After another eventful week of football, the weekend is going to usher in another matchday of the English premier league. During the week, English clubs were on the lookout for the teams that they would be facing in Europe. Some teams announced new signings and bid some players farewell but it is time to direct all attention back to the pitch.
Liverpool vs Arsenal
Liverpool football club secured their place in the group stage of the UEFA champions league with an impressive display at home against Hoffenheim on Wednesday. They face an Arsenal side that must no doubt be hurting that they would miss out on the biggest European stage for the first time in 20 years.
Liverpool had their best possible 11 starting the midweek game and may have to recover while Arsenal has not played since the loss to Stoke. The Reds would be at home and this would be a major boost as their fans are always the loudest and chanting to destabilize the opposition as they get behind their team. Mane, Salah and Firminho are expected to start the game and with the positive boost of news that Coutinho would be staying out with the success of securing UCL football. The morale at Anfield is pretty high at the moment.
Arsenal would be looking to avoid a second away defeat in a row and especially at the home of one of the teams that plan to challenge for the title. They may have had a boost with the knowledge that star man, Alexis Sanchez is back in training but still a huge doubt for the game. They still have star defender Laurent Koscielny out due to injury and would be hoping to perform the Herculean task that is to stop the explosive front three of Liverpool from scoring.
Last season, the teams met very early and gave a seven goal thriller at the Emirates. In the return leg, Sadio Mane got a brace to ensure that Liverpool did the double over the North London giants. Both teams are a bit weak defensively so there should be a lot of goals in the game to the delight of football fans.
I expect Liverpool to be able to get one over Arsenal but I have to admit that Liverpool could put up disappointing performances just as much as Arsenal can pull surprises when they really mean to. Liverpool failed to lose to any of the teams in the top six last season and this is a feat that they would be hoping to continue this season
Chelsea vs Everton
Champions Chelsea displayed an impressive performance by beating Tottenham away at Wembley on Sunday and would be hoping to develop on that as they host Everton at Stamford Bridge. The blues still have Eden Hazard out and they have not quite hit the stride that put them on a 14 game winning streak on their way to the title. Everton resigned Wayne Rooney from Manchester United over the summer and the former England captain has not made the toffees miss Lukaku. With two goals from his opening two games, the Toffees believe that they have a cult hero that would keep the goals coming.
Chelsea are reportedly in the market scouting for more talents to strengthen the squad as they hope to challenge for all competitions that they find themselves in. it is unlikely that these signings would come before the game against Everton so we are likely to see the same line up that started in Wembley on Sunday. Pedro came on towards the conclusion of that half and he may be in the starting lineup this weekend.
Everton would be hoping to replicate their performance at the Etihad on Monday night as It took a late Raheem Sterling goal to prevent them from leaving with all three points. They would not appreciate playing two consecutive away games at the Etihad and Stamford Bridge especially as they have made several new signings and would want them to gel before facing the big teams. Gyfil Sigurdsson made his debut for the club in the Europa league qualifier midweek and he scored an absolute screamer. They would be hoping that the former Swansea man continues to justify his £40 million price tag with outstanding performances in the league.
AFC Bournemouth vs Manchester City
Manchester City did not have the best game last time out as they drew at home to Everton and had Kyle Walker sent off in the first half. They would be hoping to take advantage this weekend against relatively weaker opposition. Bournemouth are yet to pick up a point this season and it would be a tough test to get anything from a visiting Manchester city side looking to make up for their last game.
Manchester United vs Leicester City
Manchester United would be hoping to continue their great start to the season with another sound performance at Old Trafford. With 8 goals in two games, they would be looking at the likes of Lukaku, Martial and Pogba to continue firing on all cylinders. They host a Leicester side that seems to be much stronger than they were last season especially with talisman Jamie Vardy back to his scoring form.
Leicester has had interests from other clubs about several of their key players. Vardy, Mahrez and Danny Drinkwater are being scouted by Chelsea and they would hope that these players continue to be professionals by maintaining the standard of football that they have delivered so far.
It would be difficult for the Leicester side to get a result at Old Trafford this weekend as they lost to the red devils on all three occasions that they met last season.
Tottenham vs Burnley
Tottenham had a disappointing home start to the season but they put up an impressive performance considering that they were playing in a new stadium and against champions Chelsea. The North London team would be hoping that the Wembley jinx is broken as they host Burnley this weekend.
Burnley had a dream start beating Chelsea at the Stamford bridge but lost last weekend. They would be hoping to get another impressive result against Tottenham who haven’t hit their full stride.
Harry Kane has a knack for scoring in London derbies but he is yet to record an EPL goal in August but would be hoping to get one of his strikes in the back of the net. Other players like Alli, Son, Eriksson and new signing Sanches would be hoping to rise up to the task if their main man does not score a goal on Sunday
In other games, Crystal Palace will hope to get their first points when they take on Swansea; both teams are yet to score a goal this season. Newcomers, Huddersfield will hope to continue their impressive start as they host Southampton who won their last game at home to West Ham. West Ham travel to Newcastle, both teams have had poor starts to the season and will hope to use this game to boost morale and kick start their season. Stoke would want to build on last weekend’s win as they take on West Brom at the Hawthorns while Watford take on Brighton and Hove Albion.