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After another weekend of breathtaking Premier League action, Matchday 3 features a team searching for past glory versus a modern dynasty, two clubs excelling atop the table, and two teams searching for an identity early in the season.
Here’s everything you need to know about the key Premier League fixtures this week.
Man City vs. Arsenal
Saturday, Aug. 28 at 7:30AM | Live stream
The nightmare continues for the Gunners.
Despite spending more than any other Premier League club in the summer transfer window (unless Man City buys Harry Kane), Arsenal is one of five clubs to open the season with two losses.
Chelsea comfortably capitalized on their shocking defending over the weekend, and Man City is just as likely to continue that trend. With the team approaching crisis, Gunners manager Mikel Arteta is on the hot seat and will hope for a miracle victory against a City side that won both contests last season. Perhaps a League Cup match versus second-tier club West Brom and the permanent arrival of Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard can help Arteta’s group build momentum. However, they’ll have to do so without £50 centre back Ben White, who tested positive for COVID-19.
Man City began the Premier League campaign with an upset loss to Tottenham, but seem to have found their champion-level form after defeating Norwich City 5-0 without midfield magician Kevin De Bruyne in the squad last week. New £100m signing Jack Grealish will look to build on scoring his first goal for the Cityzens in his home debut, and the squad seems poised to add another devastating blow to Gunners fans.
Liverpool vs. Chelsea
Saturday, Aug. 28 at 12:30PM | Live stream
It’s a battle to determine England’s best right now… sorry, Man City.
Liverpool and Chelsea stand atop the table with two wins in as many games and a plus-5 goal differential, but neither club has faced a worthy challenge. That’ll change when they meet each other at Anfield this weekend, where either side can put the rest of the Premier League on notice with victory.
Romelu Lukaku dominated in his second Chelsea debut as the Blues continued their fine form under manager Thomas Tuchel with a comfortable defeat of Arsenal at the Emirates. The Belgian striker added a terrifying new dimension to an already stellar squad and wasted no time by scoring 15 minutes into the match after Reece James fed a blistering low cross into the six-yard box for an easy finish.
The powerful target man won’t have it as easy against Liverpool though, not with towering centre back Virgil van Dijk in form after missing most of last season with a torn ACL. Watch for the two to duke it out in what should be a key matchup in the heavyweight tilt.
After defeating Norwich and Burnley to start the season, Liverpool increasingly resembles the 2019 Premier League-winning side with Van Dijk healthy and Trent Alexander-Arnold back at the top of his game.
Wolves vs. Man United
Sunday, Aug. 29 at 11:30AM | Live stream
Manchester United opened the season with a nearly perfect victory over Leeds United but lost much of that momentum by dropping points at Southampton.
Nemanja Matic and Fred – who deflected a shot past United ‘keeper David de Gea for an own goal – didn’t cut it as a midfield duo, the backline looked shaky throughout the contest, and forward Anthony Martial was invisible for much of it. Chances are you won’t see him start for a while, and don’t be surprised if Jadon Sancho gets the nod for his first start this week.
On the bright side, young talent Mason Greenwood has two goals in two matches, Paul Pogba continues to play like the £89m man they bought five years ago, and the club remains unbeaten in 27 consecutive away matches.
On the other side of the pitch, Wolves have opened the season with two strong performances where they’ve arguably been the better team, but have come away with zero points: 1-0 losses to Leicester City and Tottenham. Those are by no means weak squads, but leaving both meetings with nothing to show for it doesn’t bode well for a club hoping to maintain Premier League relevancy and looking for its first result in the post-Nuno Espirito Santo era. They could be in tough once again versus United, or maybe Adama Traore finally puts it together and finds the back of the net.
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