Thursday 21 February 2019

5 talking points ahead of this weekend’s Premier League fixtures

Harry Kane is expected to be out until March in a huge blow for Tottenham.

Tottenham’s Harry Kane is out until March (Mike Egerton/PA)
Tottenham’s Harry Kane is out until March (Mike Egerton/PA)

By Press Association Sport staff

The Premier League returns this weekend with Tottenham missing Harry Kane and Huddersfield searching for a new manager.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at the talking points ahead of the action.

Can Tottenham cope without Harry Kane?

England captain Kane has been ruled out until March with an ankle injury leaving Spurs with a striker crisis. Son-Heung Min is also away at the Asian Cup while Vincent Janssen is frozen out and Fernando Llorente has started just one league game in 17 months. Lucas Moura seem the only alternative up front but he has been battling a knee problem. Spurs have been reliant on Kane and must now cope or buy a replacement.

What does the future hold for Huddersfield?

Rooted to the bottom of the Premier League Huddersfield are now managerless after David Wagner’s departure. The Terriers host Manchester City on Sunday seven points from the safety line, with a managerial search now taking priority over January reinforcements for their survival effort. Sporting director Olaf Rebbe has also departed as the club look for a fresh start but that increasingly looks like being in the Sky Bet Championship.

Can Arsenal keep their Champions League hopes alive?

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Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (left) fired blanks at West Ham last week. (Yui Mok/PA)

The Gunners host Chelsea on Saturday sitting fifth in the Premier League, six points behind the fourth-placed visitors. Arsenal boss Unai Emery admitted they can only sign loans to strengthen this month, while Chelsea are tying up a loan deal for Gonzalo Higuain themselves. But without serious strengthening cracking the top four again remains a tall order for a Gunners side who lost 1-0 at West Ham last week.

Marco Silva needs to stop flattering to deceive

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Everton manager Marco Silva has them 10th in the table. (Peter Byrne/PA)

Everton have won just two of their last nine Premier League games, including last week’s 2-0 win over Bournemouth. They are 11 points off sixth-placed Manchester United and a mid-table finish, without European football next season, looks increasingly likely. They go to Southampton on Saturday and after being relegated at Hull, and leaving Watford in a survival battle, Silva needs to start proving he can take Everton to the next level.

Will Liverpool slip up against Crystal Palace again?

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Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke scored the goals to beat his former club in April 2017. (Peter Byrne/PA)

The leaders host the Eagles, with Palace having won three of their last four trips to Anfield. Their 2-1 win in April 2017 is Liverpool’s last home league defeat, with the Reds now unbeaten in 31 top-flight games at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp’s side are four points clear of Manchester City but they need to avoid more Palace problems to maintain the gap at the top.

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