Football editor's Premier League predictions

Thomas Woods, The National's football editor, predicts the outcome of the opening weekend of Premier League fixtures.

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© GRAHAM STUART / AFP Our football editor believes a depleted Arsenal side, without Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas, will lose against Newcastle United at St James' Park on Saturday

Blackburn Rovers v Wolverhampton Wanderers

Many pundits, including The National's Richard Jolly, have predicted that Blackburn will be relegated this season. Even so, a tight home victory is likely against a Wolves side who don't score many on the road. 1-0

Fulham v Aston Villa

Both teams have new managers and will take time to settle this season. However, Fulham's squad is more stable and home advantage will help them to victory. 2-1

Liverpool v Sunderland

Two of the busiest managers in this summer's transfer market - Kenny Dalglish and Steve Bruce - face off at Anfield. Sunderland started brightly last season, though they will likely have to wait until their second match for a first win. 3-1

Queens Park Rangers v Bolton Wanderers

QPR won the Championship in eye-catching style, but Neil Warnock has stuck with most of last season's squad. With Adel Taarabt in midfield, they will cause some shocks, but Bolton are very experienced Premier League contenders. 1-2

Tottenham Hotspur v Everton OFF

Wigan Athletic v Norwich City

Wigan were upset 4-0 at home in the opening match of last season by new boys Blackpool. They will be wary of that happening again and should have the quality, particularly in attack, to see off promoted Norwich. 2-0

Sunday

Stoke City v Chelsea

A visit to the Britannia Stadium is a tough away trip for any team. However, Chelsea have the experience and quality to make this a comfortable victory. They should be on top of their game under new manager Andre Villas-Boas. Only if Stoke score first could this become a test for them. 0-2 

West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United

While West Brom rarely sat back and defended last season, they might be advised to be a bit more cautious, on the basis of United's attacking display in the Community Shield against Manchester City. 1-3

Monday

Manchester City v Swansea City

This looks like a home banker for the Manchester side. However, Swansea attracted comparisons to Barcelona last season, and could well cause a shock by scoring at the Etihad Stadium. One goal, though, is unlikely to be enough against City's firepower. 3-1

Agree/disagree? Have your say and put our predictor right. 

Published: August 11, 2011 04:00 AM

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