There is no doubt Sunday afternoon’s clash between Chelsea and Liverpool is the main course of the weekend in the Premier League and an early test of both Liverpool’s ability to defend their title and Chelsea’s chances of challenging for the trophy.
Not for the first time Chelsea have been the big spenders in England and their opening day win away to Brighton gave a tantalizing indication of what Frank Lampard’s side could be capable of in attack, where Timo Werner impressed.
Lampard’s men still looked vulnerable at the back and will still be without Ben Chilwell and Hakim Ziyech on Sunday, while the at times erratic Kepa, remains in goal.
Liverpool thrilled in their league opener with a 4-3 win at home over Leeds United, but conceding three times to a newly-promoted team is not the route to winning the title and coach Jurgen Klopp will want to see more defensive application in what promises to be a thrilling game.
Manchester City’s return to action doesn’t come until Monday night, but also promises to be revealing as Pep Guardiola takes his team to play Wolves.
Nuno Espiritu Sanchez’s team kicked off their campaign with a solid 2-0 win away to Sheffield United and will cause problems to City, whose already suspect defense has been weakened by Aymeric Laporte’s COVID-19 positive test, while John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi’s lack of match practice could give new signing Nathan Ake the chance to make his debut.
It has been a good start to the season for Arsenal, who brushed aside newly-promoted Fulham 3-0 in their first game, before club captain Pierre Emerick Aubameyang put pen to a new contract during the week.
Both Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette will fancy their chances of scoring at home to West Ham United, who were comfortably beaten by Newcastle on the opening day to set early alarm bells ringing around the London Stadium.
Manchester United begin their season with a home match against Crystal Palace: New signing Donny van de Beek could make his United debut in an impressive looking midfield alongside Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba, while Marcos Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial will lead a pacy front line for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
Leeds United impressed at Anfield but received a reality check in midweek when they were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by League One outfit, Hull City: Marcelo Bielsa’s men need to bounce back with a home game against Fulham in a clash between two newly promoted sides. Fulham were outplayed by Arsenal in their league opener and Leeds are favorites for their first points of the campaign.
Gareth Bale could be back at Tottenham by the time Jose Mourinho’s side visit Southampton, where Bale began his career, but Spurs will need to improve from their Europa League performance in Bulgaria if they are to get anything from their trip to the south coast.
Leicester City entertain Burnley in a good test of both team’s ambitions this season, while Newcastle United can build on their opening day win against West Ham, with a win at home to Brighton. Brighton can play pretty football, but at times lack bite, while Callum Wilson’s arrival at Newcastle looks as if it could give the goals Steve Bruce’s men were lacking last season.
Everton’s new boys impressed as they won 1-0 at White Hart Lane a week ago and James Rodriguez and company should have too much for newly promoted West Brom, while Aston Villa entertain Sheffield United on Monday evening in a clash between two teams beginning that ‘difficult’ second season in the elite.