EPL Week 2 Predictions: Picking Winners in Most Intriguing Matchups
It's good to have the Premier League back, isn't it?
The first week didn't disappoint. There was Aston Villa's shocking win over Arsenal (and the commotion that caused in North London). There were the impressive showings from Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City. There was Rickie Lambert's last-minute winner to give Southampton the win over West Brom.
And Week 2 promises to only get better. Hard to believe, right?
Let's break down four of this week's most intriguing matches.
Fulham vs. Arsenal
It's been a long and crazy journey to start the season for Arsenal, and we're just a week in. After the 3-1 loss to Aston Villa—and with the team beat up and lacking depth—there was nearly a revolt due to Arsenal's incredibly quiet summer on the transfer window.
Then, the team traveled to Istanbul and earned a 3-0 win over Fenerbahce in the first leg of a Champions League playoffs, alleviating some tension between the supporters and Arsene Wenger.
Now, the team travels to Craven Cottage to take on a Fulham team fresh off of an opening win. This is not an easy draw for the Gunners, but if they failed to take any points to start the season against Villa and Fulham, you can expect the revolution to resume.
The Gunners still have enough talent available to sneak away with a win, albeit a tight one. The Gunners get the three points, 1-0.
Aston Villa vs. Liverpool
Mark this one down as potentially the most entertaining match of the weekend.
Aston Villas has opened its season with a win over Arsenal and an unjust loss to Chelsea. With Christian Benteke already in midseason form (three goals in two games) and Gabriel Agbonlahor on fire, this Aston Villa attack is not to be underestimated.
Of course, even without Luis Suarez this Liverpool side has plenty of weapons. Daniel Sturridge started his season off on a positive note, scoring against Stoke City, while Philippe Coutinho is one of the league's truly exciting young talents.
If you told Villa supporters their team could walk away with four points after opening against Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool, they certainly would be pleased. The Villains will do just that, as this game will end in a 2-2 draw.
Tottenham vs. Swansea City
By the time this match is played, Gareth Bale could be a Real Madrid player while Willian will be in town and Fabio Coentrao and Erik Lamela could be close behind.
Add in the additions of Paulinho, Roberto Soldado, Etienne Capoue and Nacer Chadli along with the players above, and it's hard to argue that Spurs are improved despite losing the Premier League's best player a season ago.
But don't sleep on Swansea. With Michu and Wilfried Bony atop the attack and the ability to hold onto the ball, playing the Swans is no day in the park, even if Manchester United handled them quite easily, 4-1. With Spurs still undergoing their transformation, a more settled Swansea side could keep things interesting.
But Spurs won't lose this one at home. Tottenham keeps the good vibes coming, winning 2-1.
Manchester United vs. Chelsea
And now for the big match this week—the Red Devils against the Blues. Last season's champions against the favorites of many to win the title this season. David Moyes vs. Jose Mourinho.
It's going to be fun.
United alleviated some consternation over a quiet summer with a huge opening game win, while Chelsea has earned a quick six points in league play. You might be concerned about the Blues playing three games in the span of eight days, but there may not be a deeper side in the league this year.
But United are at Old Trafford, they are motivated by the premature predictions of their demise and they have Robin van Persie, arguably the Premier League's best player with Bale (presumably) switching leagues.
This game is going to be one hell of a match. In a game that should have a little bit of everything, expect this one to end in a 2-2 draw.
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