We have one more week of Premier League football before a weirdly scheduled International Break. I know the teams at the top and the teams at the bottom of the table will want to go into this week off feeling good about how they’re playing. That’s the reason this week is crucial for making an early season statement. Enjoy the footy.
The Premier League is back! https://t.co/EOBRHZ5fjA
— Footy Humour (@FootyHumour) August 13, 2016
Here are the games you should be watching:
5. Bournemouth at Crystal Palace, Saturday 10:00am ET
If you’ve caught any of the first two weeks of the season you’re probably wondering why I have this game in my top-5. Well, we all love to build up the clashes at the top of the table, for good reason, but I thought we’d show some love to the battle already brewing in the relegation zone. Both Bournemouth and Palace, along with Sunderland, have zero points from two games. Bournemouth had a tough early schedule facing Manchester United and then being the opponent for the opening of West Ham’s Olympics Stadium. Not surprising they lost both, but they’ll see this trip to London as three points out there for the taking. Palace have looked like maybe the worst team in the Premier League just off of performances. They hosted West Brom on the first day of the season and lost 1-0, and then traveled across London to face Tottenham and lost AGAIN 1-0. Hopefully the entrance of Christian Benteke to the club will help Palace break their goal drought to start the season.
4. Stoke City at Everton, Saturday 10:00am ET
Honestly, this is a weak slate of games this week, so I chose a couple game that SHOULD be interesting fixtures. Stoke travel to fifth placed Everton on Saturday looking for a statement road win. The Potters sit seventeenth after a draw to away to Middlesbrough and a home lashing at the hands of Manchester City. Stoke looked overmatched against City who made the Stoke back-four look mediocre. With the likes of Glen Johnson and Xherdan Shaqiri looking doubtful for this clash, maybe a Peter Crouch sitting is in the offing. Everton are flying under new manager Ronald Koeman. The Dutchman turned Southampton into a attractive footballing side, and his effect is starting to be seen at Everton. The Toffees drew at home to Tottenham in their first game, but got their first three point away at West Brom last weekend. Should be an interesting clash, and if Everton come out on top, they have to be taken seriously at the top of the Premier League table.
3. Manchester United at Hull City, Saturday 12:30pm ET
There are four teams tied at six points at the top of the EPL table, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, and Hull City. What a start to the season it has been for the Tigers. They host my favorite to win the EPL title, Manchester United on Saturday. Hull upset last year’s champions Leicester to start the season, and then followed that performance up with a 2-0 road win at Swansea. This start has been dreamland for Hull, and I hope the players soak up the environment at the KCOM Stadium Saturday. United are a fucking train right now. It’s been night and day from last season under Van Gaal to this season under Jose Mourinho. The likes of Pogba, Ibrahimovic, and Mkhitaryan have come into the club and lifted the performances of the players around them. Rooney looks revitalized and new signing Eric Bailly has fixed their defensive issue. This team will have a target on their backs the whole season, so it will be interesting to see how they deal with that.
2. West Ham United at Manchester City, Sunday 11:00am ET
Both these clubs were active in European Leagues during the midweek, and faced Romanian sides. West Ham crashed out of the Europa League to the minnows Astra, while City were more successful as they bashed FC Steaua Bucuresti and moved onto the group stage of the Champions League. Here’s the group they drew.
1. Liverpool at Tottenham, Saturday 7:45am ET
Our early morning Saturday tilt is a great one this weekend. Liverpool head south to face Tottenham at White Hart Lane. After Liverpool’s amazing attacking performance at Arsenal, they laid an egg and lost 2-0 at Burnley. Klopp was not happy with his team, and I’m sure it wasn’t a fun week of training for the Reds players. Facing Tottenham will give Liverpool another great chance to play open and press the shit out of a London club. Tottenham are in the Champions League! And they got a good draw!