The Premier League is really back in full swing this weekend with a number of highly-anticipated clashes and major talking points.
Manchester United will be looking to continue their ominous form when Leicester visit Old Trafford on Saturday evening while Arsenal take on Liverpool in the pick of this week’s games. Chelsea host Everton at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon before Spurs look to put their Wembley woes behind them against Burnley. Manchester City kick off the action at lunchtime on Saturday as they make the trip south to Bournemouth.
Ahead of a mouth-watering couple of days, here’s five questions for the top six.
Can Manchester United Keep It Going?
Having cruised past Brighton last week Leicester should represent the toughest test United have faced this season but you need only look at the previous round of games to see their glaring weaknesses. The Foxes’ obvious defensive frailties were exploited by Arsenal to the tune of four very avoidable goals. Considering the speed on the counter and strength-in-depth the Reds boast, it could be a long day for Craig Shakespeare’s side.
That said, while the United back line has looked very solid, it’s only been tested for about ten minutes by Swansea’s faltering attack. Whatever about banging in another four, if Mourinho’s charges can claim another clean sheet, it’ll really be time to start fearing them.
Is There Any Chance Arsenal Can Leave Anfield With A Result?
A pattern has emerged from Liverpool’s home games against the top sides.
They counter-press at light speed early on, force a mistake out of a defender, one of Sadio Mane or Roberto Firmino scores in the first ten minutes and Jurgen Klopp bangs his chest.
Arsenal were comically vulnerable at the back on the opening day and weren’t much better in their defeat to Stoke. You’d be hard to pressed to find a single Gooner expecting a lot from Sunday’s trip north. Even with the prospect of a return for Alexis Sanchez, it could very ugly for Arsene Wenger if his side is given their yearly turning over in a big game this early in the season.
Can City Find Some Form?
It’s not been a bad start to the Premier League campaign for Manchester City but they just haven’t quite hit the ground running like so many expected them to. Bournemouth, meanwhile, have endured a very tough few weeks and have never been the most disciplined defensively. A visit to Dean Court couldn’t have come at a better time for the Citizens.
Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus, in particular, will be hoping to kick start their season on the south coast.
What Happens If Spurs Don’t Win?
Mauricio Pochettino’s side sauntered past Newcastle on the opening weekend but were thoroughly out-thought and out-performed by Chelsea last Sunday. They’re back in Wembley this week but will have to face a whole different challenge.
Burnley were superb against Chelsea as they claimed a famous win but did suffer a rare home defeat to West Brom on Saturday. If they can replicate their performance from the Bridge, it’ll be a serious test for Spurs.
If they don’t pick up all three points, how loud does the talk of this Wembley crisis get? Eventually, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more they struggle, the more intense the pressure becomes and the more they struggle.
Will Chelsea Re-Ignite The Rumours Or Kill Them?
Suppose, for a moment, Chelsea lose on Sunday at Goodison Park. Was the win at Spurs just a false dawn owed only to the floundering of their opponents? Are they really in free-fall? Is Conte really being replaced?
That will be the reaction and much like for Spurs, it won’t be without impact.
Should they win, it will be the “response of champions”.
Either way, it’s a massively important fixture for the Blues.