Premier League predictions: Chris Sutton takes on Kasabian frontman Serge Pizzorno to pick scores for this weekend’s games

Sutton's Predictions

The opening weekend of the Premier League season did not quite go according to plan for everyone, including the BBC’s new predictions expert Chris Sutton.

He was beaten 110-60 by his first guest – his Fantasy 606 podcast co-host Ali Bruce-Ball – who got fewer correct results from the 10 fixtures, but more exact scores.

“As far as I’m concerned, that’s a victory for me,” Sutton said. “I’ve told Ali that, too.

“The art of this for me is getting more results right than my direct opponent, and I have done that. He got lucky with a couple of scores, which is like winning the lottery really.”

Sutton will try to pick the correct scores for every top-flight game this season against a variety of guests.

For this weekend’s fixtures, he is up against Kasabian frontman and Leicester City fan Serge Pizzorno.

“Serge knows his football,” said Sutton, “but he is probably a bit in fear of me after looking at my predictions last week, and seeing how accurate I was.

“I have gone a bit left field this week, but if he is going to go on sentiment and back Leicester to beat Arsenal, then he is not going to beat a font of Premier League knowledge like myself.”

Kasabian
Kasabian’s new album, The Alchemist’s Euphoria, is out on Friday – five of their six albums so far have reached number one and the Leicester band have had 12 UK Top 40 singles. They begin their UK tour in October.

Pizzorno is unsure about what the new season will bring for his beloved Foxes, with speculation over the future of several of their players, and another fortnight before the transfer window closes.

“What a difference a couple of weeks makes,” he told BBC Sport.

“I knew we might see some people leave this summer – even someone as good as Youri Tielemans has only got a year left on his contract, so it felt like this might be the time we sell him and then use that money to bring in a couple of fresh faces.

“We’ve got a massive squad because we were in Europe last season. We haven’t got that this time, so getting rid of a few fringe players wouldn’t be a problem.

“The way it was looking, I would have said we’ve got a good chance of the top six, and maybe a good cup run. That’s job done.

“All of a sudden though, Kasper Schmeichel has gone to Nice – which just feels weird. Everyone thought he would end his career with us.

“Then I’m hearing that Wesley Fofana is going to Chelsea, Jamie Vardy is going to Manchester United and James Maddison is going to Newcastle.

“Obviously none of those are done deals apart from Kasper, but it just felt like we very quickly went from cruising a bit to possibly losing the backbone of a very good side, especially now they are not injured.

“We struggled a lot with injuries last season, and with playing in Europe every Thursday night. That was part of the reason we ended up finishing eighth, after two seasons of coming fifth, but to maintain it is so hard anyway – the Premier League is relentless because every team can get a result anywhere.

“We probably massively overachieved by coming so close to the top four the way we did. Making it feels more difficult this year, because Tottenham and Arsenal have got stronger, but before we think about that let’s just get through this transfer window and try to keep hold of those players.

“We’ve still got plenty of people to watch out for though – Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and Harvey Barnes are both local boys and phenomenal players. James Justin as well is a fantastic young talent.”

Result Sutton Serge
SATURDAY
Aston Villa v Everton x-x 1-1 2-0
Arsenal v Leicester x-x 2-1 0-1
Brighton v Newcastle x-x 1-1 1-2
Man City v Bournemouth x-x 5-0 4-0
Southampton v Leeds x-x 2-1 0-1
Wolves v Fulham x-x 1-1 1-2
Brentford v Man Utd x-x 3-0 2-0
SUNDAY
Nott’m Forest v West Ham x-x 1-2 0-4
Chelsea v Tottenham x-x 1-2 1-1
MONDAY
Liverpool v Crystal Palace x-x 4-0 3-0

A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.

SUTTON’S PREDICTIONS

Games kick off at 15:00 BST unless otherwise stated

SATURDAY

Aston Villa v Everton

Aston Villa v Everton (12:30 BST)

This is a hard one to start with.

Everton should have defender Conor Coady and midfielder Amadou Onana making their debuts, but they missed a specialist striker in their defeat by Chelsea and still look light up front, even with Salomon Rondon back from suspension.

I didn’t see Villa losing to Bournemouth at all, and they really need a positive result here after that performance.

Villa boss Steven Gerrard was really scathing of his side, especially in an attacking sense, so what is going to change this time?

If they don’t beat Everton, you can sense there will be a bit of frustration from the Villa fans – and I don’t think they will beat them.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-1

Serge’s prediction: I just don’t think Gerrard will let Villa slip up at home. 2-0

Arsenal v Leicester

Arsenal v Leicester

All does not seem well at Leicester, who have still not made any signings this summer.

They have still got some very good players but I get the sense Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers is not entirely happy with the situation and, on the pitch, they blew a two-goal lead against Brentford last week.

In contrast, everything seems rosy at Arsenal at the moment. Their fans are getting very excited about what they could do this season.

I don’t want to jump on that bandwagon because I think their bubble will eventually burst a little bit, but I like what Gabriel Jesus has brought to their attack and, at home, I think they should edge this one.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-1

Serge’s prediction: I’m going with my heart here as you would imagine – we are going to nick it after about 82 minutes and it is going to be Jamie Vardy with a back-post header. It will be pure Dick Turpin, and we will get out with the three points. 0-1

Serge on Jamie Vardy: His situation is the biggest worry because his numbers are just ridiculous, plus what he does for the team with his link-up play. He is just so, so good. He is 35 now but hopefully he has got another two seasons left with us – but when he stops playing, where are we going to find a player who is going to give us 20-25 goals a season? You’re never going to get another miracle find like he was – to get his sort of numbers, you are talking about £70-80m.

Serge on Leicester making the top four this season: It maybe feels like our chance has passed now, but I always have hope. The one thing Leicester have shown with the title win in 2016 is that anything is possible. If we keep hold of everyone, you never know.

Brighton v Newcastle

Brighton v Newcastle

This is another game where I am thinking ‘how can you predict this?’.

Some Brighton fans were complaining they did not get a mention in the discussion about what happened to Manchester United on Sunday, but they did.

The Seagulls are a really good team under Graham Potter, and a really good watch too.

The same goes for Newcastle, though. I liked the way they started the season against Nottingham Forest.

Forest were not great but Newcastle showed plenty of intent going forward.

I like watching Eddie Howe’s teams and I am expecting this to be quite an expansive game. I don’t want to predict another draw, but I think it will end with the points being shared.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-1

Serge’s prediction: I have a feeling Newcastle are going to have a big season. With the World Cup happening in the middle of it, it might just disrupt things for the usual contenders and open it up for someone to break into the top four. They might be the team to do it – they went on an amazing run in the second half of last season, and if they can get the same momentum at the start of this one they might get close. Apologies if I have just given them the kiss of death, though! 1-2

Man City v Bournemouth

Manchester City v Bournemouth

Erling Haaland is going to be licking his lips before this one. If Manchester City score the first goal, Bournemouth are in trouble.

I suspect the Cherries will try for damage limitation if they do go behind, but I’m not sure that will work.

Bournemouth are the tallest team in the Premier League – and they are probably going to take the biggest walloping this weekend.

Sutton’s prediction: 5-0

Serge’s prediction: This might be quite a big scoreline. Erling Haaland making his home debut is just frightening – I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near that. Liverpool will push them all the way again, but City are still the team to beat in the title race. 4-0

Southampton v Leeds

Southampton v Leeds

Leeds got off to a good start by beating Wolves and they are one of my tips for relegation, which means they will probably win this week too.

Southampton got spanked by Tottenham last weekend after taking the lead.

Saints have gone to a back three after using it in pre-season, and although going to Spurs was a very difficult start to the season for them, it is hard to tell how damaging that defeat will be.

Because I’ve got Leeds going down, they can’t keep on winning – I saw the stat on MOTD2 that, if a team takes eight points from their first five games, they have a 96% chance of staying in the Premier League.

So, I am going to go with Southampton to bounce back here – although I’m not entirely sure how they will do it.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-1

Serge’s prediction: Leeds will snatch this one. 0-1

Wolves v Fulham

Wolves v Fulham

Wolves needed a striker, and they have got one after signing Goncalo Guedes this week.

They have got some talented players but they worry me a little bit, based on their performance against Leeds.

Until the season settles down, it is hard to really know what to expect from Bruno Lage’s side, but I am anticipating another feisty display from Fulham after their draw with Liverpool.

The Fulham players will have taken a lot of confidence from that performance, and with Aleksandar Mitrovic in their team they look like they’ve got a goal threat.

I am really tempted to go with a Fulham win, but they are another team I have backed to get relegated – so that can’t happen. It’s going to be another draw, I’m afraid.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-1

Serge’s prediction: I’m going with Fulham here. Mitrovic got a couple last week and he is one of those strikers who is really dangerous when he is on form. 1-2

Brentford v Man Utd

Brentford v Manchester United (17:30)

Usually I’d expect Manchester United to react after what happened against Brighton on Sunday.

Not this time though, because United have got issues everywhere. I’m not blaming Erik ten Hag for the situation they are in, but he has to try to fix their problems.

At the back, I don’t fancy Lisandro Martinez and Harry Maguire against Ivan Toney. Up front, Cristiano Ronaldo should return to lead the line – but how fit is he?

Like Brighton, Brentford are very well-drilled and unless United click, they are going to struggle again.

Also, although in the end United thought better of signing Bologna striker Marko Arnautovic, they deserve to lose just for thinking about buying him.

Some people might think this prediction is bad – but it’s not half as bad as United being linked with Arnautovic in the first place.

Sutton’s prediction: 3-0

Serge’s prediction: This might be my coupon buster but I just have a feeling Brentford are going to win. Yes, I can see how United might figure it out and get it right after last week, but this is a tricky game for them. 2-0

SUNDAY

Nottingham Forest v West Ham

Nottingham Forest v West Ham (14:00)

This is not going to be easy for West Ham. It’s Forest’s first home game back in the Premier League so they will have a real go at them.

The Hammers still have injury problems at the back too, but I just think the nous of their manager David Moyes will see them edge it.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-2

Serge’s prediction: All banter aside it’s great to have Forest back in the Premier League because those derby games against them are phenomenal. I’m only going one way here though. 0-4

Chelsea v Tottenham

Chelsea v Tottenham (16:30)

Chelsea love playing Spurs – they beat them four times last season, and Tottenham have only beaten them once in the league at Stamford Bridge since February 1990.

Spurs boss Antonio Conte was in charge of Chelsea for that defeat – in April 2018 – but I have a sneaky feeling he will enjoy this meeting a lot more.

Chelsea got a good win at Everton, but the way they got it was not particularly pretty. If they are slightly off it again on Sunday, they won’t get away with it.

Tottenham, meanwhile, were devastating in attack against Southampton and I am expecting more of the same from them here.

Add in Conte going back to Stamford Bridge, and I am going to go with Spurs to take the points.

They took the game to Saints anyway, but they also counter-attack so well when that turnover happens. When they get the ball into Kane with runners off him, they are so hard to stop.

Sutton’s prediction: 1-2

Serge’s prediction: This will be really cagey. 1-1

MONDAY

Liverpool v Crystal Palace

Liverpool v Crystal Palace (20:00)

Palace got off to a bad start losing at home to Arsenal, and things don’t get any easier for them here.

Liverpool cannot slip up again in this one after dropping points against Fulham.

The Reds have got a few injury problems, but the big thing for Jurgen Klopp is that he has to start new striker Darwin Nunez.

Even some Liverpool fans would question Klopp if he leaves him on the bench, but I don’t see that happening.

This is going to be routine for Liverpool and a difficult night for Palace.

Sutton’s prediction: 4-0

Serge’s prediction: It’s at Anfield and I think we’ll see Liverpool back to their usual selves. 3-0

Chris Sutton and Serge Pizzorno were speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

How did Sutton do last week?

Sutton got six correct results from 10 matches, with no exact scores, giving him a total of 60 points.

He was beaten by his co-host on the Fantasy 606 podcast, football commentator Ali Bruce-Ball, who only got five correct results but with two exact scores, giving him a total of 110 points.

How did you get on?

Out of 112,000 votes, only 8% of you thought Liverpool would draw at Fulham – one of three results Chris and Ali both got wrong. A whopping 87% of you thought the Reds would win that one.

The other results to surprise Chris, his guest and almost everyone else were Bournemouth’s win over Aston Villa (12% of you predicted that outcome) and Leeds’ win over Wolves (31%).

At the other end of the scale, Chris, Ali and 85% of you predicted a Tottenham win over Southampton – they won 4-1 – the most popular prediction that actually happened.

Position Correct results
Chris 6/10
You* 6/10
Ali Bruce-Ball 5/10

*Win, draw, loss prediction based on highest % of vote for each match.

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