Manchester City vs Arsenal
Manchester City will comfortably beat Arsenal in the early Saturday kick-off. This is due to a complicated factor of Manchester City having much, much better players than Arsenal. People might consider that Stoke City were able to steal a win with resilient defending in a match before the international break, but they should also consider Arsenal’s defence, which has already shown itself to be utterly penetrable, with mistakes in every match they’ve played so far. If Jack Wilshere plays, and if he doesn’t play, expect Arsenal to be overrun in midfield as they were in almost every match against the best sides last year. There is no reason to expect any different outcome.
Prediction: Manchester City 500-0 Arsenal
Manchester United vs QPR
Manchester United lost Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic, Tom Cleverley, Shinji Kagawa, Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck, but they failed to shift the worst player at the club, Wayne Rooney. Bizarrely, he has been made captain, which means that despite spending £150,000,000 (enough to fund billions of calls from reluctant England internationals to the grieving parents of dead soldiers, which Ian Wright demands) Manchester United will still have most of their counter-attacks and most of their possession around the box end in utter failure.
On the other hand, QPR have Rio Ferdinand, so expect QPR to get absolutely battered again as Ferdinand is too distracted by his sense of mortality and his low FIFA 15 score. However, QPR will be confident of causing an upset if United fail to use most of their new players. Sandro is well capable of running through, as well as around, Darren Fletcher, and Leroy Fer was one of Norwich’s best players, despite his side suffering relegation. Can Harry Redknapp’s tactical genius pull off a surprise?
Prediction: Manchester United 500-0 QPR
Liverpool vs Aston Villa
Liverpool have continued to startle in attack while offering encouragement to sides with a still fragile defence. However, there’s every reason to expect that Liverpool will improve defensively as Brendan Rodgers has not radically altered the personnel in attack, but can work with the new signings in defence. Certainly after last season’s success, he has earned the time to try. But there’s one problem: Joe Cole.
As Steven Gerrard pointed out when the ex-Chelsea midfielder joined Liverpool on a free transfer, he can do some things that Lionel Messi can only dream of. Gerrard, and Liverpool, won’t have forgotten that, and will obviously be aware of the absolute tonking they stand to receive, with Cole pulling the strings.
Prediction: Liverpool 0-500 Aston Villa
Hull City vs West Ham
Hull City play West Ham in the traditional grudge match between West Ham and the team that is from Yorkshire, just like Sheffield United are, and that’s basically the same (Humberside – but semantics yeah? – ed). Both managers of Hull and West Ham are often unfairly maligned. Both are certainly two of the most capable English managers in the country, but because they look like men who have been put together after an accident with a mangle and some sausage casing, they are treated as managers who don’t know what shoelaces look like, let alone how they work.
Of course, there are legitimate complaints that Allardyce plays utterly miserable football most of the time, and that Bruce requires constant transfer market investment, but that hardly separates them from some of the managers in the league who have come from abroad. Both teams have had relatively bright starts to the season, and with Hatem Ben Arfa, Gaston Ramirez, Enner Valencia and Mauro Zarate possibly featuring, there is the undeniably the chance that some actual fun could break out.
The big news with Hull, though, could overshadow the match. Assem Allam revealed in a press release on Friday that not only did he want to rename Hull City as Hull Tigers FC, but having been inspired by Radamel Falcao’s transfer, he would like at least two tigers to feature in any Hull first eleven. Tactically, it’s an interesting choice.
Prediction: All players eaten.