Gameweek 3 of the 2021/22 Premier League season packs some feisty and fiery encounters coming our way.
For the Gameweek 3 opener, we have another installment of the ‘Master vs Apprentice’ tussle with an early kickoff (5:00 pm IST) this Saturday evening when Pep Guardiola will be hosting Mikel Arteta and his team at the Etihad Stadium.
Dean Smith’s Aston Villa will look to make it two in two against newly promoted sides with Thomas Frank’s Brentford paying them a visit. Meanwhile, Graham Potter’s Brighton & Hove Albion are looking to make it three wins from their opening three fixtures but face a stern test with Everton visiting the Amex Stadium.
Newcastle United are yet to register a point against their name and are playing against a Southampton side who are high on confidence on the back of earning a point against Manchester United, while Daniel Farke’s Norwich play hosts to Brendan Rodgers Leicester City; both lost heavily last week and it will be interesting to see how they cope after that.
And for the final match on Saturday, we have a Clash of The Titans where Liverpool host Chelsea in front of a packed Anfield. Two title contenders, two master tacticians, two full-strength world-class teams battling it out this early in the season. It can’t get better than this.
On Sunday we have Sean Dyche’s Burnley hosting Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United. Both teams are yet to register a win and will be looking to do exactly that. While Tottenham Hotspur will be looking to make it three in three, but Xisco Muñoz and his team are eyeing their second scalp of the season.
Last but not the least, we have Manchester United visiting Molineux Stadium to take on a determined Wolves side who, despite their decent performances, have nothing to show for it in the points table.
MANCHESTER CITY v ARSENAL
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City will host Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal in the first fixture of Gameweek 3. While City seemed to have found their groove against Norwich City, Arteta’s Arsenal are staring at the prospect of three straight defeats to start the season with. Mikel and his young team have a huge task at hand and will have to play out of their skins to come out of this fixture with anything.
Based on previous encounters between the two clubs, Pep is likely to field both Kevin De Bruyne (£12.0m) and Jack Grealish (£8.0m), while Riyad Mahrez (£9.0m) might just get the nod ahead of Gabriel Jesus as his menacing inside runs from the right will cause a lot of problem to that Arsenal left-hand side. Arteta, on the other hand, will have Martin Ødegaard (£5.5m) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£9.9m) fresh to call up, and more importantly, it gives him more options to play around with his team.
Manchester City 2-0 Arsenal
Also Read - 5 BEST PREMIUM FORWARDS FOR 21/22 FPL SEASON
ASTON VILLA v BRENTFORD
Dean Smith’s Aston Villa registered their first win of the season against Newcastle United at Villa Park, though it certainly papered over some of the cracks in his new Villa setup. Thomas Frank’s Brentford are a well-drilled unit and despite the lack of star potential within that setup, Frank and his team will be a tough nut to crack if their first two matches are anything to go by.
Danny Ings (£8.1m), the former Saints man, has started his Villa career on the front foot, scoring two goals in as many games, while the same cannot be said about his counterparts. Bryan Mbeumo (£5.5m) and Ivan Toney (£6.5m) have missed some high-profile chances so far, but what must be heartening to both is that these chances are coming their way.
Although both sides have sufficient attacking power to carve open the other, their systems suggest it could quite possibly end up as a cagey affair.
Aston Villa 1-1 Brentford
BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION v EVERTON
Graham Potter’s men have lived up to their pre-season billing and have won both of their opening fixtures as they join Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham as the four clubs with a 100 percent record to date.
However, Brighton have conceded chances and are vulnerable when you look at the underlying stats. They have conceded three Big Chances in their first two fixtures. Doesn’t look that bad, does it? But when you look at how they were against Burnley and Watford, you realise that against a much stronger forward line, this Brighton defence can easily crumble.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£8.1m) has recorded the highest expected goals (xG) of 2.23 than any other player in the league so far. He has scored two in two with 9 Shots (2nd), 6 Shots on Target (1st), 9 Shots in the Box and 3 Big Chances (1st). The Englishman seems to be even more of a focal point of attack under Rafael Benítez than Carlo Ancelotti. The Seagulls have also conceded eight headed chances in their opening two games (18th), and it’s worth noting that DCL had the highest headed attempts at goal last season (33) and headed goals (7).
Brighton 1-1 Everton
NEWCASTLE UNITED v SOUTHAMPTON
Steve Bruce will really be disappointed with his Newcastle side. After a promising first 45 minutes against West Ham United, the Magpies threw the match away, and against Villa, they should have at least come away with a single point. Callum Wilson (£7.5m), their scorer from Gameweek 1, missed a clear goal-scoring opportunity and then wasted a penalty kick. Newcastle currently sit near the bottom with zero points. Joe Willock (£6.0m) and Allan Saint-Maximin (£6.5m) will be key to any success they enjoy this coming week.
Southampton, on the other hand, showed signs of improvement as the game wore on against Manchester United. The Saints earned themselves a valuable point against the Red Devils and will look to build on that as they visit St. James’ Park this coming weekend. Saints captain James Ward-Prowse (£6.5m) will be the one to watch out for along with the attacking duo of Che Adams (£5.5m) and Adam Armstrong (£6.5m).
Newcastle United 2-1 Southampton
Also Read - 5 BEST PREMIUM DEFENDERS FOR 21/22 FPL SEASON
NORWICH CITY v LEICESTER CITY
It seems like Daniel Farke’s men haven’t learned anything from their last expedition to England’s topflight. If their performance against Liverpool was laudable, their performance against Man City was utter stupidity. They want to play exciting, expansive football, but at the expense of ignoring their shortcomings. Again, like Gameweek 1, Milot Rashica (£5.5m) was levels above any other Norwich player and has been the only positive coming out of a naive team that have already shipped in eight goals from two Premier League matches, yet to open their own account.
Leicester will be hoping to bounce back following their 4-1 embarrassing defeat at the hands of West Ham on Monday night. Jamie Vardy (£10.5m) automatically becomes a very good buy and a decent captain option for Gameweek 3 while Harvey Barnes (£7.0m) and James Maddison (£6.9m) might collect decent points against a weaker Norwich side.
Norwich City 0-3 Leicester City
WEST HAM UNITED v CRYSTAL PALACE
West Ham United under David Moyes have slowly become one of the most exciting teams to watch in recent times. Although they remain vulnerable at the back, they have scored eight goals in their opening two fixtures, four each against Newcastle and Leicester, and the man who’s been running the show of late is none other than Michail Antonio (£7.7m).
The Hammers forward, along with teammate Saïd Benrahma (£6.2m), has started the season superbly. Antonio is the highest scoring asset with 29 FPL points while Benrahma is the highest-scoring midfielder with 24 FPL points. Teammates Pablo Fornals (£6.0m), Declan Rice (£5.0m) and Tomáš Souček (£6.0m) are all great FPL assets this week.
Crystal Palace, to their credit, had a decent outing against Brentford but would want more from their uninspiring midfield to spark some creativity and the forwards to be more clinical when chances do arrive. Wilfred Zaha (£7.0m) would be the obvious pick if you want a Palace player while Conor Gallagher (£5.5m) can be a decent differential pick too.
West Ham 3-1 Crystal Palace
LIVERPOOL v CHELSEA
And it is the first blockbuster encounter of the season: two teams that on paper and ability-wise should be there or thereabout in terms of challenging for the title come May 2022. It is Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool hosting Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea at Anfield. This match has the potential to be one of the best matches of the season, despite being this early into the campaign.
While Chelsea have been the meanest defence in the league since Thomas Tuchel took charge, their recent acquisition of Romelu Lukaku (£11.5m) has put them right up there as a title contender. Liverpool last season were a defensive mess, but now, with a full-strength backline with Andy Robertson (£7.0m) coming back from injury, it is going to be a fascinating encounter with Mohamed Salah (£12.6m), Sadio Mané (£11.9m) and Diogo Jota (£7.6m) leading the Liverpool line, while Lukaku’s hold up play and Chelsea’s wingbacks Reece James (£5.5m) and Ben Chilwell (£6.0m), who will hopefully get the nod ahead of Marcus Alonso (£5.6m), will certainly trouble Liverpool’s fullbacks.
Liverpool 2-2 Chelsea
Also Read - The Greatest Premier League Records
BURNLEY v LEEDS UNITED
After their 5-1 humiliating defeat to rivals Manchester United, Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United gave a good account of themselves against Everton, while a jittery showing at the back was always going to be there with this Leeds team. Raphinha (£6.5m) got off the mark with his delightful goal against Everton, while his teammates Patrick Bamford (£8.0m), Jack Harrison (£6.0m) and Mateusz Klich (£5.5m) might have a lot to offer against a team like Burnley.
Sean Dyche’s side will be proud of their performance at Anfield as they gave a good account of themselves and troubled the Liverpool backline on a few occasions. Chris Wood (£6.9m), Dwight McNeil (£5.9m) and Charlie Taylor (£4.5m) can be decent picks against a Leeds side that are notoriously known for conceding sloppy goals and have thus far conceded seven goals in two games.
Burnley 1-2 Leeds United
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR v WATFORD
Nuno Espírito Santo’s Tottenham managerial career has gone off to a perfect start considering their opening two fixtures were against Manchester City and Wolves. With an xG of 2.8 from their opening two fixtures, them scraping through with a 1-0 victory in both the encounters have left them in good stead to push on from here with a relatively easy run of fixtures coming their way.
Harry Kane (£12.3m) coming off the bench in their last game for Heung-Min Son (£10.0m) has put off a lot of FPL managers with their team selection as Kane potentially starting against Watford is something you wouldn’t want to miss. Xisco Muñoz’s side, despite their counter-attacking threat, have been sloppy at the back, conceding two goals each against Villa and Brighton. Ismaïla Sarr (£6.0m) and Emmanuel Dennis (£5.1m) remain the standout picks from Watford and any return against Spurs is likely to fetch good Bonus Points.
Tottenham 2-0 Watford
WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS v MANCHESTER UNITED
Bruno Lage’s Wolverhampton Wanderers face the challenge of taming a free-flowing Manchester United side. Ole Gunnar Solskjær must be unhappy with his side dropping points at St. Mary’s but would be wary of Wolves’ attacking threat as well. Although Lage’s team have lost both their opening fixtures, he can take solace from the fact that his side conceded fewer chances and created in abundance, it’s just the finishing that has let him and the fans down.
Adama Traoré (£6.0m) has been electric from the left-flank and Raul Jiménez’s (£7.5m) has finally had two intense competitive matches under his belt and should be of concern to the Man United backline. For United, Bruno Fernandes (£12.1m) and Paul Pogba (£7.7m) remain the creative focal point while Luke Shaw (£5.5m) and Mason Greenwood (£7.6m) could bag vital points this Gameweek.
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 Manchester United