Pep Guardiola didn’t pull any punches before Man City’s game with Everton on Monday night. He told the Sky cameras that his team simply have to improve at home if they are to have any chance of winning the Premier League title this season so he was understandably frustrated after drawing their opening game at the Etihad 1-1. In the cold light of day, Guardiola will be happy that his players were able to dig deep to come back from 1-0 down with 10 men and that frustration will be forgotten if they can beat Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon. The Cherries are pointless after their opening two games and have the devil’s own job to turn their form around against a team who have put six goals past them at the Vitality Stadium in the last two seasons.
A win in the Community Shield and victory in an opening day thriller against Leicester had Arsenal fans feeling optimistic about the season ahead. Then Stoke away happened. Mistakes from the officials certainly didn’t help but Arsenal were their own worst enemies during their 1-0 loss at the Bet365 Stadium. The Gunners now have to improve significantly when they take on Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday. Liverpool have their own defensive concerns and they’ll be a little tired after their midweek Champions League qualifier against Hoffenheim but they’ve got the quality to punish any more sloppiness in the Arsenal defence.
Man Utd fans will be in high spirits as they head to Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon after watching their team open up their assault on the Premier League with back to back 4-0 wins. Next up for United is Leicester City early on Saturday evening. The Foxes bounced back from a narrow opening day defeat against Arsenal to beat Brighton at the King Power Stadium. With all systems firing from an attacking perspective, Leicester could be the first side to trouble Man Utd this season.
Jurgen Klopp was under no illusions how well his Liverpool team would have to play to get a positive result away to Hoffenheim. Thankfully for all Reds fans, their team was up to the challenge. There was a bit of luck along the way in the first leg with Andrej Kramaric’s poor penalty miss and an own goal but Liverpool’s 2-1 win gives them a great chance of qualifying for the Champions League group stage. Liverpool must now maintain those levels during the second leg at Anfield because this Hoffenheim side are no pushovers.
It will be a case of friends reunited at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday. Paul Clement was a key member of Jose Mourinho’s coaching staff during his first spell in charge at Chelsea and the two men share many similar views on how football should be played. After their master and apprentice relationship with Chelsea, Clement and Mourinho meet as equals for the first game of the Premier League’s second weekend.