Ed Chamberlin on Liverpool v Manchester United and Arsenal v Tottenham
Ed Chamberlin anticipates a hectic Deadline Day and looks ahead to a massive Super Sunday.
Last Updated: 01/09/13 11:16am
After a summer full of far more speculation than transactions, the Transfer Window finally slams shut on Monday evening.
I worked on many a Deadline Day in my nine years on Sky Sports News but never can I remember so many unanswered questions going into the final few days of the window.
Drama is guaranteed, so good luck to Jim White and Natalie Sawyer, the SSN team and the Sky Bet odds compilers who somehow manage to price up all the potential moves.
It's been a busy week; it all started with a trip to Edinburgh with Gary Neville to speak at the annual Television Festival.
We spoke on stage in a huge auditorium and were sandwiched between performances from the cast of The Great British Bake Off and actor Kevin Spacey, so the pressure was on! Paul Hollywood is a massive Liverpool fan so thankfully football rather than cakes dominated the conversation back stage.
The weekend was spent in Cardiff, which is best known as a rugby city but they seem crazy for Premier League football right now. That will be even more obvious after their remarkable victory over Manchester City on Super Sunday. The home side's performance matched the incredible atmosphere.
The place was absolutely rocking and I don't think I have ever heard noise like it after each of the three goals. They'd waited 51 years for top-flight football in Cardiff and you could sense the joy, excitement and relief. No team will find it easy at the Cardiff City Stadium. Everton be warned.
It's amazing how things change can change in a week. Seven days ago, City were promoted to 7/4 favourites by Sky Bet and Manuel Pellegrini probably thought the Premier League was a breeze. He got a proper welcome to English football on Sunday.
We then dashed back down the M4 to prepare for the first heavyweight clash of the season on Monday Night Football. Manchester United against Chelsea was far from a classic but still an interesting tactical battle. Following the stalemate on MNF, Chelsea are now favourites again at 21/10 with Sky Bet, with Man City out to 9/4 and Man Utd unchanged at 3/1.
Which means it's pretty much as you were before a ball was kicked at the top of the market, though Tottenham and Liverpool are notable market movers in to 18 and 20/1. We will see the only two sides with a 100 per cent record on a Super Sunday that has two of the Premier League's classic fixtures.
Liverpool v Man United
First up it's Liverpool (6/4 to win with Sky Bet) and Manchester United (7/4). Liverpool come here on a high having won their opening two league games for the first time since 2008, under Rafael Benitez, when they went on to finish second.
They have not won their opening three games since 1994 under Roy Evans. Sunday will be their first big test and we will learn a lot more about Brendan Rogers' new-look Liverpool side.
Last season, they only managed one win (3-2 v Tottenham in March) and one clean sheet (0-0 v Everton in May) against teams that finished in the top six and failed to win any of their eight Premier League games against sides that finished in the top four (D5 L3). That will have to change this season if they are to have any chance of qualifying for the Champions League.
Daniel Sturridge is the man to watch after a blistering start to the season. He's thriving on the responsibility of playing up front and you wonder what Chelsea must be thinking because, as Gary said on Monday's show, he is a lot better than any of the current strikers at Jose Mourinho's disposal.
Chelsea may try and change that before Monday's transfer deadline. Sturridge is 11/2 to score the first goal on Sunday but I wonder if he might be one of Sky Bet's new "Price Boosts". Keep an eye out for those.
David Moyes leads Manchester United at Liverpool for the first time having never won a game there. In 12 trips to Anfield, all as Everton manager, Moyes lost five and drew seven.
However, the club have a great record at Anfield winning more Premier League points here (34) than any other visiting team, while their 10 wins at Anfield is four more than any other club have managed in the Premier League era (Arsenal have won six).
This was always THE game for Sir Alex Ferguson and a first win for Moyes at Anfield would send out a powerful message to the rest of the league.
North London derby
After that big game, we have another early season heavyweight clash: Arsenal (11/10) v Tottenham (12/5). This is the earliest North London derby in a season since a 0-0 draw at Highbury on August 30, 1997.
I'd be amazed if that was the scoreline on Sunday. After all, this fixture has seen the joint most goals in Premier League history (124). Arsenal have scored 72 of them to Tottenham's 52, with the Gunners winning the last two meetings at the Emirates 5-2.
The two key men in front of goal could be Aaron Ramsey (11/2 to score any time) and Roberto Soldado (11/2 to score first goal). People were asking if Tottenham would create chances without Gareth Bale.
Well, Spurs have won both Premier League games 1-0 this season, and have had 39 attempts on goal, with 10 on target. Only Everton have had more attempts on goal in the first two weekends. People were also asking who would replace Bale's goals. Soldado could be the answer.
Their record signing has four goals in three appearances for Spurs. He has only had eight shots in total, six on target. Against Swansea, Soldado's only attempt at goal in the entire game was the successful penalty.
Arsenal's best player so far this season has been Aaron Ramsey. He's cemented his place in the side, starting Arsenal's last 11 League games, looks full of confidence and has played by far his best football since his double leg fracture in 2010. Ramsey will pose a big threat on Sunday.
I'll be presenting the show from the Emirates and it promises to be a fascinating early season North London derby. Arsenal fans will hope for three points and then Arsene Wenger to 'spend, spend, spend' because after Super Sunday is done, Monday will be all about transfers and it will be over to my friend and colleague Jim White...
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