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Joleon Lescott column: Strap yourselves in for drama on deadline day

Joleon Lescott
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Joleon Lescott expects Thomas Tuchel to benefit from late additions at Chelsea
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The transfer window slams shut on Thursday night and I reckon we’re in for a busy end to what has been a very active summer.

Plenty of rumours are still swirling and I know from first-hand experience how quickly moves can develop when the clock is ticking.

Back in 2015, I moved from West Brom to Aston Villa in whirlwind fashion. 

There had been a bit of talk about Villa coming in for me the previous week, but I was being told repeatedly by West Brom that it wasn’t happening.

Then, on the morning of deadline day, I suddenly got the call to say a bid had been accepted and I had to quickly get myself over to Villa’s training ground.

I signed the papers, met my new team-mates and passed my medical in the space of a few hours and that was it — life had changed very quickly!

As a boyhood Villa fan, it was a dream come true for me. Though the outcome of the move was poor, my actual experience of deadline day was a brilliant one.

Even if you’re not the player on the move, it’s exciting to see your team bringing in new faces. 

Back in the day, some players may have been concerned about losing their starting spot to a new signing but that's not as much of an issue in this era of rotation.

The arrival of anyone that strengthens your squad generally goes down very well — and I’m sure we’ll see a few of those before the window closes. 

Keep an eye on Chelsea and United

Erik ten Hag could oversee some outgoing transfer activity at Manchester United before Thursday's deadline

Plenty of teams will have already completed their business but I expect a handful to be pushing deals through right up to the wire.

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Of the supposed big six, Chelsea and Manchester United are the two I’m expecting to be busiest.

The Blues appear to have key targets lined up at centre-back and centre forward. 

Wesley Fofana’s switch from Leicester to Stamford Bridge is proving a tricky one to get over the line, yet I expect it to be completed before the deadline. 

Clearly, the player wants to move and while the two clubs have played hardball over the fee, I think Chelsea will end up giving the Foxes what they want.

Meanwhile, for Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford, outgoings may be the priority now that a move for Antony looks to be sealed — though I wouldn't be surprised if they try for one more big name.

Lower down the table, the likes of Everton and Wolves are desperate to strengthen but also need to ensure they keep hold of their star players.

Bournemouth are another side who could be busy, though who knows what to expect after Scott Parker’s shock departure.

Time for my midweek Premier League predictions. 

Joleon Lescott’s Premier League Matchday 5 predictions

Crystal Palace vs Brentford (Tuesday, 7.30pm, BT Sport)

Wilfried Zaha is touch and go for Crystal Palace's clash with Brentford

I watched Brentford at home to Everton and was impressed by Thomas Frank’s side — they deserved their point.

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Crystal Palace gave Manchester City another scare but it should be noted that their goals came from set-pieces, rather than carving the champions open.

This will be close but home advantage could be key for Patrick Vieira’s side.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-1 Brentford

Fulham vs Brighton (Tuesday, 7.30pm, BT Sport)

It’s been a brilliant start for Brighton and they’ll be confident of having the bulk of possession during this trip to West London.

But Fulham are showing themselves to be no soft touch and Aleksandar Mitrovic is in fantastic form, looking like he’s going to score every time he steps out on the pitch.

The Seagulls’ unbeaten start must end soon and it could be here.

Prediction: Fulham 1-0 Brighton 

Southampton vs Chelsea (Tuesday, 7.45pm, BT Sport)

Pressure is building on Ralph Hasenhuttl at Southampton

Chelsea were very impressive in getting past Leicester having spent so long with 10 men and that could’ve taken a bit out of them.

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These are the kind of games where you can see if those Southampton players are still behind their manager — though there was no shortage of commitment in the narrow defeat to Manchester United.

A result here would be a huge boost for Ralph Hasenhuttl but I reckon they just fall short.

Prediction: Southampton 0-1 Chelsea

Leeds vs Everton (Tuesday, 8pm, BT Sport)

I’m attending this one and it’s got the feeling of a big game for the visitors, having been pegged back late at Brentford on Saturday.

Leeds squandered a few chances in their defeat to Brighton but still played well and I’ve said previously how much Jesse Marsch is impressing me.

Sadly, I think it’ll be another tough night for my old club.

Prediction: Leeds 2-0 Everton

Arsenal vs Aston Villa (Wednesday, 7.30pm, BT Sport)

Gabriel Jesus and Arsenal will look to make it five wins from five

I spoke about Arsenal last week and they continue to catch the eye under Mikel Arteta.

Pressure is rising on Steven Gerrard after Villa’s poor start. While I wouldn’t be shocked to see them spring a surprise, it’s hard to fancy them.

Confidence will be low in the away camp and an early goal could be key for the Gunners.

Prediction: Arsenal 2-0 Aston Villa

Bournemouth vs Wolves (Wednesday, 7.30pm, BT Sport)

I think Parker's departure has taken everyone by surprise and Bournemouth's players are bound to be in shock. 

If he was still in the dugout, I'd have fancied the Cherries to go and grind out a clean sheet in response to their weekend hammering. 

However, this now looks like a prime opportunity for Wolves to get that precious first win. 

Prediction: Bournemouth 0-1 Wolves

Manchester City vs Nottingham Forest (Wednesday, 7.30pm, BT Sport)

Red-hot Erling Haaland will be desperate to start against Nottingham Forest

Forest have been making a good fist of it so far in the top flight but this looks sure to be a tough night.

City have made hard work of things recently but playing a promoted side at home is normally a task they take care of with minimal fuss.

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I see the champions running riot at the Etihad.

Prediction: Manchester City 4-0 Nottingham Forest

West Ham vs Tottenham (Wednesday, 7.45pm, BT Sport)

What a big win that was for West Ham at Aston Villa — that should really help ease the pressure on David Moyes and his side ahead of this tasty London derby.

Spurs have been quietly going about their business in impressive fashion but in front of a packed crowd in East London, this looks like a banana skin.

This is bold, but I’m going to say the Hammers can nick a narrow win!

Prediction: West Ham 1-0 Tottenham

Liverpool vs Newcastle (Wednesday 8pm, BT Sport)

Allan Saint-Maximin will hope to be fit for Newcastle's trip to Anfield

Both sides will enter this one in confident mood, with Liverpool firmly up and running for the campaign after destroying Bournemouth.

Trent Alexander-Arnold could have a tough night if Allan Saint-Maximin is fit and Newcastle are certainly playing well enough to cause the Reds problems.

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I just think the hosts will be a bit too good going forward.

Prediction: Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle

Leicester vs Man Utd (Thursday, 8pm, BT Sport)

Leicester really are in a bit of trouble now after falling to defeat at Chelsea.

It wasn't anything flashy from United at Southampton but they got the result they needed and three wins in a row would be very impressive for Ten Hag.

Given the mood in both camps, I'm struggling to oppose United here.

Prediction: Leicester 1-2 Manchester United

Joleon Lescott was speaking to Matthew Hill

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