Premier League: 10 things to watch this weekend | premier league


1) Leicester and Arsenal fighting for fifth place

Back-to-back league wins over Manchester United and Brentford suggest Leicester City have hit their stride after a rather unstable start to the season and Brendan Rodgers’ side are likely to provide a severe test for an Arsenal side who have also failed. improved but may have been overrated for their most recent league win over a surprisingly smooth Aston Villa. Saturday’s early kick-off should provide a stern test of what is currently happening to the courage of both teams. Locked together on 14 points, a win for either will send them fifth for a few hours at least. They would be dizzying heights at the 10-game bar as the standings are generally accepted as taking shape, especially for an Arsenal side who have started the current campaign with three straight losses. BG

2) Maguire, not Lindelöf, must make way for Varane

A 5-0 at home against your fiercest rivals isn’t the most obvious path to inner peace, but for Ole Gunnar Solskjær, there’s comfort in the knowledge that things can’t get worse. Therefore, he may as well make certain decisions, bold or obvious. Manchester United have been around for 143 years, a period in which there have been few performances as breathtaking as Harry Maguire’s last two league efforts, so he, not Victor Lindelöf, has to make way for Raphäel Varane. Equally ill Luke Shaw is also set to be replaced by Alex Telles, and while Donny van de Beek hasn’t done much to start, he might as well get one now, as does Jadon Sancho. But the biggest change Solskjaer needs to make is United’s roster. Neither 4-3-3 nor 4-2-3-1 works, so a 4-1-4-1, with wide players invited to defend as well as attack, could help balance a team that doesn’t. has nothing to do with it. horrible. DH

3) Can Lamptey’s Return End Salah’s Threat?

When Brighton deservedly won at Anfield in February, Liverpool had Nat Phillips and Jordan Henderson in central defense, there was no Allison in the goals and no fans in the stands. In addition, Liverpool were, according to Jürgen Klopp, mentally and physically tired. This Saturday’s duel at Anfield should therefore be a whole different challenge for the visitors, as Liverpool could hardly be in better shape. How, for example, Graham Potter’s side can overpower Mohamed Salah this time around with the Egyptian aiming to score for an 11e successive match? The answer may lie in a change in Brighton squad: Last week Tariq Lamptey came off the bench to make a formidable return to the Premier League after a 10-month absence due to injury. If the 21-year-old is fit enough to start at Anfield, he could force Salah to step back. PD

4) Gallagher can show off his skills against champions

It doesn’t seem like a stretch to imagine Conor Gallagher as a regular at Chelsea next season. The 21-year-old on loan has arguably been Crystal Palace’s best player this season, and one could imagine his old-fashioned athleticism, intelligence and toughness alongside the cunning and skill of Jorginho and Mason Mount. in the middle of the field. For now, it remains a dream: the reality is a trip with Palace to the champions on Saturday. However, if he continues his trajectory this season, it is not impossible to see him work his way into Thomas Tuchel’s plans next year at the expense of Ross Barkley, Billy Gilmour or Saúl Ñíguez. Gallagher performed magnificent in Palace’s 2-2 draw against Arsenal and Patrick Vieira is hoping for a similar performance at another of the Frenchman’s former clubs. Mo

5) Newcastle play for their substitutes

Still without a league win under their belt this season, Newcastle will do well to rectify this particular situation against the table tops who scored seven goals against Norwich City last weekend despite the absence of their first-choice strikers. Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner remain on the sidelines, but Chelsea should have more than enough firepower to torpedo a side from Newcastle, who have been fortunate enough to score a point at Crystal Palace. In his first game as interim boss Graeme Jones threw several big names off the bench and it’s hard to see how Fabian Schär, Miguel Almirón, Joe Willock and Jamal Lewis wouldn’t be a significant improvement for the chosen players. in front of them. Last weekend. With 11 league games to play before they can start investing their new billion in the transfer market, the current scum finds itself in the odd position of having to cut every point in order to make life easier for their inevitable replacements. BG

6) Will Ward-Prowse return in Saints’ XI?

James Ward-Prowse played every minute of every top game for Southampton last season, but missed his last three league and Carabao Cup games by suspension following his dismissal against Chelsea. In his absence, Ibrahima Diallo stepped up and impressed as Southampton secured four of their unsatisfactory eight league point tally with a win over Leeds and a draw with Burnley. While Ward-Prowse is available for selection after his stint on the naughty march, his return to the starting lineup from Southampton for their visit to Watford may not be the formality many would have predicted before his ban. BG

7) Fernández has some big gloves to fill for Brentford

Brentford’s loss to Leicester was costly in more ways than one. Bees No.1 David Raya will be out for at least four months after sustaining a knee injury, which is “a blow” for Thomas Frank, both defensively and in possession. Raya is both an outstanding shooter and her long-range distribution towards Ivan Toney and co has been a notable factor in her team’s play. After the 3-3 draw against Liverpool, Jürgen Klopp joked that Raya “could have the shirt with the number 10”, such was the quality of his pass. His replacement is Álvaro Fernández, who arrived on loan from Huesca this summer. Selected by Spain in June, Fernández will have to be ready for an aerial bombardment at Turf Moor on Saturday. Mo

8) Norwich can still cheer Leeds up

You cannot doubt Leeds’ morale, nor their energy. They could have collapsed last weekend after Raphinha added to their long list of kills, but instead they rallied and made Wolves suffer before winning a late equalizer thanks to the cunning of the young Joe Gelhardt and Rodrigo’s composure. So there was some encouragement to be drawn from that game, and also from the midweek fight for the Carabao Cup with Arsenal, if only because Kalvin Phillips returned to the starting lineup. If Raphinha returns on Sunday as well, then Leeds can be sure to find their way back to victory against Norwich, for whom the positives are much harder to spot. PD

9) Shaped hammers can disturb Villa

Whenever it seems like West Ham has reached its peak, they climb another one. By only taking the last two weeks they found a way – OK, a set piece – to win Everton a hard blow, swept Genk, found a way to beat Spurs in the derby – OK, a set piece – then defeated Manchester City on penalties midweek. They deserved to win those two league games, and while there is nothing wrong with scoring from free kicks and corners, they need to improve to create from open play; an improvement quite within their reach, given the quality they have. Villa, who haven’t won since mid-September and were particularly gruesome against Arsenal last weekend, will give West Ham space to speak – a decent opportunity for the Hammers to move forward in greater numbers and use the talent at their disposal. to separate the lower teams. DH

10) Wolves’ results exceed their performance

These are curious moments at Wolves. The facts say they are in good shape, with three wins and one draw in their last four matches. But the eyes say they haven’t played particularly well in this race and have lost much of the pizzazz that made them so exciting to watch in their first three league games – that they all lost. Bruno Lage’s task against Everton is therefore to continue to take points while taking over the offensive enterprise of the start of the campaign. Rafael Benítez’s challenge, meanwhile, is to prepare for a redemptive performance after last week’s absurd 5-2 collapse at home to Watford. PD

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