Gunners to find a way
Magpies continue their winning ways
Goals in North London from transformed sides
Going back seven long months, only Manchester City and Liverpool have picked up more Premier League points than Villa. The Seagulls meanwhile have scored in each of their last 22 league outings, averaging three goals per game this season.
If this one disappoints, very little will make sense anymore.
The Villans have won the last four meetings between these sides and furthermore boast a terrific record at home, their best since 1983. As for the visitors, they are minus Pascal Gross, creator of 11 chances from open play, and it's telling that Roberto De Zerbi's side are yet to keep a clean sheet.
Even so, it's hard to pull the trigger on a home win, given how sensational Brighton have been in recent weeks. How sensational they are.
Our own Lewis Jones makes a compelling argument that the Cherries are improving under Andoni Iraola and can make life extremely difficult for the Gunners at the Vitality. Certainly their first win of the season feels imminent.
Perhaps though, that duck-breaking victory will come beyond this weekend, when Bournemouth play three of the bottom six in October.
Having said that, injuries are a concern for Mikel Arteta's side, with Declan Rice out and Bukayo Saka 50/50. The latter has created 19 chances this term, a league high. With Trossard and Martinelli also being assessed on a daily basis, Bournemouth's full-backs may have a manageable afternoon.
Both of Arsenal's away wins this season have finished 1-0 so let's go for a low-scoring affair. Expect plenty of corners from the visitors though. Their 58 to date is a ridiculous number.
Are the Toffees turning a corner?
The manner in which they bossed Brentford last Saturday was absolutely a statement performance, one they built on by beating Villa in the Carabao Cup midweek. It's also telling that both of these victories were achieved via different formations and with distinctly different line-ups.
Sean Dyche may have a slender squad but several of his players are coming into form and he has options.
Of course, we cannot completely overlook the three previous outings at Goodison, each ending in 1-0 defeats, but against Luton they can at least be downplayed.
Struggling in all areas, the Hatters have managed a meagre 11 shots on target to date while their xG suggests those chances have mostly been difficult and speculative.
Staying with shots, Everton have averaged 14.2 per 90, their highest figure for close to a decade.
United comfortably rolled Palace over at Old Trafford midweek in the League Cup, meaning Roy Hodgson has a tough job in convincing his players this may play out differently.
Pointing out that Eberechi Eze didn't start should be his opening gambit, the 25-year-old being such a key part of the Eagles' attacking make-up. Eze has the most shots and chances created combined (42) in the top-flight this term.
Hodgson can put himself forward too. The seasoned coach is unbeaten in his last four trips to Old Trafford in the league.
For the Reds though, Wednesday was a night for righting several wrongs, and that will encourage them even more than the comprehensive 3-0 score-line.
Under-fire Mason Mount assisted. Out-of-sorts Alejandro Garnacho scored. Their possession stats were markedly improved.
Then there's the rested Bruno Fernandes to bring back in, statistically United's best player so far in 2023/24.
Week-on-week the Clarets are improving, their stats suggesting that sooner or later they're going to pull clear of the bottom three.
Accurate passing increased by 14% last weekend compared to their seasonal average. Only Manchester United have won possession more often in the final third. The deluge of goals conceded has now dried up to one per 90, which at least gives them a fighting chance.
Yet how can we look past a Newcastle win here given the welter of evidence?
It won't surprise you to learn that the Magpies have the best chance conversion rate in the top-flight, not after seeing them wallop eight - all from different scorers - past a blunt Blades last week.
Antony Gordon is in excellent form while on the other flank Kieran Trippier continues to combine right-backing with forward forays that put wingers to shame. A hat-trick of assists last weekend made the headlines but 2.8 key passes per 90 is testament to his consistency.
Up front, Isak and Wilson are taking turns to be clinical.
It may take a while to break Burnley down, that's the best that can be said of the visitors, for now anyway. Indeed ten of Newcastle's 16 league goals have been converted after the break.
How the Blades respond to last week's complete capitulation will go a long way to determining the outcome at the London Stadium.
It's intriguing therefore to note that none of the last five sides to concede eight or more in a Premier League game went on to win their next fixture, but all tightened things up considerably.
Two of the five lost by two-goal margins. Two more by one. Bournemouth last term eked out a goalless stalemate.
Even that hollow victory however feels beyond Paul Heckingbottom's men right now, especially considering how unprotected their back-line routinely is.
The Blades have faced 136 shots to date. That's the second worst figure, six games in, on record.
The reigning champions' 100% start feels under threat at Molineux, minus Rodri, their chief architect and fulcrum. It is all-too-easy to picture Pedro Neto causing damage on the counter, the winger racking up 18 chances and four assists this season.
There are worst shouts out there than 7/2 for the draw.
Yet even without their peerless Spaniard, City possess so many scary threats, not least Alvarez and Foden who between them have carved out 31 opportunities. Haaland meanwhile is averaging a goal every 66 minutes while Jeremy Doku has hit the ground running following his summer move. The tricky Belgian adds another dimension to the Blues' attack.
There is also the small matter of City winning the last six in the head-to-heads, accruing a 19-3 aggregate scoreline.
For all this though it is discipline that most stands out.
Two of the last four meetings have seen players dismissed, while between them Wolves and City have had three players sent off this term.
Two transformed, unbeaten sides clash in North London this Saturday evening in what is unquestionably the marquee game of the weekend.
With Ange Postecoglou's adventurous mandate taking root right from the off, Spurs have scored 2+ goals in each of their six league games, averaging 7.3 shots on target per 90 to boot.
As for Liverpool, benefitting hugely from a more energetic, remodeled midfield, they're averaging three goals per 90 at home and two on the road. No side has created more big chances this season (17).
Of the stand-out individuals, James Maddison obviously deserves a mention, his two assists for Son Heung-min in the North London Derby suggesting a fruitful partnership.
Talking of which, Mo Salah and Darwin Nunez have created a chance for one another every 29 minutes this term. The former has either scored or assisted in each of his last 12 top-flight appearances.
There is going to be goals in this one.