After Three Matchdays, How Is The 2019/20 Premier League Shaping Up?
At the start of the 2019/2020 Premier League season, many experts and pundits wondered whether Manchester City and Liverpool would maintain their stranglehold on the division, or whether the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham could bridge the massive gap (which was 25 points by the end of last season) between them.
Just three matchdays into the new season, it may well appear that we have our answer as Liverpool are the only Premier League side with a 100% winning record heading into the fourth game, while Manchester City only do not have the same record thanks to a 2-2 draw with Tottenham in a game where City had 30 shots on goal to Tottenham’s 3.
In contrast, all the four chasing teams have already lost at least one game this season and only Arsenal have managed to pick up two wins from their other two games. City and Liverpool are edging clear at the top of the table already and as we head into Matchday four and the first of a number of international breaks afterwards, it is already looking like déjà vu in the Premier League once again.
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Current Premier League Table
As you can see, we already have a familiar looking shape to the table. Liverpool and Manchester City are at the top and many of the top six from last season are in and around those places in the table once again, although the likes of Leicester City are now making a stern challenge to those teams, at least in the early part of the season.
Of course, it is still early and with one more Matchday to go before the international break, a few odd results here and there could change the look of the table markedly. So let’s preview this weekend’s games and give you our verdict on how we see each one going.
Premier League Fixtures – Matchday 4
Saturday 31st August (Kick off 3pm unless stated)
Southampton v Manchester United (12.30) – Away Win
After losing to Crystal Palace at home last weekend, Manchester United will know that nothing less than a win will suffice here but I don’t think they are playing that well to be ultra confident against a Saints team that have looked much better in their last two games. Southampton will make this very difficult for United, but I just feel United have the edge in attack to earn a much needed victory.
Chelsea v Sheffield United – Home Win
Frank Lampard picked up his first three points as Chelsea manager against Norwich last weekend and I think his new look side will do likewise here at home to the Blades. Chris Wilder’s team have done well in the Premier League since promotion, but this is a huge test for them and I think Chelsea have the edge in midfield, attack and also in experience and with home advantage, that should ensure another win for Lampard’s team here.
Crystal Palace v Aston Villa – Draw
Two sides that I feel are going to be somewhat inconsistent this season face off at Selhurst Park and as a result, I have gone for the draw here. Palace capitalised on some poor Man Utd play and individual mistakes to earn a 2-1 win at Old Trafford while Villa beat Everton 2-0 at Villa Park last weekend. However, I think both teams may struggle to create much here and I think a 0-0 or 1-1 draw is the most likely outcome.
Leicester City v Bournemouth – Home Win
Both teams have started the season pretty well in the Premier League, but for me Leicester are the team to watch to perhaps break the stranglehold of the top six. I like the moves they made in the offseason and in keeping James Maddison and Wilfred Ndidi, and adding Youri Tielemans they have an outstanding looking midfield that I think will be the catalyst for a fine win over Bournemouth here.
Manchester City v Brighton – Home Win
This for me is the easiest game to predict of the weekend. City beat Brighton 4-1 on the south coast to clinch the Premier League title last season on the final day and if anything, City have widened the gap between the two since then. They may have drawn their last home game with Spurs, but they will win this one comfortably against Graham Potter’s Seagulls. This could be a torrid afternoon for Brighton fans.
Newcastle United v Watford – Draw
Newcastle earned a superb 1-0 win away to Tottenham last week while Watford were enduring their third loss of the season and their 7th straight Premier League defeat. The pressure is really on Javi Gracia here and I think Newcastle will want to keep that up. They don’t score many in front of their own fans though and I think Watford could benefit from that to earn a battling 1-1 draw.
West Ham v Norwich City – Away Win
Despite losing to Chelsea and Liverpool, I have been impressed with Norwich this season more so than I have West Ham to be truthful. Despite their cup loss in midweek, I think the Canaries will be up for this game and their attack seems to be able to score against any defence. That’s a worry for a West Ham side who do ship goals. This game could have plenty of goals and could go any way, but I am backing a Norwich victory.
Burnley v Liverpool (5.30pm) – Away Win
This game last season saw Liverpool defender Joe Gomez injured with a broken leg and Liverpool stage a fine late performance to claim a much needed win. Burnley have started this season well though and they have given Wolves and Arsenal real problems in recent weeks, as well as thumping Southampton. However, Liverpool look strong and focused and I think the Reds will go into the international break on the back of four wins from four.
Sunday 1st September
Everton v Wolves (2pm) – Away Win
This is a tricky one to call as though Everton have a point more than Wolves, I feel the Toffees have not been particularly impressive this season, whereas even with three draws, Wolves have shown some of their qualities. Everton at home can be very dangerous, or very poor and Wolves tend to do better against the better quality sides, so I am backing them to steal the points here.
Arsenal v Tottenham (4.30) – Home Win
The North London derby should be a cracker between two teams who will not want to drop further behind the top two even at this early point in the season. However, I am just not convinced by Spurs at the moment, especially on the road. They are lacking that spark and at the moment, I feel Arsenal are not just the better team, but also the more in form team too and that, along with home advantage, should see them claim the win here.