The English Premier League
returns with a bang and following Liverpool’s trip to Wembley to take on Tottenham in the opening clash of the weekend, there is a full schedule of mouth-watering fixtures to keep fans entertained across the globe.
MANCHESTER CITY VS FULHAM, THE ETIHAD STADIUM, MANCHESTER
Saturday’s crunch encounter sees the top-two goal scorers so far in 2018/19, Sergio Aguero (Man City) and Aleksander Mitrovic (Fulham), go head-to-head.
The defending champions ensured that they went into the international break off the back of a much-needed victory over Newcastle United after they dropped their first points of the season a week earlier against newly-promoted Wolves. City’s squad looks set for Pep’s rotation policy once again this weekend with their opening UEFA Champions League match against Lyon coming up on Wednesday.
Fulham succeeded their first victory of the season, a 4-2 demolition of Burnley, with a hard-fought 2-2 draw away to Brighton to lift the Cottagers to 13th
place in the early standings. Slavisa Jokanovic’s side face three London derbies from the four fixtures following City, including the visits of Watford and Arsenal to Craven Cottage in the league with a trip to Millwall in the Carabao Cup sandwiched in between.
Man City have not lost to Fulham in league match since April 2009 – a run of 10 games; winning seven and drawing three. The last time the pair faced, in March 2014, City ran out comprehensive 5-0 winners courtesy of a Yaya Toure hat-trick.
WATFORD VS MANCHESTER UNITED – VICARAGE ROAD, LONDON
The Hornets are flying high under Javi Gracia. They are one of only five unbeaten teams left in the league (along with Liverpool, Chelsea, Man City and Everton) and added Spurs to their growing list of scalps, coming from a goal down to secure all three points and ensuring they maintained their 100% start to the season.
Saturday’s late kick off sees them welcome Manchester United to town in a true test of their title credentials.
Jose Mourinho is under serious scrutiny and needs to avoid defeat this weekend if he is to silence the ongoing speculation surrounding his future. Romelu Lukaku bagged a brace against Burnley ending a miserable week, that saw them lose 3-0 to Tottenham at Old Trafford, on a more positive note.
Watford have won just once in 15 previous encounters against the mighty Manchester United in all competitions since a 1-0 win in the old First Division in September 1986. Etienne Capoue and captain Troy Deeney stole the show when Watford famously beat United 40 years later in September 2016 but have lost all three games against them since. Ashley Young scored twice against his former side in a 4-2 victory for the visitors in the corresponding fixture last season.
EVERTON VS WEST HAM UNITED – GOODISON PARK, LIVERPOOL
Two teams with new managers at the helm, Marco Silva (Everton) and Manuel Pellegrini (West Ham)
, will lock horns in a hotly anticipated match on Super Sunday.
Despite their unbeaten start to the campaign the Toffees have managed just one victory from their opening four matches, a 2-1 win over Southampton on August 18th
, along with a trio of draws. Summer-signing Richarlison, who scored three times in his first two Everton outings, scored twice on his full debut for Brazil in midweek but remains unavailable as he serves the last match of his red card suspension.
The Hammers spent heavily in the off-season, splashing out a total of 99-million pounds on new players yet have nothing to show for their efforts so far. West Ham are still searching for their first Premier League point of the new campaign, heaping even more pressure on the fish-bowl east London club, who face Chelsea, Man United and Tottenham in three of their four fixtures following Sunday’s crucial clash.
Manuel Lanzini, who missed the World Cup with Argentina through injury, continues his rehabilitation and will not be available for selection for the visit of Everton. The midfielder scored twice, either side of half-time, the last time the sides met. The match ended 3-1 to the hosts West Ham back in May, ending a run of three matches without victory against the Toffees.
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