After a three-month break, the Premier League has finally returned. New rules, strange environments, the water breaks, and many other things made the restart look different. The goals, refereeing blunders, the shock results and perhaps the expected ones all served as familiar territory. With the first round of fixtures now completed, and it’s time to look forward to what the new Gameweek can bring.
Leicester City vs Brighton
With just one win in six league games, the foxes have to be wary of their form if they are really to finish as high as they want. Against Watford, I felt they looked very passive and could have done more than the one point they got out of the game. Beating Brighton at the King Power Stadium will be vital to their top-four chances looking at the remaining fixtures they have left. Brighton themselves will be buoyed after coming from behind to defeat Arsenal last time out but must be focused here as safety is not guaranteed for them yet. If the right Leicester turns up, they will be difficult to stop. Else, then Brighton has a chance. Prediction: Leicester to win (2:1).
FPL tip: This might be a good game for Jamie Vardy (£9.7m) to return to scoring, and I won’t look past him. Brighton’s Lewis Dunk (£4.7m) will be vital if Brighton is to get anything out of this game.
Tottenham vs West Ham
This is a London derby that doesn’t fail to deliver. Spurs certainly have to end their form of no wins in seven games in all competitions to boost any hopes of making it to the UCL next season. Jose Mourinho has his six attacking options fit, and they should cause a lot of trouble for strugglers West Ham. The Hammers are only out of the drop zone on goal difference. With one win in ten games, they have it all to do to avoid playing to the championship next season. A miracle against Spurs is surely needed. Prediction: Spurs to win (3-1).
FPL tip: Harry Kane (£10.8m) is a regular against West Ham, and I’m tipping him to score this game. Heung-Min Son (£9.7m) got 13 points against the same opponents in the reverse fixture and could be a threat here too.
Manchester United vs Sheffield United
I thought Man. United did enough to earn all three points against Spurs especially with their second-half display, but their lack of clinical finishing added to a Hugo Lloris superb goal-keeping show got them just one point. They have to do better in front of goal, especially if the anticipated combination of Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba is to be fruitful. Fellow UCL chasers Sheffield had a shock result last time out and will be without key players including goalkeeper Dean Henderson for this important top-four grudge match. Prediction: Man. United to win (2:0).
FPL tip: Fernandes (£8.7m) seems like a captaincy choice for this gameweek. Rashford (£8.9m) can return big points this gameweek, he had a goal and an assist last time against Sheffield. Stevens (£5.2m) will be instrumental if the Blades are to do well here.
Newcastle United vs Aston Villa
The Magpies recorded their biggest win of the season at the weekend when they shocked Sheffield 3-0. They are almost assured of a next season in the Premier League if they overcome Aston Villa. They are unbeaten at home to their visitors in eleven games in all competitions, and I think they will get this over the line as well. Aston Villa suffered yet another loss after taking the lead in their game against Chelsea and sunk into deeper trouble. They need to get something from this game to keep their hopes alive. Prediction: Newcastle to win (1:0).
FPL tip: Newcastle’s clean sheet records at home suggests Fernandez (£4.6m) and Jamaal Lascelles (£4.3m) are bargain-picks this week. Aston Villa will need Jack Grealish (£6.4m) to be at his best, and he could provide attacking returns.