With the fourth round of Premier League fixtures on the horizon, here is a rundown of this weekend’s games and how they impact Liverpool.
Gameweek 4 gets underway on Saturday lunchtime, and it is a weekend of football we need to savour, with the interruption of the international break happening straight after.
There are, as always, numerous eye-catching showdowns for Reds fans to keep a close eye on, with Brendan Rodgers’ side’s clash with West Ham at Anfield clearly the main event though.
Liverpool’s terrific performance at Arsenal earned them a deserved 0-0 draw on Monday night, and a week of rare positivity has been in the air among fans.
There were wins for Man City and Chelsea last weekend, with the 10-man Blues recovering from a poor start to the season with a gutsy 3-2 win at West Brom.
Man United could only draw 0-0 at home to Newcastle, however, as Louis van Gaal’s side continue to look unconvincing.
Leicester remain in the top two after a hard-earned point at home to Tottenham Hotspur, while Crystal Palace‘s late win at home to Aston Villa sees the south Londoners sat in fifth place currently.
West Brom, Sunderland and, somewhat surprisingly, Southampton make up the bottom three, with none of the trio picking up a victory in their opening three matches.
The league table is sure to once again change dramatically once the weekend’s action is over and done with, and there is plenty to discuss in the lead-up to it.
Full Fixtures and TV Information
Newcastle United vs. Arsenal– St James’ Park- Saturday, 12:45pm, BT Sport 1
Aston Villa vs. Sunderland– Villa Park- Saturday, 3pm
Bournemouth vs. Leicester City– Dean Court- Saturday, 3pm
Chelsea vs. Crystal Palace– Stamford Bridge- Saturday, 3pm
Liverpool vs. West Ham United- Anfield- Saturday, 3pm
Manchester City vs. Watford– Etihad Stadium- Saturday, 3pm
Stoke City vs. West Bromwich Albion- Britannia Stadium- Saturday, 3pm
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Everton– White Hart Lane- Saturday. 5:30pm, Sky Sports 1
Southampton vs. Norwich City- St. Mary’s Stadium- Sunday, 1:30pm, Sky Sports 1
Swansea City vs. Manchester United- Liberty Stadium- Sunday, 4pm, Sky Sports 1
(All times BST)
Key Fixtures and Players
There will be many eyes on Pedro at Stamford Bridge, as the former Barcelona man makes his home debut for Chelsea against Crystal Palace. The 28-year-old looks a strong signing and will be desperate to prove himself against potentially tricky opposition.
Arsenal‘s trip to Newcastle on Saturday lunchtime will be an interesting one, with the Gunners not firing on all cylinders and the Magpies fresh off the back of an excellent point at Old Trafford.
Four points from three games is far from ideal for Arsene Wenger and his side, and more dropped points at St James’ Park will really test the resolve of their famously emotional supporters.
Man United‘s trip to Swansea could be a tough afternoon for Louis van Gaal’s side, although Wayne Rooney’s midweek hat-trick in the Champions League is sure to act as a boost to both the England captain and the team as a whole.
Swansea showed what a talented team they are on the opening weekend at Chelsea, and will fancy themselves against a side not yet finding top gear.
Watford must be slightly nervous about their trip to the Etihad to face Man City, following Manuel Pellegrini’s side’s 100 per cent start to the season, but stranger things have happened than an away win.
The clash between Bournemouth and Leicester City has a nice look to it, with both sides playing good football and enjoying some terrific results.
Another slip-up from Spurs at home to Everton will genuinely put their top-four hopes into serious doubt already. Harry Kane needs to start scoring in order to quieten those already declaring him a one-season wonder.
Things for Liverpool to keep an eye on
Unsurprisingly, the main focus of Liverpool fans other than the West Ham game should be the results of their top-four rivals.
The result and performance against Arsenal has given fresh belief that the Champions League positions are genuinely reachable for the Reds, with only City really looking superior right now.
Arsenal failing to win at Newcastle in the 12:45pm game would give Liverpool an extra spring in their step going into their clash with the Hammers.
City and Chelsea both play at the same time- it’s very rare, and quite refreshing, to have three top teams playing at 3pm on a Saturday- and you would expect all to win. Dropped points from either of last season’s top two would be a bonus.
The Tottenham–Everton game should be an interesting one, with both sides looking very beatable. A win for Spurs means the Toffees lose, a draw means that both drop points and an Everton win is good in terms of Liverpool’s top-four chances.
It’s a win-win game for Reds supporters.
United are last up on Sunday afternoon, and we will learn a lot more about them after their trip to Swansea. It’s a tough fixture, and one that is impossible to predict.
Should they fail to get all three points, and Liverpool win, it will put added pressure on them going into the Old Trafford showdown in a couple of weeks time.
It will be worth keeping an eye on the system they play, whether their defence is as strong as the statistics are making out and how new signings Memphis Depay, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin continue to bed in.