Premier League Matchday Six Preview
With European football now back, the Premier League fixture list is looking a little more interesting. There’s a Saturday night game to go along with the evening kick off, as well as five matches being played on Sunday. Here’s a look at some of the biggest talking points ahead of the action this weekend.
Another six pointer
Luton are yet to pick up a point following their return to the English top-flight. Rob Edwards’ side have lost all four of their outings and are the joint lowest scorers having found the back of the net on just two occasions.
At the other end of the pitch, the newly promoted side are struggling defensively and have an Expected Goals Conceded total of 8.2.
On Saturday, they welcome Wolves to Kenilworth Road. Gary O’Neil’s team aren’t doing much better. Their only win of the campaign came against Everton, courtesy of an 87th minute Sasa Kalajdzic goal.
They took the lead against Liverpool last weekend at Molineux but crumbled in the second half, conceding three goals.
A loss here won’t make or break the season for either team but a win could go some way to kick-starting their 2023/24 campaign. For example, a win for the hosts could lift them out of the relegation zone. A win for the visitors opens up a gap between themselves and the bottom three, giving them some much needed breathing space, even at this stage.
It is the very definition of a six-pointer.
A sticky situation for the Bees
Brentford host Everton in the Saturday evening game looking to bring their three-game winless run to an end.
The Bees got off to a good start this season, picking up four points from their first two outings, while also ranking favourably in attacking metrics. Up until last weekend, Thomas Frank’s side topped the Expected Goals charts. Now, though, they’re fourth with a total of 10.5. However, they’ve only scored eight goals with Yoane Wissa struggling to make the most of his opportunities in the absence of the suspended Ivan Toney.
They lost their last match 1-0 to Newcastle, their first defeat of the season. A clash against a struggling Toffees side gives them an opportunity to get their second win on the board.
Everton are yet to win a game themselves, they’re in the relegation zone and have just a single point to their name. Sean Dyche and his side have been extremely unfortunate though.
The Toffees have scored just two goals despite creating chances with an Expected Goals value of 7.6. They’ve missed 11 big chances, a total only Chelsea can better (12). With better finishing, Dyche would have his side comfortably in mid-table. At some point, this run of bad luck in front of goal is going to have to come to an end.
Maybe it’ll be this Saturday.
The North London derby
This has the potential to be one of the best games of the season.
Spurs make the trip to the Emirates level on points with Arsenal and unbeaten in the Premier League under new manager Ange Postecoglou.
Tottenham are going under the radar a little this term. They are joint-first for big chances created (13) alongside Manchester City and Brighton, they are third in the Premier League for shots on target per 90 with 7.8 and rank fifth got possession (61%).
Postecoglou’s men have already beaten Manchester United this season but taking something off of Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal would be a huge statement.
The Gunners, who are averaging 66% of the ball in the English top-flight, have just kicked off their Champions League campaign with a 4-0 win over PSV and are in fine form. Arsenal have evolved this term and seem more controlled and assured following the summer arrival of Declan Rice.
Bringing Tottenham’s unbeaten start to an end would be a statement in itself. After all, momentum matters in the Premier League.
Can the run continue?
Liverpool are unbeaten in the Premier League since early April but they’ve fallen behind in three of their matches in the English top-flight this term. They also had to overturn a 1-0 deficit in their Europa League game against LASK on Thursday.
A pattern is emerging in their matches. The Reds aren’t necessarily being cut apart by the opposition but silly errors are creeping in and leaving them everything to do to salvage something from these games. At some point, their attack isn’t going to bail out their backline.
West Ham have caused problems for a number of teams this season, beating Chelsea and Brighton while also taking a shock lead against Manchester City. Their entire game plan is built around hitting teams on the break and making the most of these transitional situations.
The Hammers have averaged just 35% possession in their five outings, by comparison, Liverpool have averaged close to 54%.
On paper, this game seems perfect for David Moyes’ team. If they manage to pick up all three points here at Anfield, it will be their biggest result of the season.
(Cover image from IMAGO)
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