Premier League 2012/13: Match predictions, August 18-20

From Tottenham v Newcastle to Man United v Everton, Match of the Day magazine offer their expert predictions for this weekend's matches

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Premier League 2012/13: Match predictions, August 18-20
Written By
Paz and Bez

SATURDAY

ARSENAL v SUNDERLAND
Whatever you do at The Emirates on Saturday, don’t mention you-know-who. Gunners fans will be engaged in collective mourning over the departure of last season’s top scorer to Man. United. It’s down to new boys Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud to get them off to a good start. Prediction: Arsenal 2-0 Sunderland

FULHAM v NORWICH
It’s not exactly the Nou Camp but there’s something about the cosy Cottage that Fulham respond to rather well. For that reason Norwich won’t be relishing their first away trip of the season and Martin Jol’s team should cruise to a comforting opening day win. Prediction: Fulham 2-1 Norwich

QPR v SWANSEA
Swansea’s search for a new identity starts here. After the gush of approval for Brendan Rodgers’ brand of football last season, new boss Michael Laudrup has a tough act to follow - but QPR have had a makeover themselves of late and the pace and trickery of Junior Hoilett could sway this one. Prediction: QPR 2-1 Swansea

READING v STOKE
Reading will sweep forward with style and vigour while Stoke will, well, do a Stoke. Expect long, high balls, a good dose of obstinance and a slice of physicality to boot from Tony Pulis’ men – an uncomfortable start for The Royals but one they’ll be confident of negotiating at home. Prediction: Reading 1-1 Stoke

WEST BROM v LIVERPOOL
The Anfield executives are making all the right noises about giving new boss Brendan Rodgers time to change the philosophy at Liverpool, but a defeat here might help reveal their true feelings – a massive away trip for The Reds and one they absolutely must win. Prediction: West Brom 1-2 Liverpool

WEST HAM v ASTON VILLA
The reassuring, and considerable, presence of Sam Allardyce returns to the Premier League with West Ham on Saturday afternoon but the pressure of an expectant crowd created a fractious relationship with the fans last season and we’re backing Aston Villa to exploit that tension this weekend. Prediction: West Ham 1-1 Aston Villa

NEWCASTLE v TOTTENHAM
The game of the day should give some indication of how close these two can get to Champions League qualification. Newcastle have an almighty reputation to uphold from last season while Spurs have to show they can adapt to losing key players, in particular influential captain Ledley King. Prediction: Newcastle 1-1 Tottenham


SUNDAY

WIGAN v CHELSEA
The amazing escapology act that is Wigan Athletic may well spring more surprises again this season, but they won’t start here. There are millions of pounds worth of reasons why The Blues will prevail, not least the arrival of the most coveted star in Europe Eden Hazard, for £32 million, this summer. Prediction: Wigan 0-2 Chelsea

MAN. CITY v SOUTHAMPTON
Move along, nothing to see here. Man. City just don’t lose at home these days and even if Southampton do have Rickie Lambert – one of English football’s most clinical finishers in recent years – the Champions will have this all done and dusted by half time. Prediction: Man. City 3-0 Southampton


MONDAY

EVERTON v MAN. UNITED
The Toffees are probably the closest thing Man. United have got to a bogey team – Fergie’s men have won just once in the last four visits to Goodison Park – and with a colourful welcome guaranteed for old boy Wayne Rooney, a draw looks like the most likely outcome. Prediction: Everton 1-1 Man. United


Don't miss the Match of the Day magazine's Premier League report for MOTD Kickabout - Saturday at 7:25am on CCBC and at 11:30am on BBC2. Check out a clip below: 

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