Football fans will view Saturday’s fixture list with an air of nostalgia, with six games in total, four of which come in the traditional slot at three o’clock.
The highlight could be the lunchtime clash when fans return to Anfield as Liverpool host Burnley, while Norwich will hope to avoid another defeat to nil at Manchester City. Finally, in the late game, can the Hornets sting Brighton?
Burnley Repeat Unlikely at Anfield
Few would have backed Burnley to end Liverpool’s 68-game unbeaten league run at Anfield last January, but Sean Dyche’s men caused one of the upsets of the season to claim a 1-0 victory.
That result made up part of a miserable winter-cum-early spring for the Reds, but they hit back to win eight of their final 10 Premier League matches, the other two being draws, to qualify for the Champions League.
Jurgen Klopp’s side continued on a similar vein by thumping Norwich 3-0 on the opening weekend, and Burnley’s task is made more difficult by the return of fans to Anfield on Saturday for the first time since March 2020.
The Clarets opened their campaign with a 2-1 defeat Brighton, a game in which they played well but failed to take their chances.
Burnley have scored first on four of their last five trips to L4, and while they may get a goal against a Reds’ back-line still finding its feet, that might be all, with the home win and both to score
The source of such pessimism is the presence of Mohamed Salah. Despite his side’s travails, the Egyptian still netted 22 times in the Premier League last term and was on the scoresheet at Carrow Road, as well as providing the other two assists.
Norwich Set to Feel City’s Wrath
A busy summer for many of his squad has forced Pep Guardiola to mix and match in the Community Shield against Leicester and at Tottenham last week. Both games finished in 1-0 defeats, and the Spaniard will be demanding a response from Manchester City.
Into view come the Canaries, fresh from that 3-0 defeat to the Reds. Daniel Farke’s side have received few favours from the fixture list, with Leicester and Arsenal also on the agenda either side of the international break.
The Norfolk club can take comfort from actually beating City 3-2 the last time they were in the Premier League. However, that result came at Carrow Road, and they were later thumped 5-0 at the Etihad in the return fixture on the final day.
Goals Galore at the Amex
Finally, both Brighton and Watford will look to make it two wins from two this season when they meet at teatime.
The Seagulls came from a goal down to win 2-1 at Burnley, while their visitors upset Aston Villa 3-2 – although it could have been 10-2 with the chances they created!
Graham Potter’s reluctance to buy a new striker this summer suggests he retains faith in his forwards, and he’ll be hoping to see his side get off to a better start at home than last term when they were winless after ten league games at the Amex.
Neal Maupay is one of those forwards and having netted the equaliser at Turf Moor, is
33/20 in the anytime market and was on the scoresheet when these two met at Vicarage Road in August 2019, which was, incidentally, Potter’s first competitive game in charge.
Watford are again likely to rely on inspiration from the brilliant Ismaila Sarr, and their record against the Seagulls is good, losing only one of their last eight away matches in East Sussex.
After scoring his side’s second against Villa, Sarr is
10/3 in the anytime market, and his influence usually brings goals, having grabbed 13 for himself and provided four assists in the Championship in 2020-21.
*All odds correct at time of writing