Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Fasten your seatbelts Arsenal fans, because this is where your season starts, writes GARY LEMKE.

Pointless after two matches, in the life after Wenger era, anything but a home victory over West Ham on Saturday will already have the warning lights flashing at The Emirates. Consider this: When Manchester City raced to the title last season, they lost two of their 38 matches. Given the form they’ve shown at the start of this season, City aren’t going to lose too many more than that this season either. And Arsenal have already lost two. That has to be turned around immediately because just like winning becomes a habit, so does losing.

It’s fair to suggest that when the fixture lists were drawn up at the beginning of the season, suffering Gunners fans felt a little queasy. First up, albeit at The Emirates, were the champions, City. The following week it was away to Chelsea. We all know how those went, a 2-0 defeat followed by a 3-2 defeat, both fairly predictable. West Ham, themselves beaten 4-0 and 2-1 in their opening two games, represent the perfect opportunity for Unai Emery to record the first League victory of his Arsenal managerial career.

Arsenal were a shambles early on with their high pressing defence against Chelsea and found themselves 2-0 down early. However, while it was 2-2 at half-time, they could have led 4-2, but for woeful finishing. Chelsea were the better side, with 54% of possession and 21 shots, and Arsenal are still trying to adapt to Emery’s new style, which has caused havoc in defence, where Petr Cech looks uncomfortable playing the short pass out to his defenders.

I expect Emery to realise that Rome wasn’t built in a day and revert to a more pragmatic approach against West Ham and get those three points on the board before the boo-boys start up. For this reason, I’m expecting an Arsenal win and in doing so plug the holes in their porous defence, so I’ve gone for a 2-0 win as they hit the reset button.

The big match of the weekend is a mouth-watering one at Old Trafford, where Tottenham put their 100% winning record on the line against Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United. A nervy 2-1 win against Leicester was followed by a 3-2 defeat at Brighton. Hardly the preparation for a Spurs side which won again last week and saw Harry Kane score his first-ever Premiership goal in the month of August.

I had – and still do – have Brighton down as one of my relegation-threatened sides so the result was a complete surprise. I also believe Liverpool will expose Brighton on Saturday, to further question how United managed to lose to them.

However, it’s worth noting that despite losing, United had 67% possession and more shots (9-6), although both sides only had three on target. Mourinho has previously proved himself a master at producing a good result after a really poor one, although it’s not a healthy characteristic over the course of a season. However, I expect his United team to be focused and put their dressingroom and boardroom squabbles behind them and upset Spurs in a match that many will go for the draw on Superbru.

All in all, it’s a much more difficult round of fixtures, reflected in the online betting which sees only four teams priced at odds-on to win: Man City (at Wolves), Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea. In the opening two rounds, six teams were at odds-on. We’ve gone for all four to win, but also I have to admit that when it comes to Chelsea I am always conservative with the selection. They’re the club I have supported for decades and I don’t want to jinx them, so you’ll invariably seeing me going 1-0 or 2-1 with them! And given that they won 21 of their 38 matches last season, it also meant that I was wrong 17 times, so tread with caution when following me and Chelsea.

Here are our SportsClub team’s predictions for the third round:

Wolves vs Manchester City
Gary Lemke (12/20): 0-2
Wade Pretorius (12/20): 1-3
Dylan Appolis (14/20): 0-4
Juandre Joubert (11/20): 1-3
Dean Workman (12/20): 0-3
Marshall Gouts (13/20): 0-2

Arsenal vs West Ham
Gary Lemke: 2-0
Wade Pretorius: 2-0
Dylan Appolis: 2-1
Juandre Joubert: 2-1
Dean Workman: 2-1
Marshall Gouts: 2-1

Bournemouth vs Everton
Gary Lemke: 1-1
Wade Pretorius: 1-1
Dylan Appolis: 0-2
Juandre Joubert: 1-1
Dean Workman: 1-2
Marshall Gouts: 1-2

Huddersfield vs Cardiff
Gary Lemke: 1-0
Wade Pretorius: 1-0
Dylan Appolis: 1-0
Juandre Joubert: 1-0
Dean Workman: 1-1
Marshall Gouts: 1-1

Southampton vs Leicester
Gary Lemke: 1-1
Wade Pretorius: 1-1
Dylan Appolis: 2-2
Juandre Joubert: 1-1
Dean Workman: 1-1
Marshall Gouts: 2-2

Liverpool vs Brighton
Gary Lemke: 3-0
Wade Pretorius: 3-0
Dylan Appolis: 3-1
Juandre Joubert: 3-1
Dean Workman: 3-1
Marshall Gouts: 2-1

Watford vs Crystal Palace
Gary Lemke: 1-1
Wade Pretorius: 1-1
Dylan Appolis: 1-0
Juandre Joubert: 2-1
Dean Workman: 2-1
Marshall Gouts: 1-1

Fulham vs Burnley
Gary Lemke: 1-1
Wade Pretorius: 1-1
Dylan Appolis: 0-1
Juandre Joubert: 1-0
Dean Workman: 2-1
Marshall Gouts: 1-1

Newcastle vs Chelsea
Gary Lemke: 1-2
Wade Pretorius: 1-2
Dylan Appolis: 0-2
Juandre Joubert: 1-2
Dean Workman: 0-2
Marshall Gouts: 0-3

Man United vs Tottenham
Gary Lemke: 2-1
Wade Pretorius: 2-1
Dylan Appolis: 2-2
Juandre Joubert: 1-1
Dean Workman: 1-1
Marshall Gouts: 1-2

Lemke is the 2017/2018 English Premier League Superbru Global champion

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