Big Matches to Enjoy in the Third Weekend of Action in the English Premier League
The English Premier League is now well underway and after two exciting weeks of action, we are already beginning to get an idea of which teams will be the ones likely to be challenging for the top honours once again this season, and perhaps an indication of those who are most likely to find this season a bit of a struggle.
Of course, just two weeks in, nothing is ever a cast-iron certainty and there is certainly time for the early season high-fliers to be knocked off their perch and be plunged into things at the wrong end of the table and similarly, those teams that have endured a tough opening couple of weeks of the season still have enough time and matches to turn things around for the better over the remaining games of the season.
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With the action now moving on to the third week of games, let’s take a look at the matches set to take place this coming weekend in the Premier League.
Premier League – Matchday Three Preview and Tips
All Kick off times 3pm unless otherwise stated
Friday 23rd August
- Aston Villa v Everton (8pm)
Villa’s recent record against Everton is abysmal, with the Villains having just two wins in the last 16 games against the Toffees, with Everton winning seven of those games, including five of the last six. Seven games have also finished in a draw over that time, which suggests this could be a close one and that is how I read this game too. Villa will be keen to ensure they pick up points at home and Everton will want improved form on the road. As such, I am backing this one to be an entertaining 1-1 draw.
Saturday 24th August
- Norwich City v Chelsea (12.30)
Norwich have been handed a tough start to the season with games against Liverpool and Chelsea in their opening three games. Chelsea’s new look under Frank Lampard will be put to the test here at Carrow Road against a team that scored plenty of goals at home in the Championship last season. I do feel though they may find things much tougher this time around and I am backing Lampard’s men to ease to a 3-1 victory here.
- Brighton v Southampton
A south coast derby game that should be a decent game. Southampton have lost just one of the last ten games between the teams and I think they are likely to continue that good run of form here, but I can’t quite see them doing enough to get the win. Brighton will be trying to establish themselves under Graham Potter and I think this is the game were they may break their duck this season. I feel this derby game will finish all square, probably at 1-1.
- Manchester United v Crystal Palace
Can Ole Gunnar Solskjaer establish Old Trafford back as a fortress in the Premier League for Manchester United? If they are to have any success this season you would think they would need to do that and I can see them getting the right result here against a Crystal Palace side who don’t have the best record against United over the years. I am backing United to pick up a valuable three points with a 3-0 win in this one.
- Sheffield United v Leicester City
I do feel that Sheffield United are going to struggle this season but if they are to stay up, they need to pick points up at home as I cannot see them getting too many on the road. Leicester however are a tough side to beat and have become very awkward to face under Brendan Rogers. The Foxes I feel are a real dangerous side and possibly one of the teams just looking to break into the top six. As such, I think the Foxes will come away with a 2-0 away win in this game.
- Watford v West Ham United
Watford have become a very solid Premier League outfit under Javi Gracia and West Ham are trying to become a bit more than that under Manuel Pellegrini. I’m not quite sure the Hammers are quite there just yet though as I feel on the road, they have struggled at times. Watford are always tough to beat at home most of the time and while I think this will be tight, I am backing the Hornets to keep the home fans happy with a 1-0 Watford win here.
- Wolves v Burnley
I think this season is going to be a real acid test for Wolves. They shone last year as relative unknowns in the Premier League but I think now teams know about them, they could find things a little tougher. Wolves struggled more against lower table sides than top last season and Burnley are a team that are well adapted to making teams suffer. As such, I think this game could see something of a shock and I am backing Burnley to land a surprise 1-0 victory.
- Liverpool v Arsenal (5.30pm)
Liverpool thumped Arsenal in this fixture last season with the game at the Emirates Stadium finishing all-square. This is a real test for both these teams after just three weeks of the season and in truth, I think the advantages here lie with Liverpool. I don’t think Arsenal have done anywhere near enough to bridge the gap to the top two teams this season and as such, I am backing Liverpool to come through with a confident 3-1 win.
Sunday 25th August
- Bournemouth v Manchester City (2pm)
Bournemouth made things difficult for Manchester City on the last two times they faced them at the Vitality Stadium and I can see City being pushed hard once again here, but even so, I still expect the Citizens to emerge with the win. Pep Guardiola’s team have so much quality in depth that if one player misfires, another can step up to fill the void. Expect a Man City win here by a 2-0 scoreline.
- Tottenham v Newcastle United (4.30pm)
After a couple of transfer windows with hardly any action, Spurs have been spending a bit of money in the summer and it looks to be paying off. I think Newcastle are in real trouble this season and while Steve Bruce is an experienced manager, he has not shown he is capable of lifting Newcastle further than what Rafa Benitez did. I think Spurs will come away with a big 3-0 win here.