Paul Parker’s Premier League Picks: Cristiano Ronaldo's Manchester United return to be a winning one
Former Manchester United and England defender Paul Parker looks ahead at the weekend's football to predict how the Premier League's biggest teams will do. He believes Cristiano Ronaldo's Old Trafford return will be a winning one for the Red Devils against Newcastle, and Liverpool will get the better of Leeds
Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United in action during a first team training session at Carrington Training Ground on September 07, 2021 in Manchester, England.
It's an event not a football match. Everyone wants to be there; ticket prices are going crazy. I hope Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does the correct thing and starts Cristiano Ronaldo. I don't think there's any excuse not to start him but he seems to have a habit of getting these players in and for some reason think they need to take time to settle in. Footballers are not new-born babies.
Ronaldo will demand that he plays. Ole would put himself under pressure by having Ronaldo on the bench. He needs to start him for his own sake. If he doesn't start well then Newcastle can come in and be party poopers.
Ole has to think about starting Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane as well. He will have to go that way or otherwise he will open himself up to criticism. It should go that way and we will read about Ronaldo and in the small print it will say Newcastle boss Steve Bruce is under pressure.
Result: Manchester United 3-0 Newcastle
Bruce: We must stop 'totally unbelievable' Ronaldo and 'spoil the party'
Arsenal v Norwich (Saturday, 3pm)
Norwich at home you would normally think it's three points guaranteed for Arsenal. Norwich will come there with their poor form, the writing seems to already be on the wall for them, and this is a game where if Arsenal are going to start somewhere it has to be against Norwich.
But everything about Arsenal suggests it isn't going to be easy, except when they played West Brom's under-23s. Norwich will believe they can achieve a win at the Emirates. But I think Arsenal will stumble over the line.
Result: Arsenal 2-1 Norwich
"We don't want any excuses" - says under-pressure Arteta
Leicester v Manchester City (Saturday, 3pm)
I think Manchester City will win because Leicester play quite open and they will allow City in just by the way they play going forward. Leicester won at the Etihad last season, but I think City will win this one.
Result: Leicester 1-2 Manchester City
Leeds v Liverpool (Sunday, 4:30pm)
Leeds could get demolished or the game could be 3-3, 4-4, 5-5. Leeds may even sneak a 0-0, but they don't normally do draws. It's a big game in certain ways for Leeds as they want to see themselves competing at the top with the likes of Liverpool.
Simply because of the way Leeds play I don't think they are going to win against Liverpool.