EPL Week 2 Predictions: Premier League Picks, Key Players and Fixture Info

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2014

LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA - JULY 27: Diego Costa of Chelsea celebrate the scoring the goal with Cesc Fabregas (TOP) during the Pre Season Friendly  match between FC Olimpija Ljubljana and Chelsea at Stozice stadium in Ljubljana, Slovenia on Sunday, July 27, 2014. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)
Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

The Premier League welcomed a number of potential new superstars to its competition last weekend, as the country's top clubs displayed their latest acquisitions and future heroes.

Arsenal introduced Alexis Sanchez to the excitement of English football, with Chelsea showing off their predatory Spanish striker, Diego Costa. Both, though, were overshadowed by the class of Cesc Fabregas.

All three players were on winning teams during the first week of the season and they will be hoping to impress over the coming months.

Here we take a look at the full schedule for the second week of the campaign and highlight some key players and predictions:

 

EPL Week 2 Schedule Information and Predictions
FixtureDateTime (GMT)Time (ET)Prediction
Aston Villa v NewcastleAug. 2312:45 p.m.7:45 a.m.1-0
Chelsea v LeicesterAug. 233 p.m.10 a.m.3-0
Crystal Palace v West HamAug. 233 p.m.10 a.m0-0
Southampton v West BromAug. 233 p.m.10 a.m.2-0
Swansea v BurnleyAug. 233 p.m.10 a.m.2-1
Everton v ArsenalAug. 235.30 p.m.12.30 p.m.1-2
Hull v StokeAug. 241.30 p.m.8.30 p.m.1-1
Tottenham v QPRAug. 241.30 p.m.8.30 p.m.2-1
Sunderland v Manchester UnitedAug. 244 p.m.11 a.m.1-1
Manchester City v LiverpoolAug. 258 p.m.3 p.m.2-1
PremierLeague.com

 

Sergio Aguero

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 17:  Sergio Aguero of Manchester City celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St James' Park on August 17, 2014 in Newca
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Would Manchester City have won the Premier League last season without the goal power of Sergio Aguero? The likely answer is no.

Aguero has suffered with injuries throughout the last 12 months but these episodes have failed to curtail his magnificent form, and he has found the back of the net with the accuracy of a sniper. 

The 26-year-old struggled for game time at the World Cup and has had significant spells on the sidelines in recent memory but his goal record is nothing short of superb.

Aguero smashed 17 goals in 21 Premier League starts last season, per WhoScored.com, and this ratio helped City wrestle the title back to the Etihad.

Jim Proudfoot of TalkSport also highlighted a milestone in the player's career after his goal against Newcastle on Sunday:

Victor R. Caivano/Associated Press

Aguero only entered the action from the subs bench against the Geordies at St James' Park but he took no time in showing off his confidence and predatory nature.

The Argentinian is now in line for a start against Liverpool at the Etihad but even if he is used from the bench once again, he's always a good bet to score.

Liverpool have looked weak in defence for a long time and the addition of Southampton's Dejan Lovren will certainly boost them. But Aguero is a striker that all centre-backs fear, and the skilful attacker will make life incredibly taxing for the Anfield club's back four.

 

Cesc Fabregas

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - AUGUST 18:  Cesc Fabregas of Chelsea controls the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Burnley and Chelsea at Turf Moor on August 18, 2014 in Burnley, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

After just 90 minutes of football, one thing already seems guaranteed: Manchester United will rue not signing Cesc Fabregas.

The former Barcelona and Arsenal midfielder made his bow for Jose Mourinho's Chelsea side on Monday night and ran the show, collecting two assists in the process, per WhoScored.com.

The quality of the player has never been in doubt and his time at the Camp Nou was certainly not a failure.

Fabregas' issue laid not with how he played for Barca, but rather the presence of his illustrious team mates, as highlighted by football writer Eric Beard:

The Spanish international is now back in the Premier League, an environment he is comfortable and happy in. If his talents were not appreciated as much in his homeland, they certainly will be in his adopted country of England.

Chelsea needed a brain in their midfield and a player who can play in several different tactical guises. Frank Lampard's exit left a huge whole of experience in the centre but Fabregas does more than just fill this.

Chelsea take on Leicester City in their next game and Cesc is sure to shine once again as he treads the boards in London. He will give the Blues an added dimension and once again prove he is one of the best of his type in the world.

 

Ander Herrera

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 16:  Ander Herrera of Manchester United is challenged by Ki Sung-Yeung of Swansea City during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford on August 16, 2014 in Manchester, Engla
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Ander Herrera's move to Manchester United seemed to take a lifetime to come to fruition but he is finally here, and wearing the Red Devils' shirt.

But his first taste of Premier League football did not go to plan as United once again proved they have psychological issues at Old Trafford, losing 2-1 to a very average Swansea team.

Herrera struggled in the first half as United failed to build momentum across most positions on the park but he came into his own in the second period, before being tactically substituted. 

The sight of the player in pre-season has been nothing short of positive with his all-action style, clever possession and typically Spanish passing range.

United were the best team in England on the road for long periods of last season and Louis van Gaal will be hoping this is evident in their second game of the season, at Sunderland.

Herrera will need to learn fast but if United do not buy a second top-level midfielder, the workload will be excessive for the new boy.

But Herrera is a player bursting with talent and if LvG can build his team around him, United will not be far from the trophies once again.