Fans should savor the fourth round of Premier League action because they’ll have to wait a couple weeks before the chance to fulfill their desires for more action from England’s top flight comes back around.
The 20 Premier League clubs are in action this weekend in their final games before the first international break of the 2015-16 season. The results of this weekend’s games will linger longer than usual with players and fans, giving teams added impetus to perform well.
In our review of last weekend’s games, we asked whether the gap in quality among Premier League teams is shrinking. If that’s truly the case, Saturday’s game between Tottenham and Everton, two teams with ambitions of breaking into the highest echelon of the Premier League, deserves the spotlight.
Tottenham will host Everton at White Hart Lane in a game featuring teams which represent hopes for a more competitive league. Both are building good teams around a young core of players they hope to retain for years to come. Chief among them are Everton defender John Stones and Tottenham striker Harry Kane, who have drawn both overt and discreet transfer interest from a number of leading clubs in the division.
Kane burst onto the scene last season, scoring 21 Premier League goals en route to winning the PFA (players union) Young Player of the Year Award and becoming an England intentional. Kane has yet to score this season. Stones will try to extend Kane’s frustrations.
Tottenham still is searching for its first win of the season. Everton can get back on track with a win, following last week’s loss to Manchester City.
The summer transfer window closes Tuesday. Tottenham and Everton are desperate to add to their squads, rather than sell their best players, in an effort to mount challenges for those elusive Champions League places. Saturday’s game will serve as a good barometer of where they stand.
Liverpool vs. West Ham
West Ham exposed serious cracks in Liverpool’s team in their last visit to Anfield. The Hammers’ 3-1 win over the Reds on Sept. 20, 2014 was an ominous sign of the difficult season ahead.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has since overhauled his playing and coaching staff, and the results have been encouraging so far. Liverpool’s solid defense shined in the first three games of the season. Rodgers and fans hope the Reds’ attack will spark to life Saturday against West Ham and show how far Liverpool has come in the last 11 months.
West Ham started the season with a stunning win over Arsenal but dropped its next two games at home against Leicester City and Bournemouth. A loss to Liverpool will force West Ham boss Slaven Bilic to endure increased scrutiny in the early weeks of his tenure at the club.
Premier League Round 4 schedule (home team listed first, all kickoff times ET):
Saturday Aug. 29
Newcastle vs. Arsenal, 7:45 a.m.
Chelsea vs. Crystal Palace, 10 a.m.
Bournemouth vs. Leicester City, 10 a.m.
Aston Villa vs. Sunderland, 10 a.m.
Manchester City vs. Watford, 10 a.m.
Stoke City vs. West Brom, 10 a.m.
Liverpool vs. West Ham, 10 a.m.
Tottenham vs. Everton, 12:30 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 30
Southampton vs. Norwich City, 8:30 a.m.
Swansea City vs. Manchester United, 11 a.m.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@AccaTrackerTM
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