LONDON, Sporting Alert – Leaders Manchester United will take on fellow title contenders Arsenal in the pick of the English Premier League games in Week 8, this coming weekend.
The Red Devils took advantage of Manchester City’s slip-ups in back-to-back weeks and rushed to the top of the Premier League table standings with three successive wins.
Louis van Gaal side will now try to extend that streak with a fourth win in a row in the EPL against Arsenal on Sunday.
Manchester United who easily dispatched Sunderland in their last EPL match, are coming off a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Wolfsburg in the Champions League at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
Arsenal, on the other hand, were beaten 3-2 by Olympiacos in the Champions League at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday and manager Arsene Wenger has been criticized for his team selection.
The biggest question after that clash was the shocking exclusion of goalkeeper Petr Cech, who despite Wenger’s comment about him not being fit – counter with “he was good to go.”
Arsenal are sitting 4th in Premier League table standings with 13 points, three behind Manchester United.
In their last EPL outing, the Gunners, on the back of Alexis Sanchez’s hat-trick, beat Leicester City, 5-2 on the road.
Another highlighted battle on the watchlist in Week 8 is the Merseyside derby between Everton and Liverpool, scheduled for Sunday as well.
Everton, smarting from their thrilling comeback 3-2 win over West Bromwich Albion, are fifth in the Premier League table standings, one point more than Liverpool, who are in 9th place.
The Blues have not tasted defeat since going down 2-0 to Manchester City, but manager Roberto Martinez believes Liverpool’s spending over the years make them favourites.
“I don’t think being favourites matters going into a derby, it’s about what happens in 90 minutes and your focus on the pitch,” the Spanish coach said.
“Clearly we are showing a bit of form and that could make us favourites but when you look at the money Liverpool have spent over the years they need to be favourites and carrying the expectation.”
Defending champions Chelsea have a very tricky encounter with Southampton at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues have won just twice this season and are sitting 14th on seven points.
Jose Mourinho’s men have dropped three of its last six Premier League games and the Portugal coach admits that this is ‘worst period’ of his managerial career.
In other games in Week 8, new boys Bournemouth and Watford will face-off at Vitality Stadium, Manchester City, without Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany will host Newcastle United, Norwich City entertain Leicester City and Swansea City and Tottenham will meet.
English Premier League Week 8 Fixtures
TV Channels and Game Times
Saturday, October 3 (CT)
Crystal Palace v West Bromwich Albion (6:45 AM) Selhurst Park
Manchester City v Newcastle United (9:00 AM) Etihad Stadium
Sunderland v West Ham United (9:00 AM) Stadium of Light
Aston Villa v Stoke City (9:00 AM) Villa Park
Norwich City v Leicester City (9:00 AM) Carrow Road
AFC Bournemouth v Watford (9:00 AM) Vitality Stadium
Chelsea v Southampton (11:30 AM) Stamford Bridge
Sunday, October 4 (CT)
Everton v Liverpool (7:30) Goodison Park
Arsenal v Manchester United (10:00 AM) Emirates Stadium
Swansea City v Tottenham Hotspur (10:00 AM) Liberty Stadium