Paul Merson's Premier League predictions - Week 3
Soccer Saturday pundit tips wins for Arsenal, Man City, Southampton and West Ham
Last Updated: 30/08/13 9:21am
This is going to be an unbelievably entertaining football match. You look at some of the big games between big teams over the years and there's not always entertainment, but over the last few years the North London derby has always been open and entertaining. This fixture has finished 5-2 at the Emirates in the last two seasons and I really think we'll get lots of goals again. If you're a Londoner then this is the biggest derby game of the year and this really is a proper Super Sunday.
I watched Arsenal against Fenerbahce and they were very open, so Tottenham have a chance - and if it was at White Hart Lane I'd probably fancy them strongly to win - but I think Arsenal have little bit more at home. I know a few of the Spurs players haven't played there in the last two seasons, but the ones who did will be psychologically scarred from the manner of those 5-2 defeats. If Tottenham get that in their heads they may sit back and that will play into Arsenal's hands. If Arsenal win this then they can look at it as a good start to the season, but I dread to think how the fans will react if they get beat here. I'm going for a massive scoring 3-2 game.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-2
Liverpool v Man Utd (12.30pm, Sun, Sky Sports 1 HD)
Jose Mourinho went to Old Trafford on Monday night and shut up shop, making sure Chelsea didn't get beat. He put the pressure on Man United and they didn't do enough. This is now a big game for David Moyes because if they lose to Liverpool a few questions will be asked. They've had a tough start and if they go unbeaten in the first three games I think that will be positive, but if they lose the game, then that'll be two big games against big rivals that he hasn't won.
Liverpool have won both of their games and kept two clean sheets, so the key for them is not to go into the international break on the back of a defeat. That would be two steps forward and one step back for me. I like Daniel Sturridge because he's quick and he can finish and I think he deserves to be in the England squad. We're not blessed with attacking players so he should get a chance. I think both teams would take a draw here and I'm tipping a 1-1 draw in this one.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1
Crystal Palace v Sunderland (5pm, Sat, Sky Sports 1 HD)
People are talking about Ian Holloway being under pressure and that's a real shame. I don't see how you can be under pressure after two games, especially when they've played Tottenham and Stoke? There must be something else to the story than meets the eye? But if they want to get off the mark then they'll be looking to win this game against a side that finished in the bottom four last season.
However, I don't see Palace winning. Sunderland had a great result at Southampton last week after losing at home to Fulham on the opening day. They scored four goals in the last 12 minutes in the Capital One Cup in midweek and the players will be flying after that, but with all due respect that was against MK Dons. The manager and his staff will be worried about the team going 2-0 down because they won't come back from 2-0 down in the Premier League very often. I'm going for a draw, which wouldn't be a good result for either team really.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1
Cardiff v Everton
When Everton looked at the fixture list they must have thought they had a nice, easy game coming up here. West Ham beat Cardiff easily and they must have expected Man City to soften them up last week - but that wasn't the case. Instead, Cardiff will be buzzing.
Everton haven't won yet and things are a bit up in the air for them at the moment. Everyone's asking if Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines are leaving and if they leave the club at the last minute and Roberto Martinez doesn't bring anyone in then things won't look good. I think Everton would settle for a draw here.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1
Man City v Hull
I didn't expect Man City to lose last week, so fair play to Cardiff. But you've got to say Man City were poor from set plays, their concentration levels weren't good enough and they let Cardiff back into the game when they should have gone on and won it easily. If they play like they did against Newcastle they'll be ok and you can look at it and say they've scored six goals in two games, but the worry is the three goals they've conceded.
Hull had a great result last week. To have a player sent off very early and hold on to win the game is phenomenal. They'll be buzzing and I think they'll be happy with three points from their first three games. They've had a difficult start going away to Chelsea and away to Man City and I think Man City will win this one.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-0
Newcastle v Fulham
Newcastle didn't look like scoring in a month of Sundays against West Ham last week. Yoan Gouffran had a decent chance right at the end and people will say it was a sitter, but I felt it came at him very quickly. Still, they're yet to score and I think this will be another difficult game for them.
Fulham had a good result against Sunderland on the opening day and Arsenal played well to beat them last week. I think if they can come away from the first three games with four points they'll be happy. I think this will be a draw.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1
Norwich v Southampton
Norwich will be disappointed with how their season is going. They played well against Everton and drew 2-2, but to lose to Hull when they've played with 10 men for a lorryload of the game is pretty poor. They'll be looking at this game to kick-start their season, but I think they're in a bit of trouble.
Southampton had a great first result and probably thought they just had to turn up against Sunderland to win, but it didn't happen. I actually fancy them to win this game, despite that slip-up because I like the look of them this year.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-2
West Ham v Stoke
I'm doing this game on Soccer Saturday and I don't see there being too many goals at all. I think West Ham are very strong at home; I've said a few times before that I think they'll pick up a lot of points at Upton Park this year and it will be a tough place to go for a lot of teams. I fancy them to win this game.
Stoke haven't been great in front of goal this season. They gave Crystal Palace a goal head-start last week and turned it around, but you don't want to be doing that away at West Ham. I think they'll lose this narrowly.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-0
West Brom v Swansea
I've done both of West Brom's games on Soccer Saturday this season and last week they were much better than the week before. They didn't look like scoring in the first half against Southampton, but were much more solid against Everton. They weren't expected to win that game, but it's a different story at home and they may have a problem taking the game to other teams.
Swansea have had another busy week in Europe and that makes this difficult to call. I'm going for another draw because the players won't want to go into a two-week break on the back of a defeat. Nobody wants to lose this weekend and that can be said for a lot of teams and that's why I'm tipping so many draws this week.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1