The third week of Premier League action offers the first genuine test of Chelsea's title credentials. Jose Mourinho's team have enjoyed a perfect start against newly promoted clubs Burnley and Leicester City. But things might not go as smoothly for the Blues when they make the trip to Everton.
The week's other marquee game features Liverpool travelling to top-of-the-table Tottenham Hotspur. The Reds demolished Spurs 5-0 at White Hart Lane last season. But that was with Luis Suarez. This will be the first game of the Mario Balotelli era.
Before taking a closer looks at these matches, here's a list of the full fixtures, complete with TV and Live Stream details:
|EPL Week 3 Fixtures|
|Saturday, August 30||Burnley||Manchester United||12.45 p.m. BST / 7.45 a.m. ET||BT Sport 1 / NBCSN||BT Sport App/ NBC Sports Live Extra||2-3 United win|
|Saturday, August 30||Manchester City||Stoke City||3 p.m. BST / 10 a.m. ET||NBCSN||NBC Sports Live Extra||4-1 Manchester City win.|
|Saturday, August 30||Newcastle United||Crystal Palace||3 p.m. BST / 10 a.m. ET||NBC Sports Live Extra||2-1 Newcastle win.|
|Saturday, August 30||Queens Park Rangers||Sunderland||3 p.m. BST / 10 a.m. ET||NBC Sports Live Extra||1-2 Sunderland win.|
|Saturday, August 30||Swansea City||West Bromwich Albion||3 p.m. BST / 10 a.m. ET||NBC Sports Live Extra||2-0 Swansea win.|
|Saturday, August 30||West Ham United||Southampton||3 p.m. BST / 10 a.m. ET||NBC Sports Live Extra||1-1|
|Saturday, August 30||Everton||Chelsea||5.30 p.m. BST / 12.30 p.m. ET||Sky Sports 1 / NBCSN, mun2||Sky Go / NBC Sports Live Extra||1-1|
|Sunday, August 31||Aston Villa||Hull City||1.30 p.m. BST / 8.30 a.m. ET||NBC Sports Live Extra||0-1 Hull win.|
|Sunday, August 31||Tottenham Hotspur||Liverpool||1.30 p.m. BST / 8.30 a.m. ET||Sky Sports 1 / NBCSN, mun2||Sky Go / NBC Sports Live Extra||2-2|
|Sunday, August 31||Leicester City||Arsenal||4.00 p.m. BST / 11 a.m. ET||Sky Sports 1 / NBCSN, Telemundo||Sky Go / NBC Sports Live Extra||1-3 Arsenal win.|
|PremierLeague.com and WorldSoccerTalk.com|
Everton vs. Chelsea
Chelsea came unstuck at Goodison Park last season courtesy of a lone Steven Naismith goal. Jose Mourinho's squad's chances of avoiding drawing another blank have received a blow.
Star striker Diego Costa is set to miss the game due to a hamstring problem, per Mirror writer Martin Lipton. That could thrust 36-year-old Didier Drogba back into the fray.
Mourinho brought the veteran target man back to Stamford Bridge this summer for this exact eventuality. It will be interesting to see just how much Drogba has left.
However, the main focus won't be on a current Chelsea striker. Instead, the spotlight should be on a former one.
Romelu Lukaku was ditched by Mourinho this summer and soon signed for Everton, the club he starred for on loan last season. Mourinho had some unkind words for the towering Belgian ace as he shoved him through the exit door, per Sky Sports:
The thinking behind the move was the fact that Romelu was always very clear with us, in his mentality, in his approach, he was not highly motivated to come to a competitive situation at Chelsea.
He wanted to play for Chelsea but he wanted to be clearly the first choice striker, which in a club of our dimension, it is very difficult to promise to a player.
Mourinho will hope his notoriously stingy defence can keep Lukaku quiet long enough for the controversial coach to have the last laugh.
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Liverpool
It will be Mario Balotelli watch at White Hart Lane this weekend. The hugely divisive, yet wonderfully talented striker is set to make his Reds debut, per AFP (h/t FIFA.com). Cue inevitable controversy.
Yet for all the issues that often surround Balotelli, you won't find many denying how he could help Liverpool on the pitch. He combines direct pace with awesome physical power.
Those are qualities sure to unnerve the Spurs defence. The group has yet to concede, but they have only been "tested" by West Ham and QPR.
But Liverpool are a different proposition. Balotelli's combination with lightning-fast duo Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling will be enough to frighten any Premier League defence.
New Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino usually knows how to mold a stingy unit at the back. He'll count on new boy Eric Dier to continue an impressive start.
Pochettino will also hope revitalised pair Erik Lamela and Nacer Chadli can torment a still suspect Liverpool back four.
Much like Chelsea, this is Spurs' first major test. However, they should negotiate at least a point against a Liverpool squad still needing to integrate many new faces.
There shouldn't be major shocks during the season's third week of fixtures. Perhaps the opening game has that potential, provided United continue to struggle under Louis van Gaal and somehow gift Burnley their first win.
However, for the most part the established order will hold sway. Only Chelsea appear vulnerable at the top, especially if Everton gaffer Roberto Martinez can mastermind some ways to surprise the wily Mourinho.
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