Welcome TFG’ers, to the preview of September 2018’s first Premier League match week. The opening month of August is now a thing of the past, but it’s final MNF swan song certainly captured the essence of what has been a frantic start to the thrilling new campaign.
Tottenham’s spectacular win at Old Trafford was undoubtably one of the games of the season so far, with Lucas Moura’s Thierry Henry-esque final goal leaving us eagerly anticipating another dosage of Premier League football. But before we look into the forthcoming round of fixtures, it is time for the presentation of the most prestigious weekly award in world football – The TFG #PickOfTheWeek!
For Match Week #3, our TFG #PickOfTheWeek goes to Russell Davies, who was the only player to correctly foresee Mauricio Pochettino’s men taking all three points away from Old Trafford. Congratulations!
So, the standout fixture this coming weekend is the televised early kick-off on Saturday, between Leicester City and Liverpool. Though the away side appear to be heavy favourites, it may be worth bearing in mind that Leicester have won three out of their last four matches against Liverpool at the King Power Stadium. A potential upset on the cards, perhaps?
Also hoping to cause a shock will be Bournemouth, who travel to Stamford Bridge for the first time since their iconic 3-0 demolition of Chelsea last January. Before that however, Chelsea had only failed to win against Bournemouth twice in their entire history, so backing Sarri’s men to continue their winning ways seems sensible. Obviously, Man City are another team who seem typically guaranteed to pick up a win, considering they face-off against a stuttering Newcastle United at home – a side they haven’t lost a Premier League match to in 13 years.
Selecting Everton to beat lowly Huddersfield also seems solid, though the Toffees will be without Brazilian starlet Richarlison due to suspension. Even so, The Terriers haven’t gotten the better of the Merseyside outfit since 1956, so the three points would appear to be staying at Goodison Park, regardless.
Crystal Palace v Southampton may be one to avoid, with Palace’s inconsistency, combined with a recent run of poor form against the Saints, meaning Mark Hughes’ men could potentially earn a rare point or three on Saturday. Wolves are the stronger out of themselves and West Ham in terms of league form, though the Hammers did produce a good performance in the cup mid-week, so there is a genuine chance to gain momentum at home for them as well in this intriguing clash.
Watford could well provide sterner opposition for Tottenham than Manchester United did, as the Hornets, along with Spurs, have maximum points so far this season. This is Watford’s biggest test yet however, and beating Tottenham seems a step too far for Javi Gracia’s plucky side. Manchester United themselves are in a “crisis” ahead of a trip to Europa League-minded Burnley, though Mourinho’s men should come unstuck in this match, given the home side’s poor league form this season (‘should’ is the key word in that sentence).
The fact that Cardiff haven’t scored since April means that even for Arsenal and their shakiest of defences, they should leave Wales with all three points in their match at 3pm on Saturday. Kicking off at the same time, finally, is Brighton vs Fulham. Both sides have been plagued by inconsistency during their respective openings, with each team producing some exhilarating football at points. This is a genuine ‘six-pointer’ for sure.
As always however, whoever your pick may be this weekend, we here at TFG HQ wish you the very best of luck.
Team TFG and Dan Wiseman