A game that defined the rivalry between Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger will be managed by two welcoming parties in Maurizio Sarri and Unai Emery, and that surely is the topmost attraction for gameweek 2.
Emery might be under speculation already if they lose to Chelsea this week, as their home loss against Manchester City didn’t give them any chance in the middle of the park as it seemed too blunt. On the contrary, Sarri enjoyed a win against Huddersfield on the first week, as he mentioned that it’ll take more than a couple of months to see “Sarri’s Chelsea” to be precise. Quality gave them the three points, but with an equally matching side, this game could gift us a lot of goals to begin with. The question remains for Emery is whether to go with the traditional Cech or the more Emerysic Leno.
A rivalry between managers often changes the way the fans say the game. Benitez and Warnock have never had the luxury to share a healthy relationship after Benitez fielded a weakened Liverpool side in 2007, days before the Champions League final, against then strugglers Fulham. Fulham won the game, and due to that Sheffield United, then led by Neil Warnock had to bow out from the league. Warnock never forgave the man and it will be an idiosyncratic moment when both the managers will be out and might not shake their hands. Well, remember what happened in 2012 when Leeds United met Chelsea in that Capital One Cup quarter-final.
Liverpool’s record against mid-table or relegation-threatened opponents has never been a thing to be proud of. Jürgen Klopp’s men dropped 19 points against teams that finished in the bottom six last season, nine of them against the three teams who went on to be relegated. The good news is that they now have a much-improved squad which can allow his men to play alternate plans and help them squeeze out results. The fact remains that a certain Roy Hodgson, then manager of Liverpool fielded this line-up against Rabotnicki after they returned to Europe: Diego Cavalieri, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger, Sotirios Kyrgiakos, Martin Kelly, Alberto Aquilani, Lucas, Jay Spearing, David Amoo, Milan Jovanovic and David Ngog. Time flies.
Richarlison enjoyed an afternoon to remember against Wolves on the opening weekend, scoring his first goal in 265 days before adding a superb second on his Toffees’ debut. Silva’s side settled for a share of the spoils at newly-promoted Wolves last weekend. But they’ll be hoping to pick up their first win of the season when they host Southampton on Saturday. Mark Hughes’ side escaped relegation last term and opened up the new campaign with a goalless draw with Burnley last Sunday. With the arrival of Lucas Digne also ramping up the pressure on Leighton Baines in the left-back position, it seems that Séamus Coleman is now the only Everton defender guaranteed his place in the side.
Huddersfield shut out Man City (with Kevin De Bruyne) at the Etihad last season, limiting them to only two shots on target despite conceding 80% possession. Sadly for City, De Bruyne won’t be available for selection for the three months after suffering an injury in training. It gives an opportunity for youngster Phil Foden to step up and show the world what he was. The news was a boost for Bernardo Silva as his position might be glued to the starting eleven at this moment as Pep recently confirmed. This may be the match in which Wagner might need to introduce the rapid new winger Adama Diakhaby to nick a goal on the counterattack. He’s fast and he can help them.
Predicted Scoreline for Gameweek 2:
Cardiff City 2-2 Newcastle United
West Ham United 2-1 Bournemouth
Everton 0-0 Southampton
Leicester City 2-0 Wolverhampton
Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Fulham
Chelsea 3-2 Arsenal
Burnley 1-0 Watford
Manchester City 3-1 Huddersfield Town
Brighton 0-0 Manchester United
Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool
Who do you think will win the London derby in gameweek 2? Comment below.