Paul Merson's predictions for Liverpool vs Chelsea and other Premier League GW3 fixtures

Liverpool vs Chelsea is the standout fixture of the Premier League weekend
Liverpool vs Chelsea is the standout fixture of the Premier League weekend

The 2021-22 Premier League season might just be two weeks old, but we've already seen why it's one of the most competitive leagues in world football. Brentford's victory against Arsenal set the ball rolling for the new season and since then it's been goals galore in the English top-flight.

With the international break around the corner, players will look to sign off with a bang before going away to represent their countries. Matchday three of the Premier League kicks off with a tantalizing clash between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium, as Pep Guardiola prepares to lock horns with his protege, Mikel Arteta.

The standout fixture of the Premier League week, however, is at Anfield on Saturday, as Liverpool and Chelsea prepare to do battle in what could be one of the most important games of the season.

So, what does the most exciting league in world football have in store for us this weekend? It's impossible to guess, but here are my predictions for each of the ten Premier League games on matchday three.

Manchester City vs Arsenal

Manchester City v Norwich City - Premier League
Manchester City v Norwich City - Premier League

I can only see one winner here and I’d be shocked if Arsenal got anything against Manchester City. They did well in the EFL Cup against West Bromwich Albion, but it was pretty much a full-strength squad against a Championship side, so this is a different kettle of fish in the Premier League.

It would have been a good confidence boost nonetheless, but I just think Arsenal’s Premier League season will start after the international break. I can’t see them getting a positive result in this one, I just hope they aren’t on the wrong end of a huge scoreline.

If Arsenal get beaten badly, the international break could bring major trouble for Mikel Arteta, because this is the time managers get sacked. Arsenal will hurt Manchester City in attack and create chances, but Pep Guardiola and co should win this one easily.

Prediction: Manchester City 3-1 Arsenal

Newcastle United vs Southampton

Newcastle United v Burnley - Carabao Cup Second Round
Newcastle United v Burnley - Carabao Cup Second Round

These are two struggling teams in the grand scheme of things, but Southampton did alright against Manchester United. When it was 1-1, I thought it would be another one of those games where Southampton would lose after taking the lead, but they held on for a draw.

As for Newcastle, there is major pressure on them after their recent run of form - they even lost to Burnley in the cup after playing a strong team! If they lose this, it’s three defeats in as many Premier League games against teams that aren’t from the top six, so that could turn out to be a problem for Steve Bruce.

I predict goals in this one and the first goal could be crucial.

Prediction: Newcastle United 2-2 Southampton

Brighton & Hove Albion v Everton

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

This is a good game and a hard one to call. I like Brighton, I’ve said it so many times in the past that they are one of the best football playing sides in the Premier League at the moment. I fancied them to beat Watford and they did just that.

Everton have done alright under Rafa Benitez and were involved in a thrilling game against Leeds United last weekend, so they will be a tough team to play against. I see goals in this one, but I think the two sides will share the spoils at the Amex Stadium.

Prediction: Brighton 2-2 Everton

West Ham United vs Crystal Palace

Newcastle United v West Ham United - Premier League
Newcastle United v West Ham United - Premier League

I watched West Ham play last weekend against Leicester City in the Premier League and I was absolutely blown away - they were outstanding! Leicester’s goal was completely and utterly against the run of play and the gulf of class between the two sides was apparent on the night.

Michail Antonio has been sensational so far and was virtually unplayable that night. If he stays fit and plays 38 Premier League games this season, West Ham will emerge as massive dark horses this season and cause plenty of problems. They are in good form and I can’t see anything other than a home win.

I just can’t see where Palace are going to hurt West Ham, it’s been a hard start for Patrick Vieira at Selhurst Park.

Prediction: West Ham United 3-0 Crystal Palace

Also Read: Jim Beglin column - Ranking the 5 greatest central midfielders of all time

Norwich City vs Leicester City

West Ham United v Leicester City - Premier League
West Ham United v Leicester City - Premier League

Leicester City are a really good team, so I’m taking last week’s Premier League defeat against West Ham as one of those games where it just didn’t happen for them. Brendan Rodgers and co are definitely amongst the sides that can compete for fifth spot in the league along with the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and West Ham, so they will look to bounce back after a lackluster performance and return to winning ways.

If you go to Norwich and don’t get three points, it is likely to be seen as a massive missed opportunity. I think Leicester City will win this game rather comfortably.

Prediction: Norwich City 0-3 Leicester City.

Aston Villa v Brentford

Crystal Palace v Brentford - Premier League
Crystal Palace v Brentford - Premier League

I think Aston Villa will win this game. This is the kind of game where you look at Brentford and say "welcome to the Premier League" as they come into this one on the back of two impressive results against Arsenal and Crystal Palace.

It could turn out to be a bit of a reality check for them, so I think Aston Villa will rip them to shreds and show them how hard the Premier League is. Danny Ings is a top player and could well be at it once again this weekend.

Prediction: Aston Villa 3-0 Brentford

Liverpool vs Chelsea

Liverpool v Chelsea - Premier League
Liverpool v Chelsea - Premier League

It’s the biggest game of the Premier League weekend and for all the neutrals out there, this is the game to watch out for this season. It’s still early in the season, but both these sides will look to lay down the marker - they are very well matched and will cause each other a lot of problems.

I don’t like predicting draws, but I can see Chelsea and Liverpool sharing the spoils at Anfield. They won’t want to lose, so an interesting contest could be on the cards. Virgil van Dijk’s return has been a massive boost for Liverpool, but he’s set to come up against a proper handful in Romelu Lukaku, who scored on his homecoming against Arsenal. Which of these two world-class players will come out on top? Only time will tell.

Prediction: Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea

Burnley vs Leeds United

Kalvin Phillips is one of the best midfielders in the Premier League
Kalvin Phillips is one of the best midfielders in the Premier League

This is another good game in the Premier League this weekend. Leeds United will want to open up the game and play on the front foot, while Burnley will play their usual 4-4-2 and adopt a more direct approach to the game.

Leeds did well to salvage a point against Everton and I really love watching them play, but Burnley won’t be pushovers, as they gave a good account of themselves despite losing 2-0 to Liverpool last weekend in the Premier League.

It’s a tough one to call, but I think Leeds will win and record their first three points of the season.

Prediction: Burnley 1-2 Leeds United

Tottenham Hotspur v Watford

Tottenham Hotspur v Pacos de Ferreira - UEFA Conference League: Play-Offs Leg Two
Tottenham Hotspur v Pacos de Ferreira - UEFA Conference League: Play-Offs Leg Two

Tottenham have won their first two Premier League games under Nuno Espirito Santo and have been boosted by the news that Harry Kane is staying at the club this season. The feel-good factor seems to be back at the club, so they might prove to be too hot to handle for Watford.

If Kane starts, Spurs will have too much for Watford and win by a huge scoreline. They are up against it after what happened against Brighton and will need to play their socks off to get a positive result.

Prediction: Tottenham 4-0 Watford

Wolves v Manchester United

Southampton v Manchester United - Premier League
Southampton v Manchester United - Premier League

I was a bit disappointed with Manchester United last weekend. When they made it 1-1 against Southampton, there was a feeling that they would go on to win the game. Funnily enough, it seems to be exactly what the players thought - before they knew it, the game drifted away and you were in injury time. They didn't get anywhere close to scoring, as there was no urgency.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer didn’t show enough conviction for me - he replaced Fred with Scott McTominay when they needed a goal. Why not throw another attacker on and have a go like Sir Alex Ferguson used to do back in the day? He played it safe that day and it cost them two points, so it’s important to remember that Premier League titles are won by having a go!

Wolves have been unlucky so far and deserved something from the game against Spurs. They've had around 40 shots in their last two games but didn’t manage to score, but who is to say a couple don’t go in if they do something similar against Manchester United?

I’m not sure about Jadon Sancho but I think Raphael Varane could start this game, as his pace could be useful against the electric Adama Traore. This is a dangerous game for Manchester United and I expect them to drop points once again.

Prediction: Wolves 1-1 Manchester United

Also Read: Fabrizio Romano exclusive - 5 biggest transfers which could happen before deadline day

Quick Links

Edited by Vishal Subramanian
Be the first one to comment