Brighton vs. West Ham (12 noon PT, NBCSN)
Tottenham vs. Cardiff (7 AM PT, NBCSN)
Burnley vs. Huddersfield (7 AM PT, NBC Sports Gold)
Crystal Palace vs. Wolves (7 AM PT, NBC Sports Gold)
Leicester vs. Everton (7 AM PT, NBC Sports Gold)
Watford vs. Bournemouth (7 AM PT, NBC Sports Gold)
Manchester United vs. Newcastle (9:30 AM PT, NBC)
Fulham vs. Arsenal (4 AM PT, NBCSN)
Southampton vs. Chelsea (6:15 AM PT, NBCSN)
Liverpool vs. Manchester City (8:30 AM PT, NBCSN)
Top Three Games
3. Leicester vs. Everton
It’s gut-check time for Everton. A 2-3-2 mark isn’t bad, but it’s not what the Toffees are aiming for either, and after looking average last year, it seems like that’s what they are trending towards once again. Leicester present a real challenge, having banged in 13 goals already — sixth in the league, behind only five of the top-six teams — and have not been held to a clean sheet yet. Everton really need a result, one against a side that can give them some confidence, and they have the chance for one this weekend. Beating other
2. Watford vs. Bournemouth
Watford and Bournemouth currently sit in sixth and seventh place, respectively, in the table, with the Hornets ahead only on goal difference. This weekend’s match at Vicarage Road will allow one of the two to get a leg up in the battle to crash the top-six party (a real possibility, considering Manchester United’s recent struggles) while also providing an opportunity for either to head into the international break on a high. Both sides need this one, too. Watford have two losses and a draw since winning their first four games, while the Cherries have lost two of their last four as well. In Watford, the Hornets will be the favorites, but this could be an awfully close, hard-fought game between a pair of teams who would love to steal it.
1. Liverpool vs. Manchester City
Take nothing away from Chelsea, who have 17 points so far, but these two sides — tied atop the table with 19 — are the clear front-runners for the title. They aren’t quite head and shoulders above the rest, but they aren’t far from it either, and there’s no doubt that whoever wins this clash of titans will have a big mental edge throughout the first half of the season. There are too many key individual matchups here to note, but what is worth pondering is that City haven’t played a top-six side since the opening day, while Liverpool have played two in their last three EPL matches. The other interesting piece is that both are coming off tough Champions League matches in the midweek, each being pushed to the brink. Expect some changes to the squads, and given City’s depth, that could give them just a slight edge. City, too, will want to avenge the three straight losses they have now suffered against Liverpool, including two that knocked them out deep in last year’s Champions League. There’s a ton to play for on both sides. Don’t miss this match.
Crystal Palace vs. Wolves
Through seven games, Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolverhampton Wanderers are exactly what everyone expected them to be: good. Wolves have been hugely impressive upon their return to the Premier League, winning three and drawing three (including against Manchesters City and United) of their first seven games. What’s more, while they’ve only scored eight goals, they’ve been dynamic at both ends of the pitch, recording almost 15 shots per game (fourth-most in the division) while allowing less than 12, good for eighth-best in the league. Palace are a far different animal, sitting back and counter-attacking through Wilfried Zaha, but they’re a very tough team to break down, particularly at home. This could well be a fast-paced affair between one side that will try to dominate the ball and one that will be more than happy to counter whenever possible.
European Games of the Week
Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Monchengladbach (Saturday 10/6/18, 9:30 AM PT, FS2)
Well… Niko Kovac's flying start at Bayern Munich has come crashing down in the last two weeks. After drawing with Augsburg before falling to Hertha last week, Bayern were pegged back to a draw with Ajax in front of their home crowd in the Champions League this week. Now, the second-place side welcomes in fourth-place Monchengladbach, who must see the Bavarians as ripe for the picking — at
Paris-Saint Germain vs. Lyon (Sunday 10/7/18, 12 noon PT, BeIN Sports)
It’s so far, so good for PSG. The defending Ligue 1 champions are a perfect 8-for-8 in league matches so far, outscoring opponents 27-6 in the process. Although they lost their first Champions League tie of the season to Liverpool, the Parisians bounced back in style this week, thrashing Red Star Belgrade 6-1. Their hot start will be tested this weekend, though, against a very dangerous Lyon side. Lyon scuffled out of the gates, losing two of their first four games, but they’re unbeaten in six since, a stretch that includes an unforgettable UCL win at Manchester City. They weren’t quite as good this week, but two goals in three second-half minutes turned a home deficit against Shakhtar Donetsk into a valuable point that keeps Lyon atop the Group F standings. They have more than enough firepower to experience spurts like that regularly, and that alone should be reason for PSG to tread carefully on Sunday at the Parc des Princes.