Three weeks in, and it has been nothing but a rollercoaster. West Ham is sitting pretty in 20th place, Man United grabbed a deserved victory against Liverpool, and ‘Pool has picked up just two points from a possible nine. Leicester and Wolves occupy the 18th and 19th with zero wins from three. Nothing could have prepared us for the outcomes early in the Premier League season.
GW-3 saw Man City lose its 100% record as a result of a hard-fought draw against Newcastle. However, Mikel Arteta’s young Gunners extended their perfect start to three wins in three with a convincing 3-0 victory over Bournemouth to move top of the table.
GW-4 promises several tasty fixtures — Let’s take a look at what to expect from a team-by-team injury and transfer analysis.
Saturday, 27 August, 2022
Southampton v Man United
The Saints are eager to make it two wins in two when they welcome a rejuvenated Man United who got the better of lackluster Liverpool in the Premier League’s would’a-could’a-should’a clash of GW-3. Southampton secured a come-from-behind victory over Leicester without the likes of Tino Livramento, who is out on a long-term injury, or Romain Perraud, who remains a doubt for the clash against the Red Devils.
United will be without Brandon Williams, Victor Lindelof and Facundo Pellistri who have all failed to feature this season.
Note: This is the one early match of the game-week, so Fantrax managers should see these two starting lineups confirmed in the countdown hour.
Brentford v Everton
Eighth-place Brentford (how the mighty have fallen) will be eager to reclaim rare air high in the table by hosting a Frank Lampard’s winless Everton side to the Gtech Community Stadium on Saturday. Lampard’s men have looked bereft of ideas going forward, and they could manage only a slender 1-nil victory over League One Fleetwood in the Carabao Cup.
Brentford is without Kristoffer Ajer, Sergi Canos, and Ethan Pinnock. Everton has a long injury list that includes Andros Townsend, Ben Godfrey, Yerry Mina, Calvert-Lewin, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Andre Gomes, and Tom Davies.
Brighton v Leeds
Two wins and a draw see Brighton enjoying an almost perfect start to the Premier League season. The Seagulls’ manager Graham Potter has been able to call on a nearly fully fit squad — only Jakub Moder and Jeremy Sarmiento remain out to injuries.
Similar to Brighton, Leeds has also enjoyed an impressive start to the campaign, winning two and drawing one. Leeds will be without Stuart Dallas, Junior Firpo, Luke Ayling, and Ricardo Pereira. Patrick Bamford faces a late fitness test.
Chelsea v Leicester
Goal-shy Chelsea saw defensive deficiencies laid bare when an attacking Leeds side dismantled the Blues 3-nil. To further compound the Blues’ woes, Koulibaly was sent off in that fixture, which means he will miss this match against Leicester. Chelsea will also be without N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, and Marcos Alonso, all injured. Armando Broja faces a late fitness test.
There are rumors that Brendan Rodgers is being ushered toward the exit door. If he fails to get a favorable result against the Blues, then Leicester may become the first EPL team to sack a manager this season. The Foxes have endured an underwhelming start, picking up just one point of nine.
Liverpool v Bournemouth
Injury-ravaged Liverpool welcomes newly-promoted Bournemouth to Anfield after a distasteful defeat away to Man United. The Reds have no fewer than eight players ruled out: Thiago Alcantara, Diogo Jota, Joel Matip (red card), Curtis Jones, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Ibrahim Konate, and Calvin Ramsey are all unavailable. Naby Keita and second goalie Caoimhim Kelleher are also major doubts for this fixture.
Bournemouth has won only one of the first three games and also has a number of players out injured. David Brooks, Joseph Rothwell, and Ryan Fredericks are all ruled out, while Dominic Solanke and Junior Stanislas are doubts.
Man City v Crystal Palace
Man City dropped points to a very compact and attacking Newcastle last week. Pep Guardiola’s side is yet to fill the space vacated by Zinchenko, who joined Arsenal in the summer, and there has been very little to suggest a replacement is being chased. The Citizens will have to do without Aymeric Laporte for the clash against Palace, while Jack Grealish and Nathan Ake are doubts.
Patrick Viera’s Crystal Palace will be eager to secure their second win of the season, but they will have to do so without Nathan Ferguson, Jack Butland, James McArthur, and James Tomkins, who are all out with injuries.
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal has enjoyed a magnificent start to the campaign, and that’s largely thanks to having an almost fully fit squad to call on. Emile Smith Rowe, Fabio Silva, and Kieran Tierney have all returned for the Gunners, with only Reiss Nelson left on the treatment table. Pepe is gone on a season-long loan to Nice.
Seventh-place Fulham will be without Harry Wilson and Manor Solomon due to injuries, while Neeskens Kebano is set to face a late fitness test.
Sunday, 28, 2022
Aston Villa v West Ham
Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa has endured an inconsistent start to the Premier League season, with one win sandwiched between two losses. The Villans will have to do without Ludwig Diego Carlos against West Ham, while Ludwig Augustinsson is a major doubt.
Bottom-team West Ham comes into this fixture hoping to garner something, anything, and score a first goal of the 2022-23 campaign. The Hammers will, however, have to do so without the Nayef Aguerd, while Craig Dawson and Vlamidir Coufal are doubts. The Hammers have however added Emerson Royal from London rival Chelsea.
Wolves v Newcastle
Winless Wolves will be eager to grab their first win of the season when they welcome a Newcastle side coming off an impressive showing against Man City to the Molineux Stadium. Bruno Lage will however be unable to call on the services of Francisca Oliveira and Willy Boly, both out with injuries.
Newcastle possesses a slightly lengthy injury list, including Jonjo Shelvey, Dan Burn, Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser, and Emil Kraft.
Nottingham Forest v Tottenham
Impressive newcomers Nottingham Forest will hope to make it three games without defeat when they welcome Tottenham to the City Ground. The newcomers who have added no fewer than 15 new faces to their squad will have to do without Moussa Niakhate and Omar Richards for this fixture. Antonio Conte-led Tottenham has no new injury problems.
Scheduling note: GW-5 will follow close on the heels of this game-week with a TUESDAY deadline, so stay sharp!
What players will make your starting line-up? Are you a panic-prior-to-deadline kind of manager? Is there a team that you are looking forward to seeing in action even if it’s not your own? Please log in and tell us in the comments below.