The past weekend provided plenty of quality games, but some teams have come out better than others.
With UEFA Champions League and Europa League beginning this week, teams will have to make adjustments and rotations for this week’s games.
Regardless, there are some entertaining match-ups that could provide unpredictable results in what has been a crazy season so far.
Aston Villa vs Leeds
Saturday, 6:00am (AEDT)
Aston Villa look to continue their dream run as they host Leeds this weekend. Leeds were held scoreless for the first time this season against Wolves and now are going up against the best defence in the Premier League.
Villa have conceded only two goals and have kept three clean sheets in their four games. However, those clean sheets did come against Fulham and Sheffield United, who are early favourites to be relegated, while also a decent Leicester side with no Jamie Vardy.
This game will be a true test of how solid Villa’s defence is. As Leeds have showcased, they have the capability of playing aggressive, expansive football that leads to goals.
It will be very intriguing to see if Aston Villa can continue their form, but this should be a fun game between two sides who like to play on the counterattack.
West Ham vs Manchester City
Saturday, 10:30pm (AEDT)
After West Ham had impressive victories against Leicester and Wolves, they didn’t give up against Spurs and scored three goals in 12 minutes to draw level. Despite the difficult draw they have done well to cope. The Hammers are going to have another tough task defensively against Manchester City.
Unfortunately for City, they look to be without Kevin de Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus once again.
It will be interesting to see how David Moyes lines up the team. He started off with a 4-2-3-1 formation but has since moved to a 5-4-1, which has been much more successful. There’s flexibility as they can move the wingbacks forward and essentially play a 3-4-3 formation in attack but get players back and play a 5-4-1.
This should be a fun game to see how City can dissect the defence of West Ham. Against Tottenham, West Ham capitalised on set pieces, and with City’s defence looking slightly dodgy they may be able to exploit set-piece plays once again.
So far we’ve seen an unpredictable season, and this has the potential to provide an unpredictable result
Manchester United vs Chelsea
Sunday, 3:30am (AEDT)
These two teams have been among the more inconsistent sides of the season. Both managers will be hoping to claim three crucial points, but you just don’t know who is going to show up.
United are one of the poorer sides defensively and have let in 12 goals in four games. It will be interesting, however, to see if Marcus Rashford or Odion Ighalo will play as the centre forward or if there are any other potential adjustments.
Chelsea will be excited because, while they have their own issues, they are one of the top attacking teams in the league. They have so much firepower at their disposal with Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount, Kai Havertz and more.
It just seems that Chelsea follow up strong performances with suspect defending, as displayed against West Brom and Southampton.
Neither team can afford to make errors or have lapses of concentration, as they will be punished accordingly. It should be a thriller of a contest.
Southampton vs Everton
Monday, 1:00am (AEDT)
Since getting pummelled by Tottenham, Southampton have done well to claim two wins and draw against Chelsea. Meanwhile, Everton will be looking to remain unbeaten to stay on top of the league.
There are some key match-ups to keep an eye on, especially Danny Ings up against a red-hot Dominic Calvert-Lewin. These two are some of the top strikers in the EPL.
James Rodriguez hasn’t needed much time to adjust to the Premier League as he continues to mesmerise with his play. He has scored three goals and had three assists so far and can dissect defences with his passing ability.
On the other hand, Theo Walcott looked really strong out on the right wing against Chelsea. He should be a key player for the Saints also.
These two teams will not shy away from going forward, which should lead to some entertaining action
Arsenal vs Leicester
Monday, 6:15am (AEDT)
Leicester will be sweating on the fitness of Jamie Vardy as he looks to recover from a calf injury. The Foxes have struggled offensively, scoring no goals in their past two games. It’s evident that Vardy is pivotal for Leicester, but if he isn’t good to go, expect Kelechi Iheanacho to fill in once again.
Leicester have talent that should be able to create opportunities in Youri Tielemans, Harvey Barnes, Ayoze Perez and James Maddison. In their game against Burnley they managed to score four goals without Vardy being involved. But nothing has really culminated the past two games.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have lost another game away from home against a ‘big six’ side last week. They defeated Leicester in the Carabao Cup not long ago. But in the Premier League fixtures dating back to 2014 it seems that the home team have generally come out on top when these two sides have met.
We’ve seen the Gunners being able to feast on lesser teams, but even without Jamie Vardy, Leicester will prove to be a different test.
There’s plenty of talent on both sides and both managers will be hoping to create separation from the other with a win.