EPL Matchday 5: Arteta Reunites With Pep
…As Merseyside is Divided
After a long and winding international break, the Premier League is back for matchday 5. The 20 teams will compete over the course of three days for this round of matches.
The weekend’s action kicks off with a bang, as league-leaders Everton host 5th placed Liverpool for the first Merseyside derby of the season..
Everton are on top of the log, and they need just a point to stay there. Liverpool could displace Everton from first position, but they would need to win by at least four goals and then hope for favorable results for that to happen.
7th-placed Chelsea welcomes 11th-placed Southampton to Stamford Bridge later on Saturday. Chelsea convincingly eased past Crystal Palace last weekend with Ben Chilwell, Kurt Zouma and Jorginho (twice from the spot) getting on the scoresheet. Southampton comfortably beat West Brom courtesy of goals from Moussa Djenepo and Oriel Romeu.
Another big game sees 4th-placed Arsenal travel to Manchester to meet 14th-placed City, as Pep Guardiola reunites with his former assistant Mikel Arteta.
City were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw at Elland Road before the international break, as Raheem Sterling’s opener was cancelled out in the second half.Arsenal beat Sheffield United 2-1 a day after City’s draw, as Bukayo Saka scored his first goal at the Emirates and Nicolas Pépé secured the three points.
City can only reach 9th place with a win against the Gunners. Arsenal could finish the matchday as league-leaders, but they would need Everton to lose by a decent margin for that to happen.
The final clash on Saturday sees 9th-placed Newcastle host 16th-placed Manchester United.
Newcastle beat Burnley 3-1 as Allan Saint-Maximin scored and assisted a goal each while Callum Wilson bagged a brace.
United were thrashed 1-6 by Tottenham last weekend when Bruno Fernandes’ early penalty was quickly replied to – and in some style.
Newcastle could reach the runners-up spot if they win and get a lot of help in the form of favourable results. United can not go higher than 10th spot no matter what, and even that seems unlikely. A loss, on the other hand, could see United slip into the bottom three for the first time in over 30 years after the opening matchday.
6th-placed Tottenham host 10th-placed West Ham for a London derby in Sunday’s headline matchup. Tottenham spanked Manchester United for six two weeks ago, with Tanguy Ndombele and Serge Aurier getting a goal each while Son Heung-min and Harry Kane both bagged a brace.
West Ham surprisingly eased past Leicester, as goals from Michail Antonio, Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen helped them onto a 0-3 triumph.
Tottenham have a chance of reaching second place if all those who are above them in the table falter, but an entry into the elusive top four should suffice for now. West Ham could go as high as third if they get a lot of help from elsewhere, but their focus should be to close in on the European spots.
The last of the weekend’s action sees 3rd-placed Leicester host shock runners-up Aston Villa. Leicester lost 0-3 to West Ham as aforementioned. Villa decimated Liverpool two weeks ago thanks to an Ollie Watkins hat-trick, a Jack Grealish brace and a goal each from John McGinn and Ross Barkley.
Leicester could go to first place for the first time since 2016 if they win and Everton lose in the Merseyside derby. Villa are similarly positioned, so they too good reach the top spot for the first time in nearly 30 years with a win.