Matchday three of the Premier League throws up some blockbuster fixtures with Man City hosting Arsenal and Chelsea travelling to Anfield to take on Liverpool. With plenty of excitement in store for Premier League fans this weekend, we’ve got you covered with a preview and tips from the key games this weekend!
Saturday 9:30pm AEST, Etihad Stadium
Arsenal are the biggest talking point in the Premier League this season, sitting in nineteenth position on the table after consecutive 2-0 defeats to open the season. It doesn’t get any easier for the Gunners, as they travel to Manchester to take on the reigning champions. City bounced back from an opening day defeat, with a 5-0 thumping of Norwich last week. City were back at their ruthless best and sent a massive statement to the rest of the league.
City had 67% possession and 16 shots on goal to Norwich’s 1, as star signing Jack Grealish scored his first goal for the club. Arsenal were convingly beaten by Chelsea on Matchday Two, as the pressure mounts on manager Mikel Arteta. Manchester City have a 9-2-0 record in their last eleven Premier League matches against Arsenal, with City unbeaten against the Gunners since 2016. Those nine victories in that eleven game run have come at an average margin of two goals, with the reigning champs scoring two or more goals in nine of those eleven matches.
Arsenal’s defence has been all at sea in the opening two weeks, and with marquee signing Ben White set to miss this fixture after testing positive to covid, the task gets even harder for Arsenal. After City got back into form last week, it could get ugly for an Arsenal outfit that has been awful in the opening two weeks. These two clubs are at polar opposite points, and Manchester City won’t have any troubles getting past Arsenal.
Sunday 12:00am AEST, London Stadium
West Ham sit atop the Premier League table after a rampant 4-1 win over Leicester last week, as Michail Antonio’s double made him West Ham's greatest goal scorer in the Premier League era. The Hammers host the struggling Crystal Palace, who are coming off a 0-0 draw with the newly promoted Brentford. West Ham’s attacking style of football that they produced in the second half of last season has carried into this season, scoring eight goals from their opening two games.
Those eight goals have come from five different goal scorers, with Michail Antonio’s three goals having him equal first in the golden boot race. The Hammers potency forward of centre will be a huge concern for Palace, who have conceded thirteen goals in their last six Premier League matches, with five of those six games seeing them concede at least two goals. There were concerns about the depth of West Ham’s squad coming into the season, and it’s still a glaring problem, however the talent they have in their starting eleven is undeniable.
They are going to be a tough proposition for any side to face in the opening part of the season, with their attacking tempo allowing them to create plenty of goal scoring opportunities. Palace are incredibly vulnerable at the moment, and their back four isn’t capable of coping with the likes of Antonio, Benrahma and Fornals.
Sunday 2:30am AEST, Anfield
The two sides that are the biggest threat to Manchester City’s aspirations of going back to back, meet in a huge clash at Anfield on Sunday morning. Liverpool are two wins from two games with victories over Norwich and Burnley, while Chelsea also have a perfect record, thanks to victories over Crystal Palace and Arsenal. Romelu Lukaku was outstanding against Arsenal with 43 touches, 95% pass accuracy, 11 touches in the opposition box (game high), 8 shots (game high) and a goal to top it off.
Lukaku looks like the missing piece that Chelsea has been desperate for in the past three years and the Blues have continued the excellent form they ended last season in. Chelsea’s elite midfield has been key to their hot start to the season, and it’s an area of the pitch where they should gain an advantage over the Reds. Havertz, Mount, Kovacic and Jorginho were outstanding against Arsenal, and with N’Golo Kante set to come back into the side, Tuchel has an embarrassment of riches in the middle of the park.
Chelsea will have taken an abundance of confidence from the way they completely dominated Arsenal in their own backyard last week. Last season saw the demise of Liverpool’s fortress at Anfield, as they lost seven games at home last season after going 68 consecutive games unbeaten at Anfield. One of those seven losses was a 1-0 defeat against Chelsea back in March, and they’re primed to repeat that result again this weekend.
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