Premier League Matchweek 3 Preview

 

The second matchweek of the English Premier League season brought about some stellar performances and some controversy. Arsenal midfielder Dani Ceballos made his home Arsenal debut vs Burnley and stood out as he notched two assists in a 2-1 Arsenal win. Then later that day, insanity struck the world of English football. Manchester City and Tottenham once again had an epic back and forth duel at the Etihad and with the score tied at 2 in stoppage time, Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus scored what appeared to be the game-winning goal. However, just like the previous meeting at Manchester, the winning goal by Manchester City was disallowed by VAR, this time due to an accidental handball by defender Aymeric Laporte. The Premier League instituted a new rule where handball would be called even if it was accidental instead of the previous rule which called it when it was intentional, and this rule was enforced by VAR on the disallowed goal. After this, it is time to see what matchweek 3 has in store.

Aston Villa vs Everton

Friday, August 23 3:00 EST/12:00 PT pm

Everton’s defense has been strong so far this season as they have achieved two clean sheets thus far, and French left-back Lucas Digne set up Brazilian winger Bernard for the winner in their 1-0-win vs Watford. Aston Villa last week, dropped their home opener vs Bournemouth 2-1. Everton could be without the injured Digne who was substituted out in the 73rd minute and his potential absence could cause the clean sheet streak to end.

Prediction: Aston Villa 1 – Everton 1

Norwich City vs Chelsea

Saturday, August 24 7:30 EST/4:30 PT am

Chelsea has struggled in the first two games of the Frank Lampard managerial era as after losing 4-0 to Manchester United, they drew at home vs Leicester City 1-1. New young phenom Mason Mount scored Chelsea’s lone goal and looks to be a promising player for the future. Norwich City, on the other hand, is flying high as striker Teemu Pukki scored a hat-trick as Norwich rolled past Newcastle United 3-1 in their home opener. With Chelsea looking to a win, expect a battle as they will prevail in a thriller.

Prediction: Chelsea 2 Norwich City 1

Sheffield United vs Leicester City

Saturday, August 24 10:00 EST/7:00 PT am

Sheffield United won their first Premier League match since 2007 as John Lundstram’s goal gave them a 1-0-win vs Crystal Palace. Leicester City had a gutsy 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge and will look to win their first game of the season on Saturday. With both defenses looking stingy thus far, expect a slugfest at Sheffield.

Prediction: Sheffield United 0 Leicester City 0

Brighton & Hove Albion vs Southampton

Saturday August 24 10:00 EST/7:00 PT am

Brighton followed up an impressive 3-0 win at Watford with a 1-1 draw vs talented West Ham United at home. Southampton ran into the Liverpool juggernaut last week as they fell 2-1 at home with the lone goal coming on a blunder by Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian. With Brighton riding an unbeaten start to the season, expect it to continue as they take care of business at home.

Prediction: Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Southampton 0

Manchester United vs Crystal Palace

Saturday, August 24 10:00 EST/7:00 PT am

The Red Devils of Manchester followed up a dream opener vs Chelsea with a frustrating 1-1 draw at the Robin Hood of the EPL, Wolverhampton. Paul Pogba had a chance to give Manchester United the lead on a penalty in the second half, but Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio saved it and preserved the draw. Crystal Palace continues to start EPL seasons poorly as they lost their home opener to Sheffield United. With Man U frustrated after Monday’s draw, expect them to vent their frustrations on Crystal Palace.

Prediction: Manchester United 3 Crystal Palace 0

Watford vs West Ham United

Saturday, August 24 10:00 EST/7:00 PT am

Watford, who were the FA Cup runners-up last season and finished in the top half of the table, has had a disastrous start to the season. They have not only dropped their first two games but also star striker and captain Troy Deeney will miss several weeks with a knee injury. West Ham managed to secure a draw at Brighton after getting decimated 5-0 in their opener by Manchester City. With Watford reeling, expect West Ham to continue their 3-game unbeaten road streak.

Prediction: West Ham United 2 Watford 0

Liverpool vs Arsenal

Saturday, August 24 12:30 EST pm/9:30 PT am

Liverpool and Arsenal clash as the top two teams in the table through the first two weeks as both teams take of business a week ago. Anfield has not been kind to visitors in the last two season and Arsenal has been no exception as they have lost 4-0 and 5-1 in their last two trips. While Liverpool is a far superior team and has home-field advantage, expect Arsenal’s exciting front with new blood behind them to make it an interesting game.

Prediction: Liverpool 2 Arsenal 1

Bournemouth vs Manchester City

Sunday, August 25 9:00 EST/6:00 PT am

Manchester City suffered a devastating draw vs Tottenham and will look to rebound in a big way vs a Bournemouth team that just came off a 2-1 road win at Aston Villa. The Cherries have been solid this season and are potent at home, but they are going to get flattened by a Blues team looking to release some steam.

Prediction: Manchester City 4 Bournemouth 1

Sunday, August 25 11:30 EST/8:30 PT am

Wolverhampton vs Burnley

The Wolves were able to salvage a draw at home vs Manchester United after goalkeeper Rui Patricio saved Paul Pogba’s second-half penalty. Burnley put up a solid fight at the Emirates but was ultimately undone but new Arsenal midfielder Dani Ceballos. The Wolves look to avoid a 3rd straight draw and take care of business at home against a red-hot Ashley Barnes, who has 3 goals already this season.

Prediction: Wolverhampton 1 Burnley 0

Tottenham Hotspur vs Newcastle United

Sunday, August 25 11:30 EST/8:30 PT am

Newcastle United has had a rough start to the season, losing at home 1-0 to Arsenal and losing 3-1 at newly-promoted Norwich City. This start has left fans clamoring for change in the front office and the start is not going to improve as they will take on a Spurs team that was able to draw at Manchester City.

Prediction: Tottenham 3 Newcastle United 0

Photo via Getty Images

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Premier League Matchweek 2 Preview

by Sean Clark

The first Matchweek of the Premier League season brought about some memorable, tragic and controversial moments. Liverpool, the defending European champions, dominated newly promoted Norwich City 4-1, but it came at a cost as elite goalkeeper Alisson Becker suffered a calf injury that may keep him out a few weeks. Also, Manchester United had a dream start to the season as they demolished Chelsea during Frank Lampard’s debut 4-0. VAR was also introduced for the first time in the Premier League and it already caused controversy as goals by Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus and Wolverhampton’s Leander Dendoncker had goals disallowed via VAR. It is now time to see what the next set of games in the Premier League will have in store.

Arsenal vs Burnley

Saturday August 17 7:30 EST/4:30 PT am

Arsenal was able to defeat Newcastle United on the road 1-0 despite missing some key players such as Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac, who are both still under house surveillance during a London gang war, and striker Alexandre Lacazette. Arsenal had three transfers Dani Ceballos, Gabriel Martinelli, and Nicolas Pepe make their debuts are subs. Arsenal manager Unai Emery announced Ozil and Kolasinac returned to training and Pepe, who they got from Lille for 70 million euros, could make his first start against Burnley in their home opener. Burnley opened their season with an impressive 3-0 at home vs Southampton with two goals from Ashley Barnes. With a shorthanded win under their belt, Arsenal will have more weapons in their arsenal to work with as they should take all 3 points at home.

Prediction: Arsenal 2 Burnley 1

Aston Villa vs Bournemouth

Saturday August 17 10:00 EST/7:00 PT am

Aston Villa started last week’s debut vs Tottenham Hotspur strong, maintaining a 1-0 lead until the 73rd minute when last season’s European runners-up scored 3 goals after the 73rd minute to win 3-1. Bournemouth had a disappointing 1-1 draw at home vs Sheffield United and gave up the equalizer to Billy Sharp in the 88th minute. Bournemouth was 5-1-13 on the road last season and look to spoil Villa’s home opener. With these two defenses shaky early, expect a back-and forth battle as the two teams share the points.

Prediction: Aston Villa 2 Bournemouth 2

Everton vs Watford

Saturday August 17 10:00 EST/7:00 PT am

Watford are looking for a much-needed bounce-back game as they were embarrassed at home by underdog Brighton & Hove Albion 3-0. Everton are looking for their first win of the season after a 0-0 draw vs Crystal Palace after Morgan Schneiderlin’s red card. With Gerard Deulofeu fit enough to start again for Watford, they should be able to get some solid chances with his wingman Troy Deeney up front. But with all of Everton’s playmakers including former Juventus striker Moise Kean and former Watford winger Richarlisson, expect Everton to have rhythm on the attack and win their home opener.

Prediction: Everton 3 Watford 1

Norwich City vs Newcastle United

Saturday August 17 10:00 EST/7:00 PT am

Norwich City got off to a rough start as they were decimated at Anfield but return home for their home opener to take on Newcastle United, who lost 1-0 at home to Arsenal last week. Newcomer Allan Saint-Maximin made his debut after his transfer from Nice, looks to make a big impact this week. Norwich was 15-4-4 in the Championship last season and look to continue that success in the Premier League. Expect a slugfest as both teams try to figure out their attacking identity.

Prediction: Norwich City 0 Newcastle United 0

Southampton vs Liverpool

Saturday August 17 10:00 EST/7:00 PT am

Liverpool is coming off Wednesday’s UEFA Super Cup victory over Chelsea in penalties, and now must track on in the Premier League with backup goalkeeper Adrian, who saved the final penalty Wednesday, and will fill in for injured goalkeeper Alisson Becker. They dominated Norwich City 4-1, and they now take on a Southampton team that just lost 3-0 at Burnley. While it looks to be a blowout, Liverpool will have some exhaustion after playing 120 minutes in Istanbul just 3 days prior to this game. Expect Liverpool to survive a low-scoring game.

Prediction: Liverpool 1 Southampton 0

Brighton & Hove Albion vs West Ham United

Saturday August 17 10:00 EST/7:00 PT am

Brighton was one of the most impressive teams in the Premier League last weekend as they throttled Watford 3-0 on the road in manager Graham Potter’s debut. West Ham on the other hand was not at all impressive last week as they ran into the Manchester City juggernaut and were defeated 5-0. Brighton in the last two seasons has been 3-1-0 vs West Ham and look to take care of business as West Ham forwards Sebastien Haller and Felipe Anderson may not be available. Expect Brighton’s midfield to set the pace and maintain possession as they look to continue their impressive start to the season.

Prediction: Brighton & Hove Albion 2 West Ham United 0

Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur

Saturday August 17 12:30 EST pm/9:30 PT am

These two top Premier League rivals square off for the first time this season after facing off 4 times last season. While Manchester City got the better of Tottenham in Premier League, the real battle came during the UEFA Champions League as they squared off in an epic 4-4 two-legged battle, but the Spurs came out on top on away goals. This is the first meeting this season and there will be some new faces entering the rivalry. Rodrigo and Joao Cancelo were huge pickups as Man City is gearing up for another season of trophy hunting after winning the Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup last season. After falling one game of the European Trophy last season, the Spurs picked up star midfielder Ndombele from OL-Lyon and he provided a huge goal in the 3-1-win vs Aston Villa. As both teams gear up for another season, expect another intense battle, but this time, Manchester City will just have too many weapons for the Spurs to keep up with as they may not have Son Hueng-min available for the match.

Prediction: Manchester City 4 Tottenham 2

Sheffield United vs Crystal Palace

Sunday August 18 9:00 EST/6:00 PT am

Sheffield stole a point at Bournemouth in their first game back in the Premier League since 2007 as substitute Billy Sharp scored the equalizer in the 88th minute. Crystal Palace amid Wilfried Zaha transfer talks, couldn’t take advantage of a one-man advantage as they drew 0-0 vs Everton. Crystal Palace will win on the road in this matchup as the weapons will come through for a huge win as Sheffield will struggle in their home opener.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 1 Sheffield United 0

Chelsea vs Leicester City

Sunday August 18 11:30 EST/8:30 PT am

Chelsea is not in a good position currently as they were embarrassed 4-0 at Old Trafford last weekend, and just played a marathon 120-minute match vs Liverpool in a game they lost. It was obvious that Chelsea was sorely missing Eden Hazard as they could not take advantage of controlling possession the first 60 minutes of the game. Leicester played their first game since center-back Harry Maguire left for Manchester United and was lucky to escape with a 0-0 draw at home vs Wolverhampton. With Chelsea struggling to finish and Leicester still strong at the midfield, expect to see a defensive slugfest.

Chelsea 0 Leicester City 0

Wolverhampton vs Manchester United

Monday August 19 3:00 EST/12:00 PT pm

Wolverhampton was last year’s Robin Hood as they stole points from every top 6 team besides Liverpool and dropped points against relegated teams. They did this after earning promotion the season prior and had an influx of Portuguese players. Last week, it was a frustrating result as VAR canceled their one goal vs Leicester in a game that ended 0-0. Manchester United had a dream result as they destroyed Chelsea 4-0, and 3 new players all had great debuts. New defenders Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire picked up clean sheets and new winger Daniel James scored a goal in his first game. While Manchester United is riding high, Wolverhampton will continue to play up to their competition and will look to make amends for last week’s result.

Prediction: Wolverhampton 2 Manchester United 1

World Cup heroes turned American villains? Male insecurities shine brightest when women earn spotlight in sports

For a nation that prides itself on being the best and using propaganda to influence that ideology, the United States sure is not embracing their own women’s national soccer team after another dominant World Cup victory. As the days go by, I witness more and more backlash towards the women’s team as if them winning brought disgrace to their homeland. Throughout their run towards their fourth World Cup trophy, numerous outlets took to social media to unleash their disdain towards the women. When they throttled Thailand with 13 goals, they were told not to celebrate a WORLD CUP GOAL. When Alex Morgan scored the game-winner against England, her tea-sipping celebration was highlighted as an egregious and vile act. The video that surfaced of the team dancing and basking in the glory of their win painted them as classless and distasteful. Today, another video has surfaced of Megan Rapinoe signing a ball for a kid but Rapinoe did not appear to acknowledge the kid’s presence for a mere half-second. However, we all know that Rapinoe not acknowledging the kid was the reason for recent criticisms. This gave a majority of males another form of obtuse justification for why they feel the need to silence and demonize women when they succeed in athletics.

You would think that in the 21st century, everyone walking on the planet, especially in a free country like the USA, would be given equal treatment for how they act. Unfortunately, in sports, this could not be further from the truth. Women in this country continue to be silenced and treated as second-class humans in the world of athletics. Female journalists are constantly told that they know nothing about the sport they cover. If women proclaim allegiance to a team, men feel the necessity to play 100 questions with them to “prove” their fandom. Comment sections on social media platforms are plastered with the pedestrian phrases, “Go back to the kitchen”, “Make me a sandwich”, “All women’s sports are boring”. Not one day goes by when someone loses self-control when it comes to their loathing of women in sports. Instead of praising and respecting our greatest female athletes for their achievements, they are always undermined when they get unfairly compared to their male counterparts. No matter who the female athlete is, whether it be Serena Williams, Alex Morgan or Diana Taurasi, they will never be given their due credit as sporting legends because “the men will always better than them”.

There is an undeniable truth that men get insecure when women are given the spotlight in sports. If the roles were reversed, and the men’s US team was winning World Cups and celebrating like the women did, they would be glorified and beloved for eternity. Men are elated when Baker Mayfield grabs his junk and Conor McGregor spouts out racial epithets in press conferences. Dare women to the same antics and they will be verbally burned to the ground. The average American male also values a female athlete’s beauty over their athletic performance. Prior to her steroid scandal, Maria Sharapova owned more endorsements than Serena Willams. Danica Patrick spent years struggling in NASCAR but was able to keep a top-level ride because of her raunchy advertisements with GoDaddy.com. Ronda Rousey was the promotional face of the UFC for years but Amanda Nunes, without a doubt, has garnered a better all-time resumé yet receives no promotion from the company. In a male-dominant society, we have created the narrative that female athletes only matter if they live up to our standards of beauty.

My thoughts are not targeted towards all men because there are plenty of us who were inspired by just how amazing our women’s soccer team is. Now is the time to take the next step in our perspectives towards women in sports. Instead of treating our daughters, sisters, wives, and girlfriends as pets when it comes to watching sports with them and feeling the need to keep them up to date about the happenings of an event without them asking, encourage them by bringing them into your passion for sports. Take your girlfriend or wife to sporting events, encourage your daughters to participate in athletics when they are young, and if a woman wants to ask a question about anything in sports, answer it without making them feel stupid.

Sports are beautiful regardless of gender, sexual orientation or race.

Photo via Michael Chow-USA TODAY Sports