Paul Merson's predictions for Manchester United vs Newcastle and other Premier League GW4 fixtures

Cristiano Ronaldo is could have an immediate impact when Manchester United take on Newcastle
Cristiano Ronaldo is could have an immediate impact when Manchester United take on Newcastle

The Premier League is finally back this weekend after a long international break and like many of you, I can’t wait to get back to club football. We’re only a few weeks into the Premier League season at the moment and we’ve already seen plenty of action and drama over the past month.

The gulf between the big four and the rest of the Premier League is massive at the moment. Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City have built incredible squads this year and on paper, it should be fairly easy for them to secure their places in the Premier League top four.

The international break does present some of the Premier League’s smaller clubs with an opportunity. The league’s biggest names have only come into the country this week and their managers will likely have only a day or two to work on this weekend’s fixtures.

Most people seem to have picked the game between Leicester City and Manchester City as their game of the week, but I’d say there’s something bigger happening at Old Trafford this weekend. Cristiano Ronaldo is set to make his second debut against Newcastle and we should be in for some fireworks.

The Premier League features another round of matches this weekend, and it’s always a challenge predicting outcomes in what has been a historically unpredictable league. Nevertheless, here are my predictions for each of the ten Premier League games on matchday four.

Crystal Palace vs Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur v Watford - Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Watford - Premier League

Tottenham Hotspur are flying high - they’re the only team in the Premier League with a hundred per cent record at the moment. If this match was to take place two weeks ago, Tottenham would be my pick all day long.

They have had a lot of players away on international duty, however, and their manager will likely only have tomorrow to get his players ready ahead of an early kick-off on Saturday. The international break is a great leveler.

Crystal Palace, on the other hand, have had plenty of time to work on this game. Patrick Vieira will have had more time to work on what he wants from his players. Palace could give their opponents a tough game this weekend, but I’d still back Tottenham Hotspur to come away with a victory.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur

Watford vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester United - Premier League
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester United - Premier League

Games like these are supposed to be Watford’s bread and butter. They started well with a win against Aston Villa, and I think they can do well this season. That being said, this could very well be a nightmare game for Watford.

I have no idea how Wolves are close to the bottom of the table. They had about a million shots against Tottenham and were excellent against Leicester, but lost both games by a 1-0 margin. People will look at the league table and say they’ve got no wins and no points, but I’ve been impressed with them and think they’ll win this game.

I reckon someone’s waiting to be hammered by Wolves. They created better chances against Manchester United and were denied by an excellent De Gea save. Wolves have been excellent so far without any luck, and Watford could be in for a defeat this weekend.

Prediction: Watford 0-2 Wolves

Brentford vs Brighton & Hove Albion

Aston Villa v Brentford - Premier League
Aston Villa v Brentford - Premier League

I got it horribly wrong with Brentford last week. I thought Aston Villa would slaughter them, but they held their own brilliantly. Brentford have done quite well this season, but they need to win this game – they have a few dodgy weeks coming up.

I like the look of Brighton & Hove Albion. They had an off-day against Everton in their previous game, but I do expect them to finish above Brentford in the Premier League table. There’s not much between these two teams this weekend, and I expect it to be a hard game for both sides.

Prediction: Brentford 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion

Arsenal vs Norwich City

Manchester City v Arsenal - Premier League
Manchester City v Arsenal - Premier League

If you asked Arsenal’s fans, players, and Mikel Arteta who they’d want to play at home immediately after the international break, I’m sure they’d all pick Norwich. This is where Arsenal’s season starts, and they cannot afford to drop points this weekend.

Norwich City have looked out of their depth in the Premier League, and Arsenal’s fans will want something more from their team this weekend. This is a big game for Arsenal – I think they’re capable of rolling over the lesser teams and should be able to win this match by a considerable margin.

Prediction: Arsenal 4-0 Norwich City

Manchester United vs Newcastle United

Cristiano Ronaldo is back in the Premier League!
Cristiano Ronaldo is back in the Premier League!

I’d expect Cristiano Ronaldo to score in his return to the Premier League. I have all these keyboard warriors having a go at me at the moment – I never said he isn’t going to score goals.

The Newcastle game is a great way to get Ronaldo started at the club. Newcastle are going to sit back and absorb pressure and Manchester United will be able to put balls into the box for Cristiano Ronaldo. It’s going to be one-way traffic for most of the game, and I’d expect Ronaldo to score against Newcastle.

Ronaldo isn’t the player he once was, but if I was a Manchester United fan, I’d actually be worried if he doesn’t score against Newcastle on Saturday.

It will be quite interesting to watch Manchester United adapt to having Ronaldo in their ranks. United should be able to blow Newcastle away this weekend. I hope Ronaldo scores a hat-trick on Saturday – it won’t be easy, but I wouldn’t put it past him.

Prediction: Manchester United 3-0 Newcastle United

Southampton vs West Ham United

West Ham United v Crystal Palace - Premier League
West Ham United v Crystal Palace - Premier League

Southampton haven’t been particularly bad this season. I thought they’d struggle after losing Danny Ings but on current form, I don’t think they’ll be in a relegation battle any time soon. They did very well against Manchester United and could give West Ham a run for their money.

West Ham have great players in their ranks, and they’re all in form. They did brilliantly last season, with all their players stepping up and making a difference. West Ham got a bit of a kick up the backside against Crystal Palace though and would have been disappointed with a draw after being 2-1 up in the last half-hour.

All in all, I think West Ham have a robust defense, and the likes of Michail Antonio can make a massive difference in games such as these. I’m going to go with a narrow away victory for West Ham United.

Prediction: Southampton 1-2 West Ham United

Leicester City vs Manchester City

Manchester City v Arsenal - Premier League
Manchester City v Arsenal - Premier League

I like Leicester City – they’re always going to give you a very good game. Manchester City are on another planet, however, and are the better team at the moment.

My prediction could backfire, though – Brendan Rodgers is an excellent coach and they have caused Pep Guardiola a few problems in the past. It will likely be a tight game but if Manchester City do tick, I’m not sure how you can stop them.

Prediction: Leicester City 1-3 Manchester City

Chelsea vs Aston Villa

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

I see a very comfortable home win in this game. Chelsea move the ball very quickly and they have been dominant this season. They were outstanding against Liverpool with ten men, and I thought Kovacic came on and kept the ball brilliantly to keep his side in the game. The fact that he’s not a shoo-in at Chelsea speaks volumes about their squad depth.

I was very disappointed with Aston Villa’s performance against Brentford. They were not at their best, and never looked like they were going to win that game. Chelsea have been excellent under Thomas Tuchel and they should be able to cruise to victory this weekend.

Prediction: Chelsea 3-0 Aston Villa

Leeds United vs Liverpool

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

Given how Leeds approach their football and open the game up, I don’t see how they can live with Liverpool, to be honest. They were very disappointing against Burnley and struggled for most of the game. They were fortunate not to lose that game, and I don’t think they’ll have much luck this weekend.

Liverpool were very good against Chelsea at times. They go man-to-man and their forwards are much better than their counterparts at Leeds. I don’t see anything other than a Liverpool victory on Saturday.

Prediction: Leeds United 1-3 Liverpool

Everton vs Burnley

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

Everton were really good against Brighton & Hove Albion, but they do tend to struggle at home. If Burnley get ahead in this game, Everton will be under pressure and might get a bit of stick from their fans. They have quality in their ranks, but they’ll face a challenge this week.

I thought Burnley were bang unlucky against Leeds – they were the better team on the day. Burnley set up very well and can make it very difficult for their opponents. This is going to be a tough game, and it may very well end in a draw.

Prediction: Everton 1-1 Burnley

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Edited by Paul Merson