Charlie Nicholas makes his predictions for week three of the 2019/20 Premier League season.

Will Arsenal cause a shock at Liverpool? Will Manchester City slip up at Bournemouth? Will Aston Villa get their first points on the board against Everton?

Former Arsenal and Scotland striker Nicholas make his predictions for the weekend…

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Aston Villa vs Everton – Live on Sky Sports Premier League, Friday, 8pm

Villa have been OK. They had a good 60 minutes or so against Tottenham and then a bit of an eye-opener against Bournemouth last weekend. They have spent a lot of money but the quality steps up in the Premier League.

I think Jack Grealish is playing too deep. John McGinn seems to be catching the eye with his driving runs and energy but Grealish should be further up the pitch and a bit closer to him.

I don’t think Villa are too far away.

A Villa vs Everton

August 23, 2019, 7:00pm

Live on Sky Sports Premier League HD

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Everton haven’t really clicked into action yet. I don’t think they are going to be amazing to watch but the improvement has definitely been defensively – Michael Keane has started the season well.

Villa will think they need to get something on the board. I think it will be physical but not a high-scoring game.

CHARLIE PREDICTS: 1-1 (11/2 with Sky Bet)

Norwich vs Chelsea – Saturday, 11.30am

I saw Teemu Pukki at Celtic and there were suggestions he couldn’t handle playing at a big club but I am not sure about that. I just don’t think he got the opportunities. He played in a fairly average Celtic team and now his confidence his sky high and his movement his excellent. He looks to have more pace and he will be a real handful for Chelsea.

This is a tough test for Chelsea. They have played some good football and have energy in attack, but the problems they have are the defence and also scoring goals.

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Watch highlights from Norwich's 3-1 win against Newcastle in the Premier League

Watch highlights from Norwich’s 3-1 win against Newcastle in the Premier League

Kurt Zouma doesn’t seem to be the answer in defence. Antonio Rudiger will improve things when he returns but they haven’t settled and look vulnerable. The full-backs are getting opened up.

Will Tammy Abraham get time up front? Or what about Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi? I think it will be a difficult season for Chelsea.

Frank Lampard will be desperate to get a win but I think this will be a high-scoring draw.

CHARLIE PREDICTS: 2-2 (12/1 with Sky Bet)

Brighton vs Southampton – Saturday, 3pm

Brighton have probably been the surprise of the season so far. They looked good against West Ham and, even though I wasn’t too impressed with their summer signings, sometimes you need five or six games to work them out.

Southampton should have got a draw against Liverpool and also played OK for an hour against Burnley. I think Ralph Hasenhuttl will be looking for a bit more energy on the counter-attack.

CHARLIE PREDICTS: 1-1 (5/1 with Sky Bet)

Manchester United vs Crystal Palace – Saturday, 3pm

Everyone was getting excited about Manchester United after the 4-0 win over Chelsea but they got a bit of a reality check in the second half on Monday Night Football at Wolves, who are a good side.

I thought Paul Pogba would leave but it doesn’t look like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is preparing for that, unless he decides to rock the boat.

United have pace up front with Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard, but are pretty average in midfield. Scott McTominay is a challenge physically but not a great forward passer and at the back, Harry Maguire will improve, but it will take him time. I am not surprised they spent £50m on Aaron Wan-Bissaka but he is young and wants to get forward, which could see spaces in defence.

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Watch highlights from Manchester United's 1-1 draw with Wolves

Watch highlights from Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Wolves

They still have some issues to sort, but Palace have not started well at all.

They have Christian Benteke back in the team and what is he offering? But then what other choices do they have? They don’t have any options. They will be relying on Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend on the counter.

I am surprised Gary Cahill hasn’t started yet. Roy Hodgson said on Soccer Saturday that he was impressed by Cahill’s fitness, but why isn’t he playing to get match fitness? I think he is better than what they have got.

CHARLIE PREDICTS: 3-1 (11/1 with Sky Bet)

Sheffield United vs Leicester – Saturday, 3pm

This is a really good game.

Sheffield United have great support at home and I expect them to be quite expressive, but Chris Wilder is very good at getting the balance right at the back and they had a fantastic defensive record in the Championship. I saw them last week and I wasn’t convinced by the defence but they seem to get the job done and when you are on a roll then you start to believe and confidence is a magic word in football.

John Lundstram scored the winner as Sheffield United beat Crystal Palace last weekend John Lundstram scored the winner as Sheffield United beat Crystal Palace last weekend John Lundstram scored the winner as Sheffield United beat Crystal Palace last weekend

I thought Leicester should have won at Chelsea and I expect them to be challenging the top six. They have to replace Maguire but they have pace and movement and good players in attack.

CHARLIE PREDICTS: 1-2 (17/2 with Sky Bet)

Watford vs West Ham – Saturday, 3pm

West Ham started slow last season and they have been waiting for a few players to come back. I thought they would have let Javier Hernandez go but they have kept him and I don’t see this being a high-scoring team.

Felipe Anderson, Manuel Lanzini and Jack Wilshere have to do more. They need to get a few results to get going.

Watford have been the big disappointment of the season so far. They were a good side last season but we haven’t seen anything from Gerard Deulofeu yet. It’s time for them to start.

CHARLIE PREDICTS: 2-1 (8/1 with Sky Bet)

Liverpool vs Arsenal – Live on Sky Sports Premier League, Saturday, 3pm

As a former Arsenal player, I’m dreading this game.

It’s been a good start for Arsenal. They haven’t played fabulously well but they got a dogged win at Newcastle and then beat Burnley, which was a bit of a grind. But how are they going to defend against Liverpool?

Arsenal have improved a bit defensively but it will take time. David Luiz could make mistakes or he could have a man-of-the-match performance. Sokratis doesn’t offer enough for me and they are still vulnerable in the full-back areas.

Liverpool are strong favourites for me, but there is some intrigue in seeing Arsenal try and take on Liverpool’s defence at the moment, especially with Adrian in goal instead of Alisson.

2:09
We take a look back at one of the most dramatic matches in Premier League history, when Arsenal's Andrey Arshavin halted Liverpool's title challenge with four goals

We take a look back at one of the most dramatic matches in Premier League history, when Arsenal’s Andrey Arshavin halted Liverpool’s title challenge with four goals

I think Arsenal should play a back four with two protectors in front. I don’t want Granit Xhaka in the team, I would prefer Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi. They would give Arsenal energy and defensive qualities. Then I would want Alexandre Lacazette through the middle and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe to provide pace on the counter and make things happen, with Dani Ceballos just behind them.

I’d have that line-up to give Arsenal a back six and then a front four that could cause Liverpool problems on the counter-attack.

I think Unai Emery will go a bit more cautious and play Aubameyang with Lacazette on the bench, maybe along with Ceballos. If he does that then Liverpool will win.

Liverpool vs Arsenal

August 24, 2019, 5:00pm

Live on Sky Sports Premier League HD

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Arsenal have to look at a way to get the first goal and try to hurt Liverpool and put them on the back foot. However, I have a feeling Emery might be a bit more negative.

Ceballos is very neat and tidy. Against Burnley, he looked a yard sharper than he did on the opening weekend and that’s a promising sign. He looks like a good player for Arsenal and I would start him.

CHARLIE PREDICTS: 3-1 (10/1 with Sky Bet)

Bournemouth vs Man City – Live on Sky Sports Premier League, Sunday, 2pm

Last season Bournemouth didn’t have a shot when they played Manchester City at home and lost 1-0. They got a bit of praise for the way they played, but I don’t like to praise a team for playing like that, particularly at home.

Eddie Howe is not that type of manager. I can understand why you would want to sit in and not open up but they are at home and I don’t expect them to go down this season, so why not see what happens? I am not saying get involved in an end-to-end game but they must try and lay a glove on City.

B’mouth vs Man City

August 25, 2019, 1:00pm

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City can let goals in if you have a go at them, we have seen that from set-pieces.

However, City were brilliant for long periods against Tottenham and Kevin De Bruyne was amazing. They have goals, pace, cleverness, and I can only a see comfortable win here.

CHARLIE PREDICTS: 0-3 (13/2 with Sky Bet)

Tottenham vs Newcastle – Live on Sky Sports Premier League, Sunday, 4.30pm

Newcastle lacked ambition and togetherness against Norwich but you can’t just point the finger at Steve Bruce and say it’s because Rafa Benitez has gone, because they started slow last season too. It takes this team a bit of time to get going. Joelinton had no service at all and Miguel Almiron was the same. He is about pace and counter-attacking but couldn’t get in the game.

2:59
Watch highlights from Norwich's 3-1 win against Newcastle in the Premier League

Watch highlights from Norwich’s 3-1 win against Newcastle in the Premier League

I was not impressed with Newcastle, but I think Bruce will be working with them all week to say ‘this isn’t good enough, if we sit in and wait to get beaten then we will get beaten’. They need to have more ambition when they have the ball. The problem is I don’t see them getting enough of the ball to trouble Spurs.

Spurs will be quite happy with the way they have started. They were lucky to get a draw against Manchester City but I think this will be a comfortable win.

CHARLIE PREDICTS: 4-0 (10/1 with Sky Bet)

Tottenham vs Newcastle

August 25, 2019, 4:00pm

Live on Sky Sports Premier League HD

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Wolves vs Burnley – Sunday, 4.30pm

Burnley weren’t too bad against Arsenal last week. They were clever and looked back to their old selves. They have good balance and a good attitude.

Wolves were quite impressive in the second half against Manchester United and look to have goals in the team. Diogo Jota and Raul Jimenez is a decent partnership.

CHARLIE PREDICTS: 2-1 (8/1 with Sky Bet)

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