These are the games I am looking forward to in the Premier League this weekend.
Chelsea versus Crystal Palace: Saturday, 9:30pm (AEST)
Crystal Palace will be hoping to make amends after they were hard done by last week. Meanwhile, Chelsea are looking to find their footing after disappointing results of late.
The main talking point has been Chelsea’s defence. Who will Frank Lampard choose between the sticks? Their performance against West Brom was revealing some major issues and now they take on a higher quality side in Palace led by Wilfried Zaha.
Crystal Palace have shown that they can be a goal-threatening side through a variety of ways. The wings in Andros Townsend, Jeffrey Schlupp and Eberechi Eze have provided some good offence out wide. Additionally, the Eagles will be targeting to attack on set pieces with their athleticism and size.
Meanwhile, they have Zaha and Jordan Ayew running down the middle, who can create problems on the counter or with long balls played in behind. If the Chelsea defenders make some errors, they can certainly capitalise.
The new signings in Timo Werner and Kai Havertz will need to step up as they have yet to score a goal. It will be a welcome sight to bag their first Premier League goals this weekend.
Everton versus Brighton: Sunday, 12:00am (AEST)
Everton continue to progress nicely with Carlo Ancelotti at the helm and are aiming to make it four wins out of four games. On the other hand, Brighton – for their lack of points – have played really well and are going to make Everton work for everything they can.
Brighton have looked decent going forward so far this season. They only averaged one goal a game last season but so far have six goals in three games in 2020. Neal Maupay has got off to a good start and the other front three players in Aaron Connolly and Leandro Trossard have both contributed.
Youngster Tariq Lamptey has been a pleasant surprise as he has assisted a goal in every game so far. His willingness to get forward and whip balls into the box has been helpful to the attack.
Can Dominic Calvert-Lewin continue his goal-scoring form against Brighton? He’s got eight goals in five games across all competitions and will be looking to add more to the tally. I’ve raved about the talent of the front three and it will be great to see the skills of James Rodriguez once again.
Leeds versus Manchester City: Sunday, 3:30am (AEDT)
If you like watching a goal fest, this game should be the one for you. Leeds have so far taken the EPL by storm after an impressive showing against Liverpool. It was amazing that they were fearless and showed no respect in challenging the defending champions in Anfield.
An encouraging sign for Leeds fans was that while they showed that they can score goals, they were also able to grind out a victory last week against Sheffield United.
After seeing what Leicester did to Manchester City last week, don’t expect Leeds to hold back.
Manchester City will be hoping to redeem an atrocious performance after conceding five goals at home. We all know what they are capable of going forward and Leeds will have to remain stout in defence.
A high-scoring game will most likely favour Pep Guardiola’s men but they cannot take Leeds lightly. Expect a free-flowing, up-and-down game, which has the potential to be the match of the week.
Manchester United versus Tottenham: Monday, 2:30am (AEDT)
These two teams are fresh off handball controversy where United were able to gain two points whereas Spurs dropped two points. This should be a fiery encounter due to the history of the managers. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was the successor to Jose Mourinho and both managers will be hoping to secure three points to escape a mid-table placement.
Much talk has been about United’s defence and they were lucky not to concede more against Brighton. Spurs haven’t been amazing defensively either as Mourinho continues to figure out the optimal centre-back pairing between Toby Alderweireld, Eric Dier and Davinson Sanchez.
Unfortunately for Tottenham, Son Heung-min looks to be sidelined with a hamstring injury and Gareth Bale is not yet fit. Expect to see Steven Bergwijn fill in the front three to partner Harry Kane and Lucas Moura.
It will be interesting to see what tactics are employed in this game as there is lots of talent in attack for both teams. The midfield will be the key battle especially with Bruno Fernandes orchestrating things for United. For Tottenham, Mourinho will need Giovani Lo Celso and Tanguy Ndombele to step up and provide creativity for their attack.
Overall, this seems like a game that will come down to the managers and how they set up. Making timely adjustments will be key and don’t be surprised to see a low-scoring, gritty game between these two teams.