Premier League matchday 3 preview: Man City and West Ham to maintain unbeaten starts, Lukaku to pick up where he left off

After failing to pick up a single point from the first two matchdays, Arsenal have a point to prove this weekend as they travel to Manchester City. Nevada sportsbooks and other bookmakers have the hosts as comfortable winners, but a draw is an attractive option after a positive midweek result for the Gunners.

At the same time, current table-toppers West Ham United will trade tackles with out-of-sorts Crystal Palace in an all-London top-flight showdown.

Saturday’s Premier League action will conclude at Anfield as Liverpool and Chelsea go head-to-head in a mammoth encounter.

Let’s take a look at the three likeliest scenarios to take place this weekend.

Landslide victory for reigning champions

Saturday’s Premier League action gets underway at the Etihad Stadium as high-flying Manchester City take on Arsenal in a mouth-watering clash.

Perhaps if the circumstances were different, the Gunners would even stand a chance against Pep Guardiola’s side, who dismantled newly-promoted Norwich City 5-0 last time out.

Covid chaos, coupled with several high-profile injuries, played a significant part in Arsenal’s underwhelming start to the season.

The Londoners have succumbed to back-to-back defeats without reply at the beginning of a new top-flight campaign for the first time in the club’s history.

Additionally, Mikel Arteta’s men have lost five consecutive Premier League visits to the Eithad, drawing a blank in the last two in a row.

Considering City’s intimidating attacking potential upfront and Ben White’s absence due to coronavirus, it is hard to expect the visitors to go toe-to-toe with the reigning champions.

Arsenal’s run of six successive defeats to defending league champions is worrying but not as much as the fact they have conceded precisely three goals in each of the last five.

Therefore, the Cityzens should grab a comfortable win here and halt a streak of seven Premier League matches that saw them alternate between winning and losing.

Hammers to hammer Crystal Palace

It has been a dream start to the season for West Ham United, as they’ve won their opening two Premier League fixtures by an aggregate score of 8-3.

After showing that last season’s sixth-place finish saw no fluke, the Hammers will be looking to launch a new top-flight season with a perfect three-game start for the first time since 1983/84. 

There’s every reason for optimism in David Moyes’ camp, given that his players have won both of their previous home league games by a three-goal margin.

Meanwhile, Patrick Vieira could follow in the footsteps of Frank de Boer after witnessing the Eagles fail to score in each of his three competitive games in charge.

De Boer was the last permanent manager to see Palace fail to trouble the scoreboard in the opening three Premier League outings before being ominously discharged after just four matches at the helm.

The Frenchman will have to find a way to stop in-form Michail Antonio if Palace are to avoid another disappointing afternoon, which could be easier said than done.

The 31-year-old forward has netted three goals in the opening two Premier League rounds, including a second-half brace in a 4-1 hammering of Leicester City last time out.

‘Big Rom’ to unlock Virgil van Dijk’s backline

Arguably the most highly-anticipated fixture on this weekend’s Premier League football schedule pits Liverpool against Chelsea in a real clash of titans at Anfield.

Mason Mount’s 42nd-minute strike saw the reigning Champions League holders prevail in this exact fixture last season as they now hope to win consecutive top-flight matches at Anfield for the first time since 2014.

Despite a mesmerising start to the new season that saw them beat two London rivals, Arsenal and Crystal Palace, 2-0 and 3-0 respectively, Chelsea’s triumph here is far from a forgone conclusion.

Virgil van Dijk’s long-awaited return to action provided Jurgen Klopp’s backline with safety and confidence, which resulted in two comprehensive victories over Norwich and Burnley without conceding.

The Dutchman’s presence has turned Liverpool’s defence into a force to be reckoned with, but if there’s any striker that can match his physicality, it’s Romelu Lukaku.

It took the 28-year-old just 15 minutes on his second debut for the Blues to put the ball into the net in a likewise breathtaking performance.

Lukaku bullied his markers against Arsenal last weekend in the manner rarely seen in the recent London derbies.

There’s no doubt that the Belgian has developed into one of the fiercest strikers in European football, and scoring against Van Dijk should help cement that label.

Premier League matchday 3 preview: Man City and West Ham to maintain unbeaten starts, Lukaku to pick up where he left off

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