magic by Dimitri Payet to get a draw at home to Middlesbrough.
They have played Watford, Bournemouth, Southampton and Boro at the London Stadium and only have one win. All the big boys are still to come.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-1 (Get Bet odds @14/1 HERE)