Manchester City can exert early control in the title race by heaping more misery on Huddersfield Town in the second week of the 2018/19 Premier League season.
City beat Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday but should expect more goals against a Terriers squad coming off a 3-0 home defeat to Chelsea on Saturday.
The Blues are in action against the Gunners at Stamford Bridge, with Maurizio Sarri hoping for a second win. Sarri has replaced Antonio Conte in the Chelsea dugout, and he enjoyed a better start to Premier League life than Unai Emery, who is still getting to grips with succeeding Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.
Liverpool may be City's closest title rivals this season, and it's an assumption sure to be tested by Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
Saturday, August 18
- Cardiff City vs. Newcastle United, 12:30 p.m. BST/7:30 a.m. ET (1-2)
- Everton vs. Southampton, 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET (2-1)
- Leicester City vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers, 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET (1-1)
- Tottenham Hotspur vs. Fulham, 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET (3-1)
- West Ham United vs. Bournemouth, 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET (2-0)
- Chelsea vs. Arsenal, 5:30 p.m. BST/12:30 p.m. ET (2-1)
Sunday, August 19
- Burnley vs. Watford, 1:30 p.m. BST/8:30 a.m. ET (0-0)
- Manchester City vs. Huddersfield Town, 1:30 p.m. BST/8:30 a.m. ET (4-0)
- Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Manchester United, 4 p.m. BST/11 a.m. ET (0-1)
Monday, August 20
- Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool, 8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ET (2-2)
Chelsea vs. Arsenal
Emery endured a tough first game in charge as an understrength City side toyed with his team in north London.
The drab surrender led to a split reaction among those watching, with some lamenting familiar failings:
Meanwhile, others cautioned the need for patience with so much change taking place post-Wenger:
While it's fair to say City represented a daunting first opponent, an away trip to Chelsea won't be much easier. Sarri's men were excellent in Huddersfield, recycling possession intuitively and at pace.
The Italian believes in a free-flowing brand of football and has the players to make his ideas happen. Eden Hazard, Willian and Pedro are all deadly from wide areas, while N'Golo Kante, Jorginho and Ross Barkley can boss the ball in the middle.
Emery may feel his team can test out Chelsea's defence, provided strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, along with playmakers Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, can get on the same page.
It's easier to believe Chelsea will punish Arsenal's defensive weaknesses more often.
Manchester City vs. Huddersfield Town
City eased through the gears even without several key players. Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane began on the bench, while David Silva missed out altogether.
The fact City still scored twice and should have scored many more is bad news for the Terriers. Chelsea tore through Huddersfield at will, so the champions ought to do even more damage.
No squad in the division boasts as many creative maestros. Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling scored fine goals at the Emirates Stadium, while Ilkay Gunodgan and Riyad Mahrez also impressed.
Bernardo Silva, in particular, caught the eye:
A Huddersfield defence lacking adequate protection from midfield won't be able to resist this much talent for long. It won't help the Terriers have little threat up front to keep City on the back foot, even briefly.
Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool
Palace were ruthlessly efficient on the break during Saturday's 2-0 win over Fulham. The Eagles will need to be just as swift and intelligent on the counter against a Liverpool side likely to dominate possession.
Few teams keep the ball for long against the high-pressing Reds. Palace won't mind, though, not if Wilfried Zaha, Andros Townsend, Jeffrey Schlupp and Patrick van Aanholt can transition defence to attack quickly.
Pace in forward areas is something Liverpool will never lack as long as Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino lead the line. Salah and Mane accounted for three of the four goals the Reds netted against West Ham at Anfield.
Meanwhile, summer import Naby Keita produced an all-action debut in the chief creative role in midfield:
Liverpool's goal run won't slow down, but Palace have enough winners to exploit gaps in the Reds' defence.
Elsewhere, it's safe to expect narrow but important wins for Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, who will both be keen to keep pace with Liverpool, Chelsea and City.