5 Premier League talking points ahead of the latest round of action
There are some intriguing Premier League fixtures in store this weekend as focus switches away from European action.
Here, the PA news agency picks out five of the main talking points heading into the weekend.
Can United finally win at home?
The peculiarities of the start of the 2020-21 season are highlighted by Manchester United’s form. Tuesday’s impressive 2-1 win at Paris St German in the Champions League extended their 100 per cent record on the road to a fifth game in all competitions, yet they have been embarrassed in both of their matches at Old Trafford to date. The shock 3-1 loss to Crystal Palace was compounded by a 6-1 humiliation at the hands of Tottenham, leaving Ole Gunnar Solskjaer stressing the need to kick-start their home form when Chelsea visit fresh from their home draws against Southampton and Sevilla.
Will table-topping Toffees come unstuck at Saints?
Carlo Ancelotti’s side enter game week six on top of the Premier League standings, having followed four straight wins with a hard-fought 2-2 draw against bitter rivals Liverpool. James Rodriguez’s outstanding start to life on Merseyside has played a key role in that success but there are questions over the Colombia star’s fitness ahead of the trip to Southampton. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men have rallied impressively since a poor first few games and will be sure to target under-fire Jordan Pickford on Sunday.
Can Klopp’s Reds kick on in Virgil’s absence?
Liverpool may have won 1-0 at Ajax in the Champions League on Wednesday, but they are still reeling from the serious knee injury sustained by Virgil van Dijk after Pickford’s controversial challenge in last weekend’s Merseyside derby. Fabinho looks set to continue at centre-back after the defensive midfielder underlined his adaptability with a fine performance in Holland, but Sheffield United will look to unsettle a Liverpool backline playing in front of back-up goalkeeper Adrian. Chris Wilder’s Blades are looking to get their winless season going and Rhian Brewster could make his debut at Anfield, just weeks after completing his move to South Yorkshire.
Will City hammer the Irons once more?
West Ham have a dreadful record against Manchester City and are looking to avoid equalling a club record 10 successive defeats against the same opponent. Pep Guardiola’s men have won all five trips to the London Stadium, scoring at least four times on each occasion and racking up an eye-watering 22-1 aggregate scoreline. Kevin De Bruyne and Aymeric Laporte are pushing to return as City head to east London, where David Moyes’ men could hand lively Said Benrahma his debut as they look to build on the stunning 3-3 comeback draw at rivals Tottenham last time out.
Can Gunners shoot down injury-hit Foxes?
After winning their respective Europa League matches on Thursday, the two sides go toe-to-toe at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Mikel Arteta has made impressive strides as Arsenal boss and his side have not lost a home Premier League match in 2020. While the Gunners fell to a narrow 1-0 loss at the Etihad Stadium in their last league outing, Leicester suffered galling back-to-back home defeats to West Ham and Aston Villa. Brendan Rodgers is having to juggle a number of injury concerns ahead of the trip to the capital as Leicester, having already lost to Arsenal in this season’s Carabao Cup, seek their first win at Arsenal since 1973.