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Matchweek Three Preview: The Premier League Rolls On

Matchweek Three

After a wild, goal filled second week in the Premier League, all 20 clubs are back in action for matchweek three. There’s some looking to maintain form, some looking to right already sinking ships and a clash of undefeated heavyweights. Let’s take a look ahead the more intriguing matches of the week, as well as some of the more prevalent transfer rumors and news.

Match of the Week

Last year’s champions take on another one of the nation’s most successful sides, as Liverpool play host to Arsenal. The Gunners have been on a bit of a hot streak recently, which started with an FA Cup Final win against Chelsea at the end of last season. That trophy only seemed to cover up the cracks of what was a poor season overall. It saw them finish eighth in the league, but the cup win meant they still salvaged European play.

Matchweek Three
A month after their Community Shield clash, Liverpool once again faces Arsenal in matchweek three (via Getty)

This year, though, things are looking up. They’ve taken all six points in their first two matches, though they haven’t exactly been against the strongest sides. A 3-0 win against newly promoted Fulham week one was convincing, but they needed a late equalizer to finish off relegation candidate West Ham last week. Matchweek three sees them face their toughest challenge yet. Arsenal do already have a win against Liverpool this year, though, as they defeated them on penalties in the Community Shield. Of course, the importance of that competition is often up for debate, but Arsenal supporters should never feel bad about a win over the reigning champions.

As for last year’s champions, they’ve been unsurprisingly solid, also winning their first two matches. The first, against newly promoted Leeds United, was a bit shaky. United managed to sneak three goals past Allison, but a Mo Salah hat trick, capped off by a 88th minute penalty, saw Liverpool take all three points. Last week was business as usual for the reds, as Andreas Christensen’s red card before half time gave Liverpool an edge. Sadio Mané scored two in the second half, giving Liverpool a 2-0 win over Chelsea.

With both teams having such strong attacking fronts and Liverpool’s defense struggling early, expect this one to be another goal-fest.

Matchweek Three’s Best of the Rest

Elsewhere in the league, another undefeated London side takes on an undefeated Merseyside club, as Crystal Palace hosts Everton. While Everton’s offseason improvement means their hot start is unsurprising, Crystal Palace’s was unexpected. Both sides have taken all six points from two matches and are in the top quarter of the league in the early stages of the season. While Everton impressed in their week two blowout of West Brom, Crystal Palace had the performance of the week. A 3-1 win against Manchester United shows that they may have better things in store for them than the mediocre finish we predicted.

The current league leaders visit the 2018 and 2019 winners on matchweek three, as Leicester City head to Manchester. Leicester dominated their first two games, beating West Brom 3-0 and Burnley 4-2, but they did lose 2-0 in the League Cup midweek to Arsenal. Manchester City, on the other hand, have only played one match, thanks to the Champions League’s late end. It saw them beat a strong Wolves side 3-1. With all the talent the Manchester side has, don’t be surprised if we see a new league leader next week.

Matchweek Three
Jamie Vardy and Leicester need to beat a strong Manchester City side to stay in first place, but it may be too big an ask (via skysports.com)

The rest of matchweek three sees a few more fixtures of note. Saturday sees Manchester United look to bounce back after their surprising defeat, as they take on Brighton. Tottenham Hotspur look to overcome a congested schedule, which saw them win in Macedonia Thursday, and beat Newcastle United. In addition to the heavyweight battle, Monday also sees a battle of potential relegation candidates. Fulham look for their first points since they returned to the Premier League, while Aston Villa look to win their second in a row.

Transfer Rumor Roundup

There’s nowhere near as much transfer hype as there was for last week’s Gareth Bale news, but matchweek three brings about its own news and rumors. The big news comes from the West Midlands, where Wolves signed former Barcelona right back Nelson Semedo. The deal will keep him there until 2023, with an option to stay until 2025.

Even after an already busy transfer window, it looks like Tottenham aren’t done. Milan Skriniar seems to be Spurs’ next target, but the Inter Milan center back’s price may be too much. He is valued at €60 million by his current club, which Spurs will be unlikely to match. If they can agree on a price, though, Skriniar could bolster what is already looking to be a strong side.

Matchweek Three
Is Milan Skriniar (left) the piece Tottenham needs to finally win a trophy? (via Getty)

Finally, Manchester United. They aren’t just struggling on the field. While it’s reported that Porto left back Alex Telles will potentially be joining the side, they can’t seem to get any help elsewhere. With the long rumored Jadon Sancho deal seeming to have officially fallen through, one backup option doesn’t seem possible either. Ousmane Dembélé is not an available to buy for United, according to Fabrizio Romano, so their attacking issues will likely continue.

Full Matchweek Three Schedule

Saturday 26 September

7:30am ET: Brighton v Manchester United – NBCSN
10am ET: Crystal Palace v Everton – NBCSN
12:30pm ET: West Brom v Chelsea – NBC
3pm ET: Burnley v Southampton – Peacock Premium

Sunday 27 September

7am ET: Sheffield United v Leeds United – NBCSN
9am ET: Spurs v Newcastle United – NBCSN
11:30am ET: Manchester City v Leicester City – NBCSN
2pm ET: West Ham v Wolves – Peacock Premium

Monday 28 September

12:45pm ET: Fulham v Aston Villa – Peacock Premium
3pm ET: Liverpool v Arsenal – Peacock Premium

 

Make sure to check out our EPL page for more updates!

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The Premier League Rolls On – IFC News September 25, 2020 at 11:42 am

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