Premier League Preview: Matchweek 1

Here we go again! It all begins tomorrow night in the English capital with Arsenal hosting Leicester City. Let’s look ahead at a full slate of Premier League games to open up what should be another fun season. Team news is current as of 8:00 p.m. Thursday night; I’ll update as more info becomes available:

Update: Saturday and Sunday games’ team news updated at 7:45 p.m. Friday night.

Friday, August 11
Arsenal vs. Leicester City – 2:45 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Emirates Stadium, London
Referee: Mike Dean

All-time series:
Arsenal wins – 14
Leicester wins – 1
Draws – 7
Arsenal have never lost at home to Leicester City

Last season’s meetings:
Leicester 0, Arsenal 0 – August 20, 2016
Arsenal 1 (Huth OG), Leicester 0 – April 26, 2017

Arsenal absentees: Laurent Koscielny (suspension), Gabriel (knee), and Alexis Sánchez (abdomen)
Arsenal doubtfuls: Francis Coquelin (foot), Per Mertesacker (head), Mustafi (lack of match fitness), Mesut Özil (lack of match fitness), and Aaron Ramsey (muscular)

Leicester absentees: Danny Drinkwater (thigh) and Vicente Iborra (groin)
Leicester doubtfuls: Robert Huth (foot) and Kelechi Iheanacho (new arrival)

Final Score Prediction: Arsenal 2, Leicester 1

Saturday, August 12
Watford vs. Liverpool – 7:30 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
Vicarage Road, Watford
Referee: Anthony Taylor

All-time series:
Liverpool wins – 6
Watford wins – 2
Draws – 0
Liverpool have won last three games vs. Watford

Last Season’s Meetings:
Liverpool 6 (Mané, Coutinho, Can, Firmino, Mané, Wijnaldum) Watford 1 (Janmaat) – November 6, 2016
Watford 0, Liverpool 1 (Can) – May 1, 2017

Liverpool absentees: Nathaniel Clyne (back), Philippe Coutinho (knee), Adam Lallana (thigh), and Daniel Sturridge (thigh)
Liverpool doubtfuls: Jordan Henderson (virus)

Watford absentees: Craig Cathcart (knee), Brice Dja Djedje (muscular), Christian Kabasele (thigh), and Mauro Zárate (knee)
Watford doubtfuls: Troy Deeney (groin)

Final Score Prediction: Watford 1, Liverpool 3

Saturday, August 12
Chelsea vs. Burnley – 10:00 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
Stamford Bridge, London
Referee: Craig Pawson

All-time series:
Chelsea wins – 4
Burnley wins – 0
Draws – 2

Last Season’s Meetings:
Chelsea 3 (Hazard, Willian, Moses), Burnley 0 – August 27, 2016
Burnley 1 (Brady), Chelsea 1 (Pedro) – February 12, 2017

Chelsea absentees: Victor Moses (suspension), and Pedro (ankle)
Chelsea doubtfuls: none

Burnley absentees: none
Burnley doubtfuls: none

Final Score Prediction: Chelsea 2, Burnley 0

Saturday, August 12
Crystal Palace vs. Huddersfield Town 
– 10:00 a.m. ET (NBC Sports GOLD)
Selhurst Park, London
Referee: Jon Moss

All-time series – N/A

Last Season’s Meetings – N/A

Crystal Palace absentees: Yohan Cabaye (ankle), James McArthur (unknown), and Connor Wickham (knee)
Crystal Palace doubtfuls: none

Huddersfield absentees: Martin Cranie (hip), Jonathan Hogg (foot), Jon Stankovic (knee), and Nahki Wells (ankle)
Huddersfield doubtfuls: none

Final Score Prediction: Crystal Palace 1, Huddersfield Town 0

Saturday, August 12
Everton vs. Stoke City 
– 10:00 a.m. ET (CNBC)
Goodison Park, Liverpool
Referee: Neil Swarbrick

All-time series:
Everton wins – 7
Stoke wins – 5
Draws – 6

Last Season’s Meetings:
Everton 1 (Given OG), Stoke 0 – August 27, 2016
Stoke 1 (Crouch), Everton 1 (Shawcross OG) – February 1, 2017

Everton absentees: Ross Barkley (lack of match fitness), Yannick Bolasie (knee), Seamus Coleman (leg), Ramiro Funes Mori (knee), and James McCarthy (lack of match fitness)
Everton doubtfuls: none

Stoke absentees: Ibrahim Afellay (long-term injury), and Stephen Ireland (long-term injury)
Stoke doubtfuls: none

Final Score Prediction: Everton 1, Stoke City 1

Saturday, August 12
Southampton vs. Swansea City – 10:00 a.m. ET (NBC Sports GOLD)
St. Mary’s Stadium, Southampton
Referee: Mike Jones

All-time series:
Southampton wins – 6
Swansea wins – 2
Draws – 2

Last Season’s Meetings:
Southampton 1 (Austin), Swansea 0 – September 18, 2016
Swansea 2 (Mawson, Sigurdsson), Southampton 1 (Long) – January 31, 2017

Southampton absentees: Cédric (lack of match fitness), Virgil van Dijk (manager’s decision)
Southampton doubtfuls: none

Swansea absentees: Nathan Dyer (undisclosed), Fernando Llorente (arm), Gylfi Sigurdsson (manager’s decision), Ki Sung-yeung (knee)
Swansea doubtfuls: none

Final Score Prediction: Southampton 1, Swansea City 0

Saturday, August 12
West Bromwich Albion vs. AFC Bournemouth – 10:00 a.m. ET (NBC Sports GOLD)
The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
Referee: Bobby Madley

All-time series:
West Brom wins – 1
Bournemouth wins – 2
Draws – 1

Last Season’s Meetings:
Bournemouth 1 (Wilson), West Brom 0 – September 10, 2016
West Brom 2 (Dawson, McAuley), Bournemouth 1 (King – penalty) – February 25, 2017

West Brom absentees: Gareth McAuley (thigh), James Morrison (knee)
West Brom doubtfuls: none

Bournemouth absentees: Junior Stanislas (hamstring), Callum Wilson (knee)
Bournemouth doubtfuls: Steve Cook (knock)

Final Score Prediction: West Bromwich Albion 0, AFC Bournemouth 0 

Saturday, August 12
Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Manchester City – 12:30 p.m. ET (NBC)
Amex Stadium, Falmer
Referee: Michael Oliver

All-time series – N/A

Last Season’s Meetings – N/A

Brighton absentees: Sam Baldock (calf), Beram Kayal (leg)
Brighton doubtfuls: none

Man City absentees: Ilkay Gündogan (knee), Benjamin Mendy (thigh)
Man City doubtfuls: none

Final Score Prediction: Brighton & Hove Albion 0, Manchester City 4

Sunday, August 13
Newcastle United vs. Tottenham Hotspur – 8:30 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
St. James’s Park, Newcastle
Referee: Andre Marriner

All-time series:
Newcastle wins – 21
Spurs wins – 17
Draws – 4

Last Season’s Meetings – N/A

Newcastle absentees:
Newcastle doubtfuls:

Spurs absentees: Erik Lamela (hip), Danny Rose (knee), and Kieran Trippier (ankle)
Spurs doubtfuls: none

Final Score Prediction: Newcastle United 1, Tottenham Hotspur 3

Sunday, August 13
Manchester United vs. West Ham United – 11:00 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
Old Trafford, Manchester
Referee: Martin Atkinson

All-time series:
Man United wins – 26
West Ham wins – 5
Draws – 11

Last Season’s Meetings:
Man United 1 (Ibrahimovic), West Ham 1 (Sakho) – November 27, 2016
West Ham 0, Man United 2 (Mata, Ibrahimovic) – January 2, 2017

Man United absentees: Marcos Rojo (knee), Luke Shaw (foot), Ashley Young (long-term injury)
Man United doubtfuls: none

West Ham absentees: Michail Antonio (hamstring), Andy Carroll (groin), Cheikhou Kouyaté (knee), and Manuel Lanzini (knee)
West Ham doubtfuls: none

Final Score Prediction: Manchester United 2, West Ham United 1

I’ll be back on Sunday afternoon to break down all the action from the opening weekend. As always, thanks for reading, and come on you Reds!




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