Chelsea out to ruin Tottenham’s Wembley opener – Premier League Preview

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The opening round of 2017/18 Premier League fixtures have been and gone, and this weekend looks set to offer up some great action.

It was a hugely frustrating start to the campaign for Liverpool, who under-performed and conceded late to draw 3-3 away to Watford.

Next up for Jurgen Klopp‘s side is a home clash with Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon—a must-win match—and they will be buoyed by Tuesday’s Champions League victory at Hoffenheim.

Elsewhere last weekend, Man City, Man United, Tottenham and Arsenal all started with wins, with the latter’s 4-3 victory over Leicester City a stunning first game of the season.

Nine-man Chelsea were stunned by Burnley, however, while David Wagner’s newcomers Huddersfield Town won 3-0 at Palace, in the two biggest surprise results so far.

There are 10 matches over the next three days—here’s the best action to keep an eye on.

 

Tottenham to Heap More Misery on Chelsea?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 25, 2016: Tottenham Hotspur's manager Mauricio Pochettino during the Football League Cup 4th Round match against Liverpool at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Of all the opening-weekend fixtures, not many would have predicted a Burnley win at Stamford Bridge, but they stunned the reigning Premier League champions with a thrilling 3-2 victory.

Granted, Chelsea haven’t looked themselves all summer, and Antonio Conte doesn’t look like a man enjoying his job, but this was still a real shock.

All is not well with the Blues, and they will be tested greatly on Sunday afternoon when they take on Tottenham in their first league game at Wembley Stadium.

It is going to be interesting to see how Spurs cope at their temporary surroundings, but they have a fantastic manager and a young side as balanced as anything in the division.

Playing at Wembley is likely to hinder Mauricio Pochettino’s team at times this season, but you get the feeling they will raise their game against their London rivals and build on their win at Newcastle United last Sunday.

 

Heavyweight Trio Search for 2 Wins on the Bounce

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 28, 2016: Manchester City's manager Pep Guardiola during the FA Premier League match against West Ham United at the City of Manchester Stadium Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

While Liverpool were busy dropping sloppy points at Vicarage Road, all of their top-six rivals were busy winning, bar Chelsea.

City, United and Arsenal saw off Brighton & Hove Albion, West Ham and Leicester, respectively, with the Manchester clubs both looking particularly strong.

All three title hopefuls will believe they should keep up their 100 percent record this weekend, with a trio of very winnable fixtures, on paper.

Pep Guardiola’s City side host Everton on Monday night, in a match that will go some way to showing us how far Liverpool’s local rivals have come this summer. It is hard to see past a home win.

United visit Swansea City for the Saturday lunchtime offering, and given Jose Mourinho’s record when it comes to making fast starts to seasons, you could easily envisage another routine win for them.

Arsenal have struggled historically at Stoke City, particularly during ‘The Rory Delap Years’, but the Potters look a rather lifeless outfit these days. The Gunners have to fancy their chances.

We hope we are very wrong, and that the unpredictable nature of the Premier League comes to the fore once again, but this looks like three wins for City, United and Arsenal.

 

Klopp’s Mate vs. Klopp’s Predecessor

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez celebrates with the Sky Bet Championship trophy after the final whistle during the Sky Bet Championship match at St James' Park, Newcastle. (Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire. )

It is always interesting to see how two newly-promoted sides fare against each other, and Sunday’s clash between Huddersfield and Newcastle is no different.

The Terriers made a dream start to life in the top flight, and while the result against Palace may have been slightly flattering, they showed that they will play fearless football this season.

Newcastle, meanwhile, were matching Spurs prior to former Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey’s mindless sending off, before succumbing to a 2-0 defeat.

Wagner and Rafa Benitez are very different characters with contrasting approaches to football—Wagner is flamboyant like his good friend Klopp, while Benitez is more pragmatic—and it will be a fascinating matchup.

If this fixture cropped up in November, plenty of neutrals would choose not to tune in, but the fact that it has arrived this early in the season makes it a far more appealing proposition.

 

Fixtures, UK TV Info & Predictions

SWANSEA, WALES - Saturday, January 14, 2017: Swansea City's manager Paul Clement (Pic by Gwenno Davies/Propaganda)

Saturday

Swansea vs. Man United – 12:30pm, Sky Sports Main Event
Prediction: 0-2

Bournemouth vs. Watford – 3pm
Prediction: 2-1

Burnley vs. West Brom – 3pm
Prediction: 0-0

Leicester vs. Brighton – 3pm
Prediction: 2-1

Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace – 3pm
Prediction: 3-1

Southampton vs. West Ham – 3om
Prediction: 2-1

Stoke City vs. Arsenal – 5:30pm, BT Sport 1
Prediction: 1-2

Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner celebrates victory after the Sky Bet Championship match at the John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo: Copyright: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.

Sunday

Huddersfield vs. Newcastle – 1:30pm, Sky Sports Main Event
Prediction: 2-1

Tottenham vs. Chelsea – 4pm, Sky Sports Main Event
Prediction: 2-0

Monday

Man City vs. Everton – 8pm, Sky Sports Main Event
Prediction: 3-1

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