Premier League predictions: Chris Sutton v DJ & Newcastle fan Anish Kumar
Newcastle made an impressive start to the new season when they thumped Aston Villa 5-1 last weekend but can they follow that up with another win when they go to Etihad Stadium on Saturday?
“Newcastle can definitely hurt Manchester City,” said BBC Sport football expert Chris Sutton. “But then that’s when City are at their best – when teams come on to them.”
Sutton is making predictions for all 380 Premier League matches again this season, against a variety of guests.
His opponent for this weekend’s fixtures is DJ and producer Anish Kumar, who is a Newcastle fan.
Kumar’s new track from his upcoming mixtape, Little Miss Dynamite, is out now. It was named ‘Hottest Record In The World’ by Annie Mac on her Radio 1 show when it was first aired in 2021.
Kumar is from Washington in the north-east of England and grew up following the Magpies.
His hero as a boy was club legend Alan Shearer, but his latest favourite was more of a maverick, who has just departed St James’ Park for Saudi Arabia.
“Shearer had such an iconic celebration and that goalscoring record is unparalleled,” Kumar told BBC Sport. “Who didn’t want to be a striker like him when they were a kid?
“In recent years how can it not be Allan Saint-Maximin? He was magic on the ball and was the lone bright spot during the dark times – it’s sad to see him go.
“Others that spring to mind are the Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse partnership, scoring unbelievable goals and dragging us up the table with Hatem Ben Arfa performing moments of magic on the wing.”
There is much more for Newcastle fans to smile about at the moment, with the club back in the Champions League after a 20-year absence.
“All I’m hoping for this season is for us to continue to perform in the way we have been this last year,” Kumar added.
“It’ll be a massive challenge to achieve the same level with so many teams improving like Liverpool and Chelsea, but so long as the team remains committed to Eddie Howe’s philosophy, and intensity is our identity on the pitch, good things will come.
“I cannot wait to feel the incredible atmosphere for our first Champions League nights at St James’ and hopefully we can go one better than last year and win a cup competition this time.
“A trophy will mean everything to the club and the city – just look at the invasion of Trafalgar Square for the Carabao Cup final last season… and imagine the scenes when we finally win one.”
|Premier League – week 2|
|FRIDAY, 18 AUGUST|
|Nott’m Forest v Sheff Utd||x-x||2-0||2-0|
|SATURDAY, 19 AUGUST|
|Fulham v Brentford||x-x||1-1||1-1|
|Liverpool v Bournemouth||x-x||3-1||4-0|
|Luton v Burnley||P-P||P-P||P-P|
|Wolves v Brighton||x-x||1-2||1-3|
|Tottenham v Man Utd||x-x||1-2||1-0|
|Man City v Newcastle||x-x||3-1||1-1|
|SUNDAY, 20 AUGUST|
|Aston Villa v Everton||x-x||2-0||4-0|
|West Ham v Chelsea||x-x||1-2||0-2|
|MONDAY, 21 AUGUST|
|Crystal Palace v Arsenal||x-x||0-2||1-3|
P-P – Luton v Burnley has been postponed because of improvement works at Kenilworth Road.
A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.
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All matches kick off at 15:00 BST unless otherwise stated.
FRIDAY, 18 AUGUST
Nottingham Forest v Sheff Utd (19:45)
Nottingham Forest’s home record was decent last season – it had to be, to keep them up. They picked up 30 of their total of 38 points at the City Ground, which was the 10th-best total in the top flight.
Forest will need more of the same on their own turf this time around. I do see them winning this one for starters, but that’s got a lot to do with how Sheffield United are shaping up.
Blades boss Paul Heckingbottom has got a heck of a job on his hands to beat the drop after losing his best players this summer without replacements arriving.
Palace were much better than Sheffield United last week, and Forest could run out comfortable winners too.
Steve Cooper’s side showed a bit of spirit against Arsenal in their first game, and he has plenty of options in attack, which is always a good problem to have.
Sutton’s prediction: 2-0
Anish’s prediction: Sheffield United don’t look in a great place after their transfer dealings before the season, and Forest have great home support so I’m going with them on this one. Morgan Gibbs-White was incredible for England Under-21s this summer and hopefully he can take that form into the Premier League. 2-0
SATURDAY, 19 AUGUST
Fulham v Brentford
Fulham got off to a flyer at Goodison Park last weekend, albeit in a game where Everton had lots of chances too.
Brentford are so well organised – they only had 30% of possession at home to Tottenham last weekend but still posed a threat on the counter-attack and fully deserved their 2-2 draw.
I have a feeling that the Bees will share the points this time too – his game has got a draw written all over it.
Sutton’s prediction: 1-1
Anish’s prediction: Both teams are very good on their day but evenly balanced, so a tough one to call. 1-1
Liverpool v Bournemouth
I watched Bournemouth’s draw with West Ham last weekend and, after all the hype, I was a bit underwhelmed by the Cherries under new boss Andoni Iraola.
It was Iraola’s first game in charge, but I didn’t really know what to make of them – maybe that will change here?
I will see for myself because I am at Anfield to cover this one for Radio 5 Live but, even if Bournemouth are better this time, I am expecting Liverpool’s attacking players to make the difference. The Reds can use their bench too, and they have so many options up front.
There might still be chances for the Cherries, though. Liverpool were brilliant in the first half against Chelsea but they were disappointing after the break.
It looks like they are bringing Wataru Endo in from Stuttgart to play at the base of their midfield after missing out on Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia to Chelsea.
At the moment, that is one area where they look short and it’s the reason I am not going with them to get a clean sheet. I’m saying Dominic Solanke will score a consolation for Bournemouth, against his old club.
Sutton’s prediction: 3-1
Anish’s prediction: I can’t see anything other than a win for the Reds here. Liverpool look lethal going forward with their new signings in midfield. 4-0
Luton P-P Burnley
This game has been postponed because of improvement works at Kenilworth Road.
Wolves v Brighton
Wolves were brilliant at Old Trafford on Monday but left with nothing to show for it.
It was an incredible decision not to award Gary O’Neil’s side a penalty against Manchester United when Andre Onana fouled Sasa Kalajdzic near the end but, before then, Wolves had created enough chances to win, let alone take a point.
This game is really interesting because I watched Brighton last week and, although they thumped Luton and played well, going to Molineux is a much tougher test.
I think this one might come down to who takes their chances and, on that basis, I am backing the Seagulls.
Sutton’s prediction: 1-2
Anish’s prediction: Brighton under Roberto de Zerbi play football any other fan would be envious of with players like Kaoru Mitoma and Evan Ferguson. 1-3
Tottenham v Man Utd (17:30)
Manchester United’s away form let them down badly last season, but the way Spurs play might suit Erik ten Hag’s side.
Tottenham’s set-up under Ange Postecoglou leaves them vulnerable on the break, and we know United have got the players to capitalise.
I also see Tottenham as a work in progress at the moment. They dominated possession in their draw with Brentford last week and played some really good stuff at times, and I like their system, with inverted full-backs getting forward.
But I don’t think their frontline is firing properly yet, and I am not sure they have the right players to make Postecoglou’s tactics work. Even so, he will not compromise.
United did not really get going against Wolves, but still took the three points despite being miles off the pace.
This game will be just as close, but I am going with Ten Hag’s side to nick it again, even if I am not convinced by United either. How can I be?
I’ve now tipped Postecoglou’s side to lose their opening two matches, but give him time and he will get it right. In a couple of months, Spurs will be absolutely flying and I will be backing them, heavily.
It’s just the early part of the season where I worry for him and Spurs a bit, especially against a United side who counter-attack so well.
Sutton’s prediction: 1-2
Anish’s prediction: I’m going with Spurs. Manchester United relied on their home form last year so this prediction has got nothing to do with our defeat in last year’s Carabao Cup final. 1-0
Man City v Newcastle (20:00)
Newcastle threw a lot at City at the start of last season when they drew 3-3 at St James’ Park and I think they will cause them lots of problems this time too.
City have not been near their very best so far this season, but still beat Burnley and overcame Sevilla on penalties to win the Uefa Super Cup.
Eddie Howe’s side will ask very different questions to both of those sides and I am expecting another really good game.
I was tempted to go with a draw here because City played in midweek, but they are at home and they should come out on top, just about.
Newcastle are good, but they are not that good… although, as a fan, Anish should really be saying they will win.
Sutton’s prediction: 3-1
Anish’s prediction: It’s hard to expect anything here but they say never back against your team so I’ll be optimistic and say we can salvage a late draw with a Callum Wilson equaliser. No Maxi [Allan Saint-Maximin] this time to run them ragged like he did at St James’ at the start of last season and City are strong, but I’ve got to put faith in Eddie and the boys. The Toon Army will fill out the away end as usual. 1-1
SUNDAY, 20 AUGUST
Aston Villa v Everton (14:00)
A lot of people got very excited about Aston Villa this season after what we saw from them following Unai Emery’s arrival – but injuries to Emi Buendia and Tyrone Mings, and their heavy defeat at Newcastle, have taken the shine off things a little.
Everton have bigger problems, however. In many ways, it is the same old story in that they played well against Fulham but could not take their chances and ended up losing.
Nothing has changed, because so much depends on whether Dominic Calvert-Lewin is fit to lead the Toffees’ attack in this game.
If he is, Everton have got a chance. Without him, they are in trouble because Neal Maupay’s confidence looks shot to bits.
I don’t think this will be straightforward for Villa by any means, but the fact that Everton can’t score obviously helps them a lot.
Sutton’s prediction: 2-0
Anish’s prediction: I’m very excited to see Villa this year, with Diego Carlos back from injury, plus Pau Torres and Moussa Diaby joining what was already an amazing side. It’s a shame that Buendia and Mings are injured, but they will still be too strong for an Everton team who don’t seemed to have improved just yet. I still think Villa will shock a lot of people this year under Emery. 4-0
West Ham v Chelsea (16:30)
I really feel for West Ham boss David Moyes because of the way the Hammers have gone about their transfer business this summer. Now there is the possibility of losing Lucas Paqueta to Manchester City too, which hardly helps.
Chelsea were very good in the second half against Liverpool last weekend and they will be even better if Moises Caicedo goes straight into their team, to partner Enzo Fernandez in the centre of midfield.
You can see what Mauricio Pochettino is trying to do with Chelsea and they are a better team, with better players, than West Ham. Even though they are still fitting together as a team, that will be reflected in the result.
It’s putting the ball in the net that I think could still be Chelsea’s biggest problem, especially in the short-term. Nicolas Jackson looks lively up front, but can he step up with the goals they need?
West Ham will sit in and counter, but I am backing Chelsea to have a little bit too much quality.
Sutton’s prediction: 1-2
Anish’s prediction: Chelsea will be an interesting watch this year with so many comings and goings. West Ham have had a difficult transfer window, losing Declan Rice and struggling to bring in players. 0-2
MONDAY, 21 AUGUST
Crystal Palace v Arsenal (20:00)
Arsenal went to Selhurst Park at the start of last season and won 2-0 in what was seen as a statement win, given how often they have dropped points against Palace in recent seasons.
Palace looked good against Sheffield United last weekend and, even at 76, their manager Roy Hodgson showed he is up for the fight in his skirmish with Max Lowe.
Arsenal have got Jurrien Timber out injured, which is a bit of a blow, but I still think the Gunners’ firepower will see them through.
Sutton’s prediction: 0-2
Anish’s prediction: Arsenal are looking to go one better in the league this year, so they’ll have to start strong. 1-3
Chris Sutton was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.
How did Sutton do last week?
Sutton got seven correct results from 10 matches in week one, including two exact scores, giving him a total of 130 points.
It was a good start but it still was not enough to avoid an opening defeat at the hands of his guests – two-time world champion boxer Anthony Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn.
Hearn also managed seven correct results and two exact scores to match Sutton – but Joshua did even better and his three correct results and three exact scores gave him a total of 150 points, and victory overall.
|Guest leaderboard 2023-24|
|Sutton v guests|
How did you get on?
You also made a strong start to the new season, with seven correct results.
Fulham’s win at Everton and Tottenham’s draw at Brentford were the games that caught everyone out, including Chris and his guests, but you didn’t see Chelsea and Liverpool sharing the points either.
|You v Chris & the guests – Week One|
|=1. Eddie Hearn||7/10|
|4. Anthony Joshua||6/10|
*Win, draw, loss predictions based on highest % of vote for each match.
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