The Premier League’s elite has very little time to lick their wounds by a succession of strikes in European competition since social activity provides a direct prospect of salvation for Liverpool, Chelsea, and Tottenham.
Manchester City was the only English side to win their Champions League opener at midweek, but have issues of their own having an injury-ravaged defense vulnerable in a shocking 3-2 defeat to Norwich last weekend, leaving the winners five points adrift of leaders Liverpool.
Pep Guardiola’s men will soon be assured of clipping that gap since they sponsor bottom-of-the-table Watford 24 hours before Liverpool travel to Chelsea on Sunday.
Both sides were defeated in their Champions League openers on Tuesday, although Liverpool conceding two late on to lose 2-0 in Napoli appears like a blip, Chelsea might have a very long season of brutal lessons beforehand with a youthful squad and both inexperienced director.
Frank Lampard has won two of the first seven matches in control of the Blues, and while his decision to provide quite a few childhood academies graduates enthusiasts embraced their opportunity, there are obvious flaws in this Chelsea side.
A restricted Valencia abandoned Stamford Bridge 1-0 victors this week had only one shot on goal.
From the Premier League, just Norwich have surrendered over Chelsea within the first five matches and Liverpool seem ideally positioned to select off Lampard’s clear strategy on the counter-attack.
A rare defeat in Italy was just the next time Jurgen Klopp’s guys have dropped since January in most contests, and they’re on a club-record run of 14 straight Premier League wins.
“They are playing well at the moment. They are the best team in the nation on the shape,” said Lampard. “it is a wonderful test for us now, and we will need to be prepared for it.”
The early-season type of Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester United and Arsenal has given hope to the rest of the team which breaking the glass ceiling of the top six is a sensible aim.
Leicester and West Ham are tied together with those four to eight points from their first five matches and have the opportunity to demonstrate that their top-six credentials in the home this weekend.
Tottenham travels to Leicester after blowing a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 off to Olympiakos on Wednesday and have a fast turnaround before confronting the Foxes on Saturday lunchtime.
United conquer Leicester last weekend for only their second win in 10 league games. However, the Red Devils haven’t won away because of their thrilling Champions League victory at Paris Saint-Germain at March and go to a West Ham side unbeaten in their previous four league matches.
Emery needs signs of advancement.
Arsenal emerged in the summertime window with renewed hope and anticipation of finishing a three-year exile in the Champions League.
Despite considerable backing, director Unai Emery has been not able to locate the ideal balance between attack and defense.
The Gunners allow a 2-0 half-time lead slip away at Watford last weekend and have been hanging for a 2-2 draw as the Hornets had 31 shots on target — that the most Arsenal have faced from the Premier League.
A break clause at Emery’s contract implies he could be let go after the effort and, into his next time, the Spaniard should begin showing signs of progress fast.
Aston Villa’s trip to the Emirates provides the ideal opportunity to get a reassuring 3 points, but Emery can ill afford another slip-up.