Tottenham hardly spent a penny in the summer while Liverpool were the biggest spenders in the Premier League. Their meeting on Saturday was supposed to be the first fixture in the new stadium but delays to the work means the match will be played at Wembley. In effect it’s a neutral ground but in theory it’s a home game for the team that lagged behind their big-six rivals in the most recent transfer window. No new players started pre-season and many of the squad members were involved in the latter stages of the World Cup. Spurs possess a strong 11 but they were outfought by Watford in their last match before the international break.
Liverpool are one of three teams to have won maximum points from their first four league matches. They have conceded fewest goals and recorded the best goal difference. However, they have yet to play a side in the top 10 in the betting to win the Premier League so the match at Wembley is the first test against a top-six side. Liverpool made some headline purchases in the summer which showed they mean business this season. Wembley is not quite a fortress and Tottenham lost two league fixtures at the stadium last season, scoring 46 goals and conceding 16. The match outcome is difficult to call but both teams should score in this fixture.
It’s debateable who needed the international break most of the teams involved in the second Saturday TV fixture. Watford were on a massive high after betting Tottenham at home in their last fixture. Manchester United had a comfortable win over Burnley after two damaging defeats in the league. The fans showed their support for Jose Mourinho and a win at Watford would repair much of the damage of those defeats. However, if United are out-battled by Watford and lose the match Mourinho is back to square one and the title could be already out of reach. United have the class to beat a Watford side who are punching above their weight.
Wolves are one of the best sides to be promoted from the Championship and look comfortable at the higher level. The side has a big influence from Portugal because the manager is from that country and he has a connection with an agent who has access to the best players in Portugal. Burnley’s Europa League adventure has done more damage than good. The side that finished seventh in the Premier League last season are languishing in 19th place after three defeats and a draw. The early season form can continue with a home win for Wolves against Burnley.
West Ham might be playing in the bright and wonderful Olympic Stadium but the ground will be half empty if the club drop down into the Championship. West Ham are the only team to have no points after four matches. They have scored just two goals and conceded 10 and even at such an early stage another manager looks under pressure to find a win. Everton look booked for mid-table safety and few teams will beat them at Goodison Park. Home advantage will be key and Everton can win maximum points from this home match against the Hammers.
The south coast derby on Monday night brings together two teams who have won four points from as many matches with a win, draw and defeat. Brighton have had the slightly tougher schedule over the first month of the season but had the worst record in the Premier League last time. Southampton were beaten eight times at their own ground so recent history and form suggests this match will produce a draw.