Friday, October 2, 2020

Week 4 Preview: Liverpool visit undefeated Villa; Jose returns to Old Trafford; Back of the Pack Fulham Face Wolves

Top of the Table

League leader Leicester, off their big win at the Etihad last weekend, return home to face West Ham.  After putting five past Man City, the Foxes now have twelve goals after just three games.

Liverpool, meanwhile, travel to Birmingham to face an Aston Villa side unbeaten in their last six league matches dating to last year.  Liverpool continues to look in championship form and has won their last six visits to Villa Park.  Aston Villa further upgraded this week by adding midfielder Russ Barkley on loan from Chelsea. 

Unbeaten Everton, dominant in a 4-0 Carabao Cup win over West Ham during the week, play host to Brighton. 

The nets could be rippling Saturday when Marco Bielsa’s free flowing Leeds team play host to a Manchester City team which conceded five goals to Leicester last week.  A defensive struggle should not be anticipated. 

Crystal Palace, though, will bring its defensive mindset to Stamford Bridge and hope to slow down a young Chelsea attack squadron. 

Arsenal hopes to get back on the winning track after a loss at Anfield last weekend.  The Gunners host Sheffield United which has yet to score this season.

Mid Table

The match of the week may be Jose Mourinho’s return to Old Trafford where his Spurs will take on Manchester United.  Both teams aspire beyond mid-table but have stubbed their toes at early points this season.  Manchester United benefited on one of the infamous handball penalties of last weekend while Spurs were victimized.  Despite a large squad, Spurs could be fatigued after playing both a Carabou Cup and Europa League match during the week.  While currently sitting on a bloated number of players in total, Spurs are moving to add a backup striker behind captain Harry Kane.  Rumored acquisitions by the Red Devils continue to multiply as Monday’s transfer window deadline approaches.


Chelsea should have opportunity to look better defensively when they host a goal challenged Crystal Palace squad.  Ben Chilwell will hopefully be fit to help Chelsea’s vulnerable defense.  Incumbent left back Marcos Alonso is heavily rumored for a change in address.

Wolves have a golden opportunity to make a move up the table as they host league worst Fulham.

West Ham has no time to celebrate its impressive win over the Wolves last week as they face a steep challenge at league leader Leicester. West Ham has been a dismal road team, winless in ten of their last eleven Premier League road matches.

Brighton should not be counted out as they visit high flying Everton. The Seagulls have played well in their last two games despite the late loss last week to Manchester United.

Manchester City heads to Leeds still smarting from a 5-2 dismantling suffered to top club Leicester. Pep Guardiola's club hope to have addressed their center back problems with the signing of Ruben Dias from Benfica this week.

Newcastle should have opportunity to add to its points total when struggling Burnley visit St. James Park.

Southampton striker Denny Ings is likely looking forward to facing a West Brom team which has conceded more goals than any other team this year.

Bottom of the Table

Last place Fulham are thrown to the Wolves this weekend.  

Sheffield United go to Arsenal still looking to score their first goal.  While they may break into the scoring column, points will be difficult for the Blades as they face an improved Arsenal squad at the Emirates. 

Struggling Burnley visits Newcastle this week.  Good news for the Clarets on the pitch, if not financially, was the breakdown of talks with West Ham for the transfer of Burnley star defender James Tarkowski.

Having squandered a three-goal advantage at Chelsea last week, West Brom heads to Southampton hoping for improvement from their league worst defense against the Saints who will hope to further capitalize on the Baggies' leaks.

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