Premier League Matchweek 4: North London Derby haze and United’s quest for identity - Preview, Betting tips and Predictions

Aubameyang and Harry Kane are the players to watch for Arsenal and Tottenham during the North London derby

Arsenal went to Anfield and returned empty-handed, not unexpected but they changed their approach to life against the flamboyance of Klopp’s boys and it nearly paid off; had Nicolas Pepe who got his full debut on the day taken his chances or Aubameyang measured his lob perfectly, Liverpool would have been forced to throw everything at Arsenal at the expense of their defense, with Pepe hugging the line for a counter, it would have been a different story.

Talking Liverpool and their amazing pressing style, while Arsenal invited pressure with the playing out from the back game plan, Liverpool unleashed the duo of Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander Arnold on the gunners and the rest is history, not yet in their full rampaging form yet and they’re grinding out strong results, that’s how star do.

Liverpool are on to Burnley next at Turf Moor, not a very easy ground to go but expect Liverpool to rage again when the Clarets file out, early days but Manchester City will have it all to do if they want to win the league again with Liverpool breathing down their neck.

West Ham won for the first time at Watford over the weekend and they also had the chance to launch their star Seb Haller, the French striker fired a brace in to help the Hammers past Jarvi Gracia’s team and now they have to host a team folks would be afraid of, Norwich City.

The name on the lips of everyone is that of a certain championship king that came to lay claims to the throne above, he is not afraid, he is Teemu Pukki and everyone should remember him. Norwich are never afraid of attacking, West Ham will not sit deep, it will be an entertaining affair at the London Stadium on Saturday.

Manchester United once again were underwhelming last weekend right on their porch as Crystal Palace took them to the cleaners and they have to respond on their visit to Southampton.

The saints gave a good fight when they hosted Liverpool and went to Brighton to pick all three points, should Ole Gunnar Solksjaer and his Manchester United cohorts be afraid? It’s still very early in the season but no one wants to fall off the train so early, the top-four race will be quite competitive, more intense than it was last season and if anyone blinks at this stage, the catch-up game wouldn’t be as easy as it used to be.

In terms of personnel, United edges Southampton in every department, but so they did Wolves and Palace that they capitulated to, five points dropped from possible nine isn’t good enough for a team of United’s stature.

The Saints will believe and take the battle to United, Luke Shaw faces a month on the sidelines and that means Nathan Redmond can have Ashley Young the same way Wilfred Zaha had him on Saturday.

Everton ruined many scripts last weekend when they travelled to Aston Villa, they didn’t only lose, they didn’t offer enough fight and that was what Villa needed to spring back to life in the top tier.
Whatever it was that went cold in the Toffees’ armor must be revived and they must fire this weekend against Wolves.

Last season’s best of the rest, Wolves have some form of distractions in the Europa League and as stated bluntly by yours truly, that will hamper their progress in the league this season especially if they make it to the advanced stages of the tournament, they would believe they can win it and why not?

Everton will line up to suit their sensational but erratic Icelandic orchestrator, Gylfi Siggurdsen who is actually yet to spark this season but Nuno Espirit Santo’s side would soak up pressure and look to deliver the sucker punch with the trickery of Diogo Jota on the break and the killer instincts of Raul Jimenez, that’s some game to watch out for on Sunday.

North London Derby takes center stage on Sunday to round off the weekend as everyone heads into the first international break of the season. Arsenal, fresh from the defeat at Liverpool, and Spurs, fresh from the calamitous showing at home to Newcastle go head to head at the Emirates for what would be a defining moment for the two.

Arsenal sit in third place with six points from three games, great for a team that hasn’t started well in a very long time while Spurs are further down in seventh with four points just as nine other teams, they can’t afford to lose at the Emirates to Arsenal, beyond bragging rights, all hopes of a trilogy rests on Spurs with no one certain of what Arsenal will come up with and Chelsea really aren’t there this season.

Harry Kane is the X-Factor for Spurs as he has scored a staggering 8 in 8 North London Derbies and he will look to fire again; Pierre Emerick Aubameyang has scored three times in as many North London derby too and would be an interesting matchup on Sunday.

Both sides will go for it, expect a spectacle as Arsenal need to attack following their defensive approach at Anfield.

Manchester City labored to victory against Bournemouth and that again reminds them of how much of work they need to do if they want to triumph again. Brighton and Hove, the team they destroyed en-route their league triumph last season, the same team many tipped to shine after beating Watford silly on opening day, the same team they will beat well again on Saturday, that’s the end of that.

Chelsea will sweat on the fitness of Mason Mount as they try to mount a serious challenge in the league, not mincing words, Chelsea will struggle especially when Champions League starts and if they don’t prioritize well, they will end up mid-table in the league and nowhere of note in Europe.

Up next for Frank Lampard and co is the visit of Sheffield United to Stamford Bridge. In the 3-2 success over Norwich, Chelsea showed frailty especially at the back and would have to hope Callum Hudson Odoi returns to full fitness so they can have huge weights upfront with Pulisic settling to life in the EPL, he wasn’t particularly impressive against the new boys but he showed signs of what is to come.

Frank Lampard deserves praise for sticking to what he believes and a big shout out to Tammy Abraham for taking his chances when he had them.

Up next is the premier league prediction for round four, not many changes expected at the top of the league but City will score lots of goals which could swap their second with Liverpool’s first.



Fixture
Verdict
Player to watch
Southampton vs United
Southampton to win or draw
Che Adams
Chelsea vs Sheffield
Chelsea to win
Tammy Abraham
Crystal Palace vs Villa
Villa to win or draw
Jack Grealish
Leicester vs Bournemouth
Leicester to win
James Madison
City vs Brighton
City to win by 3 or more goals
Raheem Sterling
Newcastle vs Watford
Watford to win
Gerrard Delofeu
Westham vs Norwich
Both teams to score
Seb Haller
Burnley vs Liverpool
Liverpool to win
Sadio Mane
Everton vs Wolves
Everton to win
Moise kean
Arsenal vs Spurs
Arsenal to win
Nicolas Pepe

Strictly the writer’s opinion

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