The first international break is behind us (even if some South American stars are still jet-lagged). Top sides Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham look to resume their impressive starts to the domestic season — even as they assess road-weary international stars and UCL competitors glance ahead to Champions League opening matches just days away. At the same time, strugglers Bournemouth, Sheffield United, Everton, Luton Town and Burnley will try to get their first points.
Wolves v Liverpool
Just four goals scored after four games shows how badly Wolves have struggled to take their chances in the final third. Gary Paul O’Neil’s side has managed only one victory.
Liverpool outclassed Villa in cruising to a three-nil victory before the international break, the win seeing the Reds rise to third place. They’re now heavy favorites to take all three points today.
Aston Villa v Crystal Palace
Two unpredictable sides face off at Villa Park. The host has flirted with both the sublime and the embarrassing within just four games. Roy Hodgson’s side, on the other hand, looks like a team struggling to define a style of play.
Fulham v Luton Town
After successfully retaining crucial player Palhinha and signing him to a new deal, Fulham is the clear favorites to heap more woe upon newly-promoted Luton, yet to pick up even one point this season after three games (and a postponement).
Man United v Brighton
Off the back of a stoppage-time defeat to Arsenal, the Red Devils will have their hands full when they host high-flying Brighton at Old Trafford. Summer signing Rasmus Hojlund is in line to make his full debut at Old Trafford. Likewise, Brighton will be able to call upon late summer signing from Barcelona, Ansu Fati.
Tottenham v Sheffield United
Three wins and a draw in the first four suggest that Spurs are taking to life without Harry Kane like ducks to water. New manager Ange Postecoglou deployed captain Son as a center-forward last time out and the Korean rewarded his gaffer with a hattrick.
Sheffield United showed plenty of character in the 2-2 draw against Everton but will need more (much more) to take anything away from North London this weekend.
West Ham v Man City
West Ham has made a mockery of predictions from fans and pundits citing a huge struggle to cope with the absence of former captain Declan Rice. The Hammers have won three and drawn one of their first four games.
It's just business as usual for Pep Guardiola’s side as the Citizens have a perfect record in four games this season. Phil Foden has proven to be a capable replacement for the injured Kevin De Bruyne. The excitement here (and anguish for many fantasy managers) will be watching how Pep juggles a squad squeezed between international and UCL exertions.
Newcastle v Brentford
Newcastle will be eager to bounce back from a humbling 3-1 defeat to Brighton. The loss is the Magpies’ third consecutive in EPL, dropping them to 14th after such a promising five-one opening-day victory over Aston Villa. The Bees, on the other hand, are looking to stretch their unbeaten start to the new season to five games.
Bournemouth v Chelsea
Yet to win this season, Bournemouth will be encouraged by the manner of Forest’s GW-4 smash-and-grab victory over Chelsea. After Chelsea’s shock 0-1 shutout loss to Forest before the international break, Mauricio Pochettino has a huge challenge to solve the Blues’ goal-scoring problem. They’ve scored just five goals in four games this season.
Everton v Arsenal
With just one draw in four games this season, Everton regressed to last season’s early struggles. The Toffees’ poor recruitment and the departure of the influential Iwobi have put them in the relegation scrap for the third season in a row.
On the other hand, the visiting Gunners have impressed, winning three and drawing one of their four games.
Nottingham Forest v Burnley
Forest will be full of confidence after claiming a well-deserved victory over toothless Chelsea last week. Steve Cooper’s side will look towards the in-form duo of Taiwo Awoniyi and Morgan Gibbs-White for inspiration this weekend. Vincent Kompany’s side visits City Ground hoping to grab their first points of the season after losing their first three (and holding a game in hand against Luton).
What are your predictions this weekend? Will the international break affect performances? Which performances are catching your eye for current and future fantasy shopping? Join us all weekend for plenty of discussion in the comments below!