Friday Forecast: José v Pep, Klopp v Brendan and Chelsea to slip

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After a pretty boring international break, it’s time to get stuck into the real stuff when the Premier League returns this weekend.

Here are our predictions …

Game of the weekend 💪

Tottenham v Manchester City

It’s always worth tuning in when José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola lock horns, and this weekend’s clash might just be one of the most interesting to date.

After an excellent summer of transfer business, Tottenham have made a fine start to the season. They look solid in defence and midfield, they’re dangerous in attack, and Harry Kane is playing some of the best football of his career.

Can Spurs actually win the title this season? We’re struggling to think of a single good reason why they can’t. But they’ve got the biggest test of their season so far coming their way this weekend when Manchester City roll into N17.

City made a slow start to the season and are still playing catch-up fitness-wise, but they were unfortunate not to beat Liverpool before the international break and of all the potential title candidates, Guardiola’s side must be considered one of the strongest.

It’s José vs Pep again. Whatever the result, let’s just hope nobody gets their eye gouged and football is the true winner.

📊 Fun fact: Mourinho’s 10 defeats to Guardiola are more than he has suffered against any other manager, while Guardiola has only beaten Manuel Pellegrini more often, with 12 victories.

🔮 Our prediction: Tottenham 1-2 Manchester City

Potential upset 😨

Newcastle v Chelsea

Newcastle must be the least interesting team to watch in the Premier League at the moment.

Steve Bruce did a reasonable job keeping them up last season but the football on display at St James’ Park is moribund, and every step forward is immediately cancelled out by two steps back.

Chelsea, on the other hand, are one of the most exciting clubs in the country.

Their manager still has plenty to prove but their attacking options are as good as anyone in Europe, and they finally appear to have plugged their leaky defence.

So why can’t we shake the feeling that Newcastle are going to win this game?

We don’t know, but the Magpies will win 2-1 having had just two shots on target. Remember where you heard it first.

📊 Fun fact: Newcastle have lost only one of their last seven Premier League home matches against Chelsea.

🔮 Our prediction: Newcastle 2-1 Chelsea

Easiest 3️⃣ points

Manchester United v West Brom

So where are we on the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sack-o-meter this week then?

After that win against Everton before the international break the Norwegian’s job should be safe for at least a few more weeks.

But if United lose to the worst team in the league this weekend, he should tender his resignation as soon as the final whistle goes.

They won’t though, because West Brom are a holy show at the moment, and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.

United will win this one comfortably and we’ll have to wait at least until they play Southampton next week before the old sack-o-meter rears its ugly head again.

📊 Fun fact: West Brom have won three of their last five league matches at Old Trafford, including their last such visit in April 2018.

🔮 Our prediction: Manchester United 3-0 West Brom

Too close to call 🤔

Liverpool v Leicester

Now THIS has the potential to be a very good game of association football.

It’s the champions against the current league leaders. Two exciting, attractive styles of play rubbing up against each other. And of course, it’s Brendan Rodgers coming back to haunt his old club.

Liverpool’s patchwork defence could well be exploited by Leicester’s whirlwind of an attack, but Jürgen Klopp’s side still have the most dangerous frontline in the country, even without Mohamed Salah.

We’re expecting goals and the Reds to just edge it, but it will be tense and tight throughout.

📊 Fun fact: Leicester’s Jamie Vardy has scored seven goals in 11 PL appearances against Liverpool, with only Andy Cole (11) and Thierry Henry (eight) netting more against the Reds in the competition.

🔮 Our prediction: Liverpool 3-2 Leicester

🔥 Your Fantasy Football team’s captain should be …

Bruno Fernandes

He’s already racked up 31 goal involvements in just 33 games for United, and we fancy him to add to his tally against West Brom this weekend. He’ll probably score a penalty at the very least.

Other predictions 🔮

Aston Villa 3-1 Brighton
Fulham 0-2 Everton
Sheffield United 0-1 West Ham
Leeds 2-2 Arsenal
Wolves 1-1 Southampton

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