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Premier League Saturday preview

Original article published 30 September 2022

On Saturday, the Premier League returns following the final international break before the World Cup and the day is headlined by the lunchtime North London derby as Arsenal play host to Tottenham at the Emirates.

The Gunners will look to cement top spot for yet another week with a win though Tottenham could leapfrog them temporarily if they can come away with all three points.

Elsewhere, Graham Potter will be taking charge of his first Premier League game as Chelsea manager following his move from Brighton as they travel to Crystal Palace.

Meanwhile, Brighton's replacement Roberto De Zerbi will also be in the dugout for the first time as the Seagulls head to Anfield to face Liverpool.

North London showdown a big test of credentials

In recent seasons, both Arsenal and Tottenham have drawn widespread criticism for not having the mental strength or consistency to challenge for trophies.

However, judging by how this season has started, both teams might be on their way to ending that particular hoodoo.

Arsenal currently top the table after seven games, winning six, with their only blemish coming away at Manchester United - a game they arguably should have taken something from.

Mikel Arteta's summer recruitment has proven to be very effective so far with Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko giving valuable Premier League title winning experience to his side while William Salbia has been a revelation upon returning to the club from loan spells.

The Gunners no longer look like a team that can be bullied and it represents their best chance of getting, at least, back into the top four for some time.

Spurs will provide a challenge though - Antonio Conte's side are unbeaten in seven and they are beginning to motor, as evidenced by their 6-2 thumping of Leicester two weeks ago.

Harry Kane has traditionally never been the quickest out of the blocks at the start of the season but he has scored six in seven while Son Heung-min's hat trick against the Foxes will have given him a new lease of life following a sluggish start to the campaign.

Conte is regarded as a pragmatist, certainly more so than Arteta, so he might take a point away at Arsenal and seek to prolong his side's unbeaten record, given that they have a dreadful record at the Emirates.

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Spurs haven't won in the league at Arsenal since November 2010 but they can be backed to end that run at 23/10 with Arsenal 21/20 and a draw 11/4.

Potter finally takes charge of PL game for Chelsea

Potter was named Chelsea manager on a five-year contract three weeks ago but has had to wait patiently to head up his first top-flight match.

He'll do so on Saturday away at Crystal Palace with Patrick Vieira's men sat 16th in the table following just one win from six so far.

Potter's first game in charge was a 1-1 draw at home to RB Salzburg in the Champions League - not exactly a rip-roaring opening result for the former Brighton man, but there were signs of progress.

With so many options at his disposal, it will be interesting to see how he utilises his talent and what formations he will play.

Palace haven't played since 3rd September so they may be slightly undercooked coming into this one - already they've made a shaky start to the season and Vieira will be keen to get a result.

The Eagles are 10/3 to win with a draw 13/5, while Potter can be backed to get his first three-point haul at 5/6.

De Zerbi handed tough opener

Potter's replacement at Brighton is the Italian De Zerbi who comes in with a good reputation behind him.

The 43-year-old has spent most of his career in his homeland and managed Benevento in Serie A, earning praise for the team's playing style despite relegation.

He then moved onto Sassuolo and achieved back-to-back eighth-place finishes for the Emilia club despite operating on smaller budgets than his rivals.

After a short stint with Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine, he now makes the move to England for the first time and has been handed a tough assignment in the form of Liverpool.

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Potter was widely regarded to have done a magnificent job at Brighton so it will be a big test of De Zerbi's managerial acumen to follow that on.

Liverpool have not started the season in the fashion they would have expected, winning only two of their six matches so far.

Injuries have beset Jurgen Klopp's side and key players such as Darwin Nunez, Mo Salah and Luis Diaz have not started the season as electrically as maybe onlookers were expecting.

They can be backed to get another win at 4/11 with a draw 17/4 while a dream winning start for De Zerbi is priced at 15/2.

Goal-shy strugglers meet at London Stadium

West Ham face Wolves at home in a match between the two sides that have scored the fewest goals so far this season with just three apiece.

It has been a struggle for the Hammers so far with David Moyes' new acquisitions not yet lighting up the Premier League.

They can take comfort from their Europa Conference League exploits as they have beaten FCSB and Silkeborg in their opening two contests of the season but the Premier League is their bread and butter and West Ham need to start picking points up.

Wolves may offer a good chance for them to win - Bruno Lage is beginning to feel under pressure after a run of just one win in seven to start the season.

A lack of adventure in playing style - despite a switch to a back four - means fans are getting slightly more restless.

The winner of this will breathe a sigh of relief while there will be serious questions asked of the loser so expect this one to be fairly cagey.

West Ham are 10/11 to win the contest with Wolves priced at 16/5, while a draw is available at 5/2.

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