Premier League, Week 3 preview: Double derby weekend

Paul Gilham

The hype is all about Sunday, with United making the trip to Anfield and the North London Derby closing out the weekend.

Manchester City vs. Hull City Tigers

Etihad Stadium; Saturday, 12:45 GMT/7:45 AM ET

Last week, City were stunned by newly promoted Cardiff City. Around the same time, Hull picked up the first win of their current Premier League spell with a 1-0 win over Norwich. What does that tell us about this game? Absolutely nothing.

Cardiff City vs. Everton

Cardiff City Stadium; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Cardiff's aforementioned win over City was the biggest story of last weekend, and though Everton will rightly enter the game as favorites the Monochromatic Dragonbirds could get their first Premier League season off to a roaring start with a result. Everton's been somewhat slow out of the gate in terms of results, but they quality of play has been solid and it's likely just a matter of time until the points start flowing, which is half a thing people said a lot about Roberto Martinez's Wigan teams and half of a thing people never said about Roberto Martinez's Wigan teams.

Newcastle United vs. Fulham

St. James' Park; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

I'll say this for Alan Pardew; he sure is a guy that is paid to manage a professional football club. This is a game Newcastle could plausibly win, and every time they don't take three points from such games it makes it a little harder to believe that the first sentence in this paragraph is still true. Fulham opened the season with a somewhat dire but well-earned win over Sunderland, but after a spanking at the hands of Arsenal and a less than impressive mid-week win on penalties over Burton Albion in the League Cup, now might be a good time to earn a result away from home.

Norwich City vs. Southampton

Carrow Road; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Norwich City bounced back from a rough loss to Hull City by absolutely throttling Bury in the League Cup, winning 6-3 and once again illustrating how fantastically entertaining that competition can be. Southampton had a similarly good time on their trip to Barnsley in their 5-1 victory, and with four points from two games so far in the Premier League season the Saints are off to a positive start in their mission to become a well-established Premier League side. These two clubs play entertaining stuff and can put up some impressive tallies, making this one a sleeper pick for the must-watch game of Saturday.

West Ham United vs. Stoke City

The Boleyn Ground; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

I cannot believe this fixture even exists, let alone that it will be played at the very least twice this season. If they get drawn against each other in one of the cups I say we all strike, or at the very least egg Allardyce's house and put sugar in Hughes' gas tank.

Crystal Palace vs. Sunderland

Selhurst Park; Saturday, 17:30 GMT/12:30 PM ET

Crystal Palace is one of two teams without a point so far, but given that the other is Swansea it's not as though that's any kind of death sentence. Losing to Bristol City in the League Cup, however, is not an especially encouraging sign. It will be interesting to see if Sunderland responds positively to Paolo di Canio's reward of a dollop of low-sodium ketchup and one ice cube each bestowed after the Black Cats come-from-behind League Cup win over MK Dons, but he's going to need to find some way to motivate his team out of their sluggish start.

Liverpool vs. Manchester United

Anfield; Sunday, 13:30 GMT/8:30 AM ET

Something something Alex Ferguson's shadow something something rich history something something hope supporters can avoid embarrassing themselves with sick chants something something. This match will be at the very least entertaining on some level and you're going to watch it no matter what I say, so let's just stop wasting each other's time.

West Bromwich Albion vs. Swansea City

The Hawthorns; Sunday, 13:30 GMT/8:30 AM

Being scheduled as the only other game at the same time as Liverpool-United is pretty much exactly the same as being given a Betamax player for Christmas in 1981. (A Zune reference would have worked better here, but I'm hoping to appeal to the "WIN/FAIL/OMG" crowd.)

Arsenal vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Old Trafford; Monday, 16:00 GMT/11:00 AM ET

Not a bad way to close out the weekend, and a very early look at how the North London rivals stack up against one another in their quest for Champions League football. It's tempting to say that a loss in this game would be all the encouragement Arsene Wenger or Arsenal's board need to pull the trigger on several new signings, but that would be a lie because there's no way they don't already know that. The far more important thing is which team's fanbase has the more amusing meltdown after the full-time whistle blows.

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