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Chelsea head to Tottenham looking to continue their fine start to the season
Chelsea head to Tottenham looking to continue their fine start to the season

After an exciting week of European action, the Premier League returns this weekend as the table begins to take shape.

Leaders Manchester United are at West Ham on Sunday, while a London derby between Tottenham and Chelsea is the standout fixture of the round.

Newcastle vs Leeds (Friday, 8pm, Sky Sports)

Two of the five winless teams left in the Premier League meet at St James’ Park as Newcastle host Leeds on Friday night.

And given the defensive problems the Magpies and Whites have had so far this season, it could be an entertaining start to the weekend’s action.

Newcastle’s 12 goals conceded is the most in the top flight, while the 28 shots on target Leeds have faced is more than any other side this campaign.

The Whites picked up six points from the meetings between the two in 2020-21 and are looking for back-to-back away victories on Tyneside for the first time since 1958.

Meanwhile, under pressure Toon boss Steve Bruce has won just one of his past nine games against Leeds as a boss.

Wolves vs Brentford (Saturday, 12.30pm BT Sport)

Bruno Lage will hope his first victory in charge of Wolves is followed up with his first home win when Brentford visit Molineux.

Hwang Hee-Chan netted on his debut in the 2-0 win at Watford last week and would become the first Wolves player to net on his first two Premier League appearances for the club if he repeats that trick against Wolves.

And it would help the hosts end a poor run of form in the West Midlands, where they have lost their past three games.

Brentford suffered their first defeat since their top-flight return at home to Brighton last time out and have only managed nine shots on target this campaign — the second-worst total in the league.

But they have been tight at the other end with two goals conceded in four games and the second-best expected goals against (2.7).

Hwang Hee-Chan will be looking for his second goal in as many games for Wolves
Hwang Hee-Chan will be looking for his second goal in as many games for Wolves

Burnley vs Arsenal (Saturday, 3pm)

Mikel Arteta knows Arsenal need to build on their victory over Norwich when they travel to struggling Burnley.

The Clarets are yet to pick up three points this season and have not won at Turf Moor in 12 attempts — the worst run in the club’s history.

On top of that, they have thrown away leads in three of their four Premier League games this season — including the 3-1 defeat to Everton on Monday night.

Despite having 30 shots against Norwich, the Gunners could only muster one goal in the narrow victory.

But that came from the boot of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and with eight goals in seven leagues games against Burnley, he will be eyeing more.

Liverpool vs Crystal Palace (Saturday, 3pm)

Liverpool and Sadio Mane will be licking their lips at the prospect of facing Crystal Palace at Anfield.

The Reds have won their past eight games against Palace, netting 24 goals in the process and conceding just five.

Mane, meanwhile, has netted in all of those games and would be the first-ever player to score against a side nine times in a row in the Premier League.

Though Liverpool are on a 14-game unbeaten run, confidence will be high in the Eagles camp following last Saturday’s 3-0 dismantling of Tottenham.

And new signing Odsonne Edouard may be handed his first start after scoring twice off the bench at Selhurst Park.

Manchester City vs Southampton (Saturday, 3pm)

Jack Grealish has hit the ground running at Manchester City
Jack Grealish has hit the ground running at Manchester City

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton will have their work cut out against free-scoring champions Manchester City.

City have already beaten Norwich and Arsenal 5-0 at the Etihad this campaign, while RB Leipzig let in six goals on Wednesday night in the Champions League.

And with Kevin De Bruyne averaging a goal or assist every 63 minutes against the Saints and Jack Grealish having had eight shots and created 13 chances in just four league games, it paints a bleak picture for the visitors.

It is 17 years since they last tasted victory at the Etihad with nine defeats and a draw in their past 10 visits.

One odd quirk of City’s form is that they have not drawn a league game since last December, winning 25 and losing five of their past 30 games.

Norwich vs Watford (Saturday, 3pm)

After the fixture list handed them a fiendishly difficult start to the campaign, Norwich face Watford at Carrow Road in desperate need of some positivity.

Including the end of the 2019-20 campaign, the Canaries have now lost 14 top-flight games in a row — mustering just two goals in that time.

And despite the Hornets losing three in a row, they have proven something of a bogey side for Norwich having won each of the past four meetings between the two and six of the last nine in Norfolk.

It is likely to be tight affair too, with Norwich having the least amount of shots on target (eight) in the 2021-22 season and Watford managing the lowest xG (2.3).

The Canaries could do with Teemu Pukki ending his Watford duck if they are to kickstart their campaign — the Finnish striker has not found the net in four games against the men from Hertfordshire.

Aston Villa vs Everton (Saturday, 5.30pm, Sky Sports)

Inconsistent Aston Villa welcome high-flying Everton to Villa Park in the Saturday tea-time kick-off.

The Villans have only picked up four points from their opening four games but are on a four-game unbeaten run at home.

And in striker Danny Ings they have a man who loves facing Everton, with his four goals against the Toffees the most of any club in the Premier League.

But Rafael Benitez’s outfit have started the campaign in fine fashion with three wins and a draw, meaning they are level on points with leaders Manchester United.

They have only suffered two away defeats in their last 17 trips — and they came against Chelsea and Manchester City last campaign.

Brighton vs Leicester (Sunday, 2pm)

Graham Potter has guided Brighton to their best-ever start to a league campaign — now they face their toughest test yet at home to Leicester.

The Seagulls have never beaten the Foxes in the Premier League, losing six of their eight clashes over the past four seasons.

But with only Manchester City and Chelsea (both 15) keeping more clean sheets than Brighton’s 11 in 2021, they will be confident of keeping Jamie Vardy quiet on his 250th top-flight appearance.

Vardy, now, 34, has scored five goals and notched three assists against the South Coast outfit already and with two strikes to his name this campaign, will fancy his chances at the Amex.

But Brendan Rodgers will be concerned that his Foxes side have only had 29 shots this season — the lowest total in the top-flight.

West Ham vs Manchester United (Sunday, 2pm, Sky Sports)

Jesse Lingard (right) returns to West Ham for the first time
Jesse Lingard (right) returns to West Ham for the first time

Manchester United’s record-breaking unbeaten away record is put on the line again as they head to East London to face West Ham.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have not lost in 28 trips in the Premier League, the longest run in English football history, and have only conceded 19 times in those games.

But the Hammers are a force to be reckoned with under David Moyes and the Scot will be desperate to get one over his former employers.

They lost both games against the Red Devils in 2020-21 and face Cristiano Roanldo, who scored five goals in the final four games against West Ham in his first spell at the club.

It also marks the return to the London Stadium of Jesse Lingard after he scored nine goals for the Hammers in a fruitful loan spell last campaign.

Tottenham vs Chelsea (Sunday, 4.30pm, Sky Sports)

Tottenham and Chelsea renew rivalries with the Blues looking to continue their impressive record at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Chelsea have won on both their Premier League visits to Spurs’ new ground and are yet to concede a goal there.

Since Thomas Tuchel arrived in January, the Blues have kept a clean sheet in 14 of their 23 games and will look to keep Harry Kane quiet again.

The Spurs talisman has only scored once in his past eight league meetings with Chelsea after scoring three times in his first four games.

Despite defeat at Palace last time out, victory over their rivals on Sunday would make it the first time since 2002-03 that Spurs have won their first three home games of the season.


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