Club football returns on Saturday and Arsenal will be hoping that the week break will have done them some good. After an unimpressive first three games of the season, the Gunners will be looking to rebuild their campaign starting with a win at home to Bournemouth. It seems that Bournemouth’s visit couldn’t come at a better time as they have lost all three of their opening games and sit 18th in the league table. They did, however, cause some problems for Manchester City last time out but eventually lost to a late, late goal. Arsenal have not lost to Bournemouth in the Premier League but came close last season. The Cherries held a 3-0 lead at home before Arsenal stormed back to grab a late equaliser in the 92nd minute. The game at the Emirates last season was a more routine 3-1 win for Arsenal.
Saturday’s early kick off its perhaps the game of the weekend as Liverpool travel to Manchester City. Both sides are unbeaten this season having gained two wins and a draw from their first three games. Last season this game ended in a 1-1 draw and you have to go back to August 2014 for the last time City beat Liverpool. With City’s attacking talent not yet firing on all cylinders and Liverpool performing well in recent games against the top sides in the league things do not look promising for the home side. Both will be keen to avoid defeat though as they risk losing ground on the league leaders United.
Manchester United head to Stoke on Saturday evening looking for their first win in the Potteries since 2013. Both games last season ended 1-1 with United scoring a late equaliser. Man United are yet to concede this season so far, however, and will likely remain top of the league if that run continues in this game. Stoke have already beaten Arsenal at home this season and were the first side to breach West Brom’s tight defence last time out.
The previous two league champions meet at the King Power Stadium on Saturday as Leicester host Chelsea. After an opening day defeat the reigning champions have recovered well, comfortably winning their last two games. Leicester have just one win from their first three but have put in some good performances at times. Both games last season were 3-0 victories for Chelsea and they have won in 8 of the last 10. The only two games Chelsea didn’t win in that run both came in Leicesters title winning season.
December 2012 was the last time Everton beat Tottenham but three of the last four games between the sides have ended in a draw. The hosts have scored only twice so far in the league this season with Wayne Rooney grabbing both goals. Tottenham have won their last three away games in the league but have struggled at home so far this season.
West Brom will look to continue their strong start to the season as they travel to Brighton. After an unbeaten start to the season and conceding just once they travel to face Brighton who picked up their first Premier League point last time out. The last league meeting between the sides was in 1993 and ended in a 3-1 win to West Brom. Brighton could have gotten their first win against 10 man Watford but were unable to convert any chances and as yet have not scored this season.
Both Southampton and Watford head into their game at Saint Mary’s unbeaten and have five points. It was a goalless draw for both sides in their last league game before the internationals and this game last season also ended in a draw. The last time Watford beat Southampton in the Premier League was 1999.
The first Sunday afternoon kick off sees winless Crystal Palace travel to Burnley. Burnley have not won at home so far this season after being strong there all throughout the last campaign. Palace are yet to score in the league this season and face a typically solid Burnley side who won both games between the two last year.
Newcastle United’s trip to Swansea is the second Sunday game this week as they look for their first away point of the season. Both sides got their first win and clean sheet of the season last time and look to climb the league further. The sides last met in the league in the 2015/16 season and both times the home side won to nil.
The final match of the game week sees high flying Huddersfield Town travel to bottom of the table West Ham. The home side have lost all three league games this season, conceding 10 goals in the process. Huddersfield, on the other hand, are unbeaten and are yet to concede a league goal.
What happened in August cannot be changed, only what happens from now counts. Arsenal need to use the international break as a catalyst to change their seasons. Defeats to Liverpool or Stoke could come in any year but defeats at home to Bournemouth do not. The side need to return to how they know they can play, pick up the three points this weekend and move forward.