Premier League: Round 2 Preview

We preview this weekend's second round of matches in the Premier League. With the second round of fixtures, fast approaching and the anticipation of the transfer market having subsided we await an action-packed weekend of football lead by a London Derby as joint leaders Chelsea take on Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea vs Arsenal

Chelsea’s season began in perfect fashion with an accomplished performance against Huddersfield aided by a penalty from exciting summer signing Jorginho who will likely play a huge role for his side this season. With Arsenal dealing with numerous injuries ruling out the likes of Kolasinac and Koscielny, the defensive woes that led to their downfall against Manchester City could well reoccur this weekend.

This reflecting Unai Emery’s early woes in the role that is proving to be increasingly difficult. Favourites for the match, Chelsea have won five of their last six Premier League outings as both Petr Cech and Olivier Giroud face up against each other and their former clubs having switched their allegiance in recent times. One eye is certain to remain on Chelsea’s world record signing goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Ones to Watch:

Jorginho & Aubameyang

Cardiff vs Newcastle

Both teams will be looking to bounce back from their opening weekend defeats during this South Wales clash. Newcastle United have the statistical advantage having won their last 10 meetings against Cardiff City, Rafa Benitez’s men will look to put their disappointing transfer market behind them and use their manager’s fantastic record of having never lost a match to opposing manager, Neil Warnock.

Cardiff City will draw huge confidence from the fact they have won 8 of their last 10 league matches at home and will endeavour to continue this rich vein of form.

Ones to Watch

Matt Ritchie & Christian Atsu

Key man Matt Ritchie
Key man Matt Ritchie

Everton vs Southampton

After having one of the most productive transfer windows out of any Premier League club, Everton welcome Southampton to Goodison Park both teams are searching for their first win of the campaign following well-fought draws during the opening weekend.

Everton are unbeaten in 13 home games against Southampton but the away side will draw confidence from Charlie Austin’s start as the talisman has scored three goals in three Premier League matches against Everton. With a star-studded line up having successfully added pace, solidity and creativity to their team, the home team will certainly go into the game as favourites.

One to Watch:

Andre Gomes & Charlie Austin

Charlie Austin in action
Southampton Frontman Charlie Austin

Leicester City vs Wolves

This is the first Premier League meeting between the two sides since 2004. The league’s newcomers will be looking to cause something of an upset against the 2016 Premier League champions in this Midlands Derby. A keen eye will be on the away side’s prodigy, Ruben Neves whose seven league goals since the beginning of last season have all come from outside the box.

His team will be hoping for more of the same as they search for their first points in this season’s campaign. With pressure mounting on City boss Claude Puel, his side will be strengthened by the prospect of England striker Jamie Vardy’s availability who will be looking for his 50th goal at the King Power Stadium.

One to Watch:

Ruben Neves & Jamie Vardy

Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy with the Premier League trophy

Tottenham Hotspur vs Fulham

Tottenham will welcome fellow London club Fulham to Wembley Stadium for the first time since April 2014 as the home team will look to follow up a win against Newcastle United with a more convincing and commanding performance. Fulham, on the other hand, will endeavour to bounce back from their 2-0 defeat in the opening round of fixtures and hope to open their points tally for the season.

Should Tottenham Hotspur win on Saturday it will be the first time since 2014/15 that have won their first two games of the campaign. Fulham will attempt to cause an upset and end Spurs’ run of 18 consecutive home wins against promoted teams. Of course, a man who may play a huge part in the outcome of the game will be Golden Boot winner Harry Kane although his previous form in August has been far from impressive, a statistic he will be keen to change.

Ones to Watch:

Harry Kane & Aleksandar Mitrovic

West Ham vs Bournemouth

Looking to immediately recover from their opening day defeat, West Ham United welcome AFC Bournemouth to the London Stadium with the away team looking to build on their impressive victory from the opening day against Cardiff City. With the first goal of the game usually proving to be a significant advantage, quite the opposite is true for these two sides with the team who breaks the deadlock only going on to win 2 of 6 previous Premier League fixtures.

Both teams have an identical record against one another going into the weekend making for a fascinating and potentially hard fought contest. The battle on the pitch will be as exciting as the one off it as the experienced Manuel Pellegrini will look to press their home advantage to see off Eddie Howe.

Ones to Watch

Michail Antonio & Callum Wilson

Michail Antonio
Michail Antonio in action against Newcastle United

Burnley vs Watford

Watford travel to Turf Moor in search of a first away win in 2018 with Burnley having won three of their four previous meetings. Both Sam Vokes and Roberto Pereyra come into the game in fine form for their respective teams as both clubs look to register a win.

Two resolute teams that will want to make an early statement in their pursuit of European football, this clash is difficult to call and promises to be a cagey affair.

Ones to Watch

Sam Vokes & Roberto Pereyra

Sam Vokes
Sam Vokes

Manchester City vs Huddersfield

Premier League champions Manchester City welcome the promising Huddersfield Town to the Etihad Stadium for matchday two of this season's Premier League. The only team to stop Manchester City scoring at home during last season's campaign, Huddersfield Town will be hoping to emulate the feet and go one better to cause what would be a gigantic upset.

A trait not often associated with the champions, City have failed to score in their four previous meetings against Sunday’s opposition and will look to put this right using all of the talent and brilliance they have in abundance. A fantastic and closely fought contest is in prospect as Huddersfield City will have to work hard to keep up with the dynamism of City, if they do so and limit their chances though, they could be tough to beat.

Ones to Watch:

David Silva & Ben Hamer

Brighton vs Manchester United

Brighton & Hove Albion will look to register their first win of the season and emulate the performance from their unforgettable victory at the Amex Stadium the previous season. The visitors will look to build on an impressive win during the opening round against Leicester City led by new captain Paul Pogba.

An intriguing fixture beckons with both teams looking to secure 3 points early on in the campaign and the notorious Jose Mourinho aiming put a frustrating transfer window behind him and take United back to their past glories. Brighton & Hove Albion will draw huge confidence from Manchester United missing Antonio Valencia, Nemanja Matic and Jesse Lingard who continue to build up their fitness as they hope to cause another upset using their home advantage.

Ones to Watch:

Paul Pogba & Pascal Gross

Paul Pogba
Manchester United captain Paul Pogba takes a penalty

Crystal Palace vs Liverpool

We have to wait till Monday night for this fascinating fixture as Palace host early leaders Liverpool who looked imperious during their opening round win. Playing with flare much to the delight of their fans. Crystal Palace too won their first game and will be looking to register a second successive victory to continue their rich vein of form at Selhurst Park.

Wilfried Zaha requires just one more goal to become Crystal Palace’s all-time leading Premier League goalscorer but the brilliance of the exciting Liverpool attack awaits accompanied by seemingly smart summer transfer additions. A breathtaking match awaits as Jurgen Klopp’s side aim to assert their dominance on the league buoyed by last year’s hero, Mo Salah.

Ones to Watch:

Sadio Mane & Wilfried Zaha

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