What to Watch: Matchweek 3

Matchweek 2 was not the weekend to be stuck in the car driving back home so you could not witness the single-week Premier League goalscoring record being broken (can you guess where I was?). 44 goals in total were scored, with half the games tallying four or more goals. Will we see more profligacy this weekend? What are the matchups to keep an eye on while we wait for the Reds to take the pitch Monday afternoon.

Crystal Palace v Everton

Saturday 10:00 am EDT

A “top of the table clash” between the Ev’ and Palace is not something I had ever thought I would be writing (or reading for that matter), but here we are. Everton come in to the match fresh off a 5-2 win over West Brom that saw Dominic Calvert-Lewin bag a hat trick, and James Rodriguez register a goal and assist. So far the Blues have looked much improved, but they face a stern test against Crystal Palace.

Crystal Palace’s season could not have started any better. A 1-0 win at home against Southampton followed by a stunning 3-1 win at Old Trafford. Against Manchester United, Palace were quite impressive limiting the Red Devils to just a single goal. Séamus Coleman will have his hands full with Wilfried Zaha, and Everton’s ability to nullify his influence will prove to be key to the match.

Sheffield United v Leeds

Sunday 7:00am EDT

Sunday’s early match features one of the darlings of the 19/20 season with one of the potential darlings of the 20/21 season. Since Project Restart, Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United have only won a single match, and they now find themselves winless through the first two games of this season. Against Aston Villa, they looked to be the better team for stretches, but still could not find the back of the net. They are rumored to be after Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster, but need to find solutions in their current squad.  While it may be early, a third straight loss would be cause for alarm.

While Sheffield struggles to score, Leeds United cannot stop scoring. With seven goals for and seven against, Leeds are proving to be one of the more entertaining teams in the league. Patrick Bamford and Mateusz Klich will be the key men on the attack, as they come up against a compact Sheffield team. The big question for manager Marco Biesla and his team is can they limit the chances they give their opponents. Despite the early kick off, this is a match you will not want to miss.

Manchester City v Leicester City

Sunday 11:30 am EDT

Outside of Liverpool’s match against Arsenal, this match is the must-watch game of the weekend. After failing to qualify for the Champions League last season, Leicester City have started off the season with strong wins over West Brom and Burnley.  However, they face a much sterner test on Sunday when they will be without the services of Wilfred Ndidi.  The defensive midfielder is out for at least 12 weeks with an abductor injury which, could prove to be a deciding factor in not only this game, but their season.

For Manchester City, they come in to the match with their own set of injuries. Bernardo Silva and Aymeric Laporte are unavailable due to the Coronavirus, and all of Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Joao Cancelo, and Nicolas Otamendi are out with various injuries. Pep Guardiola should have his hands full crafting a lineup that can beat this Leicester squad and avoid falling behind in the title race.