Premier League Game Week 3 Preview : Liverpool and Arsenal should produce a thriller
- Friday 23 - Sunday 25 August
- Live on BT Sport and Sky Sports
Just two weeks into the Premier League season and there are just two teams left with 100% records to boast. Those two sides are Liverpool and Arsenal and they meet on Saturday evening in a guaranteed thriller at Anfield.
Canaries can rattle Chelsea’s cage
Before that meeting between the top two there is an intriguing contest between Norwich and Chelsea at Carrow Road. The newly-promoted Canaries are flying high after a big win last weekend, while the Blues, under new manager Frank Lampard, are still desperate to get their first win under the club legend.
Norwich are fast becoming must-watch football, with nine goals in their first two Premier League games and Teemu Pukki scoring four in two. They have an aggressive, exciting brand of football which took them to the top of the Championship and they are not going to compromise on in the top flight. They will concede goals, but they will always create chances and Pukki is a man who will take them.
Chelsea are struggling to find their feet under Lampard, but it is early days. Their 4-0 defeat at Manchester United on the opening day was very disappointing, while a 1-1 draw with Leicester on Sunday was better, they very nearly lost that game and didn’t look that impressive. With a UEFA Super Cup loss to Liverpool also in Lampard’s name, he needs a win at Norwich and they have to go for the three points.
With both sides ready and willing to be aggressive, and with neither defence looking particularly impressive, it looks like we are guaranteed goals at Carrow Road on Saturday lunchtime.
Potter to cast his spell over Saints
Sacking Chris Hughton and replacing him with Graeme Potter was a significant gamble for Brighton this summer but the early signs are that it may well pay off. They opened their campaign by battering Watford 3-0 away from home and were somewhat unfortunate only to take a point from their meeting with West Ham last weekend.
Potter has new ideas and they seem to be working, giving the Seagulls plenty of possession and a threat in attack, while looking pretty sturdy at the back. It is early days, but they look to be on an upward trajectory under their new boss.
It is not too clear what is going on at Southampton under Ralph Hasenhuttl. The Austrian made an impressive impact last season and kept them up, which was the only task he was given. However, it has been a poor start to the new season, getting hammered at Burnley on the opening day before losing to Liverpool last week.
They look quite short up front and not entirely reliable at the back, which is not a combination anybody wants. On early season form, Brighton should be backed.
Dodgy defences will mean excitement at Anfield
Liverpool have been an extremely enjoyable team to watch under Jurgen Klopp and some added frailties to their game this season may have made them even more exciting. Last campaign the Reds had a rock-solid defence that their success was built on and earned them plaudits throughout the sport. However, their back line appears to be significantly creakier this season, especially with the injury to goalkeeper Alisson Becker.
Adrian has come in between the sticks and is clearly not the same keeper, while there has been some confusion over who should partner Virgil van Dijk at centre-back, with Joe Gomez and Joel Matip battling it out for that spot.
Liverpool remain extremely potent up front and the same can be said about Arsenal, who have a string of attacking talents, but their defence is still extremely questionable. The arrival of David Luiz appears to have helped, but their back line is still not good enough to compete with the very best. The Gunners conceded at home to Burnley last weekend and could easily have conceded a few more. The likelihood of them standing up to the likes of Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane is extremely slim.
However, the newly shaky Reds defence will have Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe to deal with, so their odds of a clean sheet don’t look good either. We can expect goals.
Another bad day out for Newcastle fans
Spurs have had a pretty dramatic start to their campaign, pinching four points from their opening two games and showing a lot of grit and determination to do so. They came from behind to beat Aston Villa on the first weekend, and snatched a huge 2-2 draw away to Manchester City last Saturday. They don’t look to be at their very best and there are some question marks over Mauricio Pochettino’s best options in midfield, but the results have been excellent so far.
The results have not been so good for Newcastle since the arrival of Steve Bruce as manager. They actually looked decent in a 1-0 loss to Arsenal in the first game of the season, but then imploded somewhat as they were hammered by Norwich last Saturday. They looked ragged and were relatively easily torn open by the newly-promoted side. If Norwich can do that to them, then we can certainly expect the Champions League finalists to have plenty of joy against them.
It is definitely the time to squeeze Harry Kane into your fantasy football team as we can expect a big, comfortable win for Tottenham this weekend.
- Liverpool have not lost to Arsenal in their last eight meetings
- Liverpool have scored 23 goals in those eight games against Arsenal
- Arsenal have not won at Anfield since 2012
- Liverpool have gone four games without a clean sheet
- Norwich’s Teemu Pukki is the Premier League top scorer with four
- Frank Lampard remains without a win as Chelsea manager
- Spurs have won their last four against Newcastle, conceding just one goal
- Newcastle and Southampton are two of only four teams without a point after two league games