The Premier League weekend continues on Saturday with just the four matches taking place on what is a rather sparse day of action for this part of the weekend, but one which should still through up some intriguing football.
We might have a shortage of matches over the course of Saturday but we haven’t any of the TV games so the action is bookended by TV games. The other two matches will have all the updates in the usual places.
Saturday’s fixtures are as follows: (UK TV in brackets)
Chelsea v Brentford (12.30pm – TNT Sports 1)
Arsenal v Sheffield United (15.00)
AFC Bournemouth v Burnley (15.00)
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Newcastle United (17.30 – Sky Main Event & Sky Premier League)
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The televised action begins in the capital on Saturday afternoon when the second London derby of the weekend takes place as Chelsea welcome Brentford to Stamford Bridge in a clash between teams who should be doing better than they are and it will be interesting to see who are most comfortable in the position that they are in. The final match of the day completes the TV action where all eyes will be on Molineux to see if Gary O’Neil completely gave the Wolverhampton Wanderers game plan away on the Monday Night Football show when his charges entertain Newcastle United who will be dusting themselves down after midweek Champions League disappointment.
That leaves two matches in the traditional 3pm slot on Saturday where there is no UK TV coverage. Arsenal are very much the pick of the four sides in action and they will be expected to blow away bottom of the table Sheffield United, who head to the Emirates Stadium with a whole raft of injuries, particularly in defence. The other match already feels like a big game at the bottom of the table when winless AFC Bournemouth look to finally get off the mark when they play host to Burnley, who only have one win to their name themselves.
There isn’t a massive amount that I like over the course of Saturday. I was tempted by Arsenal to cover a big handicap given all the Sheffield United injuries but the absence of Gabriel Jesus means I’m not overly inspired by that any longer. Instead I’ll go with the match which involves the other two teams in the bottom three in the table where AFC Bournemouth take on Burnley down at the Vitality Stadium where goals should be the order of the day.
I think we are already at the stage of the season where whenever these two are involved in a match they think they can win, which both should feel here, then they are obliged to get on the front foot and attack and have a go. I’ve watched Burnley in one such match against my own side Luton Town and there were goals in that game and to be fair there would have been at least three when Burnley went to Nottingham Forest had VAR not ruled a goal out controversially. Bournemouth have played in such matches in the last two weeks and lost them 3-0 and 2-1. The Cherries are on a run of four straight over 2.5 goals and five of the last six while Burnley have had three straight and six out of nine, which would have been seven if that goal at the City Ground was allowed to stand. Both teams are missing defensive players here. Bournemouth have their keeper Neto and defensive midfielder Lewis Cook out with injury and suspension while Connor Roberts is suspended for Burnley. It all throws up the likelihood of goals to me.
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