Five things to watch
This weekend Liverpool go in search of a first win, Sunderland look for more excitement, Fulham entertain Man City while sitting above them in the table, Arsenal and Chelsea clash in the most expensive game in the Premier League while Jekyll and Hyde Southampton travel to Goodison.
By Declan Whooley
Arsesnal and Chelsea clash in most expensive Premier League game ever
With a minimum ticket price of £62 for tomorrow’s game at the Emirates, Arsenal v Chelsea is expected to net the Ginners more than £6 million, making it the most expensive Premier League game in history. Rather apt after Arsenal gleefully published some healthy financial results during the week.
Back on the pitch and Arsene Wenger will hope that the recent good form will continue against a team they have not have had difficulties with in the past. Granted they beat the Blues at the Bridge last year but Didier Drogba has wreaked havoc in days gone by against the Gunners and they will be delighted to see the back of him.
Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski should ensure the Chelsea defence is kept on its toes and John Terry will be glad to get back to football after the week he has had. Expect some creative and witty chanting in his direction. Chelsea for their part are looking solid this year with just two goals conceded and Juan Mata and Oscar finding their feet. This has all the hallmarks of an entertaining stalemate.
Sunderland looking for excitement
While Sunderland remain unbeaten this season and are the only side not to have fallen behind in a Premier League game this season – handy fact to throw out in the pub this weekend – it would be fair to say Martin O’Neill’s men have not been too exciting.
Four games, four draws, four goals scored and four goals conceded is not anything to be getting carried away with. And all those goals have come from summer signing Steven Fletcher.
Aston Villa were not noted for their silky style under O’Neill but they were resolute and he is instilling the same approach on Wearside. They 'entertain' Wigan on Saturday in what should be a good chance to take their first three points of the campaign.
Which Southampton will show up at Everton?
Nigel Adkins outfit have been a real Jekyll and Hyde team this term. They have mixed the brilliant – taking the lead against United and City – with the not so good – awful defeat to Wigan and six goals shipped at Arsenal. Last Saturday was indicitive of their season so far. They looked quite ordinary against Aston Villa and found themselves a goal down before blitzing the Midlanders with a second-half onslaught.
They travel to take on an in-form Everton team that are having their best start to a campaign in six years and currently lie behind Chelsea and Man. Utd in the table. They harbour serious European aspirations and will wait and see which Southampton turn up tomorrow. Priced at 13/2 for a win, the bookies are fairly confident the Saints will get little out of the game, but they are not exactly a team you would be putting in an accumulator either way.
Liverpool could do with a win
We know that Brendan Rodgers is pretty safe in his job at Anfield, no surprise given he is just four games into the league. But he could do with three points. Badly. Liverpool fans will console themselves that they have faced Man. City, Arsenal and at home already but two points from five games is pretty poor by any clubs standards.
The Reds were impressive against United last time out but lacked a killer punch, something that the club has been lacking for quite sometime. There is an almost total reliance on Luis Suarez and the Uruguayan will have fond memories of Carrow Road after his last visit there saw him leave with the match ball.
Liverpool are in need of the points and that could be enough to edge them to victory against the Canaries.
Can Fulham continue to fly high?
Sitting in sixth place, Martin Jol can be quite pleased with the season thus far. Aside from a bad day at the office at Upton Park, they have recorded three wins and a defeat at Old Trafford. Dimitar Berbatov and Hugo Rodallega are providing more of a goalscoring threat in the final third and will fancy their chances of creating openings against a porous City defence.
Damien Duff has been a revelation which has been hard to watch for Ireland fans and those that do not have the winger in their fantasy league team. City have already dropped six points in their opening five games and are behind their hosts tomorrow on goal difference. We could be in for plenty of goals at Craven Cottage.