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Paul Merson's predictions for Manchester City vs Tottenham, Arsenal vs Everton and other Premier League GW7 fixtures

Chelsea
Chelsea's decision to sack Thomas Tuchel has been the talk of the town

It's been a mad week with plenty of drama in the world of football, with Liverpool and Chelsea coming under the microscope over the past 24 hours. The Blues took everyone by surprise with their decision to sack Thomas Tuchel, as the German tactician was relieved of his duties following Chelsea's 1-0 loss to Dinamo Zagreb in the UEFA Champions League group stages.

Liverpool, on the other hand, were humbled away from home in their first European game of the season as Napoli recorded a statement 4-1 win in Italy. Domestically, both Liverpool and Chelsea have struggled in recent weeks, while Manchester United and Tottenham have looked good.

I think it was a really strange decision to sack Tuchel, but Graham Potter is a manager I really like. Working at this level is a different ball game, but Potter has shown in his time with Swansea City and Brighton that he's more than capable of creating teams that can go toe-to-toe with the best in the business. I've said before that Manchester United should have got him ahead of Erik ten Hag and I stand by that statement, but he's set to take over the reins at Stamford Bridge now and it'll be interesting to see how it turns out.

Graham Potter will be appointed as new Chelsea manager, as expected. Agreement in place, contracts now being prepared as proposal has been accepted. Here we go. 🚨🔵 #CFCChelsea will complete the agreement with Brighton in the next hours. https://t.co/cY7V5vdZy8

It's still early doors, but I think the Premier League top-four this season will be Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal in whatever order. Chelsea will obviously have a thing or two to say, but we'll have to wait and see how Potter performs at Stamford Bridge, with the Englishman set to take over the reins from Thomas Tuchel imminently.

As for Manchester United, I don't think they'll make it because they still have a lot of work to do in terms of their squad. They've won four league games in a row, including victories against Liverpool and Arsenal, but I'm yet to be convinced by them.

Arsenal are good and I believe they are in there for the long run, while I'm still backing Liverpool to turn it around in the coming weeks to secure a UEFA Champions League spot.

With games set to come thick and fast over the next two months, a lot could change in a matter of days. On that note, here are my predictions for the Premier League games this weekend.


Fulham vs Chelsea

Dinamo Zagreb v Chelsea FC: Group E - UEFA Champions League
Dinamo Zagreb v Chelsea FC: Group E - UEFA Champions League

What a time to play against Chelsea! If you're Fulham, you're licking your lips. You're virtually going to be facing a team that'll only have one training session under the new manager, assuming that's going to be Graham Potter at this point in time.

I'm going for a 2-2 draw here. Chelsea are letting in a lot of goals and Fulham have started the season well. If there ever was a chance for Fulham to get a famous result against Chelsea, it's this Saturday morning! There's too much going on at Chelsea at the moment and that will affect the players, so their performance will depend on how they react.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pretty much came out and said he only came to Chelsea for Thomas Tuchel, but now he's gone! I said from day one that they should get Cristiano Ronaldo, but they went ahead and got Aubameyang on transfer deadline day. Ronaldo would suit the way Chelsea play because they have two of the best wingbacks in the world who can get crosses into the box. We're talking about one of the greatest finishers of all time, how would he not score goals with that kind of service?

At Manchester United, Erik ten Hag wants to play counter-attacking football - I'm not sure how he'd flourish in such a system at this stage of his career.

Prediction: Fulham 2-2 Chelsea


Bournemouth vs Brighton & Hove Albion

Fulham FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League
Fulham FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League

If Graham Potter goes to Chelsea, who will Brighton get as his replacement? Forty-eight hours ago, if you'd asked me to predict this game, I'd have fancied the Seagulls to win comprehensively, but if Potter walks, it'll be a different story.

Bournemouth haven't announced a permanent manager to replace Scott Parker, with Gary O'Neil taking over the reins on an interim basis at the moment. Due to the circumstances involved, this game automatically becomes hard to predict, so I'm going for a draw.

Prediction: Bournemouth 1-1 Brighton


Southampton vs Brentford

Brentford FC v Everton FC - Premier League
Brentford FC v Everton FC - Premier League

Ivan Toney is the man of the moment after his stunning hat-trick against Leeds United. He's got to keep on doing it - that's the name of the game. I really like him and believe he can get an England call-up ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Callum Wilson is ahead of him in the pecking order, but his injury problems could be a bit of an issue for Gareth Southgate.

Brentford need to start winning games away from home and this is a good opportunity for them to do that, so I think they'll win this game. Thomas Frank is a fantastic manager and his team have done well in midfield despite Christian Eriksen's departure.

As for Southampton, you never quite know what you're going to get from them because they are incredibly inconsistent.

Prediction: Southampton 1-2 Brentford


Liverpool vs Wolves

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

Despite the 4-1 humbling against Napoli, I don't see anything other than a Liverpool win here. Wolves will try to make it hard for them at Anfield, but Jurgen Klopp and co will race off the blocks like they did against Bournemouth and break them down with ease.

It's been a far from a good start to the season - it's all getting reassessed. At the start of the season, you'd have fancied Liverpool to give Manchester City a run for their money in the Premier League title race, but now I think they'll settle for a top-four finish. They are having one of those bad patches, but you don't become a bad team overnight. Liverpool have enough credit in the bank after what they've done in recent seasons, so I expect them to bounce back in the coming weeks.

Luis Diaz's strike against Crystal Palace has been shortlisted for the @PremierLeague Goal of the Month award ⚽

No matter what happens, I don't think Liverpool will consider sacking Jurgen Klopp, they aren't Chelsea! You're talking about one of the few managers who can take over a team from League 1 and bring them up to the Premier League, so he's still the right man for the job.

Mohamed Salah is still Liverpool's main man, but I'm worried about his form a little bit. Sadio Mane and Salah always played well alongside each other and pushed each on, they were like Starsky and Hutch! Mane's sale was one of the worst I've seen in recent years, I'll never get tired of saying this.

As for Liverpool's front three, with all of them fit, I think Diogo Jota should start up front at the moment with Salah and Luis Diaz either side of him.

Prediction: Liverpool 3-0 Wolves


Leicester City vs Aston Villa

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

Aston Villa got a great result against Manchester City last weekend, but that was a game where they didn't have much to lose. Against Leicester City, though, it's a different story as they are currently rock bottom.

Despite their issues, Leicester have managed to find the back of the net freely, so I expect goals in this one and think it'll end all square.

Prediction: Leicester City 2-2 Aston Villa


Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur

Sevilla FC v Manchester City: Group G - UEFA Champions League
Sevilla FC v Manchester City: Group G - UEFA Champions League

This is a good test for both teams, I can't wait for this game. Tottenham have shown that they can hurt teams under Antonio Conte, while Manchester City and Erling Haaland have looked irresistible at times this season. The game also sees two world-class managers go head-to-head, so there's no doubt it's going to be a great contest.

Antonio Conte and co got ripped to shreds at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea, but they somehow fought back to secure a 2-2 draw. If he gets it wrong at the Etihad Stadium, though, they won't be able to recover.

I'm a huge fan of both teams but at this point in time, I'm just going to go for Manchester City.

Prediction: Manchester City 2-1 Tottenham


Arsenal vs Everton

Manchester United v Arsenal FC - Premier League
Manchester United v Arsenal FC - Premier League

Everton will come to the Emirates to sit back and defend, but I fancy Arsenal to eventually break them down. Despite their position on the points table, I think Frank Lampard's doing a good job at Everton.

He's signed a bunch of decent players and they are slowly starting to show signs of progress, while they work their socks off week in and week out regardless of who they play against.

Fabio Vieira came on against Manchester United and made a good impact, but Arsenal need to bounce back after their first defeat of the season last weekend. Vieira looks like an exciting player, but I just hope they play their best team and don't look to experiment for the sake of it.

Prediction: Arsenal 2-0 Everton


West Ham United vs Newcastle United

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Newcastle United - Premier League
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Newcastle United - Premier League

Newcastle United were bang unlucky against Liverpool as Fabio Carvalho scored a stoppage-time winner at Anfield, while they were denied a stonewall penalty against Crystal Palace last weekend. West Ham United, on the other hand, were also on the wrong end of a bad VAR call as they were denied a last-gasp equalizer against Chelsea.

In terms of quality, I don't think there is much between these two teams and I really can't predict which one of them will finish higher in the table.

Prediction: West Ham 1-1 Newcastle


Crystal Palace vs Manchester United

Manchester United v Arsenal FC - Premier League
Manchester United v Arsenal FC - Premier League

Despite their recent form, I'd be surprised if Manchester United won this game. Arsenal were by far the better team at Old Trafford last season, so you could argue that the result papered over the cracks for the Red Devils.

Arsenal dominated the game but conceded three cheap goals - fair play to Manchester United for making them pay. If Manchester United win this game, I'll be like, 'Wow, what a result,' because I don't think they've been all that convincing despite winning four games on the bounce.

I know Antony scored on his Premier League debut against Arsenal, but he just doesn't seem a €100 million player! That said, Ten Hag put him on the pitch straightaway and he delivered, indicating that he knows and trusts him.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-1 Manchester United


Leeds United vs Nottingham Forest

Leeds United v Everton FC - Premier League
Leeds United v Everton FC - Premier League

This is a big game for Leeds United as this is the first time they are going into a Premier League clash expecting to win. They are the better team and have shown what they are capable of this season, I think they'll win this game comfortably.

Prediction: Leeds United 2-0 Nottingham Forest

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Edited by Paul Merson
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