The 2022/23 Premier League season heads into its third week with Manchester United rooted to the foot of the table.
You weren’t expecting that, were you?
West Ham United fans were also probably hoping they wouldn’t be in the bottom three at this point. But there’s no surprise who’s top of the table – champions Manchester City, who have already scored six and conceded zero across their two outings.
Arsenal, Brentford, Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United, Leeds United, Chelsea and Brighton are the other sides to have picked up at least four points from their first two games: the question is can they keep it going?
90min‘s predictions for gameweek 3 are as follows…
Tottenham vs Wolves
It’s been a good start to the season for Antonio Conte’s Spurs, with an opening day mauling of Southampton followed up by an impressive comeback at Chelsea last Sunday.
Wolves have just a point to show for their efforts so far, in the 0-0 draw with Fulham, but could have shiny new club-record signing Matheus Nunes available to make his debut.
That may not be enough to get anything out of the game for Bruno Lage’s side here, though – Spurs seem really up for it this year.
Prediction: Tottenham 2-0 Wolves
Everton vs Nottingham Forest
Frank Lampard’s Everton are point-less after games against Chelsea and Aston Villa, with the Toffees’ main concern a lack of focal point up top.
Their opponents Nottingham Forest have spent the second highest amount of money in the world during the summer window – Morgan Gibbs-White’s £25m arrival from Wolves their 16th senior signing.
Enough to get something at Goodison Park? It’s just written in the script not to be, isn’t it?
Prediction: Everton 1-0 Nottingham Forest
Leicester vs Southampton
It feels weird to say that Brendan Rodgers and Ralph Hasenhuttl are already under a bit of pressure, but that feels like the reality for these two managers.
Leicester’s pressure is because of a need to sell players (and not sign any), while Southampton’s stems from looking pretty ordinary at times. That said, last week’s comeback against Leeds showed what the Saints can do when they get their tactics right.
A home win appears most likely, just.
Prediction: Leicester 2-1 Southampton
Fulham vs Brentford
Fulham’s Premier League campaign has kicked off with back-to-back draws against Liverpool and Wolves – a pretty good start for Marco Silva and his charges.
Brentford, meanwhile, fought back admirably on the opening day against Leicester to get a point, and last week they smashed Manchester United into oblivion. Let the good times roll for Thomas Frank and co.
Prediction: Fulham 0-1 Brentford
Crystal Palace vs Aston Villa
You’d be hard pressed to find anybody who isn’t impressed by Crystal Palace’s resilience and overall style of play under Patrick Vieira.
It’s also a hard task to find anybody who wouldn’t have been amused by Steven Gerrard’s claim that Tyrone Mings needed to ‘look him in the eye’ before he was ready to start after being stripped of the Villa captaincy.
But start he did last week against Everton, and Mings is now guaranteed minutes (after Diego Carlos’ nasty Achilles injury) against Palace in what could prove to be a very close game.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-1 Aston Villa
Bournemouth vs Arsenal
There’s a good chance that Bournemouth are on 99% of relegation bingo cards around the country, given their relative lack of spending since earning promotion.
But that’s exactly how the Cherries like it – going under the radar, doing their thing and getting on with the job. Unfortunately for them, Arsenal are off to a red-hot start this season under Mikel Arteta – and with Gabriel Jesus spearheading their forward line, they look pretty damn good.
Namesake Martinelli is also off to a peach of a start, and there’s no reason to think the brakes will be hit on the south coast.
Prediction: Bournemouth 0-2 Arsenal
West Ham vs Brighton
Thursday’s win over Viborg FF in the Europa Conference League was important to West Ham for two reasons.
Firstly, they are without a point after two games, and secondly they are yet to beat Brighton after 10 Premier League meetings between the pair (six draws, four defeats). Graham Potter’s Seagulls look to be in fine fettle, so it will be another intriguing battle at London Stadium – one that could see that wait for a win go on…
Prediction: West Ham 1-1 Brighton
Leeds vs Chelsea
There’s a really positive vibe around Leeds despite the summer departures of Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha to Manchester City and Barcelona respectively.
Jesse Marsch has got them scoring goals and, despite throwing a two-goal lead away at Southampton aside, things look a whole lot more organised. They will need to be just that against Chelsea, who were hugely impressive against Tottenham last Sunday even though they ended up drawing 2-2.
A potentially close encounter could be settled by the odd goal.
Prediction: Leeds 0-1 Chelsea
Newcastle vs Man City
In 10 years time, Newcastle hope to be in the position Manchester City are in now – top of the Premier League tree, a few trophies in the cabinet and one of the world’s best coaches directing traffic on the sidelines.
But, unfortunately, we’re still in 2022 and right now Pep Guardiola’s City rule the roost in England.
An unerringly good start against West Ham and Bournemouth has provided maximum points, and it’s difficult to suggest anything other than more of the same at St James’ Park – even though the Toon are unbeaten and yet to concede.
Prediction: Newcastle 0-3 Man City
Man Utd vs Liverpool
Manchester United and Liverpool have played two Premier League games each – and neither have recorded a win.
In fact, the Red Devils have lost their first two games – their worst start in 101 years – and to make matters worse for Erik ten Hag, last weekend’s defeat to Brentford might have been the most embarrassing of this horrendous period of Manchester doom and gloom.
Bizarrely, Liverpool have also had a slow start – yes, they’ve had injuries – so this fixture now takes on even more significance than it did already. They hate each other, they want to beat each other, but only one can win – and the indicators (winning 5-0 at Old Trafford last season being one of them) suggest Liverpool will be the ones to do it.
Prediction: Man Utd 0-2 Liverpool