EPL Week 3 Predictions: Premier League Picks, Key Players and Fixtures

Christopher SimpsonFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2017

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19:  Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager looks dejected after their defeat during the Premier League match between Stoke City and Arsenal at Bet365 Stadium on August 19, 2017 in Stoke on Trent, England.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
David Rogers/Getty Images

Arsenal face Liverpool in the headline game of Week 3 in the Premier League season, with the two sides squaring off at Anfield on Sunday.

Manchester United will look to make it three wins from three matches when they take on Leicester City at Old Trafford on Saturday, while Manchester City will kick off proceedings at Bournemouth.

On Sunday, Chelsea host Everton and Tottenham Hotspur welcome Burnley to their temporary home at Wembley Stadium.

Read on for a look at the players who could be key to their side's fortunes in Week 3, but first here are all the fixtures, complete with score predictions for each.

                  

Saturday, August 26 

12:30 p.m. BT: Bournemouth vs. Manchester City, 0-2

3 p.m.: Crystal Palace vs. Swansea City, 1-0

3 p.m.: Huddersfield Town vs. Southampton, 2-2

3 p.m.: Newcastle United vs. West Ham United, 1-0

3 p.m.: Watford vs. Brighton & Hove Albion, 1-1

5:30 p.m.: Manchester United vs. Leicester City, 3-1

                  

Sunday, August 27

1:30 p.m.: Chelsea vs. Everton, 2-1

1:30 p.m.: West Bromwich Albion vs. Stoke City, 1-0

4 p.m.: Liverpool vs. Arsenal, 2-2

4 p.m.: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Burnley, 3-0

All times BST.

                 

Sadio Mane, Liverpool

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19: Sadio Mane of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at Anfield on August 19, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Sadio Mane scored in both Premier League meetings with Arsenal last season, and he'll look for yet more success against the Gunners on Sunday.

The winger opened Liverpool's account for the year against Watford and he made the decisive contribution in the Reds' 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Liverpool beat writers Jack Lusby and Leanne Prescott hailed his importance to the side:

With Philippe Coutinho out, there has been an even greater onus on Liverpool's other attacking stars to step up in his absence, and Mane has undoubtedly done that.

If he plays with his usual electrifying pace and energy, Arsenal's defenders will have a real problem containing them.

       

Mesut Ozil, Arsenal

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal looks on during the Premier League match between Stoke City and Arsenal at Bet365 Stadium on August 19, 2017 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

After Arsenal's disappointing result against Stoke City last time out, they need to resume winning ways quickly, particularly given they were hardly convincing in their 4-3 win over Leicester on opening day.

Some were quick to single out Mesut Ozil as Arsenal slipped to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Potters:

Bleacher Report's James McNicholas was unhappy with his defensive contribution in particular:

Going forward, Ozil created four chances, according to Squawka, and he was typically superb in keeping possession as he maintained a 93 per cent passing accuracy.

The German was perhaps, therefore, not as anonymous as he has been made out to be, but all eyes will be on him when Arsenal head to Anfield.

It's a big game and Arsenal need a result. They need a big performance from their star playmaker, who likely won't have it all his own way.

He's likely to have less time and space on the ball in the face of Liverpool's energetic pressing, so he'll have a significant hurdle to overcome if he's to put in a decisive showing.

                

Alvaro Morata, Chelsea

Chelsea had Marcos Alonso to thank for their victory over Spurs on Sunday, but they need Alvaro Morata to continue his adjustment to the Premier League.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 20: Alvaro Morata of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on August 20, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

The Spaniard was impressed during his cameo against Burnley as he grabbed a goal and an assist, but he cut a frustrated figure against Tottenham as Chelsea struggled at times and was guilty of missing a simple header.

ESPN FC's Liam Twomey and Goal's Nizaar Kinsella noted his struggles:

His adaptation to the team will take time, but he'll rarely face players with the defensive prowess of those at Spurs; in addition, Chelsea will typically play more on the front foot than they did at Wembley.

Everton will still pose a real challenge for the Blues, but not to the same extent. Morata is likely to be handed another chance given Michy Batshuayi headed in an own goal on Sunday, and he can use the match to showcase his true ability once again.