Everton vs West Bromwich Albion
Goodison Park, Liverpool
Saturday, 19-09-2020 @2:30pm
Ref: Mike Dean
Everton have only lost one of the past 11 league meetings, winning five and drawing five. West Brom’s recent top-flight away record against Everton is poor, with two wins from 19 visits. However, Albion have kept eight Premier League clean sheets against Everton – their joint-best record against any side.
Everton have defensive injury issues with Jarrad Branthwaite joining Mason Holgate on the sidelines with an ankle problem sustained against Salford City. Midfielder Alex Iwobi is available again after an unspecified injury.
West Brom, like Everton, made 10 changes for their midweek cup win over Harrogate Town. New signing Branislav Ivanovic is lacking match fitness so won’t feature against the Toffees but fellow new arrival Conor Gallagher is available. Matt Phillips and Conor Townsend could feature in the Premier League for the first time this season having made their injury return in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.
Everton could begin a Premier League season with consecutive victories for the first time since 2012-13. They are vying to go unbeaten in their first two league matches for a ninth consecutive season. Everton have won their opening Premier League home match for each of the past three years. The Toffees failed to win any of their three home league matches against promoted sides last season, drawing one and losing two. Carlo Ancelotti has never lost a Premier League fixture to newly-promoted opposition, winning 11 and drawing four. Only Chris Wood (14) and Harry Kane (12) have scored more Premier League headers since the beginning of the 2017-18 campaign than Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s 11.
West Brom are without a victory in five league matches, four of which came in the Championship. The Baggies have not scored more than once in any of their past 21 Premier League away games. Albion are unbeaten in their opening away fixture of a league campaign since losing to Chelsea in 2011. Head coach Slaven Bilic was sent off in three of his 28 Premier League appearances for Everton in the 1997-98 season.
Leeds United vs Fulham
Elland Road, Leeds
Saturday, 19-09-2020 @5pm
Ref: Anthony Taylor
Leeds expect to have captain Liam Cooper available again after he missed the opening match of the season against Liverpool with a calf problem. Adam Forshaw is nearing a return to action after his long-standing hip injury.
Fulham head coach Scott Parker has confirmed he has no new fitness concerns in his squad. There could be Premier League debuts for Alphonse Areola, Kenny Tete and Antonee Robinson. Former Chelsea defender Ola Aina may also be involved for the first time since completing a loan move from Torino.
Leeds are seeking back-to-back league victories against Fulham for the first time since December 2003, when the Whites were last in the Premier League. The home team has not lost any of the previous eight league meetings. In the past 31 Premier League matches between two newly promoted clubs, the away side has managed to win just twice – both of which came at relegated Norwich last season.
This is the first Premier League fixture at Elland Road since a 3-3 draw against Charlton confirmed Leeds’ relegation in May 2004. Leeds have lost their opening match at Elland Road in only one of their previous 12 seasons in the Premier League, a 2-0 defeat by Sheffield Wednesday in August 1996. Marcelo Bielsa’s side conceded only one goal in their final eight Championship home fixtures last season. They won 33 tackles against Liverpool last Saturday and covered a distance of 114.6km, the most of any side in the opening round of Premier League matches.
Fulham have lost 15 of their past 19 Premier League matches. They have only won their opening away match in two of their 26 top-flight seasons, against Portsmouth in 2009-10 and Sunderland in 2013-14. Tom Cairney has been directly involved in seven league goals against Leeds, scoring four and setting up three – more than he has against any other opponent. Head coach Scott Parker scored a 90th-minute winner at Elland Road in December 2002 in his only victory in six Premier League appearances as a player against Leeds, which all came for Charlton.
Man United vs Crystal Palace
Old Trafford, Manchester
Saturday, 19-09-2020 @7:30pm
Ref: Martin Atkinson
Manchester United are weighing up whether to hand summer signing Donny van de Beek his competitive debut. Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood are available after completing coronavirus quarantines.
Crystal Palace’s lengthy injury list includes Gary Cahill, James Tomkins and Patrick van Aanholt. Mamadou Sakho returned in the EFL Cup in midweek and may feature, while Christian Benteke, Connor Wickham and Jairo Riedewald are being assessed.
Manchester United’s solitary defeat in 22 Premier League meetings came in last season’s corresponding fixture, which Palace won 2-1. Palace have scored just 10 goals in those 22 games. The Eagles are attempting to become only the seventh side to win back-to-back Premier League away games at Old Trafford. Palace are unbeaten in their past four away league fixtures against the two Manchester clubs (W2, D2).
No club has won their opening Premier League match more than Manchester United, who have done so 19 times. They are looking to win a sixth successive opening top-flight match for the first time in their history. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were unbeaten in their final 14 league fixtures of last season, earning an unrivalled 32 points. United have lost just one of their last 17 league fixtures at Old Trafford (W9, D7). The Red Devils have scored in 13 successive league matches, with 30 goals in total. They haven’t lost a league match kicking off at 5.30pm since December 2015, winning 13 and drawing five of 18 games. Bruno Fernandes has been involved in 20 of United’s 51 goals in all competitions (39%) since his debut in February, leading the team in both goals (12) and assists (eight) during that time.
Crystal Palace’s victory last weekend was their first league win in nine matches (D1, L7). They are looking to start the season with back-to-back victories for the first time in the club’s top-flight history. The Eagles lost their final four away league matches of 2019-20 by an aggregate score of 0-11. Wilfried Zaha is looking to score in consecutive Premier League games for the first time since November 2019. However, the Ivorian scored just once in 19 away league fixtures last season. Ex-United player Zaha made 12 Premier League appearances for Cardiff under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 2013-14. He failed to score, and registered just one assist. Roy Hodgson has lost 13 of his 17 league matches as a manager against Manchester United (W3, D1).
Arsenal vs West Ham United
Emirates Stadium, London
Saturday, 19-09-2020 @10pm
Ref: Michael Oliver
Arsenal have won 10 of their past 11 home games against West Ham in all competitions. The Hammers have lost 31 Premier League matches versus Arsenal, more than against any other opponent. Five of West Ham’s eight Premier League wins in this fixture came away.
Arsenal centre-back David Luiz has been passed fit following neck spasms, while Mesut Ozil is under consideration after being left out last weekend against Fulham. Defenders Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis and Pablo Mari are among the absentees.
West Ham captain Mark Noble missed training on Friday with a toe injury and is being monitored. Ex-Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is a doubt to face his former club because of an ankle problem. Record signing Sebastian Haller scored twice in the EFL Cup and could be recalled.
Arsenal are unbeaten in nine home league games this calendar year (W7, D2), scoring 21 goals and conceding seven. The Gunners have won only three of their past nine season-opening home league games (D1, L5). They have won their opening two league fixtures only once in the last 10 campaigns. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored eight goals in six Arsenal appearances in all competitions, including each of the past four games. However, Aubameyang has scored just one league goal in five matches against the Hammers. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta scored 27 goals in 174 Premier League appearances for Everton, all under David Moyes.
West Ham’s loss last weekend ended their four-game unbeaten streak (W2, D2). They could fail to win either of their opening two league fixtures for a fourth successive campaign. The Hammers ended 2019-20 unbeaten in three away league matches (W1, D2), with Michail Antonio scoring six of their seven goals during that run. They have not won their opening away league fixture since beating Arsenal in 2015-16 season. David Moyes has never won at Arsenal in any competition, drawing four and losing 15 of his 19 visits. Mark Noble is one goal short of equalling Paolo Di Canio’s West Ham Premier League club record of 47 goals.
The other Premier League games this weekend
-Southampton vs Tottenham Hotspur @2pm
-Newcastle United vs Brighton and Hove Albion @4pm
-Chelsea vs Liverpool @6:30pm
-Leicester City vs Burnley @9pm
-Aston Villa vs Sheffield United @8pm
-Wolves vs Man City @10:15pm