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After a week of Champions League and Premier League drama, England's top flight is back again for more action this weekend. Headlining Matchday 6 is a showdown between two of the top clubs in the country and the small matter of a North London Derby.
Here’s everything you need to know about the key Premier League fixtures this week:
Chelsea vs. Man City
Saturday, Sept. 25 at 7:30AM ET | Live stream
Set your alarm clock. This one kicks off early on this side of the pond, but it’s a can’t miss.
Though not historical giants, Chelsea and Manchester City are two of club soccer’s very best in the modern game, as evidenced by the Champions League final last season.
Chelsea prevailed on that occasion thanks to a match-winner from Kai Havertz in the 1-0 victory, securing a second Champions League trophy for the the London side — something Man City still covets.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) June 2, 2021
On Saturday, a rematch.
Manchester City has already dropped points twice through five games. In the first week, the Cityzens lost 1-0 to Spurs, and last week they failed to score in a 0-0 draw vs. Southampton, registering only one shot on target.
It’s not an ideal start for the reigning Premier League champions, but their current 3-1-1 record is identical to last season through Matchday 5, and in the end, they earned the title by a 12-point margin. So there’s no need to panic.
But this season poses perhaps a more difficult challenge. While clubs such as Chelsea and Liverpool took a while to find their groove last campaign after finding chemistry with new additions and dealing with injuries, they’re both out of the gates running this season.
Chelsea’s only dropped points came at the hands of Liverpool in a 1-1 draw where the Blues spent the entire second half down one man. Otherwise, Chelsea has won the rest of its matches by a combined score of 11-0. Last weekend, Chelsea crushed London rivals Tottenham 3-0, looking like a well-oiled machine.
That’ll be put to the test vs. City, who’ve consistently been a top offensive club in this league. But they’ll likely have to hit the target more than once if they hope to knock off a steamrolling Chelsea.
Arsenal vs. Tottenham
Sunday, Sept. 26 at 11:30PM ET | Live stream
With Chelsea rolling and having already crushed both Arsenal and Tottenham 2-0 and 3-0, respectively, this season, London is bleeding blue at the moment.
But this Sunday’s North London derby provides both Spurs and the Gunners a chance to remind soccer fans that there is, in fact, more than one club in the English capital.
Both clubs are coming off disastrous seasons by their standards — Tottenham finished seventh, and Arsenal finished eighth. Spurs looked to have shaken off the poor form with three wins to begin the 2021-22 campaign but have now lost two in a row, falling to Chelsea and Crystal Palace, 3-0 on both occasions.
The Gunners have been through the opposite. The nightmare continued with three straight losses to begin the season, but they’ve now won back-to-back, scraping by with 1-0 victories vs. Norwich City and Burnley, mind you.
All eyes will be on Harry Kane, who has yet to score this campaign after a summer of transfer rumours. So when better for him to get off the mark than against Arsenal? Kane is the North London derby’s all-time leading scorer with 11 goals.
Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard, who scored in the North London derby at the Emirates last season, provided the winner for the Gunners vs. Burnley last week. The 22-year-old will be looking to build on his excellent form as one of Arsenal’s few bright spots.
Brentford vs. Liverpool
Saturday, Sept. 25 at 12:30PM ET | Live stream
Saturday’s slate of games ends with a fixture soccer fans haven’t seen in 32 years.
Liverpool last played Brentford in the 1989 FA Cup, when Peter Beardsley scored a brace to push the Reds to a 4-0 victory. This time around, that brace will more likely be coming from Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah.
But this is a different Brentford side, one that was good enough to qualify for England’s top division for the first time since 1947 and has impressed since arriving.
So far, Brentford has two wins, two draws, one loss and sits ninth in the table. Not bad for a club making its first top-flight appearance in 74 years.
The Bees have shown an ability to defend against the country’s best, having only conceded twice in five matches. On offence, the young front duo of Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbeumo will put Liverpool’s defender on alert — both scored in last week’s 2-0 defeat of Wolves.
Liverpool is a beast they’ve yet to encounter, however. Currently tied atop the league table with Chelsea, the Reds seem destined for another glorious campaign in the Premier League after dealing with the injury bug and falling short of expectations last season (they still finished third).
The last time Brentford actually beat Liverpool in a match was in 1938, when World War II hadn’t officially begun yet. Chances are the winless drought continues into 2022.
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