The new Premiership season, still in its infancy, brings with it an early grand slam as Manchester United and Chelsea clash at Old Trafford. Although the game will dominate press columns, it isn't due to the dearth of other promising matches. Follow this column to get briefed on the weekend's action.
Blackburn Rovers Vs Arsenal, Saturday 17 September, 11:45 GMT
Arsenal will travel north to Blackburn for Saturday's early kick-off, in a bid to continue their recent revival after a torrid start to the season.
Having played twice since their frantic purchases on transfer deadline day, Arsenal are yet to sweep all before them, which is fair as new signings take time to gel, especially those arriving at the last-minute. Happily for Arsenal, they have launched their revival and got their first win of the season last week, against Swansea while they were denied victory in the last minute against Borrussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday.
They face a Blackburn side who has been stapled to the bottom of the table after managing just a point in four games. Club manager Steve Kean has come under pressure from the fans, and the Ewood Park faithful are set to organize a demonstration demanding his sacking before the match.
However, their troubles look likely to continue as Arsenal will be boosted by their display against the German champions in midweek and will be in no mood to put a stop to their revival.
Prediction - Blackburn 1-2 Arsenal
Tottenham Hotspur Vs Liverpool, Sunday 18 September, 12:30 GMT
Spurs welcome Liverpool for Sunday's early kick-off in what promises to be an exciting game of Premiership football.
In their 1-0 defeat to Stoke City last weekend, Liverpool complained about the referee and about some decisions not going their way. The defeat put a stop to their undefeated start to the season and manager Kenny Dalglish will be hoping to make a quick recovery at White Hart Lane. However it is still unclear as to whether captain Steven Gerrard will make his comeback from a long-term injury against Spurs.
The London side managed their first win of the season, in three games, against Wolves last weekend and manager Harry Redknapp fielded a much-changed side in their Europa League encounter against PAOK during mid-week, with an eye on this fixture.
The League is the priority for both sides this season, and neither will want to risk a loss. Expect counter-attacking football from both sides, which will make for an exciting start to Sunday football.
Prediction - Spurs 1-1 Liverpool
Manchester United Vs Chelsea, Sunday 18 September, 15:00 GMT
In short, this is battle between the Premiership's least experienced manager against its wise old sage. Andre Villas-Boas' will face his toughest challenge as Chelsea manager to-date when his side travels to Old Trafford to take on the champions Manchester United.
Chelsea have so far managed to make an impressive start to life under Villas-Boas, quietly ambling away lying in third place away from the spot-light dominated by the two high-flying Manchester sides.
The Blues new signing Juan Mata has had the desired effect, as has Raul Meireles who performed impressively in his debut at Sunderland last week. Chelsea cruised to a 2-1 win and showed signs of what AVB is trying to mould the side into. They backed that with a cynical 2-0 win against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League, leaving them in good stead to take on United. AVB left out John Terry and Frank Lampard from the starting line-up, with an eye on this fixture and it will be an early test for the young Portuguese manager.
Manchester United have, in no uncertain terms, set the early standards of the season. They have dominated every game so far, scored many goals and have terrorized opposition. Sir Alex Ferguson's new signings, Phil Jones and Ashley Young have both instantly settled into the team and a year which was to be a transition period for the club has started off in a markedly better manner than last season. Although United drew 1-1 against Benfica in midweek, the side was a second-string team as most of the starters were rested for this fixture. It all makes for an entertaining game on Sunday.
Chelsea have an impressive record at Old Trafford but will have their work cut-out against Man United.
Prediction - Manchester United 2-2 Chelsea