Chelsea vs Manchester City
Saturday 9:30pm AEST, Stamford Bridge
Stamford Bridge plays host to one of the games of the season as Manchester City take on Chelsea, in a battle of the challengers vs the champions. Chelsea have been near perfect this season with four wins and a draw, having the second best attack in the league with 12 goals so far, whilst maintaining a league best defence that has conceded only one. The league leaders are coming off a 3-0 win over Tottenham, which was their third 3-0 victory of the season, highlighting how dominant they’ve been so far.
City suffered a disappointing 0-0 draw at home to Southampton last week, putting only one of their sixteen shots at goal on target. Thomas Tuchel’s men were outstanding to finish last season, and have carried that form to this season with a 9-2-2 in their last thirteen Premier League matches. Their recent form against City is solid as well, winning two of their last three Premier League fixtures against the reigning champions.
This matchup pits the two deepest squads in the league against each other, and the points in this clash will be crucial in shaping the title race come the end of the season. Chelsea have been near perfect so far this season, with an elite defence and an elite attack. Chelsea have a league best ten individual goal scorers, further highlighting that they’re getting contributions from all over their squad. This is going to be a cracking encounter, but Chelsea are simply too hard to go past at the moment.
Leeds United vs West Ham
Sunday 12:00am AEST, Elland Road
It’s been a tough second season back in the Premier League for Leeds, who are languishing in 17th place on the Premier League table, winless from their first five games. They come up against a West Ham outfit that will be desperate to bounce back from a gut wrenching defeat against Manchester United. The Hammers conceded a 89th minute goal which gave United the lead, before Mark Noble missed a penalty with the last kick of the game which cost West Ham a valuable point.
Leeds have struggled badly at the back this season, conceding 12 goals, the third most in the Premier League. On the other hand West Ham has scored 11 goals this season, the fourth most in the Premier League, led by the golden boot leader Michail Antonio, who has scored four goals from four appearances this season. This West Ham outfit matches up incredibly well against Leeds. They move the ball at a rapid pace and are able to take the ball off the line and create an abundance of opportunities, and that pace has been something that Leeds has struggled with all season long. Leeds have been all at sea this season, and have struggled to back up their impressive ‘20/’21 campaign with teams giving them extra attention.
With the likes of Antonio, Benrahma and Fornals running at the Leeds back four, West Ham will be able to create plenty of goal scoring looks. The Hammers have an excellent recent record against Leeds, defeating them in both Premier League fixtures last season, and they will be confident of continuing that form this weekend against a struggling Leeds outfit.
Arsenal vs Tottenham
Monday 1:30am AEST, Emirates Stadium
The first North London derby of the season takes place on Monday morning in what has been an up and down season for both North London clubs. Arsenal had a horror start to the season with three losses in a row to begin their campaign, before winning their last two matches. Tottenham started on fire with three consecutive wins, before dropping their last two games. Although the last two matches may have caused some confidence to be lost in Spurs, it’s important not to get carried away with Arsenal’s last two matches.
Unconvincing 1-0 wins over 19th placed Burnley and 20th placed Norwich show there’s still plenty of problems for the Gunners at the moment. Both sides have struggled in attack this season with Spurs scoring just three goals from five games, and Arsenal scoring just two. Neither side has scored multiple goals in a single game this season, so expect a gritty slog in this encounter, especially given the high stakes of the North London derby. Tottenham have won two of their last three Premier League matches against the Gunners, and have only lost once in their past five league matches against Arsenal.
A big factor in Tottenham’s favour is that their star duo of Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son thrive in games against the Gunners. Kane has 11 goals and two assists from thirteen Premier League appearances against Arsenal, whilst Son has two goals and four assists from twelve Premier League games against the Gunners. It’s a danger game picking this one given the inconsistencies of each team, however Arsenal’s awful defence (ranked 17th in the Premier League) along with their inability to show anything against any team outside of the relegation zone does not bode well for them.