We explain who we’re tipping this weekend… read on for our safe and risky picks!
Arsenal v. Southampton
This appears to be a banker. Arsenal claimed their first win of the season last time around when they outclassed Watford. The Gunners were 3–0 up at half time whilst playing some scintillating football, with Sanchez and Ozil in fine form. It could be the perfect catalyst to kick start Arsenal’s season, after their disappointing results against Liverpool and then Leicester. In the end, Arsene Wenger decided to spend some money and managed to bring in both Lucas Perez and Mustafi. The former, a relatively unknown prospect, will be hoping to kickstart his Emirates career with a goal on Saturday. The dynamic forward scored 17 goals last season for Deportivo and also managed to claim 8 assists, in all competitions. Perez is young, quick and an accomplished finisher for someone his age. Even this week, fellow new signing Mustafi has praised the young Spaniard and spoken of the trauma he is likely to cause Premier League defenders.
Mustafi, on the other hand, arrives at the Emirates with an already established reputation and pedigree. At the age of 24, Mustafi has been capped by Germany 13 times, and is well acknowledged as a top quality central defender. With Per Mertesacker out injured until Christmas, at least, Arsenal desperately needed to sign reinforcements in the defence. Its probable that both Perez and Mustafi will debut for Arsenal against Southampton, and one would expect the Gunners to take the 3 points. Southampton, like Arsenal, haven’t started the season well, and are yet to win. Drawing at home to Watford and Sunderland, either side of a 2–0 defeat at Manchester United, is a poor return for new manager Puel and his side. Many at St Mary’s would be forgiven for beginning to get nervous about their prospects this season, with European football as a distraction and new players struggling to settle in, the Saints are struggling. I don’t expect it to get any better this weekend.
Bournemouth v. West Brom
A slightly riskier pick… but I fancy a Jack Wilshere inspired Bournemouth to do the business here. For West Brom, its all getting a bit desperate only 3 games in. Tony Pulis has had to publicly deny claims that he is about to resign, or even be sacked. The Baggies opened their Premier League campaign with 3 points at Selhurst Park, against Crystal Palace, but then suffered defeat to Everton and a 0–0 draw with Middlesbrough. The continued turmoil surrounding Berahino’s future at the club has resulted in the young Englishman staying at the Hawthorns for at least another season, even with very public attempts to leave. It needs to get a lot better, very soon for West Brom, if the fans are to remain patient with Pulis and his project.
For Eddie Howe and Bournemouth, its been an interesting few weeks. The signing of Jack Wilshere represented a really good piece of business and was a massive statement of intent from the club. Supposedly, it was Howe’s discussion with Wilshere which convinced the Englishman to join the club and turn down moves to both Roma and AC Milan. Yet, it also the young English manager who has been linked with a move to Arsenal next season, as Arsene Wenger’s replacement. Howe has denied these rumours, but it is no surprise that the high achieving manager is being touted. Bournemouth are yet to win this season, after back to back defeats against Manchester United and West Ham. Last time around, the Cherries drew 1–1 at Palace to get points on the board. This time around, they’ll fancy themselves for all three!
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