Chelsea kick off a bumper Sunday of football at home to Everton as the champions look for their first home win of the season following the win at rivals Tottenham last week. Chelsea won both games against Everton last season but the away side are unbeaten in their first two games so far after a 1-1 draw at Manchester City on Monday. They have scored just two goals in the league so far though and it is Wayne Rooney with both. 2009 saw the last goalless draw between these two sides. With tough fixtures still to come against Leicester and Arsenal, a win on Sunday will be important to avoid unnecessary pressure returning to Chelsea.
Liverpool welcome Arsenal to Anfield on Sunday afternoon aiming to continue their unbeaten start to the season. They have looked impressive in Europe so far but as yet have failed to get going in the league. A fairly unconvincing 1-0 win at home to Palace last week followed a disappointing 3-3 draw in the opening fixture and exposed some defensive faults. Arsenal, however, have had a similar start. A poor defensive display opened their season with a 4-3 win and an uninspiring defeat away to Stoke last week followed. Liverpool won both league games last season but played in midweek and could feel the effects of two big games in a week. You have to go back to 2015 for the last time Arsenal beat Liverpool and even further back to September 2012 for their last win at Anfield. Last weekend’s loss to Stoke showed Arsenal were vulnerable to a quick counter attack, something which Liverpool could exploit.
Leicester City’s last win at Old Trafford came in 1998 and they may have to wait another year given the explosive start to the season Manchester United have had. Two straight 4-0 wins give United top spot in the league and given that this game finished 4-1 last season they could extend their goal difference further. Leicester have caused problems for United in the past however and drew twice in their title winning season. Leicester played well last weekend in brushing aside Brighton and were perhaps unlucky not to get something in the opening game against Arsenal.
Crystal Palace versus Swansea may not seem like the most likely game for entertainment but given that there were 12 goals in the two games last season it could be one to watch. The 5-4 at the Liberty Stadium was an end to end encounter and possibly displayed why both sides battled relegation last season. It could be more of the same in this season given the start experienced by both sides. Palace have lost their two opening games and although Swansea have a point, neither side has scored a goal yet.
Huddersfield Town could top the league with a win at home against Southampton, all be it for a few hours. They have yet to concede during their two games and despite scoring three last time out, Southampton have struggled recently to find the net. The last meeting between the two sides was in League 1 in December 2010, a 4-1 win for Southampton at Saint Mary’s.
The home side has won each of the last four meetings between Newcastle and West Ham and it is the Magpies who have home advantage in this game. Neither side has impressed so far this season losing both their opening games. West Ham’s defeat last week came courtesy of a last minute penalty but it was a poor performance for the majority of the side, only really new signing Javier Hernandez coming away with any praise after his brace. Newcastle are yet to score on their return to the top flight but will be looking for a turn in fortunes in this game.
Manchester City travel to Bournemouth having won all four previous Premier League games between the two sides. They have done so scoring 15 against Saturday’s opponents and conceding just one over that time. Given Bournemouth’s start to the season that record may continue as they are yet to score a goal and have lost their opening two games. Manchester City had a routine 2-0 win away at Brighton but followed it with the draw at home to Everton last time out. Last season City won more games away from home than they did at the Etihad and could continue that record this weekend.
Watford’s start to the season has been impressive as they remain unbeaten so far. A comfortable 2-0 win over Bournemouth last time out followed an opening day draw against Liverpool and fans will be hoping for a better season this year after finishing in 17th in May. Brighton have lost both games 2-0 and have so far looked off the pace in their first visit to the Premier League. Given the strength of Marco Silva sides at home, it may prove another difficult match for Brighton but the last meeting between these two in September 2012 was a win for the away side.
Stoke have not beaten West Brom since former manager Tony Pulis took charge at the Hawthorns. Five of the last six meetings between the two have finished in a West Brom win. The home side currently sit 3rd in the table following two 1-0 wins and this game could follow a similar route. Stoke have a 1-0 win and a 1-0 defeat to their name so far this season but looked strong on the break against Arsenal last week.
Tottenham against Burnley rounds off the weekend as the hosts look to put any Wembley hoodoo behind them. A win in this game will be an important psychological step in their season proving that they have no issue in winning in the stadium. You have to go back to 2010 for the last time Burnley beat Spurs, however, they did come away from London with three points following their last visit. Both sides won away on the opening day but then lost their next fixture at home.
Last week’s victory over Spurs prevented this game against Everton being a must win tie for Antonio Conte, however, the reigning champions are never more than one defeat away from a crisis given the raised expectation which follows a title win. Chelsea will be aiming to put the Burnley anomaly behind them and put in a convincing performance here to rise up the league.
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