Can Chelsea keep up their championship defence against Leicester? Who will win this week’s Battle of the Bosses as Wenger takes on Klopp? Find out in this week’s Round 3 Preview…
Bournemouth v Manchester City
Even with Kyle Walker suspended, Manchester City shouldn’t struggle against a Bournemouth side who have been as underwhelming this season as The Dark Tower’s movie adaptation. Bournemouth have never won a match against City, and don’t expect a change to that this time out against a side expecting to challenge for the title.
Crystal Palace v Swansea
Speaking of underwhelming, let’s talk about these two sides. Neither Palace nor Swansea have scored in the Premier League this season, and Swansea are yet to have a shot on target. However, last season these two had the highest scoring fixtures in the league, with 12 goals across the two fixtures. We’re picking a draw, but keep an eye on this one – it could go either way.
Huddersfield v Southampton
Will Huddersfield keep up their impressive start to the new season? At home, you might well bank on it. Huddersfield know how to get the job done, with two clean sheets in the opening rounds. Southampton might push them further than Palace or Newcastle, but back them to get the job done against a Southampton side that couldn’t get past Swansea.
Newcastle v West Ham
Both Newcastle and West Ham have been disappointing so far this season. West Ham will be missing the all-too-gangly Arnautovic, while Newcastle are yet to score a Premier League goal. No doubt West Ham will be all too obliging, but with Javier “Ultimate Poacher” Hernandez off the mark, expect West Ham to pick up their first points.
Watford v Brighton
Watford have begun this season impressively, starting with a well-deserved point against Liverpool’s “Set Piece? What Set Piece?” defence, and a win at Bournemouth. Against a Brighton side yet to score a goal, Watford should find this one easy going. Not that we wouldn’t love to see Chris Hughton start getting the credit he deserves…
Manchester United v Leicester
This has all the hallmarks of a great game – a free-scoring and defensively solid Mourinho side off to quick side up against a Leicester side willing to give it a go like they did against Arsenal. But Mourinho is no Wenger (can we get a hallelujah!), and will have his defence well drilled to Leicester’s counter-attacking style. With Old Trafford already expecting its first title since the Fergie years, United should pick up the points here.
Chelsea v Everton
Yes, we know we said not to expect Rooney’s honeymoon period to continue in Round 2, but really don’t expect it to continue in Round 3. Conte may have been taken by surprise against Burnley, but he steadied the ship against Spurs. A win against Everton would get the Blues back on track, and expect them to get it without the error-prone Gary Cahill.
West Bromwich Albion v Stoke City
West Brom, the 1-0 experts, might come through for the same result once again against a Stoke side buzzing from a win over Arsenal. West Brom aren’t the most prolific at the Hawthorns, but it’s their own fortress and they won’t concede many against a Stoke side that aren’t at full strength.
Liverpool v Arsenal
Undoubtedly the pick of the matches in Round 3, Liverpool are the specialists in picking up points against the top of the table, average 2 points per game against sides in the top six last season. Arsenal, on the other hand, are specialists in failure (okay, you probably didn’t hear that here first…) at sides in the top six, having failed to win away against a top six side since January 2015. Pick Liverpool to get the points at Anfield.
Tottenham v Burnley
Urgh, who knows? Burnley have a poor record against Spurs, but then Spurs have an even poorer record at Wembley. One thing you can be sure of? That there will be more own goals than Harry Kane goals at Wembley in August. Our bet? Spurs to beat their Wembley hoodoo and pick up the points against Burnley.
Tips for Young Players
Champions League: Home favourites: Watford, Man United, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool to win (9.43)
Premier League: West Ham to beat Newcastle, but both to score (5.50)
Sunday League: Crystal Palace v Swansea to draw (3.35)
Tips are provided for entertainment purposes only.
Check out our preview of this year’s Premier League season.