Opta supercomputer names the winners and losers for this weekend’s return of the Premier


Manchester City backed to return to winning ways, Liverpool overwhelming favourites in the Merseyside derby and Arsenal set for a tough test across town at Chelsea.

Those are the predictions of Opta’s AI-powered supercomputer as the Premier League makes a welcome return this weekend after the internationals.

It’s an appetising weekend in the English top-flight, with two cross-city derbies, the reigning champions under pressure to get a result and Manchester United also in must-not-lose territory.

In Saturday lunchtime’s Merseyside derby at Anfield, Opta rate Liverpool as heavy favourites with a 67 per cent probability of them emerging with all three points, with Everton‘s chances a lowly 12.2 per cent.

It’s explained by Liverpool’s better league position but also the fact they’ve lost only one of their last 25 Premier League meetings against their neighbours.

Mohamed Salah celebrates his goal for Liverpool against Everton in last season's derby

Mohamed Salah celebrates his goal for Liverpool against Everton in last season’s derby 

Chelsea and Arsenal also go head-to-head as the Premier League returns this weekend

Chelsea and Arsenal also go head-to-head as the Premier League returns this weekend

Despite this fixture being the most drawn game in English Football League history – with 69 of the previous 208 meetings finishing level – the chances of another here are rated at only 20.8 per cent.

The Toffees at least come into the game with confidence boosted by a 3-0 win over Bournemouth last time out, while Liverpool were held to a draw at Brighton.

The weekend’s other stand-out game comes at Stamford Bridge on Saturday night as Chelsea meet Arsenal.

While Mauricio Pochettino’s side endured a shaky start before showing some promising signs in recent weeks, Mikel Arteta’s Gunners have opened the season in very encouraging fashion.

Last time out, they finally achieved a league win over Manchester City, a major confidence boost as they look to challenge for the title.

Accordingly, the Opta computer struggled to split them, with Arsenal marginal favourites at 36.3 per cent to Chelsea’s 34.7 per cent. Unsurprisingly, the draw ranks highly at 29 per cent.

City have lost three of their last four games, which ranks as a mini-crisis by their standards, but have the opportunity to put things right at home to Brighton on Saturday afternoon.

Opta have them overwhelming favourites to win at 68.8 per cent despite some engaging encounters with Roberto De Zerbi’s team last season.

Manchester City will be looking to respond against Brighton after losing two league games

Manchester City will be looking to respond against Brighton after losing two league games

Erik ten Hag will hope Man United's dramatic late turnaround against Brentford can supply some much-needed momentum as they head to Sheffield United

Erik ten Hag will hope Man United’s dramatic late turnaround against Brentford can supply some much-needed momentum as they head to Sheffield United

Premier League this weekend 

SATURDAY

3pm unless stated

Liverpool vs Everton (12.30pm)

Bournemouth vs Wolves

Brentford vs Burnley

Manchester City vs Brighton

Newcastle vs Crystal Palace

Nottingham Forest vs Luton

Chelsea vs Arsenal (5.30pm)

Sheffield United vs Man United (8pm)

SUNDAY

Aston Villa vs West Ham (4.30pm)

MONDAY

Tottenham Hotspur vs Fulham (8pm)

Given City have won 10 of 12 Premier League meetings with the Seagulls, it helps to explain why Brighton are given a very low 11.1 per cent chance of leaving the Etihad with all three points, with the draw at 20.1 per cent.

Manchester United produced some trademark stoppage time heroics to beat Brentford in their last game, alleviating some of the pressure on Erik ten Hag after a wholly unconvincing start to the season.

They head to Sheffield United on Saturday evening and are strongly backed by these calculations with a 52.4 per cent victory ratings.

The Blades are really struggling, with just one point picked up from eight games so far, but are given a 20.5 per cent chance of capitalising on United’s myriad weaknesses, with the draw 27.1 per cent.

Tottenham are the early pace-setters and they round off the weekend by hosting Fulham in another all-London affair on Monday night.

Ange Postecoglou is certainly enjoying his first taste of management in England, with six wins and two draws from eight league outings to date.

Fulham have been middling so far, explaining the 51.8 per cent victory prediction for Spurs.

Elsewhere this weekend, Opta have Brentford as sizeable favourites to continue Burnley’s miserable return to the Premier League.

Bournemouth vs Wolves clearly proved hard to call, with the Cherries at 31 per cent, Wolves 39 per cent and the draw 30 per cent.

Newcastle United, despite the distraction of Sandro Tonali’s betting issues, are rated strong favourites to beat Crystal Palace. Likewise, Nottingham Forest at home to Luton.

In Sunday’s one and only match, Aston Villa are given a 42.2 per cent chance to win their battle of the claret and blues against West Ham (29.7 per cent).

Newcastle are ranked strong favourites to beat Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon

Newcastle are ranked strong favourites to beat Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon

The Opta AI Supercomputer predictions in full as the Premier League returns this weekend

The Opta AI Supercomputer predictions in full as the Premier League returns this weekend

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