Premier League Week 3 Fixtures: EPL Picks and Predictions for Matchday 3

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 26, 2014

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24:  Emmanuel Adebayor of Spurs celebrates his goal with team mates during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers at White Hart Lane on August 24, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

The Premier League has roared back onto our television screens over the past two weekends. But just as quickly as it’s reappeared, it’ll be gone again, as the much-maligned international break punctures the domestic schedule following the conclusion of Matchday 3.

So it’s probably best to immerse yourself in Week 3, and when you look at the games the fixture computer has churned out for the upcoming weekend, there’d be no shame in that at all.

Lying in wait, Manchester United could hand a debut to a record signing, Chelsea face their biggest test of the campaign so far, and Liverpool travel to one of the league’s most impressive starters.

So ahead of Matchday 3, let's take a look at the full fixture list, some of the standout games and how they’re likely to finish up.

EPL Week 3: Fixture Info and Predictions
FixtureDateKick-off Time (BST)Prediction
Burnley vs. Man UnitedSaturday, 30 August12:45 p.m.1-2
Man City vs. Stoke CitySaturday, 30 August3 p.m.3-0
Newcastle vs. Crystal PalaceSaturday, 30 August3 p.m.2-0
QPR vs. SunderlandSaturday, 30 August3 p.m.0-1
Swansea vs. West BromSaturday, 30 August3 p.m.2-1
West Ham vs. SouthamptonSaturday, 30 August3 p.m.1-0
Everton vs. ChelseaSaturday, 30 August5:30 p.m.1-1
Aston Villa vs. Hull CitySunday, 31 August1:30 p.m.1-1
Tottenham vs. LiverpoolSunday, 31 August1:30 p.m.2-1
Leicester vs. ArsenalSunday, 31 August4 p.m.0-2
BBC Sport

Burnley vs. Manchester United

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24: Juan Mata of Manchester United celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Manchester United at Stadium of Light on August 24, 2014 in Sunderland, England.  (Photo by
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

After a pre-season that yielded so much promise for Louis van Gaal and Manchester United, the unrestrained optimism that gripped Old Trafford has diminished significantly. United have been extremely poor in both of their games so far, producing performances no different to the abject showings that were commonplace under David Moyes.

Di Maria with former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
Di Maria with former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.Handout/Getty Images

But when they turn up at Turf Moor for Saturday’s early kick-off, they could have the most expensive player in the history of English football in their ranks, with reports suggesting the Red Devils have agreed to sign Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid for £59.7 million, per Simon Stone of BBC Sport.

Spanish football expert Guillem Balague expects the deal to be done before the game and claims Di Maria is eyeing up an iconic United shirt number:

Questions have been asked about whether United really need a player of Di Maria’s style and whether the fee is too excessive. But should he line up against Burnley on Saturday, there’s little doubt that Di Maria will improve Van Gaal’s side with his pace, purpose and quality.

Here's a taster of what United supporters can look forward to:

The feel-good factor accrued from such a marquee purchase should see United come into this one in high spirits. And although they’ve failed to sparkle so far, expect them to do just enough to overcome a Burnley side who are still finding their feet in the Premier League.

Prediction: Burnley 1-2 Manchester United

Everton vs. Chelsea

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 23:  Diego Costa of Chelsea is mobbed by team mates after scoring their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on August 23, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Pa
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

So far so good for Jose Mourinho and his new-look Chelsea team. The Blues have put in two professional performances in their first two games so far to dispatch of newly promoted sides, but they’ll face a much sterner test of their title credentials when they travel to Merseyside to take on Everton and former forward Romelu Lukaku.

Lukaku and Mourinho will go head-to-head since the striker left Chelsea.
Lukaku and Mourinho will go head-to-head since the striker left Chelsea.Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas have both slotted effortlessly into the spine of this Chelsea team, with the former scoring and the latter creating in both of the Blues’ games so far.

But they won’t be afforded the same time and space at Goodison Park. Nonetheless, Everton will be acutely aware they need to improve on some of their early-season showings, most notably when it comes to seeing games out.

Late slips against Leicester City and Arsenal have already cost the Toffees four points this season, and against a Chelsea squad bursting with quality, Roberto Martinez’s men will have to be at their sharpest for 90 minutes to get a result. In a blow to their chances, the club has confirmed it will be without Steven Pienaar after he picked up an injury against Arsenal:

The Toffees have impressed for long spells in their opening games and are a very difficult team to beat at home. As for Chelsea, they’re quite simply tough to beat anywhere. A hard-fought draw looks to be the most likely outcome here as Everton continue to rediscover their full fitness.

Prediction: Everton 1-1 Chelsea

Tottenham vs. Liverpool

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 17:  Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool scores his goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield on August 17, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Things couldn’t have started much better for Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham. A last-minute win over West Ham was followed by a mauling of QPR, and Spurs look well placed to mount a charge toward the top-four places under his tutelage.

Pochettino has impressed during his short tenure with Tottenham.
Pochettino has impressed during his short tenure with Tottenham.Julian Finney/Getty Images

The Argentinian boss has already put his stamp on this team, evident by the incisiveness in Spurs’ play and their unrelenting desire to win the ball back when they lose possession. He also looks to have found how to bring the best out of players like Nacer Chadli and Erik Lamela, both indisputably talented players who struggled under Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood.

Lamela, the club’s record signing, has vowed to bag his first Premier League goal against the Reds:

Liverpool will pose an entirely different test to the two London clubs Spurs have tackled so far, though. Indeed, you suspect memories of the 5-0 hammering from last season will be fresh in the minds of the White Hart Lane faithful. But as Liverpool are without Luis Suarez, not to mention they have defensive frailties still prevalent, expect a much tighter game this time round.

Balotelli is back in the Premier League. Can he inspire Liverpool to victory?
Balotelli is back in the Premier League. Can he inspire Liverpool to victory?Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Mario Balotelli could make his first-ever appearance for the Reds, and his box-office persona adds another enticing facet to what promises to be an excellent game. But with Liverpool looking a little unsettled in defence, Spurs should have just enough to make it a disappointing day for the Italian and the travelling Kop from Merseyside.

Prediction: Tottenham 2-1 Liverpool


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