After the international break, the Premier League returns this weekend, with the opening four gameweeks having provided plenty of drama, controversy and some major talking points.
Here are five score predictions from the key fixtures in the next round of Premier League…
Wolves v LiverpoolEmbed from Getty Images
Liverpool’s unbeaten start to the season has been impressive. After a well-fought draw with Chelsea on opening weekend, they have won three games on the trot. Liverpool secured routine wins over Bournemouth and Aston Villa along with a dramatic win from behind away to Newcastle with ten men.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have accumulated ten points and sit within the top four. They travel to a Wolves side who have struggled at the start of the season. Gary O’Neil’s group have just three points after a win at Goodison Park and three defeats. This will be a test for the hosts, but memories of last season’s 3-0 win over Liverpool may give them that extra dose of belief.
Liverpool will have to be wary in the early kick-off. Wolves will have a point to prove after their last home game ending in a 4-1 defeat to Brighton but on paper this looks like it could be Liverpool’s day, with the attacking threats of Mo Salah, Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo all likely to cause the opposition problems. There have been glimpses of promise from Wolves’ frontline but defensively, they have a lot to improve on.
Manchester United v BrightonEmbed from Getty Images
There has been a lot of unwelcome noise around Manchester United during the international break. Erik ten Hag’s comments about Jadon Sancho following United’s defeat to Arsenal stirred a response from the winger, who claimed he had been labelled as a “scapegoat”. Sancho is now training away from the first team while fellow winger Antony has delayed his return following allegations of assault made against him.
Brighton are a less than ideal opponent for ten Hag after another strong start to the season. The Seagulls dismantled Newcastle in their last game and famously did the double over Manchester United last season. Rasmus Hojlund could make his first start after Anthony Martial failed to impress at the Emirates while Evan Ferguson is a doubt for Brighton after his hat-trick against Newcastle. It should be a fascinating game.
West Ham v Manchester CityEmbed from Getty Images
Pep Guardiola returns to the sidelines after a couple of games away following back surgery as Manchester City travel to high flying West Ham who have made a remarkable start to the season. After an opening day draw with Bournemouth, David Moyes’ side have won three in a row against Chelsea, Brighton and Luton which sees West Ham sit in the top four.
City, meanwhile, have had a perfect start to the season. Erling Haaland bagged a hat-trick in City’s last outing against Fulham and this game could see Matheus Nunes make his debut, though Guardiola may want to stick with the winning formula. This could be City’s trickiest test of the season so far. Lucas Paqueta, Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio will be important for the hosts as they try and unsettle the champions.
Bournemouth v ChelseaEmbed from Getty Images
Chelsea went into the international break off the back of a disappointing 1-0 home defeat to Nottingham Forest. Chelsea’s start to the season has been far from convincing and they head to the Vitality Stadium needing to bounce back. Mauricio Pochettino’s side lost their only other away fixture this season to West Ham, in a game where they had a penalty saved when the game was level. Their only win of the campaign came against a Luton Town side who are still trying to find their feet in unfamiliar surroundings.
Bournemouth would have been kicking themselves that they did not come away from their last game with all three points. They were leading Brentford 2-1 , but in the final minutes they were pegged back by a sublime goal from Bryan Mbuemo. It has been a positive week for Bournemouth with star striker Dominic Solanke signing a new contract with the club but it is another tricky fixture for the hosts, who have already played Liverpool and Tottenham.
Everton v ArsenalEmbed from Getty Images
Everton grabbed a point against Sheffield United to kick-start their campaign but Sean Dyche is already feeling the pressure of the fans after another poor start. Arsenal’s last gasp winner against Manchester United, meanwhile, has boosted morale in north London and Mikel Arteta will be hoping to make amends after their 1-0 defeat at Goodison Park last season.
This will be by no means a simple game for Arsenal. Everton will make it physically tough and intimidating for Arsenal, who will be keen to keep their unbeaten run going, and Everton will be motivated to grab their first victory of the season in front of a raucous Goodison crowd. Gabriel Jesus may lead the line ahead of Eddie Nketiah after the latter failed to play any minutes with England over the the international break. New striker Beto could make his first home start with Everton who are desperate for a striker who can provide the goals.