Paul Merson's predictions for Chelsea vs Leicester and Premier League GW4 fixtures

The Premier League is back with another exciting round
The Premier League is back with another exciting round

The Premier League returns with another round of matches and we should be in for another exciting weekend. What a season we've had so far. If last week's results are anything to go by, the best league in the world could get even better this year.

Manchester United got the better of Liverpool and they did quite well. I did think Liverpool would win it - they just had to turn up. I didn't see them do that at all last week, and they need a bit of a shot in the arm at the moment.

Chelsea's defeat against Leeds was a result that I didn't see coming. The first goal is always massive - it puts air in your lungs and gives you more to run around for. Thomas Tuchel and his men have got to cut their mistakes out.

The Premier League's always been full of surprises, and we may well have a few more this weekend. Here are my predictions for this week's round of Premier League games.

Southampton vs Manchester United

Manchester United v Liverpool FC - Premier League
Manchester United v Liverpool FC - Premier League

I said it last week - Manchester United don't need to do anything special against Liverpool. All they need to do is run around. And that's all they did. They rode their luck a couple of times, but they had a good game.

United now need to follow it up with another result. This Premier League game is as big a match as the one against Liverpool. We've seen this before with them - you can't afford to beat Liverpool and then lose to Southampton.

That's the worry with Manchester United. They've got to turn up and do well in the games they're expected to win. They've got to run as hard as they did the other day, and the other stuff will look after itself.

If they win this, they've got two victories on the trot followed by a home game and before you know it, they've moved up the Premier League table. If they lose against Southampton, they've lost to three teams they're expected to defeat.

I'd put Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench again this weekend. I don't think Casemiro will start either, because Ten Hag might not change the team after the Liverpool result. Casemiro wasn't their first choice, if you know what I mean - they couldn't sort out a deal for De Jong. He brings plenty of experience with him, however, and he's a winner.

I'd expect Manchester United to win this game, but I wouldn't be too shocked if Southampton pulled off an upset.

Prediction: Southampton 1-2 Manchester United

Chelsea vs Leicester City

Everton v Chelsea - Premier League
Everton v Chelsea - Premier League

I don't see Leicester having a great season at the moment. Wesley Fofana and Youri Tielemans are two of their best players, and they're going to leave. James Maddison could get a bit restless as well, and Leicester may well have a mutiny on their hands.

I think Leicester are in for a very, very long Premier League season. They had to bring on their big guns to get it done on penalties against Stockport the other day. Fortunately, they have a very good manager, but there's a lot going on at the club. The one thing I love about them is that they have a go, and that could be their Achilles' heel this week.

Leicester will need to shut shop at Stamford Bridge, but I don't think they will. Chelsea are a wounded animal at the moment, and I think they'll pull off a big win this weekend.

Prediction: Chelsea 3-0 Leicester City.

Brighton & Hove Albion vs Leeds United

Leeds United v Chelsea FC - Premier League
Leeds United v Chelsea FC - Premier League

This should be a good Premier League game. These are two teams that are full of confidence, and they've been getting good results so far. Leeds got a great result against Chelsea and are in excellent form at the moment.

Brighton should have beaten Newcastle, and they got a good result against West Ham. If they've got their shooting boots on and take their chances, they should be able to win this game.

Prediction: Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 Leeds United

Manchester City vs Crystal Palace

FC Barcelona v Manchester City - Friendly Match
FC Barcelona v Manchester City - Friendly Match

Crystal Palace have got the game to hurt big Premier League teams, and they did exactly that against Liverpool. But if they give Manchester City as much possession as they did Liverpool, City will cut them up at least three times.

Palace can hurt Man City on the counter and I do see them scoring a goal this weekend. They need to play it by the minute and take the game in ten-minute spells. If it's still 0-0 at half-time and Wilfried Zaha plays well, Palace have every chance. He's in great form at the moment and can hurt you on the counter.

Manchester City need to score early. If they don't, they'll need to bomb forward and that'll leave them prone to Crystal Palace's counter-attacks. I think City will have a lot of the ball, and I'll back them to win this game.

Prediction: Manchester City 3-1 Crystal Palace

Liverpool vs Bournemouth

Fulham FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League
Fulham FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League

I was shocked that Fabinho didn't start against Man United. He should've been the first name on the team sheet. He's definitely starting this game. You don't need two defensive midfielders against Bournemouth, and I think Fabinho will play in his position with Van Dijk and Gomez behind him.

I wouldn't be surprised if Fabio Carvalho and Harvey Elliott play as well. Liverpool will dominate this match, and if you're going to have a lot of the ball, you'd be better off with Carvalho and Elliott in your team.

I consider this game a foregone conclusion. I don't see anything but a Liverpool win here. They're a wounded animal, and they'll need to get their season underway. Bournemouth are bang unlucky that they're playing Liverpool in the Premier League right now. If I was Liverpool, I'd be having a go this week.

Prediction: Liverpool 3-0 Bournemouth

Brentford vs Everton

Everton FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League
Everton FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League

Everton only did well only after the shackles were off against Aston Villa. Towards the end of the game, they were playing good football. In the first 80 minutes of the game, however, they didn't create any chances.

This transfer window is going to be a hard one for Anthony Gordon. He's Everton's superstar, in a sense, and he's got his head turned. I think he'll leave for Chelsea tomorrow morning if he has the chance. But I don't think he'd play for them anywhere near as often as he could for Everton.

Anthony Gordon's a hero at Everton. He'll play every week, and he'll be a big fish in a small pond. Will he go to Chelsea to sit on the bench and not play? In a few years, we might be sitting here saying, "What happened to that Gordon?"

On the other hand, he'd probably earn triple the wages at Chelsea. If he turns the move down, will he ever get another chance to play for them? This is an incredibly difficult decision. Don't go by the money, go with your heart.

I watched Brentford last week and I thought they'd wipe the floor with Fulham. They'd just beaten United, and I thought their approach backfired in the Premier League last week. They'll be ready for this game, and I think they should be able to defeat Everton.

Prediction: Brentford 2-0 Everton

Arsenal vs Fulham

1. FC Nürnberg v Arsenal F.C. - Pre-Season Test Match
1. FC Nürnberg v Arsenal F.C. - Pre-Season Test Match

This is going to be a hard game for Fulham. They've done well away from home in the Premier League, but this is a different kettle of fish. When Brentford had a go at them the other day, they were opened up on quite a few occasions. Gabriel Jesus should be able to score again this weekend.

Arsenal have got great fixtures at the moment, but what follows easy games? Hard ones. When the Premier League fixture list is kind, you have to take advantage and strike while the iron's hot. Teams like Liverpool haven't done that so far, and they're already five points behind the ball game. I'm going to back Arsenal to keep their run going this weekend.

Prediction: Arsenal 3-0 Fulham

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Newcastle United

Newcastle United v Everton - Premier League
Newcastle United v Everton - Premier League

Newcastle have made a big statement with Alexander Isak's signing. He hasn't played in the Premier League. I haven't seen the big clubs going after him, and it's a lot of money. I haven't seen Barcelona or Real Madrid going in for him either and they would've seen plenty of him in La Liga. That's a worrying sign.

Then again, the same would've been said about Bruno Guimaraes. Newcastle have hopefully got it right again with Isak. I'm not saying he won't be a gem of a player, but will he still be a gem at £58 million?

Wolves are a funny team. They were great against Spurs in the first half, but they came out in the second half and lost the ball. They had plenty of the ball, but they didn't create any chances. I don't see Wolves blowing anybody away in the Premier League at the moment.

Newcastle had a go against City because they couldn't have done anything else. And it worked. This is a good game for Newcastle, and they're hard to beat under Eddie Howe. They should be able to win this game, and it'll be a massive result for them if they do.

Prediction: Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-1 Newcastle United

Aston Villa vs West Ham United

Aston Villa v Brisbane Roar - 2022 Queensland Champions Cup
Aston Villa v Brisbane Roar - 2022 Queensland Champions Cup

This is going to be a good game. West Ham have had an absolute nightmare of a start to their Premier League season. They punched above their weight last year but are struggling at the moment. I thought West Ham were unlucky against Forest - if you play counter-attacking football, you have to score the first goal.

Aston Villa held on and got over the line against Everton, but they did lose against Crystal Palace. This is a big match for them. Steven Gerrard played a strong team against Bolton - that tells you everything you need to know. He needs to win matches.

This is a massive Premier League match for both teams. Both sets of fans will be mad with a defeat here. I think whoever scores first wins this game. Aston Villa are playing at home in the Premier League this week, and I think they have a slight upper hand.

Prediction: Aston Villa 2-1 West Ham United

Nottingham Forest vs Tottenham Hotspur

Norwich City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Norwich City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

Tottenham need to get through the first 20 minutes unscathed this weekend. If Forest score first, the home crowd will be raucous. That'll put a bit of air in the home side's lungs, and they might be able to ride their luck along the way.

The longer this Premier League game goes on, the better it will be for Tottenham. They will open Nottingham Forest up, and there's a sense of ruthlessness about them. They were poor against Wolves, but they worked hard and turned it around in the end. Tottenham should be able to secure a comfortable victory this weekend.

Prediction: Nottingham Forest 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur

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Edited by Paul Merson
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