After the 2021/22 European campaign got underway this midweek, the Premier League returns to action this weekend with a set of exciting matches.
Let’s take a look at the three Premier League fixtures to look forward to on Saturday.
Can Burnley pile more pressure on Mikel Arteta?
Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got Arsenal off the mark last weekend, scoring a precious second-half winner against sub-par Norwich City at the Emirates.
Despite halting his side’s three-game losing start to this Premier League campaign against the division’s whipping boys, Mikel Arteta is not off the hook yet.
The Spaniard has grown unpopular among the Gunners faithful following Arsenal’s disastrous start and face an uphill task of restoring his image.
Although an encounter against underperforming Burnley (D1, L3) may sound like a prime opportunity for Arteta to claim his first away league win of the season, it won’t be plain sailing.
Before the Spanish manager’s arrival at the helm, Arsenal had been on a ten-match winning Premier League streak against the Clarets.
However, Arteta’s takeover has turned the tables on the Gunners, who are now winless in their last three league meetings with this opposition (D2, L1).
Now would be a perfect time for the ex-Manchester City assistant manager to register his first top-flight triumph over Sean Dyche as Arsenal desperately need to pick up some steam.
Burnley take the field amid the club’s worst-ever winless run in top-flight home games, going 12 straight Premier League matches at Turf Moor without a victory since late January (D6, L6).
It remains to be seen whether the Yorkshire outfit can snap that run against under-pressure Arsenal.
Liverpool to maintain their title charge against resurgent Palace
The lights are shining bright again at Anfield on the back of Virgil van Dijk’s long-awaited return to action.
After welcoming their defensive mainstay back to the fold, Jurgen Klopp’s men have got the 2021/22 season up and running on multiple fronts.
A four-match unbeaten start to this Premier League campaign (W3, D1), coupled with a stunning 3-2 comeback win over AC Milan in their Champions League curtain-raiser, indicates the Reds are inching towards their former heights.
Heading into proceedings as joint-league leaders, the Merseyside giants are warm favorites to beat Crystal Palace at home and extend their winning run in top-flight H2Hs to nine straight matches.
Despite an unexpected 3-0 thumping of Tottenham Hotspur last time out, Patrick Vieira’s side enter this showdown as overwhelming outsiders.
Adding to this sentiment, the Eagles have lost their previous four Premier League trips to Anfield by an aggregate score of 11-3, drawing a blank on three occasions in the process.
Another day in the office for Manchester City
Manchester City have put a somewhat surprising 1-0 away loss to Tottenham on the opening Premier League weekend firmly behind and are now on course of defending the top-flight crown.
A brace of 5-0 home league victories over Norwich City and Arsenal was followed up by a comprehensive 6-3 win over RB Leipzig in their Champions League opener on Wednesday.
Pep Guardiola’s men have lived up to their reputation as a force to be reckoned with, and it’s hard to make a case for Southampton not faltering at the Etihad on Saturday.
Going into this matchday, the Saints have played out three Premier League draws on the trot, stretching their winless league run to six games (D3, L3), last season included.
What’s more, since claiming a comfortable 3-1 success in April 2004, Southampton have gone winless in their subsequent ten top-flight visits to Manchester (D1, L9).
Ralph Hassenhutl’s side have conceded 5+ goals in two of their last three Premier League appearances at the Etihad, explaining their underdog status here.