HomeNewsPL Preview 2020/21: GW3

PL Preview 2020/21: GW3

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The 2020/21 season of the Premier League will feature its third gameweek, with Brighton kicking-off against Manchester United on Saturday. After two defeats, West Brom face another tough task against Chelsea. Manchester City will host the league leaders, Leicester City at the Etihad Stadium. Liverpool and Arsenal will stage the biggest drama of gameweek three of the Premier League on Monday night.

FootTheBall takes you through each game, highlighting the squad news and score prediction ahead of the third round of Premier League 2020/21.


Brighton v Manchester United

(26 September, Amex Stadium)

The Seagulls had a disappointing start to the 2020/21 Premier League campaign. They lost their first home game against Chelsea despite their dominant display. Graham Potter was quick to get his side back on track in the preceding gameweek. Brighton scored thrice to earn three points against Newcastle. Leandro Trossard is brimming with confidence as he seems to be the focal point for every attack that Brighton creates.

Jose Izquierdo, Christian Walton, and Florin Andone are injured. Yves Bissouma is suspended and will not play against the Red Devils. Dale Stephens completed his switch to Burnley.

Brighton returned victorious after a two-nil win over Preston North End in the third round of the Carabao Cup.

Manchester United also got back to winning ways in the Carabao Cup. United beat Luton Town by three goals to zero. Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford, and Mason Greenwood got their names on the scoresheet. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will aim to add to this in the Premier League on Saturday after suffering a horrific defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace last week.

Phil Jones (knee) and Axel Tuanzebe will not travel to the Amex Stadium.

Expected Lineups

Brighton (3-4-3): Ryan – White, Dunk, Webster – Lamptey, Lallana, Alzate, March – Trossard, Connolly, Maupay

United (4-2-3-1): de Gea – Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw – Pogba, van de Beek – Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford – Martial

United’s previous trip to the Amex Stadium in July saw them beating Brighton by three goals to nil. Bruno Fernandes scored twice.

Score Prediction: Brighton 1 – 3 United


Crystal Palace v Everton

(26 September, Selhurst Park)

The Eagles are enjoying their start to the new Premier League campaign. Crystal Palace sit on the fifth spot with six points. Wilfried Zaha is running the show for Roy Hodgson’s team. The Ivory Coast winger has scored three goals in two games.

Hodgson confirmed Christian Benteke’s availability for selection against the Toffees. Gary Cahill, James Tomkins, Patrick van Aanholt, Nathan Ferguson, and Connor Wickham are injured. Sam Woods is a doubt for the Everton game.

Everton are also sitting on cloud nine after two consecutive victories in the 2020/21 Premier League campaign. The flurry of midfield signings including James Rodriguez, Abdoulaye Doucoure, and Allan have completely changed the way Everton play. Carlo Ancelotti will be pushing for making it three wins in a row but he knows that Palace won’t be an easy side to deal with. The Toffees scored five goals in their previous fixture against West Brom. Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored a hattrick.

Premier League Roundup 2020/21: Gameweek 2
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is on fire for Everton this season (Image courtesy: Twitter/@premierleague)

They achieved a similar feat in their Carabao Cup win over Fleetwood Town. Youngsters, Anthony Gordon and Niels Nkounkou impressed in Everton’s five-two victory.

Mason Holgate, Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Cenk Tosun, and Jarrad Branthwaite are out with injuries.

Expected Lineups

Palace (4-4-2): Guaita – Ward, Kouyate, Sakho, Mitchell – Townsend, McArthur, McCarthy, Schlupp – Ayew, Zaha

Everton (4-3-3): Pickford – Coleman, Mina, Keane, Digne – Doucoure, Allan, Gomes – Rodriguez, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison

Everton’s last visit to the Selhurst Park resulted in a goalless draw while they were victorious at home after a three-one score in February.

Score Prediction: Palace 1 – 2 Everton


West Brom v Chelsea

(26 September, The Hawthorns)

Slaven Bilic has not quite settled well in his return to the top flight of English football. West Brom have conceded eight goals in their first two games and are without a point in hand. They welcome the Premier League powerhouse, Chelsea FC at the Hawthorns in a late evening fixture.

Much is expected from the Blues this season following their big-money signings. Frank Lampard, however, is without a few of his key attacking talents including Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic. Timo Werner is yet to find the back of the net in the Premier League. The German forward has attempted six shots in the first two games albeit he had a rare chance against the Reds last week.

Nonetheless, his fellow countryman, Kai Havertz shone in Chelsea’s Carabao Cup triumph over Barnsley. The former Leverkusen attacker scored a hattrick to help Chelsea thrash Barnsley by six-zero.

Chelsea sealed Edouard Mendy’s move from Rennes. The shot-stopper will be in contention to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga against the Baggies. Chelsea are boosted by the introduction of Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva. The defensive duo featured in the midweek Carabao Cup game.

Kieran Gibbs is suspended for the hosts. Ahmed Hegazi and Kamil Grosicki are doubtful. Kenneth Zohore is suffering from a calf injury. Branislav Ivanovic could face his old club on Saturday.

Expected Lineups

West Brom (3-4-3): Johnstone – Ajayi, Bartley, Ivanovic – Furlong, Livermore, Sawyers, O’Shea – Pereira, Robinson, Diangana

Chelsea (4-3-3): Mendy – James, Silva, Rudiger, Chilwell – Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic – Mount, Havertz, Werner

The two sides last met in the 2017/18 season of the Premier League. Chelsea won on both the occasions by an aggregate score of seven-nil.

Score Prediction: West Brom 0 – 3 Chelsea


Burnley v Southampton

(26 September, Turf Moor)

Burnley began their Premier League journey for 2020/21 last weekend against Leicester City. The Clarets displayed a resolute performance, scoring twice at the King Power Stadium. They, however, conceded four goals despite accumulating a higher xG with more number of shots than the Foxes.

Sean Dyche will be happy to have secured promotion to the next round of Carabao Cup after Burnley’s two-nil win over Milwall FC.

They welcome the Saints in gameweek three of the Premier League. Southampton are nowhere close to the form they had manifested last season, post the restart. Ralph Hasenhuttl and co. have suffered back-to-back defeats in their opening two league games. Their last game against Tottenham is one to forget for Hasenhuttl.

Premier League Preview 2020/21: Gameweek 3
Can Danny Ings get Southampton back to winning ways against Burnley? (Image courtesy: Twitter/@SkySportsStatto)

Injury woes continue for Burnley. James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Johan Gudmundsson, Robbie Brady, Jack Cork, and Jay Rodriguez remain injured. Ashley Barnes is doubtful for Saturday’s late-night fixture. However, Dyche now has Stephens Dale at his disposal after he moved from Brighton on Thursday and should be in contention to face Southampton.

Nathan Redmond is the only casualty in the Southampton camp.

Expected Lineups

Burnley (4-4-2): Pope – Bardsley, Long, Dunne, Taylor – Brady, Westwood, Brownhill, McNeil – Vydra, Wood

Southampton (4-4-2): McCarthy – Walker-Peters, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand – Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Djenepo – Adams, Ings

Southampton lost by two-one in their previous encounter with Burnley.

Score Prediction: Burnley 1 – 1 Southampton


Sheffield United v Leeds United

(27 September, Bramall Lane)

The Blades seemingly are suffering from the “second-season syndrome”. Sheffield are goalless in the new Premier League season. They lost their opening fixture against Wolves and were helpless after reducing to ten men against Aston Villa last week who won the game by one-zero.

Chris Wilder will be without John Egan for Sheffield’s next game after the centre-back was shown a red card last week. There is no update on Lys Mousset who will definitely not feature against Leeds.

Leeds will visit the Bramall Lane after a captivating start in the Premier League. Leeds have been involved in two seven-goal thrillers. They got away with a four-three win over Fulham last weekend having lost to Liverpool by a similar margin in gameweek one.

There are no major injury concerns for Leeds apart from Adam Forshaw (hip injury). Marcelo Bielsa has got another defender at his disposal as Leeds secured the services of Diego Llorente from Real Sociedad.

Expected Lineups

Sheffield (3-5-2): Ramsdale – Basham, Ampadu, O’Connell – Baldock, Berge, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens – Burke, McBurnie

Leeds (4-1-4-1): Meslier – Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Dallas – Phillips – Costa, Rodrigo, Klich, Harrison – Bamford

They have had close encounters in the Championship. Sheffield scored one goal to seal a win at Ellan Road in March 2019 before falling prey to the same score at Bramall Lane in December 2018.

Score Prediction: Sheffield 0 – 1 Leeds


Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United

(27 September, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium)

Heung-min Son was on a rampage last week as he guided Spurs to a five-two victory over Southampton. The South Korean combined with Harry Kane on four occasions to go on top of the Premier League scoring charts. The timing could not have been better for Jose Mourinho and his men. Tottenham completed the signings of Gareth Bale and Sergio Reguilon from Real Madrid last week. They will add more pace and firepower into Mourinho’s system. Unfortunately, the Spurs’ faithful will have to wait for some more time to see their new signings on the pitch as they lack match fitness.

Premier League Preview 2020/21: Gameweek 3
Heung-min Son and Harry Kane combined four times to beat Southampton by five-two in gameweek two (Image courtesy: Twitter/@btsportfootball)

Spurs won their Europa League qualification match against FK Shkendija and will aim to add another victory against Newcastle on Sunday.

Steve Bruce had a decent start in the new season. The Magpies won away to West Ham in their first Premier League game of the season. They, however, could not manage to deal with Brighton’s dominant performance at St. James Park in the previous week. Newcastle made a strong return in the Carabao Cup clash with Morecambe FC which ended in a seven-nil win for Steve Bruce’s side.

Paul Dummett, Martin Dubravka, Fabian Schar, and Matthew Longstaff are injured. Jamal Lewis might not play against Spurs after he took an accidental boot in the face against Brighton. Steve Bruce gave a positive update on Allan Saint-Maximin’s injury and he should be in contention to start in London. Dwight Gayle is a long-term absentee.

Expected Lineups

Spurs (4-3-3): Lloris – Doherty, Sanchez, Dier, Davies – Hojbjerg, Winks, Ndombele – Moura, Kane, Son

Newcastle (4-4-2): Darlow – Manquillo, Lascelles, Fernandez, Clark – Hendrick, Shelvey, Hayden, Saint-Maximin – Carroll, Wilson

The Toons suffered a three-one loss at the hands of Tottenham in July this year.

Score Prediction: Spurs 3 – 1 Newcastle


Manchester City v Leicester City

(27 September, Etihad Stadium)

Manchester City welcomed the new Premier League season with open arms. As usual, the Cityzens were brimming with confidence as they grabbed three points against Wolves last week. Despite the absence of key players including Aymeric Laporte and Ilkay Gundogan, due to COVID-19, City looks strong as ever.

That comes at the back of Pep Guardiola doing a solid job to create a robust defensive base at the back. New signing, Nathan Ake featured in the heart of defense against Wolves. Consequently, Fernandinho could operate in his usual position as a defensive midfielder. Ferran Torres also adds value to City’s attack. The Spaniard was bought this summer to replace Leroy Sane. Torres got a cameo last week.

The Cityzens won their midweek Carabao Cup match against Bournemouth by two-one. They will play at home on Sunday against Leicester City. Guardiola will have to do without Sergio Aguero, Bernando Silva, Oleksandr Zinchenko, and Joao Cancelo. Laporte, on the other hand, might be available to face the Foxes.

Leicester City are currently sitting on top of the Premier League table. Brendan Rodgers has led his team to two straight victories which featured an away trip to the Hawthorns and a home game against Burnley last week. During the midweek, Leicester suffered an early exit from the Carabao Cup following a two-nil defeat by Arsenal.

Wilfred Ndidi, Ricardo Pereira, Jonny Evans, and Filip Benkovic are injured.

Expected Lineups

City (4-2-3-1): Ederson – Walker, Stones, Ake, Mendy – Fernandinho, Rodri – Mahrez, De Bruyne, Sterling – Jesus

Leicester (4-1-4-1): Schmeichel – Castagne, Morgan, Soyuncu, Justin – Praet – Perez, Tielemans, Maddison, Barnes – Vardy

The last time Leicester visited the Etihad Stadium, City won by three goals to one.

Score Prediction: City 2 – 0 Leicester


West Ham United v Wolverhampton Wanderers

(27 September, London Stadium)

David Moyes is yet to scrape out a point in the current league campaign. The Hammers have suffered two consecutive losses and will now face Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday. West Ham progressed to the fourth round of the Carabao Cup after a five-one win over Hull City. Sebastian Haller and Andriy Yarmolenko scored twice.

Issa Diop is fit to start against Wolves. Mark Noble is a doubt.

The visitors are looking sharp since gameweek one. Nuno Espirito Santo carved a well-deserved victory at the Bramall Lane. Wolves displayed a solid performance in the second half against Manchester City but could not stop the Cityzens from adding a third goal in the stoppage time.

Fernando Marcal shall not be available for Wolves’ trip to the London Stadium. Jonny is also out with an injury. Nonetheless, Nuno Espirito Santo will have Nelson Semedo at his disposal after he arrived from FC Barcelona on Wednesday. This might see Wolves reverting to their 3-4-3 setup with Adama Traore operating as a right-winger.

Expected Lineups

West Ham (4-2-3-1): Fabianski – Fredericks, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell – Soucek, Rice – Bowen, Anderson, Fornals – Antonio

Wolves (3-4-3): Patricio – Boly, Coady, Saiss – Semedo, Moutinho, Neves, Vinagre – Traore, Jimenez, Podence

West Ham United lost by a score of two-zero at both, home and away, against Wolves last season.

Score Prediction: West Ham 0 – 2 Wolves


Fulham v Aston Villa

(28 September, Craven Cottage)

Fulham put on a brave performance against Leeds in the preceding gameweek of the Premier League. Aleksandar Mitrovic bagged a brace but Fulham were left one goal shy of Leeds’s four to earn a point. Scott Parker is on the hunt for his first point in the Premier League 2020/21. The Cottagers will target Aston Villa to revive their campaign.

Premier League Preview 2020/21: Gameweek 3
Aleksandar Mitrovic in action against Leeds United (Image courtesy: Twitter/@SkySportsStatto)

Fulham firmly won their Carabao Cup third-round game against Sheffield Wednesday in midweek.

There is no injury news from Fulham which means Scott Parker has his whole squad to pick from for the Villa clash.

Aston Villa played their first game of the season against a stubborn Sheffield United team last week. Ezri Konsa got the only goal of the game to give Dean Smith his first win of the season. The Lions scored three goals against Bristol City in the Carabao Cup clash to progress to the next round. New signing, Bertrand Traore was also on the scoresheet.

Wesley, Bjorn Engels, and Tom Heaton are injured and won’t be available for their trip to the Craven Cottage.

Expected Lineups

Fulham (4-2-3-1): Areola – Tete, Hector, Odoi, Bryan – Anguissa, Reed – Kamara, Onomah, Cavaleiro – Mitrovic

Villa (4-3-3): Martinez – Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett – Hourihane, Luiz, McGinn – Traore, Watkins, Grealish

In the previous encounter between the two, Fulham won by two-one against Villa in the FA Cup fixture in January 2020.

Score Prediction: Fulham 1 – 1 Villa


Liverpool v Arsenal

(28 September, Anfield)

The biggest game of gameweek three of the Premier League 2020/21 will be contested on Monday. The champions, Liverpool will host Arsenal at Anfield in a late-night fixture.

Both sides have had a perfect start to the new campaign. The Reds conquered SW6 last week when they beat Chelsea by two-zero. The North Londoners, having played two games with local rivals, will face their toughest test in gameweek three.

Jurgen Klopp might have to do another week without Joe Gomez who is a doubt for this crucial clash. The introduction of Fabinho alongside Virgil Van Dijk had a positive impact on Liverpool. With Thiago Alcantara in the midfield, Klopp can try a new system to reduce the creative burden on his full-backs. Apart from Gomez, Joel Matip and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are also out with injuries.

Klopp will also have Diogo Jota in his attacking cavalry after Liverpool signed him from Wolves.

Arsenal’s injury list includes Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Calum Chambers, and Pablo Mari. Kieran Tierney, who was suffering from a groin problem, trained ahead of the Liverpool clash and should return to the starting lineup.

Expected Lineups

Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson – Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Van Dijk, Robertson – Henderson, Thiago, Wijnaldum – Salah, Firmino, Mane

Arsenal (3-4-3): Leno – Holding, Gabriel, Tierney – Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Saka – Willian, Lacazette, Aubameyang

Liverpool have failed to beat Arsenal since September of 2019. They met thrice since then which resulted in two draws and a two-one victory for Arsenal in July this year.

Score Prediction: Liverpool 2 – 1 Arsenal


(Featured Image: Twitter/@OfficialFPL)

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