The Premier League continue this weekend with Matchday 3, and Sportsnet will have live coverage of five games:
Saturday, August 26
• Crystal Palace vs. Swansea City, 9:30 a.m. ET (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific)
Sunday, August 27
• Chelsea vs. Everton, 8:00 a.m. ET (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific, Sportsnet ONE)
• West Bromwich Albion vs. Stoke City, 8:00 a.m. ET (Sportsnet World)
• Tottenham vs. Burnley, 10:30 a.m. ET (Sportsnet ONE)
• Liverpool vs. Arsenal, 10:30 a.m. ET (Sportsnet World)
Here’s what you need to know ahead of this weekend…
THE BIG GAME
Arsenal’s trip to Anfield marks Alexis Sanchez’s return to the Gunners’ line-up – more on that in a second – but it’s also a marquee match between two sides who could both badly use a win to build a little bit of momentum.
This will mark the first stern test of the season for Liverpool, who are still smarting from that 3-3 draw against Watford on the opening matchday of the campaign. Arsenal, meanwhile, is coming off that loss to Stoke City last week, a result that led to questions about their title credentials.
Liverpool won both of their league matches against Arsenal last season. The Reds have also kept a clean sheet in their last three league games at Anfield, so Wenger’s men could find the going rather tough on Sunday. The Gunners would also be wise to keep close tabs on Roberto Firmino – he has three goals in four Premier League appearances against the London club.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Alexis Sanchez: After missing the first three games of the year, the Chilean is expected to be back in Arsenal’s lineup vs. Liverpool. It’s interesting to note that the last time Arsenal visited Anfield in the Premier League, Arsene Wenger benched Sanchez, and that in turn led to widespread speculation about his future with the Gunners.
IBRAHIMOVIC SIGNS 1-YEAR DEAL WITH UNITED
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has returned to Old Trafford after signing a one-year deal with Manchester United earlier this week. The 35-year-old Swedish striker scored 28 goals in 46 appearances for the Red Devils in 2016-17, but he was released over the summer after sustaining a serious knee injury in April. Ibrahimovic has been undergoing rehabilitation and has been in contract talks with United for some time. Manchester United hosts Leicester City on Saturday.
TOTTENHAM SIGNS SANCHEZ, GAZZANIGA
Tottenham finally dipped its toe into the summer transfer market this week when it signed Colombia centre back Davinson Sanchez and Argentine goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga. Sanchez joined from Ajax for a reported fee of 42 million pounds, while Gazzaniga, who was signed from Southampton, is expected to battle Michel Vorm to be the back-up goalkeeper to captain Hugo Lloris. Until this week, Spurs were the only English Premier League team yet to make a signing this summer. Tottenham hosts Burnley on Sunday.
SOUTHAMPTON ADDS HOEDT
Southampton bolstered its back line this week when it signed Dutch centre back Wesley Hoedt from Italian club Lazio. Hoedt is the Saints’ third signing in the summer transfer window, following in the footsteps of midfielder Mario Lemina (from Juventus) and defender Jan Bednarek (from Lech Poznań). Southampton visits Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
THE BIG QUESTION
Every week, Sportsnet’s soccer panel will debate The Big Question. Have your say by voting in the poll below:
HE SAID IT
“It was always mine and the club’s intention for me to stay. I cannot wait to get back out on that Old Trafford pitch. I am back to finish what I started.” – Zlatan Ibrahimovic