Can Lukaku Lay Down Title Marker at Anfield?

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Liverpool and Chelsea, along with Manchester City against Arsenal are two of the standout games from Saturday's Premier League action.

Romelu Lukaku is looking to fire Chelsea to the Premier League title this season.

Liverpool’s tea-time Anfield showdown with expected title rivals Chelsea is the main event on Saturday, while Manchester City host Arsenal in the early game.

With seven games in total, and five at 3pm, it’s likely to be another exciting day in the Premier League and it’s all rounded off by Chelsea’s trip to Merseyside at 5:30pm – a clash that pits two teams with identical winning records after two games.

The Reds have seen off Norwich (3-0) and Burnley (2-0) with the minimum of fuss and it’s been a similar story for the Londoners, who comfortably dispatched Crystal Palace on the opening weekend 3-0 before an impressive 2-0 victory over Arsenal.

So something, as they say, has to give. The game is being billed in some quarters as a battle between Chelsea’s record signing Romelu Lukaku and Liverpool’s fit-again defensive rock, Virgil van Dijk, and, certainly, whoever comes out on top in that individual scrap will more than likely end up on the winning team.

There appears little to choose between them. Lukaku is clearly a real threat for the visitors, but so are Kai Havertz, Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic, while Jurgen Klopp’s forward options – Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane – have all got off the mark already this season.

It could be one of those tight, early-season affairs, though, where two top-class sides cancel each other out with the fear of losing sometimes stifling the occasion. With that in mind, the draw, on offer at 23/10, appeals, as does a correct score of 1-1 at 11/2.

More Woe for Arteta

City’s lunchtime clash with the Gunners is also one of the standout games and it would be a surprise to see anything other than a home win considering Arsenal’s poor start. Mikel Arteta relieved the pressure on himself with a 6-0 win over West Brom in the EFL Cup in the week after back-to-back league defeats, but taking on a young Baggies side is very, very different to going to the Etihad against the champions.

Expect City to flex their muscles and run out comfortable winners to deepen the gloom at Arsenal. A two-goal margin victory for Pep Guardiola’s side is available at 16/5.

Hammers on Fire

At 3pm, arguably the highlight is top-of-the-table West Ham’s London derby with Crystal Palace. The Hammers have won two out of two, scoring four past both Newcastle and Leicester in the process and have the likes of Jarrod Bowen, Said Benrahma and three-goal Michail Antonio in great early-season form.

Palace have yet to score a goal in three competitive games under new boss Patrick Vieira and that tale of woe could be set to continue. David Moyes’ side are 7/4 to win to nil.

Elsewhere, in-form Brighton will look for at least a point at home to Everton (draw - 9/4), Aston Villa and Danny Ings will fancy their chances of seeing off Brentford at Villa Park (Ings to score anytime - 6/4) and Leicester should bounce back with a win (20/23) at struggling Norwich.

Bruce in Need

Finally, Newcastle are in real need of a victory over Southampton following two straight defeats for Steve Bruce’s men and this looks a tough one to call, with another draw, priced at 12/5, a tempting option.

*All odds correct at time of writing

A sports journalist for over 15 years, Aidan has been part of written and audio coverage on a wide-ranging number of events. Having played and coached at amateur level, he offers in-depth insight and opinion into the world of football in particular.

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