One of the Premier League’s two remaining 100 per cent records will end this evening as Liverpool host Arsenal in a top-of-the-table clash.
Liverpool and Arsenal have both won their opening two games of the season, and meet on Merseyside high on confidence.
Jurgen Klopp’s Champions League holders have a few issues to iron out in defence and midfield, but their attack looks as strong as ever and it will be up to Unai Emery to keep them at bay.
The Gunners look more resilient early in the new campaign with some shrewd signings and positive results sending optimism soaring around north London but Anfield is a huge test of where Emery’s squad really stands in terms of their ambitions for 2020.
After losing the Community Shield on penalties to Manchester City in early August, the Reds have secured a trio of consecutive victories in all competitions. The UEFA Super Cup was brought home to Merseyside as they defeated Chelsea via a shootout, whilst both Norwich City and Southampton were unable to cope with their ferocious frontline.
Arsenal could also make it three wins from three having collected all three points in matches with Newcastle United and Burnley. The Gunners made heavy investments towards the end of the summer transfer window and their decision to go for broke appears to be paying off.
Jurgen Klopp was rocked by news of an injury to understudy goalkeeper Adrian in the aftermath of the Super Cup victory over the Blues, but the Spaniard recovered to face Southampton last weekend.
First-choice shot-stopper Alisson is still sidelined by a calf strain, however, whilst right-back Nathaniel Clyne continues his recovery from a cruciate ligament rupture in pre-season.
Naby Keita is a doubt for the game with the Gunners, though it is the visitors who have more injuries to account for. Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka are expected to be fit, though the pair will be assessed closer to kick-off.
Nevertheless, the greatest area of concern for Unai Emery is at the back. Defensive quartet Kieran Tierney, Hector Bellerin, Konstantinos Mavropanos and Rob Holding are nursing various problems, with the latter the only one in line for a return this month.
Klopp could bring Fabinho and Jordan Henderson back into the fold for Georginio Wijnaldum and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in midfield, but the attack and defence should stay the same as against Southampton.
David Luiz made his first start for Arsenal against Burnley, and should retain his role in the lineup alongside Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock have started both of the opening games of the season, and Emery will find it hard to drop either at Anfield.
Nelson is the more likely of the two to make way, and Lucas Torreira could come in for some added midfield bite – but Nicolas Pepe is also an option after another impressive cameo last weekend.
Mesut Ozil missed out against Burnley due to illness, but will be back in contention. However, Dani Ceballos is likely to be handed the No.10 role again after a superb performance at the Emirates.
Hector Bellerin (knee), Konstantinos Mavropanos (groin) and Kieran Tierney (groin) are all out. Rob Holding (knee) has rejoined full first-team training, while Granit Xhaka is easing back to full fitness.
With neither defence looking particularly convincing of late and two of the strongest attacks in the division, there should be plenty of goals at Anfield.
Liverpool still look a little rusty and Arsenal will feel this game is there for the taking.
Manchester United host Crystal Palace today with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s new-look side heavy favourites for a second home win of the season.
The optimism which flowed following United’s 4-0 win over Chelsea eased slightly after a 1-1 draw at Wolves on Monday night, but the Red Devils are still three points better off from those corresponding fixtures last season.
But Solskjaer’s side face a new kind of task on Saturday, and will have to show that they can break down sides who deploy a defensive gameplan – as Palace did in last season’s Old Trafford stalemate.
Palace started the new season with a promising Selhurst Park stalemate against Everton, though a 1-0 defeat at Sheffield United suggests it could be another long campaign for Roy Hodgson’s Eagles.
Meanwhile, Manchester City’s quest for a third successive Premier League title continues as they travel to the Vitality Stadium to face Bournemouth on Sunday.
Despite dominating proceedings in their clash with Tottenham Hotspur last Saturday, Pep Guardiola’s men had to settle for a point as a combination of Lucas Moura and VAR denied them victory over the north London side.
Nevertheless, they are placed third in the table going into the weekend’s action, whilst their opponents are in seventh courtesy of a win and a draw in their first two games of the new season.
That sees the pair level on points, though the Citizens have a significantly better goal difference having taken West Ham United to the cleaners on opening day.