Saturday 9/23/17 (4:30 AM PT)
West Ham vs. Tottenham (3)
It what is normally a gritty London derby, it is tough to predict any contest between these two rivals. Tottenham are surely the better side, and their struggles this year have been limited to home matches, so visiting the London Stadium might actually help. West Ham, similarly to Spurs, have found their new home ground difficult to settle into and still haven’t fully done so in their second year. A win in a game like this could help cool the seat under Slaven Bilic, but given his team’s play so far, getting three
(7:00 AM PT)
Burnley vs. Huddersfield Town (4)
Though they aren’t the first names to pop off the page, Burnley and Huddersfield have put together impressive starts, each winning eight points in five games so far. Huddersfield were left for dead after making the jump to the Premier League, this year while Sean Dyche’s Burnley weren’t given too much of a shot to play with the top half. Both already have impressive results against elite sides and have held their own against mid-table teams. Now, surprisingly, each can aim up the table, and a win for either here would further confirm its status as a team to be reckoned with throughout the campaign.
Everton vs. Bournemouth (1)
Everton’s positive outlook on the season was squashed with three straight losses, to Chelsea, Tottenham, and Manchester United. That is stout opposition, obviously, but the Toffees didn’t look good in any of those fixtures, falling by a combined 9-0 scoreline. They sit in the relegation zone alongside Bournemouth, but at Goodison Park, Everton should be able to get back to winning ways against a Cherries side they completely outclass. Bournemouth are riding high after getting their first points of the season last week in a 2-1 win over Brighton, but there is still much for Eddie Howe to fix. Stealing a point, though, could really build some belief within a camp that desperately needs some.
Manchester City vs. Crystal Palace (1)
It is nearly impossible to give Palace any shot here. They still don’t have a point, a goal, or a team direction, and the Eagles are playing away to a City side that have 16 goals for, two against, and look downright scary. The only hope Palace appear to have is that City might play a weaker team or get caught looking ahead in anticipation of their midweek Champions League match. That's unlikely, though; expect Pep Guardiola’s men to roll.
Southampton vs. Manchester United (3)
Like their crosstown foes, United should be able to get three points this weekend, but Southampton present a tricky fixture. Saints have allowed just four goals on the season, and they will need that solid defensive line to show up in a fixture in which they will certainly be under pressure. Unlike last year, it appears that Jose Mourinho is not interested in sitting back on the road, so expect United to take the game to Southampton despite being away from Old Trafford. That could leave the Red Devils exposed, but Saints have also only scored four times this season, so it might not matter.
Stoke City vs. Chelsea (3)
Stoke have already hosted and taken points off a pair of top-six sides, and they’ll look to do the same in their third home game of the season against Chelsea. Mark Hughes’ men haven’t been consistent thus far in the campaign, as they’ve mostly played to the level of their competition, although that should serve them well this weekend. Since a disappointing opening-day loss to
Swansea City vs. Watford (2)
A pair of teams on the backs of very different starts to the season meet in Wales. Swansea have lacked a serious attacking threat in the early going, but they enter this weekend with confidence after a morale-boosting scoreless draw at Tottenham. Watford, meanwhile, looked excellent over their first four games before getting absolutely shredded by Manchester City’s myriad of attackers last weekend in a 6-0 loss. The Hornets are a better side and should fancy their chances of getting all three points; however, Swansea are going to need to grind out home wins against mid-table sides like Watford if they’re going to remain the PL.
(9:30 AM PT)
Leicester City vs. Liverpool (4)
Four days after a 2-0 EFL Cup win over Liverpool, Leicester again welcomes Jurgen Klopp’s side to the King Power Stadium. The team sheets Saturday will have few similarities, but expect both sides to come out with a ton of intensity. Leicester will likely try to sit back and soak up pressure, while Liverpool will look to push the ball quickly. It should make for an interesting contrast of styles, and while Liverpool are the stronger side on paper, there could be plenty of action in both halves of this one. That, along with the late kickoff, makes this a very good Saturday morning watch.
Sunday 9/24/17 (8:00 AM PT)
Brighton vs. Newcastle (2)
Last season’s top two from the Championship do battle in the Premier League in a game both know is going to be critical in the long run. Newcastle have suddenly caught fire, winning three games in a row by a combined 6-1 margin after losing their first two contests of the season, and they’ll hope to extend their winning streak and maintain an early spot in the top four. For Brighton, this has the makings of a vital game, and they too have a bit of momentum scoring four goals in their past two games after not finding the net
Monday 9/25/17 (Noon PT)
Arsenal vs. West Brom (3)
Arsenal seem to be back on track with three wins and a draw against Chelsea in all competitions over the past two weeks. Arsene Wenger’s side has dealt with a lot of criticism in the early portion of the season and has come out on the other end of it, but the Baggies will represent a potential roadblock. Tony Pulis is going to have his team ready to defend, something West Brom does very well, and he’ll know just how much pressure the Gunners will start to feel if they aren’t able to score early. Arsenal are by far the better team, but if they find themselves frustrated by the Baggies, Monday could turn into a pretty disappointing evening for Gunners fans.
Bonus European Game of the Week: Atletico Madrid vs. Sevilla, Saturday 9/23/17, 4 AM PT
It’s certainly not the easiest wakeup time, and it’s not quite El Clasico, but this matchup is a fascinating one nonetheless for a pair of teams that have started the season very strong. Neither Atletico nor Sevilla has lost a La Liga game yet this season, and both look like they’ll be forces all season in Spain. Sevilla’s defense has been breached just once in five games, and not since the first half of their season opener, while Atletico have ground out a pair of impressive one-goal wins in their past two contests. Real Madrid’s early stumble has opened the door for another team to insert itself in the La Liga race, and both Atletico and Sevilla look up to the task. Whoever gets the points at the Vicente Calderon will have the inside track to doing so.