SPORTS: The weekend’s matches in the Premier League give us the return of a long rivalry, while Liverpool take their injury-hit side to face league leaders Leicester City.
Liverpool’s visit to Leicester City on Sunday is certain to test their resources and resolve against a rival whose two key players, Jamie Vardy and James Maddison were rested during the international break.
Jurgen Klopp’s defense is in tatters without Trent Alexander Arnold, Joe Gomez and Virgil Van Dijk, while Jordan Henderson is also missing and Mohamed Salah has tested positive for coronavirus. Thiago Alcantara may return after his knee injury, but if the Spain international isn’t risked, Klopp’s side could look more than just slightly threadbare.
Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola signed a contract extension on Thursday and has the chance to celebrate on Saturday when his side visit Tottenham coached by his long-term rival, Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho will look to celebrate his year in charge by seeing Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min continue their excellent form, while Gareth Bale is slowly recovering the match-fitness that he was missing at Real Madrid.
If Tottenham’s front three are at their best, Mourinho could be the coach with more to celebrate on Saturday night, especially as Kun Aguero is still absent for Guardiola’s men.
Chelsea have been one of the in-form sides in recent weeks and will be favorites to win away to Newcastle United. However, the TV schedule has done Chelsea few favors by giving them an early kick-off on Saturday when several players have only just returned from international duty.
Jack Grealish was one of England’s stars during the break with excellent performances against Belgium and Iceland and his midfield partnership with Ross Barkley and Ollie Watkins’ form in attack should be enough to see Aston Villa past Brighton.
Manchester United look for their first league win at home this season against West Brom, who have just three draws to their credit since returning to the top-flight. Although Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood are both doubtful, United are still favorites for all three points, but West Brom’s narrow defeat to Tottenham just before the break hinted that they might be finding their feet in the top-flight.
Three straight defeats have knocked Everton off the top of the table down to sixth place, but they will have James Rodriguez fully fit and Richarlison back from suspension for the visit to fourth from bottom Fulham.
Arsenal have failed to build on some hopeful signs at the start of the campaign with three defeats in their last four games and Mikel Arteta’s side now visit Leeds United, who have conceded eight goals in their last two matches and 17 times all season but have also scored five more goals than Arsenal this campaign.
After facing Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea in their last three outings, Sheffield United fans will hope the visit of West Ham offers the chance for their first win of the season.
There are two matches on Monday with Burnley looking for their first win of the campaign at home to Crystal Palace, while Southampton visit Wolves in a clash between two sides with very real options of qualifying for Europe