KAMPALA: Pressure is mounting on Manchester United manager Eric Ten Haag ahead of Monday’s Premier League collision with old enemies Liverpool at the so called Theatre of Dreams. The Red Devils are bottom of the standings after two matches following losses to Brighton Hove and Brentford in their two opening rubbers. The former Ajax Amsterdam has responded to the inauspicious start to his Old Trafford career by admitting he has one “Hell of a job”.
It could get worse before it gets better for the Dutchman as he aims to avoid becoming the first United boss to lose his first three games since John Chapman suffered the ignominy in 1921. Opponents Liverpool have bossed recent encounters between the division’s two most successful sides with last season’s corresponding game ending 0-5 in favour of the visitors thanks to a hat trick by Mohammed Salah.
Ten Haag can take solace in a much more spirited second half performance in his side’s 0-4 reverse at Brentford thanks to a string of half time changes. Raphael Varane, Scott McTominay, Tyrell Malacia and Anthony Elanga are pushing for starting places after helping stem the rot at the Community Stadium. Visitors Liverpool are besides blighted by injuries that have left manager Jurgen Klopp without Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, Thiago Alcantara and Ibrahim Konate.
Klopp must also juggle his front three after losing record signing Darwin Nunez to a red card in Monday night’s one all draw at home to Crystal Palace. Manchester United could actually leapfrog Liverpool on the nascent standings in the unlikely event of a home victory as the Kop are currently languishing in the bottom half following upset draws at Fulham on match day one, and Anfield.
The Saturday afternoon early kick off sees Tottenham Hotspur hosting Wolverhampton Wanderers with the north Londoners boss Antonio Conte keen to get back to winning ways after last weekend’s bad tempered 2-2 draw with Chelsea. Conte is hoping for an improved performance against a Wolves side adept at keeping possession. Second placed Arsenal aim to maintain a perfect start when they travel to Bournemouth in the day’s late kick off.
A clash of moneybags takes place on Sunday evening in Newcastle when reigning champions Manchester City visit Eddie Howe’s much improved Magpies. Cameras are to be zoomed on City marksman Erling Braut Haaland after he made a record low eight touches in his side’s 4-0 whitewash of Bournemouth. In other salivating match ups, Chelsea travel to Leeds United, West Ham host Brighton Hove and Everton face Nottingham Forest.
Tottenham Hotspur v Wolves
Everton v Nottingham Forest
Fulham v Brentford
Leicester City v Southampton
Bournemouth v Arsenal
Leeds United v Chelsea
West Ham v Brighton Hove
Newcastle United v Manchester City
Manchester United v Liverpool