The English Premier League (EPL) goes into matchweek 2 with a host of exciting games coming our way this weekend. We take a look at the five games you should be sure not to miss and what they could entail.
- Tielemans to prove Arteta wrong?
Arsenal vs Leicester — Saturday, 5:30 pm (EAT)
Mikel Arteta will be looking for a repeat performance to build on their 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace when they face Leicester in their first home game.
All eyes will be on wantaway midfielder Youri Tielemans who will be offered the unique opportunity of showing Arsenal, his potential suitors in the transfer window, what he’s capable of.
The Gunners hope to reinforce their midfield with more attacking prowess and the Belgian is said to be at the top of their wishlist.
However, the Foxes asking price is above their valuation, with Tielemans hoping to prove otherwise and show Arteta what he’s missing out on.
Brendan Rogers has had quite an inactive season with more players exiting than new signings acquired. It stands to see whether Leicester has what it takes to be title contenders.
Arsenal on the other hand are in bullish form and have shown they are capable defensively and attack-wise.
2. Tuchel banks on Kante’s presence at the Bridge
Chelsea vs Tottenham — Sunday, 6:30 pm
Stamford Bridge welcomes their former manager Antonio Conte, equipped with a new-look squad capable of causing headaches to any defensive setup without its house in order.
Thoms Tuchel will likely deploy Ng’olo Kante, (despite the Frenchman’s wanting form) to ensure his team overpowers Rodrigo Bentancur and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg in the middle of the park.
Chelsea is likely to be troublesome for Spurs if Kante turns up for this game, with the able Raheem Sterling leading the assault on Spurs.
Bissouma will be an option for Conte, if his strategy requires more physical presence to counter the Blues in midfield, however, it is Conte’s attackers that Tuchel will be most weary of.
The combination of Dejan Kulesevski and Son on the wings has proved to be lethal in supplying assists and providing goals. The duo combined with Harry Kane’s precision at the front will keep Chelsea’s defence busy from the onset.
Stamford Bridge also offers Richarlison an ideal stage and suitable opponent to mark his Spurs entry and, if lucky, his debut goal.
3. Bees a stingy test for Red Devils
Brentford vs Man United — Saturday, 7:30 pm
Manchester United limped away from a 2-1 defeat in their opener against Brighton after a rather haphazard start to their league campaign.
The Red Devils will have to lick their wounds in time to rise up to the challenge that lays ahead, when they travel away to face Brentford at G-tech Community stadium.
The Bees have continued their impressive ability to recruit young talent and it was evident following Josh Dasilva’s impressive equaliser against Leicester City in their 2-2 draw last weekend.
Eric Ten Hag will have to cope without Anthony Martial as an attacking option leaving him with Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford as his go-to strikers. Jadon Sancho will be entrusted to bring more attacking threats and creativity to the Red Devils.
Manchester United’s blunt performance had them struggling against the Seagulls and their consolation goal came off a messy squabble rather than a well-strung-up strike, as most would expect from Ten Hag’s counter-attacking style.
4. Liverpool‘s must-win against Palace
Crystal Palace vs Liverpool — Monday, 10:00 pm
Liverpool is aware of the insurmountable pressure Manchester City gave them following their second-place finish last season, and that each and every win matters in the Premier League.
Despite salvaging a point against Fulham in their opener, Jurgen Klopp is well aware of the need for his side to show more resolve and hunger to win. “Lethargic” was the word used by Liverpool captain Henderson to describe the output at Craven Cottage.
On a positive note, Darwin Nunez has shown his manager enough reason to place him ahead of Frimino in the pecking order. He is viable for a start against Patrick Viera’s side when they meet at Selhurst Park.
Thiago Alcantara (hamstring) will be a no-show for the Reds with Klopp hopeful that Naby Keita, who has been out injured, will recover in time to face Palace.
On assessing his limited midfield options, Klopp will be banking on the Guinean’s timely return more than ever.
5. Can Bournemouth tame City?
Bournemouth vs Man City — Saturday, 5:00 pm
Both teams recorded three points and a clean sheet on their first outings, though Bournemouth’s win against Aston Villa was the more convincing of the two.
Despite City holding 77% possession against West Ham, City’s slow start can be the bane Scot Parker uses to ruin the title defenders’ seamless start.
However, it is a tall order by any means, especially considering Erling Haaland’s comfortable transition from the Bundesliga to the EPL this summer.
The Norwegian forward already features in the scoring charts after picking up a brace in their opener.
The odds are certainly against Bournemouth, who will be happy with picking up a point, and ecstatic if they win, on this occasion.