The third round of the Premier League season gets underway this weekend and teams up and down the country will be looking to solidify their position in the table heading into next week’s international break.Here are the key matches of the upcoming weekend’s action.
Liverpool must right the ship against Spurs
It’s difficult to know what to make of Liverpool so far this season. After being dominated by Arsenal in the first half of their season opener at the Emirates, Jurgen Klopp’s Reds came storming back in the second and pasted the Gunners with four goals. Arsenal eventually pulled a couple back to settle it at 4-3. Then last weekend, Liverpool were dealt an embarrassing 2-0 loss by Burnley, a team considered relegation fodder by most.
They pasted Burton 5-0 midweek in the League Cup but now face a difficult trip to White Hart Lane to face a Tottenham Hotspur side that was arguably the best team in the Premier League last season.
But it’s also been something of a slow start for Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs, who drew at Everton on opening weekend before managing a late goal against Crystal Palace last weekend for their first win of the season. Spurs are definitely the more complete article and will be favorites to win at home.
However, if Klopp can muster another performance like we saw in the second half against Arsenal, we could be in for a surprise. Otherwise the alarm bells that are already beginning to sound around Anfield will begin to blare as the pressure ratchets up on the German manager.
Watch Tottenham Hotspur vs. Liverpool this Saturday August 27 at 7:30 a.m. EST on NBCSN.
Hull City face daunting Man United challenge
Newly promoted Hull City started the season as most people’s favorites to go right back down again. With no permanent manager appointed, no significant incoming transfers and a squad severely depleted by injuries, Hull shocked everyone by winning their season opener against champions Leicester City and following it up with another win against Swansea.
But the Tigers face a sterner test as they welcome Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United to the Kingston Communication Stadium on Saturday. United have started the season on fire, beating Leicester in the Community Shield and winning their first two Premier League games. Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is in imperious form, having scored three goals, the Swede is tied with Sergio Aguero as the top scorer in the league.
If things go as expected, United should come away with all three points. However, if Hull do manage a result, even a draw, it would a strong indication that there might be something more than beginner’s luck to the Tiger’s perfect start to the season.
Watch Hull City vs. Manchester United this Saturday August 27 at 12:30 p.m. EST on NBC.
West Ham face difficult away trip to Man City
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are arguably the in-form in the Premier League thus far. They got a bit lucky in their opening day win against Sunderland but have since hit their stride in a 5-0 win over Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League (qualifiers) and a 4-1 pasting of Stoke City in the league.
West Ham United on the other hand, have found it rather more difficult going. After giving up a late goal to lose their season opener against Chelsea, they bounced back with a win against Bournemouth before being eliminated from Europa League qualification by FK Astra Guirgiu.
Under Slaven Bilic, the Hammers have a tendency to play to their opposition, a trait that sees them struggle unnecessarily against weaker teams but could serve them well as they try and match Guardiola’s high-flying Man City at the Etihad.
Watch Manchester City taking on West Ham United on Sunday, August 27 at 11:00 a.m. EST on NBCSN.