Without any context, it would seem weird to say that the top team in the table has a serious prove-it game this weekend against the team in ninth and 11 points back. But that’s what Sunday’s game is for Arsenal.
The Gunners lead the Premier League standings through the first 20% of the season and have more than twice as many points as Liverpool. The Reds visit Arsenal on Sunday in ninth place in the standings and are only in the top 10 thanks to goal difference.
Yet Arsenal is not a clear favorite for the win. The Gunners are just +150 to get the victory while Liverpool is +160. Liverpool scored a win against Rangers in the Champions League this week as Jurgen Klopp changed formations to get all four of Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunes, Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz on the field at the same time. Will we see a similar shape against Arsenal with Thiago and Jordan Henderson sitting in front of the back four? It wouldn’t surprise us. Klopp’s substitutions on Tuesday sure seemed to have an eye toward the weekend.
A win for Liverpool at this stage is already huge. The Reds simply can’t afford to be 14 points back of first place eight games into the season. Arsenal, meanwhile, needs to get as many points as possible to stay ahead of the machine that is Manchester City.
Here’s a look at all the matchups this weekend. All odds are from BetMGM.
Newcastle vs. Brentford (2.5)
Newcastle is in seventh while Brentford is 10th. It’s a top-10 matchup to kick off the weekend and we’ll go with Newcastle.
Chelsea vs. Wolves (2.5)
This is Wolves’ first game after firing Bruno Lage. The problems scoring goals will likely remain for a while, however. Chelsea is the pick.
Manchester City vs. Southampton (3.5)
Southampton is capable of squeaking out a point or losing this game 9-0. Over feels like the better call here than taking the minuscule odds for a City win.
Bournemouth vs. Leicester City (2.5)
Let’s go with two in a row for Leicester City.
Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Tottenham (2.5)
Brighton probably should be favored at home here but Tottenham is getting the big-name bounce. We’ll go with Brighton to get the win.
West Ham vs. Fulham (2.5)
West Ham (-135)
Fulham may be missing Aleksandar Mtrovic for a bit with an ankle injury. We’ll go with West Ham with him likely out of the lineup.
Crystal Palace vs. Leeds (2.5)
Palace tried to steal a point from Chelsea before former loanee Conor Gallagher broke their hearts late. We’re going with a tie.
Arsenal vs. Liverpool (2.5)
Liverpool has been out of sorts so far this season and it’s time for things to turn around. That starts on Sunday.
Everton vs. Manchester United (2.5)
Everton has been better than expected so far this season and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them get all three points against a weird Manchester United side coming off a Europa League game on Thursday.
Nottingham Forest vs. Aston Villa (2.5)
Forest was thrashed by Leicester last Monday while Villa is an enigma right now. We’re going to go with the tie.