Premier League table leaders Manchester United will open Week 2 of the 2017-18 campaign with a trip to face Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium in Saturday’s early kick-off.
Manager Jose Mourinho will hope to see his side follow their 4-0 throttling of West Ham United with victory over the Swans, while former club Chelsea fix their attentions on a derby date against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
It’s been a little less than a fortnight since the Blues lost the FA Community Shield to Arsenal at Wembley, and they return to the venue again as they look to beat Spurs in their temporary home venue.
The Gunners travel to Stoke City on Saturday hoping for a more solidified display than was evident in their 4-3 edging of Leicester City, while Liverpool and Manchester City face Crystal Palace and Everton at home, respectively.
Read on for a breakdown of the Premier League’s Week 2 schedule, complete with fixture details, score predictions and a look toward a selection of this round’s matchups.
Week 2 Matches and Predictions
Saturday, August 19
Swansea City vs. Manchester United (0-3)
Bournemouth vs. Watford (2-2)
Burnley vs. West Bromwich Albion (1-1)
Leicester City vs. Brighton & Hove Albion (3-1)
Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace (2-0)
Southampton vs. West Ham United (1-3)
Stoke City vs. Arsenal (1-1)
Sunday, August 20
Huddersfield Town vs. Newcastle United (3-2)
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Chelsea (2-1)
Monday, August 21
Manchester City vs. Everton (3-1)
Rampant Red Devils Continue Run at Swansea
United will have undoubtedly attracted performance-of-the-weekend honours from many a pundit following their one-sided beating of West Ham on Saturday, where Romelu Lukaku bagged a debut brace for the Old Trafford hosts.
Swansea manager Paul Clement has the unenviable responsibility of attempting to stop that bright beginning in Week 2, but ESPN FC’s Liam Twomey had a take on the Red Devils that will make them difficult to down:
Lukaku and Marcus Rashford brilliant against the Hammers, but the midfield tandem of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic posed extreme promise for what lies ahead as their relationship bloomed.
In total, United had 22 shots to West Ham’s nine, per WhoScored.com, which could be a worrying dynamic for Swansea should the Red Devils manage to replicate that ratio in south Wales.
Swansea’s 0-0 stalemate at Southampton clawed a valuable point from St Mary’s Stadium, and the Welsh outfit will be desperate to have striker Fernando Llorente back from injury in time for Saturday’s clash.
Astute at the back and vicious up top, Mourinho’s new-look United are a different creature to the side that won 3-1 at the Liberty last season, meaning we may look forward to a more convincing win for his men this time.
Tottenham to top teetering Chelsea at Wembley
Tottenham Hotspur showcased some growing pains during the opening 45 minutes of Sunday’s 2-0 victory at Newcastle United, and a more vibrant start will be required if they’re to best Chelsea in their Wembley curtain-raiser.
One man the Blues didn’t encounter in this fixture last season is right-back Kyle Walker-Peters who, despite being a relative unknown, dazzled in Spurs’ victory at St James’ Park and was deserving of his man-of-the-match award.
Chelsea will also seek improvement from their 3-2 home defeat to Burnley on Saturday, a result that marked a miserable beginning for the reigning champions, and two losses from two would be verging on disastrous.
Spanish striker, Alvaro Morata is one of the new players brought into the Chelsea team by Antonio Conte. He is tipped tomake his first Premier League start in the London derby after coming from the bench to score against Burnley, with Michy Batshuayi disappointing in his starting berth.
This will be our first indication of how Tottenham adapt to playing at Wembley Stadium, but their cohesion—despite a slow transfer window—should give them the momentum to oust a Chelsea team that looks to be in a state of flux.
Culled from BleacherReport.