Chelsea v Aston Villa
Mourinho will be looking to continue Chelsea’s positive start to the campaign by beating Aston Villa, a team he hasn’t beaten in his last four encounters. Club stalwards John Terry and Frank Lampard in particular look to be reinvigorated after an impressive opening day showing against Hull. They look in good shape to protect their managers record of never having lost a premier league game at Stamford Bridge.
Whilst Villa produced a vibrant counter attacking display in dispatching Arsenal in their season opener, it would be a tall order for them to claim two scalps in the space of a week. Chelsea are certainly much better than Arsenal defensively whilst they also showed clinical finishing going forwards. A Chelsea win looks likely.
Fulham v Arsenal
The Gunners face a Fulham side fortunate to have won their opening day match against Sunderland. Arsenal dispatched Fenerbahce with consumate ease to progress through to the group stages of the Champions League on Wednesday and can follow up with a win over Fulham. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is the latest casualty for the Gunners adding to a growing injury list. Olivier Giroud has bagged two goals in his last two games and there’s no reason the French striker can’t continue his good start to the season.
Fulham have bolstered their squad with the acquisition of Scott Parker, however they’ll need more than defensive midfielders to threaten an Arsenal side most vulnerable at the back. Unlike Aston Villa, Fulham don’t have a great deal of pace offensively and this could play into Arsenal hands.
Everton v West Brom
Everton performed well in their season opener against Norwich. Sylvain Distin will be a miss should he miss the match through injury. Youngster Ross Barkley was impressive last week showing he’s capable of scoring. Alongside the more experienced players he looks set to progress on this season.
West Brom forward Nicolas Anelka is out of action leaving West Brom with a depleted forwardline. Against a tough Everton side you have to question where the goal threats are in the West Brom side. The signature of Scott Sinclair on loan may aid the Baggies cause, however he hasn’t had much game time and can hardly be dubbed as an excellent signing.
Hull v Norwich
Steve Bruce will be more confident of getting something from this weeks opponents Nowich than he was a week ago when his side faced the seemingly impossible opening day challenge of taking on Chelsea. Despite being tamely beaten, Hull will certainly improve for this weeks fixture. The additions of Huddlestone and Livermore will bolster the midfield, however question marks will remain over where the goals will come from.
Norwich have a plethora of attacking options and took an encouraging point against Everton in an even game. They will see this as a fixture they can win and rightly so. If Hull don’t pose enough goal threat its hard to see the Tigers taking anything more than a point from this game.
Newcastle v West Ham
Newcastle appear perfectly set for another turbulent season after they capitulated in spectacular fashion against Manchester City. Pardew is already under pressure and the squad seems unsettled with Cabaye set to depart. In front of a home crowd, Newcastle will want to put in a redeeming performance.
West Ham manager Sam Alardyce was typically shrewd in the transfer market having wrapped up a host of good deals early on whilst acquiring Stewart Downing last week. They put in a solid performance to record an opening day win over Cardiff and could follow it up with a win over Newcastle. West Ham can take a point if not all three from this fixture.
Southampton v Sunderland
Southampton beat West Brom thanks to a last minute Rickie Lambert penalty last weekend. The Saints may hand a debut to record signing Dani Osvaldo in what should be a fiercely competitive encounter against a Sunderland side who were unlucky not to get anything from their season opener. Southampton were stronger at home last season and will try to build on this if they are to cement a top half finish.
Di Canio’s Sunderland did everything bar put the ball in the net against Fulham and if they can improve their finishing they pose a significant threat. This game really could go either way and a draw seems the most likely result, at least on paper, but playing away from home could ease the pressure on Sunderland allowing them to be less nervy in front of goal and steal a suprise away win.
Stoke v Crystal Palace
Stoke played well despite suffering defeat at the hands of Liverpool last weekend. The Potters will no doubt look to get off the mark with a home win against a Palace side everyone has as relegation certs. This could work in Palace’s favour as if they take the lead an agitated home crowd could get on Mark Hughes and his sides backs.
Iain Holloway will no doubt have his players psyched up for a perfectly winnable game against Stoke. The Eagles faced Spurs in their opener and impressed in a game they were expected to get nothing from. If they play well they could nick a suprise win.
Aston Villa v Liverpool
Aston Villa were impressive in a rampant 3-1 win over Arsenal on the opening day. They backed that up with a good effort against a strong Chelsea side. If they can play with the same attacking intent in the previous two matches they could build on the positive start to the season they’ve had. Benteke can also continue his fine goalscoring form.
Liverpool won last week against Stoke, however they looked weak defensively and will need to defend much better against a dangerous Villa side with players like Benteke in top form. If Aston Villa took something from this game it would be no suprise.