English Premier League Preview - 3rd Gameweek - Part 2
It’s Premier League Gameweek three three weekend with the final roun of fixtures before the first international break. In our second part of the look at the weekend, we’ve taken a look at the late Saturday game and the Sunday fixtures. In the late kick off on Saturday Liverpool face Chelsea at Anfield, while on Sunday Leeds United travel to Turf Moor to face Burnley, Tottenham Hotspur host Watford at White Hart Lane and Manchester United head to Molineux to face Wolverhampton Wanderers. Read on for analysis, match predictions and betting tips.
Liverpool vs Chelsea
Both Liverpool and Chelsea come into this game with 100% records and will be eager to put an early marker down as proof that they are title challengers. Both sides are yet to concede a goal this season and have scored five times in their opening two games.
Left back Andy Robertson is pushing for inclusion in the first XI having returned from an ankle injury. However, his replacement Kostas Tsimikas has looked more than decent, crossing for Diogo Jota to score the first last weekend against Burnley. Fabinho has returned to training having been out following a bereavement but James Milner remains injured. Fabinho could come in for Harvey Elliott in the Liverpool midfield but he may have to settle for a spot on the bench.
N’Golo Kante has returned to full fitness and could come into the first eleven this weekend. However, Christian Pulisic remains out due to coronavirus however, which means Mason Mount and Kai Havertz could retain their places either side of Romelu Lukaku. Kurt Zouma is almost certainly out as he nears a £25million move to West Ham which could mean a return to the squad for Ethan Ampadu, who spent last year on loan at Sheffield United.
Romelu Lukaku has scored just once in his last eleven games against Liverpool.
Burnley vs Leeds United
Neither Burnley nor Leeds have won a game in the Premier League this season, and both sides will be looking to build on positive results in the EFL Cup in midweek. Burnley haven’t scored a goal since James Tarkowski’s 2nd minute goal in the opening game with Brighton while Leeds have already conceded seven goals in their opening two league fixtures.
Ashley Westwood and Matej Vydra face late fitness tests to be included in the squad for this game. Should neither make it then Shaun Dyche will be forced once again to include members of the under-23 squad to make up the numbers on the bench. Wayne Hennessey helped Burnley win their EFL Cup tie with Newcastle thanks to some heroics in the penalty shoot out but it’s unlikely the former Crystal Palace keeper will dislodge England’s Nick Pope between the sticks for his Burnley league debut.
Leeds twice equalised against Wolves last week to ensure they picked up their first point of the season following their opening day 5-1 hammering from Manchester United. They will probably be once again without German centre-back Robin Koch who is nursing a pelvic issue but they have no other injury worries. Fellow defender Diego Llorente made his come back from injury in the midweek 3-0 EFL Cup win against Crewe Alexandra and could feature in this game. Patrick Bamford will lead the line again and will hope to celebrate his call up to the England squad with a goal in this game.
No player has provided more assists than Raphinha since his first Premier League game in November 2020. The Brazilian midfielder is level with Bruno Fernandes and Kevin de Bruyne with nine since that mark.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Watford
It’s been a busy opening to the season for Spurs with two wins in the Premier League sandwiching a debut appearance in the European Conference League. They face a Watford side who bounced back from defeat to Brighton last weekend with a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace in the EFL Cup in midweek.
The big news for Tottenham Hotspur is that England striker Harry Kane is staying in North London. Kane celebrated his return to the first team with a brace against Pacos de Ferreira in a 3-0 victory against Pacos de Ferreira. The question will be who will make way for Kane, with Spurs opting for a front three of Lucas Moura, Son Heung-Min and Stephen Bergwijn in a 4-3-3 last weekend.
Austrian keeper Daniel Bachmann will continue in goal for Watford with Ben Foster having suffered a hamstring injury in the midweek win over Palace. That will mean a spot on the bench for former Newcastle United keeper Rob Eliot, who has not played a first team game in three seasons. Slovak midfielder Juraj Kucka faces a late fitness test, while new midfielder Moussa Sissoko probably won’t feature against his old club. Turkish new signing Ozan Tufan is not available either, while forward Troy Deeney may not feature on the bench with noises of a move away for the Watford skipper getting louder.
Spurs have lost just once in their last 16 league matches against Watford, losing 2-1 at Vicarage Road in September 2018.
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Manchester United
The final game on Sunday sees winless Wolves host a Manchester United side who have looked imperious at times this season. However, the Red Devils could only manage a 1-1 draw last time out against Southampton and manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer will demand better from his team.
Daniel Podence returned to the first team after injury in midweek and comes into contention for this game while defenders Willy Boly and Yerson Mosquera both face late fitness tests to be included. However, Podence might have to be satisfied with a seat on the bench with the front three of Francisco Trincao, Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore very much being the first choice for Wolves boss Bruno Lage.
Manchester United fans have been greatly excited by the impending return of Cristiano Ronaldo but there is no way that deal will be done in time for the Portugal forward to be included in this game. However, Raphael Varane is available for his debut while Scott McTominay misses out with injury. Jadon Sancho could also come in for his first start with Anthony Martial being very poor last weekend.
Wolves lost this fixture 2-1 last season; they’ve not lost consecutive home games to Manchester United in the league since 1967.