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As the Premier League returns from another interminable international break, who has a better chance of dethroning Manchester City, Arsenal or Tottenham?
The bitter rivals and north London neighbors met a few weeks ago and played out an entertaining 2-2 draw. They are the only unbeaten teams in the Premier League.
There are qualifiers for both, but Arsenal’s 1-0 win over City before half-time shows they have improved since last season’s eight-point drop. The Gunners are driven by their young captain Martin Odegaard, who leads the Premier League with 253 pressures. Combined with sold new signing Declan Rice, the pair not only harass their opponents with the ball and not only keep danger away from their own side, but also feed them quick strikers and keep defenders in fear of the counter-attack.
Goals obviously win games, but Arsenal are tied with City for the fewest goals conceded and the most goals conceded, a sure recipe for staying at the top.
The Spurs certainly had some luck on their way to the top. Like Arsenal, they are led by new signing James Maddison, who since arriving from relegated Leicester has led the league in driving sequences that have led to a shooting chance for his team. Maddison has been crucial in Spurs’ attack build-up and a massive addition.
Based on their experience from last season, you’d have to give Arsenal the edge at the moment, but injuries and fortunes will play a part, and given Arsenal are involved in the Champions League and Spurs have no European competition this season, there They are one A little fresher will help Tottenham.
2. How will Chelsea deal with the Gunners?
After a terrible start, Chelsea have picked up two wins but are facing a brutal season. In the FUBO game of the week They host Arsenal this week.
After that game they play Brentford before facing Spurs, Manchester City, Newcastle, Brighton and Manchester United. Already in 11th place, they can’t afford to play for a draw at this point and will have to hope that the shocking sum they spent pays off soon.
They may begin this section with the toughest test. Chelsea have lost five of their last six Premier League games against Arsenal, while the Gunners are unbeaten in their last 15 league derbies in London.
Given Arsenal’s strong defense, Chelsea will have to find a way to get through as Chelsea have scored five fewer goals than Arsenal so far. While injuries have played a part, spending so much money on Chelsea and not using an established striker is a disgrace to Chelsea’s terrible approach to building a team.
3. Which upstart will compete with the leaders?
This week there is a wonderful battle between fifth place Aston Villa and seventh place West Ham.
Together with Brighton, these two are looking to upset the balance of power at the top and are certainly capable of beating one of the top teams.
Having Villa at home could make the difference here. Villa have not lost in their last 10 games at home, their best run since 1983. They are driven by them Moussa Diaby and Ollie Watkins teamed up to create 14 chances for each other, four more than any other duo this season.
If West Ham have hope, it will come from Jarrod Bowen, who has scored in all four of West Ham’s away games in the Premier League so far this season. The only other players in history to score in their first five away games of a season? Thierry Henry for Arsenal 2001-02 and Mo Salah for Liverpool 2021-22. Very good company for the underrated Bowen.
4. What about Brighton?
While they were beaten 6-1 by Villa two weeks ago, the expected goals and possession statistics were actually in Brighton’s favour. Full marks to Villa, they were excellent and ruthless but it was an anomaly. Brighton bounced back with a deserved 2-2 draw against Liverpool but now face Manchester City and will put their credentials to the test.
They are always exciting, 37 goals have been scored in their eight games so far, the most in the top 5 leagues in Europe. They lead the EPL with 21 points but have given up 16, for comparison City have six. Brighton will need to play a much tighter style to take points in this game. Also consider that City have lost two league games in a row for the first time in five years and the last time they lost three in a row was seven seasons ago.
5. Will there be more goals than red cards in the Merseyside derby?
Always one of the best games in the EPL. Huge atmosphere, full-fledged challenges and not always many goals. In fact, it is the game that has recorded the most draws in England’s history, with the spoils shared in 69 of the 208 encounters.
Liverpool are better, more talented and at home. They have also lost just once in their last 25 games to Everton, and that was in an empty stadium during the COVID shutdown.
The Reds have already seen four red cards this season, but one of them (Alexis MacAllister) was overturned by a subsequent review, and one of the others was found to be a mistake after the game (Diogo Jota), but the ban remained.
With Everton in the relegation zone and Liverpool three points off the top, these games are hectic and always eventful and close, but to be fair, Liverpool almost always win, especially at Anfield.
SATURDAY: Liverpool vs Everton; Bournemouth v Wolves; Brentford v Burnley; Manchester City vs Brighton; Newcastle vs Crystal Palace; Nottingham Forest v Luton; Chelsea vs Arsenal; Sheffield United vs Manchester United.
SUNDAY: Aston Villa vs West Ham.
MONDAY: Tottenham vs Fulham.