Arsenal

The second round of Premier League matches in the 2018/19 season will be the London derby between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening.

Both teams are looking for new identities under Premier League newcomers Maurizio Sarri and Unai Emery respectively. While Chelsea were impressive in their 3-0 win over Huddersfield Town last weekend, Arsenal were unable to show any signs of progress in a 2-0 loss at home to Manchester City, but that may be down far more to the quality of the champions rather than any shortcomings on their part.

What one can be certain of is the Gunners need to improve their attacking play and get more out of the likes of Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. This will in turn bring Gabonese star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang into the game, and he will surely relish the chance to go up against the Blues’ fragile-looking central defensive pair of David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger.

The Chelsea-Arsenal battle is just one of six matches scheduled for Saturday, 18 August. The round kicks off with an early-afternoon clash between Cardiff City and Newcastle United – two teams looking to bounce from their opening round defeats at the hands of Bournemouth and Tottenham Hotspur respectively.

The afternoon games feature another London Derby as Tottenham host Fulham at Wembley, while they wait for the new White Hart Lane to be completed. Wilfred Ndidi will look to inspire Leicester City at home to a Wolverhampton Wanderers team which already looks comfortable in the Premier League. Idrissa Gueye’s Everton will fancy their chances of overcoming Southampton at home, especially if Richarlison can continue his scoring form,  and West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini will want a major improvement from his team at home to Bournemouth, compared to the 4-0 mauling they suffered at the hands of Liverpool last weekend.

Champions Manchester City will be in action on Sunday afternoon as they host Huddersfield Town. The Terriers will hope to snatch something on the break or from a set-piece through the power of Benin striker Steve Mounie, but they are likely to spend the game chasing shadows against Pep Guardiola’s side.

Burnley and Watford will battle at Turf Moor at the same time as the City game, before Sunday’s action is wrapped up with a match at the AmEx Stadium between hosts Brighton & Hove Albion and Manchester United.

The Seagulls need a major improvement following their opening 2-0 loss to Watford and will look to last year’s 1-0 home win over United as inspiration. As for Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils, speculation continues to swirl over the future of Paul Pogba, but one can expect the French World Cup winner to be a key figure for the visitors as they target three points on the South Coast.

The round wraps up with a potential thriller at Selhurst Park on Monday night, as Crystal Palace host Liverpool. Fans of Africa’s star players are set to be in for a treat, as the Reds’ Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita bring their skills to an Eagles team which will be spearheaded by the talismanic Wilfried Zaha.

Key matches – Stats

Chelsea v Arsenal – Head-to-head, Premier League
Matches played 52
Chelsea wins 17
Arsenal wins 19
Draws 16

Palace v Liverpool – Head-to-head, Premier League
Matches played 18
Palace wins 5
Liverpool wins 10
Draws 3

Brighton v Man United – Head-to-head, Premier League
Matches played 2
Brighton wins 1
United wins 1
Draws 0

Leading goal scorers2 goals –
Richarlison (Everton), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Roberto Pereyra (Watford)

Premier League fixtures, Saturday, 18 August to Monday, 20 August 

Saturday, 18 August
13:30 -  Cardiff City v Newcastle United – SuperSport 3, Maximo 1
16:00 - Everton v Southampton – SuperSport 5, Maximo 2
16:00 - Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham – SuperSport 3, SuperSport 10, Maximo 1, Select 2
18:30 - Chelsea v Arsenal – SuperSport 3, Maximo 1
 

Sunday, 19 August
14:30 - Burnley v Watford – SuperSport 6, SuperSport 10, Maximo 2, Select 2
14:30 -Manchester City v Huddersfield Town – SuperSport 3, Maximo 1
17:00 - Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United – SuperSport 3, Maximo 1
 

Monday, 20 August
21:00 - Crystal Palace v Liverpool –  SuperSport 3, Maximo 1