Sports

EPL Preview: United, Leicester clash as Liverpool host Arsenal

 

Leaders Manchester United will face Leicester City on Saturday, August 26, in one of the key fixtures in Week 3 of the 2017/18 Premier League season, as Liverpool host Arsenal at Anfield.

Earlier in the day, United’s local rivals and fellow title contenders Manchester City will be in action. The Citizens face Bournemouth in the early game at the Vitality Stadium in a match sure to feature wide-open, attacking football from both sides.

Liverpool hosting Arsenal is the key game of Sunday’s fixtures, with both teams inconsistent through two matches. Last season’s champions Chelsea got off the mark against Tottenham Hotspur in Week 2, but they will be challenged by a capable Everton squad on Sunday.

United has strolled to the top of the table thanks to consecutive 4-0 wins to start their season. The Red Devils have been more potent going forward thanks largely to Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s classy displays.

Manager Jose Mourinho has put the Armenian schemer in a No. 10 role. It’s freed his creative instincts and ability to produce some magic in the final third.

Mkhitaryan is starting to show the form common during his days with Borussia Dortmund. He is transforming matches in an instant with sudden outbursts of quality, just as he did during the win over Swansea City in Week 2, per Sky Sports:

Controlling Mkhitaryan won’t be easy for Leicester, who should give midfield workhorse Wilfried Ndidi a man-marking brief on the Armenia international.

Meanwhile, the first week of the season saw both Liverpool and Arsenal irrepressible going forward, yet suspect at the back. It was a different story in Week 2, though, as the Gunners failed to score at Stoke City, while Liverpool only found the net once against a stubborn Crystal Palace side at Anfield.

The disconnecting between passing and scoring will make the Gunners doubly grateful to welcome star forward Alexis Sanchez back from injury.

Manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed Sanchez will return, but he also preached caution about expecting too much from a forward who has yet to play this season.

Sanchez being at less than peak form will be a blow for a Gunners side unlikely to keep a clean sheet on Merseyside. Arsenal’s threadbare defence has been breached four times already and has yet to face an attack as potent as Liverpool’s.

The Reds press high and break swiftly in the final third. Their pace and fluidity will cause Arsenal a host of problems, particularly from wide men Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

Both have scored in the league already this season, and their movements are a nightmare for most defenders to track. Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino has also scored three times in his last two games against the Gunners at Anfield.

The only concern for Liverpool will be how fresh the key players in the squad are after European duty in midweek. Manager Jurgen Klopp’s side will host Hoffenheim on Wednesday in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League qualifier.

Elsewhere, expect Spurs to get back to winning ways and overcome their Wembley struggles when they host Burnley. Meanwhile, Chelsea will build on the momentum they created at the same stadium in Week 2 to see off Everton and remind everyone they are still serious contenders for the title.

 

WEEKEND FIXTURES

NPFL

Abia W.       v        MFM

Akwa Utd    v        Lobi

El-Kanemi   v        3SC

Enyimba     v        Wikki

Gombe        v        ABS

Katsina       v        Sunshine

Nasarawa    v        Kano Pillars

Tornadoes   v        Ifeanyi Uba

Plateau Utd v        Rivers Utd

Remo v        Rangers

 

EPL

Bournemouth       v        Man City

Newcastle    v        West Ham

Huddersfield         v        Southampton

Watford       v        Brighton

C/Palace     v        Swansea

Man Utd     v        Leicester

West Brom  v        Stoke

Chelsea       v        Everton

Tottenham v        Burnley

Liverpool     v        Arsenal

 

LA LIGA

Sociedad     v        Villarreal

Real Betis    v        Celta Vigo

Alavés         v        Barcelona

Girona        v        Málaga

Levante       v        Deportivo

 

BUNDESLIGA

Köln  v        Hamburger

Leverkusen v        Hoffenheim

Bremen       v        Bayern

Augsburg    v        M’gladbach

Frankfurt    v        Wolfsburg

Stuttgart     v        Mainz

Dortmund   v        Hertha

RB Leipzig  v        Freiburg

Hannover 96         v        Schalke

 

SERIE A

Genoa         v        Juventus

Benevento   v        Bologna

Roma v        Inter

Torino         v        Sassuolo

Milan v        Cagliari

Fiorentina   v        Sampdoria

Chievo         v        Lazio

SPAL v        Udinese

Napoli         v        Atalanta

Crotone       v        Hellas

 

LIGUE 1

PSG   v        St-Etienne

Nantes        v        Lyon

Caen  v        Metz

Dijon v        Montpellier

Toulouse     v        Rennes

Bordeaux    v        Troyes

 

EPL RESULTS

Pos    Team                     P        W       D       L        GF     GA     GD    Pts

1        Man Utd               2        2        0        0        8        0        8        6

2        Huddersfield         2        2        0        0        4        0        4        6

3        West Brom            2        2        0        0        2        0        2        6

4        Watford                 2        1        1        0        5        3        2        4

5        Man City              2        1        1        0        3        1        2        4

6        Liverpool               2        1        1        0        4        3        1        4

7        Southampton       2        1        1        0        3        2        1        4

8        Everton                 2        1        1        0        2        1        1        4

9        Leicester               2        1        0        1        5        4        1        3

10      Tottenham            2        1        0        1        3        2        1        3

11      Arsenal                 2        1        0        1        4        4        0        3

12      Chelsea                 2        1        0        1        4        4        0        3

13      Burnley                2        1        0        1        3        3        0        3

14      Stoke City             2        1        0        1        1        1        0        3

15      Swansea City                 2        0        1        1        0        4        -4      1

16      Bournemouth                2        0        0        2        0        3        -3      0

17      Newcastle             2        0        0        2        0        3        -3      0

18      Brighton               2        0        0        2        0        4        -4      0

19      Crystal Palace                2        0        0        2        0        4        -4      0

20      West Ham   2        0        0        2        2        7        -5      0

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