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Colossus versus Chelsea Legend Pat Nevin

We’ve signed a guest Syndicate Captain for the opening weekend of the Premier League season and it’s Chelsea legend and former Scotland winger Pat Nevin!

He played for the Blues between 1983 and 1988, his pace and skill making him a key part of the Chelsea side who won promotion to the top flight, with Pat landing the club’s player of the year award twice.

This week Pat is taking on our resident football writer Ed Acteson as the pair try to predict the outcome of the six matches in the Premier League £1,000,000 Pick 6. The rules are that you win 1 point for a correct result and 4 points for a correct score.

If you’d agree with Pat’s selection then you can join his Syndicate, who are playing for £100,000. Let battle commence!

 

Burnley vs. Southampton

 

Pat Nevin’s prediction: 1-0

Ed’s prediction: 0-1. The pair also met on the opening day of last season, although this time it is Burnley who have home advantage. It was goalless that day, a result which foreshadowed how close the sides would stay all season with Burnley ultimately finishing just a point and a place above the Saints.

However, it is Southampton who are on an upwards trajectory under the guidance of Ralph Hasenhüttl. They only lost four of their final 11 games of the season and have made some shrewd additions this summer. Burnley will rarely be turned over at home so I’m taking Southampton to nick it by a single goal.

 

Crystal Palace vs. Everton

 

Pat Nevin’s prediction: 1-1

Ed’s prediction: 0-2. This could be a feisty encounter given the Wilfried Zaha saga culminated in the Ivorian handing in a transfer request in a bid to force through a move to the Toffees. Given that he missed training on Thursday, he is unlikely to feature on Saturday and will be a huge miss for the Eagles.

Palace’s home form was woeful last season and the 20 points they managed at Selhurst Park was the same amount that Everton won on the road. Marco Silva’s side have made some good signings this summer and are undefeated against Palace in nine encounters, including five at Selhurst Park. With Palace notoriously slow to start the season I can’t see that run ending here so will take Everton to win comfortably.

 

Watford vs. Brighton

 

Pat Nevin’s prediction: 2-1

Ed’s prediction: 2-1. It was only Brighton’s strong start to last season which prevented them from falling through the trapdoor and they will need to get out of  the blocks similarly quickly this time if they are to avoid a relegation battle. With just three wins in 19 away matches last season, I can’t them getting much at Vicarage Road.

It’s been a suspiciously quiet summer for Watford whose close ties to Udinese and Granada usually sees the three clubs doing more swapping than a room full of swingers. Danny Welbeck could be a good signing though if he can stay out of the treatment room and I reckon they’ll send The Seagulls back to the coast with no points.

 

Leicester vs. Wolves

 

Pat Nevin’s prediction: 2-1

Ed’s prediction: 1-1. Two sides who will each have an eye on the top six this season meet on Sunday in match that will answer plenty of questions about just how successful their summers have been. Leicester’s collection of attacking signings may or may not have been outweighed by the departure of Harry Maguire, a man whose head is so big that it wouldn’t look entirely out of place on Easter Island.

There is very little between the two in honesty, especially since Brendan Rodgers’s appointment lifted The Foxes from the gloomy tenure of Claude Puel. Neither side will want to cede ground to the other at this early stage so an edgy draw sounds about right.

 

Newcastle vs. Arsenal

 

Pat Nevin’s prediction: 0-2

Ed’s prediction: Other Away Win. Two of the league’s most dsyfunctional clubs and each with uniquely comical problems. Newcastle’s hate-hate dynamic with Mike Ashley needs no recapping. Throw lifelong Newcastle fan and former-Sunderland manager Steve Bruce into the mix and you’ve got a potentially combustible atmosphere.

Arsenal could be the league’s great entertainers this year. They were strong in attack last season and appalling in defence, so what have they done? Bought more attackers and weakened the defence further. With Newcastle’s defensive organisation under Rafa Benitez now likely to ebb away, expect plenty of goals in this one. I’ll back ‘Other Away Win’ which requires Arsenal to win by any scoreline in which they score four or more goals.

 

Man Utd vs. Chelsea

 

Pat Nevin’s prediction: 1-1

Ed’ prediction: 2-1. The two rookies returning to manage the clubs where they were loved as players, what could go wrong? The wolves are already out for Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer in some quarters but, considering their defensive recruits this summer, I’d expect them to be a far more stable unit this season.

Chelsea are undergoing a total reboot following the departure of Eden Hazard and it looks as though their long-ignored academy may finally be called into action, with Frank Lampard firmly declaring that the kids are, in fact, alright. I think it will take some time for Lampard to impose himself on the squad and Solskjaer has had an 8 month headstart. Given their home advantage as well, United for the win.

 

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