13 Oct The world readies itself for another dose of Premier League pandemonium
The games continue to come thick and fast at the minute, with an unprecedented winter World Cup now just over a month away from starting.
There have been some terrific games on show in the Champions League this week, with Liverpool making a statement north of the border by thrashing Rangers 7-1 at Ibrox thanks to a six-minute hat-trick from substitute Mohamed Salah, while Spurs edged a five-goal thriller against Eintracht Frankfurt, beating the Bundesliga outfit 3-2 in north London, and Chelsea dispatched AC Milan 2-0 at the San Siro.
The Premier League returns to the forefront of our thinking now, though, with another jam-packed weekend of action on the horizon. Brentford and Brighton kick things off on Friday evening, with Thomas Frank’s side looking to bounce back from a disappointing period which has seen them win just one of their previous six games.
The Bees were thumped 5-1 by Newcastle last weekend and confidence appears to be lacking at the moment, so a swift upturn in form will be required if they are to avoid slipping further down the table. Brighton, meanwhile, were narrowly defeated by Tottenham last time out – losing 1-0 thanks to a Harry Kane goal – and have recently picked up wins over Leeds and Leicester alongside drawing 3-3 away at Liverpool, so enter the match-up in slightly better form.
Saturday sees rock-bottom Leicester host Crystal Palace at 12:30pm, with manager Brendan Rodgers desperate for a victory to relieve some pressure following a dismal start to the Foxes’ campaign – another loss could well see the Northern Irishman receive his marching orders from the King Power.
Elsewhere, Fulham clash with Bournemouth at Craven Cottage looking to return to winning ways following back-to-back defeats; Wolves host Nottingham Forest in an early six-pointer at the bottom of the division, and Everton travel to Tottenham for the day’s late kick-off.
There are five games taking place on Sunday due to certain clubs’ participation in the Europa League, as Aston Villa take on Chelsea; Leeds battle Arsenal; Manchester United welcome Newcastle to Old Trafford and Southampton play host to West Ham (all 2pm kick-offs).
The main clash of the weekend is undoubtedly Liverpool vs Manchester City, which kicks off at 4:30pm. City remain the only unbeaten side in the top-flight this season and have been practically flawless thus far, with the addition of Erling Haaland – who has already netted a sensational 15 times in the league this term – adding a whole new dimension to this incredible City line-up.
Pep Guardiola’s side sit second in the league but are just a point behind Arsenal heading into this weekend’s round of fixtures. Liverpool have been far from their best this season but will take a good amount of confidence into the game following their resounding win in Glasgow on Wednesday night.
The game promises to be a thriller, with goals typically on the agenda when these two attack-minded teams lock horns. Throughout the previous eight meetings between the pair in all competitions, a total of 28 goals have been scored – an average of 3.5 a game. With a certain Norwegian goal machine added to the mix, that could well increase significantly this weekend. Here’s hoping, anyway.
Premier League fixtures in full
FRIDAY 14TH OCTOBER
- Brentford 20:00 Brighton & Hove Albion
SATURDAY 15TH OCTOBER
- Leicester City 12:30 Crystal Palace
- Fulham 15:00 AFC Bournemouth
- Wolverhampton Wanderers 15:00 Nottingham Forest
- Tottenham Hotspur 17:30 Everton
SUNDAY 16TH OCTOBER
- Aston Villa 14:00 Chelsea
- Leeds United 14:00 Arsenal
- Manchester United 14:00 Newcastle United
- Southampton 14:00 West Ham United
- Liverpool 16:30 Manchester City