Saturday 9/30/17 (4:30 AM PT)
Huddersfield Town vs. Tottenham (3)
Huddersfield have yet to lose a game at home this year, but they will get their biggest test so far from visiting Spurs. Tottenham are coming off a short week after Champions League play, and their spotty league form (albeit mostly contained to home games) leaves them a bit vulnerable. Mauricio Pochettino's men should be able to come up with the points, and they will need to do so in games like this if they are serious about staying in the title race.
(7:00 AM PT)
Bournemouth vs. Leicester City (1)
With just three and four points, respectively, Bournemouth and Leicester badly need something to bounce their way. The Foxes have just one point in their last four games, which is a brutal disappointment after an encouraging start. Bournemouth just got their first
West Brom vs. Watford (3)
The Hornets have been one of the positive surprises of the season so far, sitting just outside the European places at the moment on 11 points. Watford have only lost once all year (though it was a 6-0 drubbing by Manchester City) and look ready to hold their own in the top flight this season. The Baggies too had an encouraging start, but they have just two points in their last four games and are looking to get back on track. The teams are pretty evenly matched, so expect a tight one at the Hawthorns.
West Ham vs. Swansea (1)
This has all the makings of one of the weekend’s ugliest games. The Swans have only scored three times all year, and West Ham have generally played poor football, so it's hard to expect much from either side. Both are in need of a win to get their gears turning, and each presents the other with a good opportunity to do so. Expect a high-effort, high-energy match as the two duke it out for some potentially important points, but look elsewhere for quality football.
Stoke City vs. Southampton (2)
After another seemingly big offseason, Stoke have fallen flat, and Mark Hughes’s seat is heating up. The Potters have scored five goals in six matches and have just five points, far from where they were projected to be. Their offense has been sour, and their typically stout defense has been from from that. Southampton, meanwhile, are trucking right along after a disappointing offseason and are getting the tight results they need. Coming off a 1-0 loss to Manchester United, Saints should be encouraged by their prospects, and they’ll have every chance in the world to prey on a limping Stoke outfit.
By all indications, this will be ugly. On one hand, Jose Mourinho has Manchester United rolling, with five wins and a draw so far thanks to a fearsome attack (17 goals scored) and stingy defense (two goals allowed). At the complete opposite end of the spectrum, Roy Hodgson’s Palace are in dire straits, with no goals scored and six losses thus far. Expect the Eagles to sit back and try to defend for their lives, especially with an injury crisis in attack, but don’t expect it to work. At Old Trafford, anything less than an easy Manchester United victory would count as a massive surprise.
(9:30 AM PT)
Chelsea vs. Manchester City (5)
This has all the makings of a brilliant game of football. Antonio Conte’s Chelsea have shown their grit and mettle already this season, which was once again on display during their comeback win over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City have shown their brilliant attack through their first six league games, with an overwhelming cadre of superstars creating ridiculous numbers of chances and scoring fantastic goals seemingly at will. This game has everything, and it’s tough to pick a winner between two sides that are both supremely talented and in form. With a late kickoff as well, there’s no reason to miss this one.
Sunday 9/31/17 (4:00 AM PT)
Arsenal vs. Brighton (2)
The Gunners have overcome their slow start over the past few weeks, with two wins and a draw at Chelsea in their last three league games as well as a pair of Europa League victories. They’ll certainly expect to continue that run this weekend against a Brighton side that looks as though it’s starting to adjust to Premier League football. Chris Hughton has his well-drilled side defending admirably, and the Seagulls are starting to pose a threat in the attack as well with five goals scored in their last three games. Nonetheless, they’ve only seen one top side so far this season, and they’ll be massive underdogs in their first trip to a top-six squad. Brighton would be thrilled to leave the Emirates with a point.
(6:15 AM PT)
Everton vs. Burnley (3)
At Goodison Park, Everton will feel optimistic about their chances of winning a second league straight game for the first time this season, but Burnley won’t make it easy. The Clarets sit in a surprising 10th place through six games, and they’ve taken five points away from home in games against Chelsea, Spurs, and Liverpool. Sean Dyche’s squad knows how to grind out a result away from Turf Moor, which will be the task
(8:30 AM PT)
Newcastle vs. Liverpool (4)
Overachieving Newcastle have a real chance to make a significant statement against a Liverpool team that’s vulnerable to an upset. The Magpies lost to Brighton last week, but they won three games in a row prior to that one and have shown flashes of quality in the final third over the past month. Meanwhile, Liverpool’s form has been shaky at best, and their defensive woes should concern Jurgen Klopp. There’s no question that the Reds are the favorites, especially after surviving a similarly tricky looking fixture last weekend at Leicester. However, if their defense doesn’t look better this weekend, they could be in for a surprise against their old friend Rafa Benitez.
Bonus European Game of the Week: Augsburg vs. Borussia Dortmund, Saturday 9/30/17, 6:30 AM PT
Dortmund’s solid start, along with Bayern Munich’s unforeseen struggles, have many believing that the Black and Yellows can go all the way to the title this year. Bayern are surely going to regain form eventually, so Dortmund must maintain their edge on the Bavarians, especially in matches against quality opponents. Visiting fifth-place Augsburg will be no easy task, as they haven't lost since the opening day and have conceded just four times all year. That number is bettered by Dortmund, who have seen opponents strike just once, so despite all the Bundesliga attacking style and prowess, this could well be a defensive battle. Whoever cracks first could be in serious trouble.