CHELSEA VS MANCHESTER CITY
In the blockbuster game of the weekend, Chelsea welcome Manchester City to Stamford Bridge. The reigning champions and in many people eyes, this seasons favourites for the title go head to head in a mouth watering challenge.
Manchester City have been absolutely phenomenal this season. Through six games, they have managed to score 21 goals. In their last three games, they have scored at least four goals and have completely rioted teams with their attacking display. With the creative tandem of David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne supporting the striking juggernaut of Gabriel Jesus, Kun Aguero and Raheem Sterling, teams will find it extremely difficult to keep all these world class players quiet for 90 minutes.
Additionally, the continued narrative surrounding Manchester City is that when Vincent Kompany isn’t playing, can they keep it tight at the back and keep clean sheets. With the injection of youth at the full back positions with Benjamin Mendy (23) and Kyle Walker (27) to go with the centre back pairing of John Stones (23) and Nicolas Otamendi (29), Manchester City have a defence that is filled with youth and experience which has culminated in them only conceding two goals in the opening six games.
After overcoming a ‘crisis’ at the start of the season, Chelsea have been quite brilliant this season. They dismantled Stoke at the bet365 stadium where many a team have struggled to break Stoke City down. Their summer recruit Alvaro Morata has quite frankly, been a revelation. His all around play has been absolutely phenomenal and has willingly been the focal point for the Chelsea attacks. His hat-trick performance against Stoke was the performance that the Blues were looking for and what they expected when they spent all that money on him.
A lift for Chelsea is that Eden Hazard should be back to full fitness having made substitute appearances in recent weeks in preparation for his game. However, Mendy will miss the game after suffering a serious knee injury that could potentially threaten the rest of his season.
This game will be a test of the attacking juggernauts. Some of the best talent in the whole of the league will be present during this game, and it should show.
SCORE PREDICITON: Chelsea 2-2 Manchester City – Aguero to score first.
ARSENAL VS BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION
Arsenal are back at the Emirates for back-to-back Premier League games, and this time they welcome in Premier League newcomers, Brighton. In Arsenal’s last game against West Brom, they were extremely fortunate not to conceded after West Brom were denied a clear penalty and spurned a host of first half chances that should have been put away. But alas, here we are at the next week and Arsenal have quietly kept three consecutive clean sheets and are looking more solid at the back.
Arsenal have been much more comfortable at home than away in the league this season. All eight of their Premier League goals have been scored at the Emirates having failed to find the net at Stoke, Chelsea and Liverpool. Alexandre Lacazette is living up to the price tag that he was brought in for having already netted four goals in the league this season and leading the line adequately.
Brighton have calmly gone about starting the league in respectable fashion. They have amassed seven points from their opening six games and are sitting at 13th in the table right now. They will be looking at this game to test their defensive fortitude against one of the big teams in the league. Furthermore, their counter attacking play will also be tested because they will without a doubt be surrendering possession to Arsenal.
Arsenal should have playmaker Mesut Ozil back after he came on as a substitute against West Brom. This could mean that for the first time, the Arsenal faithful may see Alexis Sanchez, Lacazette and Ozil starting all together. The very thought of all that attacking talent working in tandem should leave the fans salivating.
SCORE PREDICTION: Arsenal 3-0 Brighton – Lacazette to score first
NEWCASTLE VS LIVERPOOL
After picking up their win since August in a thrilling game against Leicester, Liverpool travel to St.James’ Park to face their former manager Rafael Benitez and his Newcastle side. Liverpool have had a streaky start to the season. They’re currently sitting at 5th in the table only 5 points off the top, but their defensive issues of yesteryear are resurfacing and in an ugly way. Conceding from corners and gifting their opponents easy goals has been a theme for the season. Also, despite having a potent attack force that consistently lays siege to the opponent goal, they have ‘only’ 12 goals to show for it.
Newcastle, on their return to the Premier League, have been quietly moving up the table. Without making many headlines, they have amassed three wins already this season. Despite Benitez’s health issues this season, Newcastle seem to be pulling in the right direction and seem to have established the right culture needed to survive in this league.
Some good news for Liverpool fans though, Sadio Mane can finally return to Premier League after serving his three game ban after his sending off against Manchester City. There is no doubt that the Senegal international is Liverpool’s most influential player and with him in the team, the team play much better as a complete unit and are much more potent in front of the goal.
Newcastle’s play in the league shouldn’t be understated though. They have only conceded five goals in the six games that they have played and the defence have also come up in the clutch moments to lead the team to victory. Captain Jamaal Lascelles has already scored two goals this season from centre defence and is a threat from corners that Liverpool are going to have to be weary of.
SCORE PREDICTION: Newcastle 1-2 Liverpool – Salah to score first