Sunday 20 October 2019

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

Who will hold their nerve in the title race and fight for survival?

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola will be out to keep his side ahead of title rivals Liverpool (Martin Rickett/PA Images)
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola will be out to keep his side ahead of title rivals Liverpool (Martin Rickett/PA Images)

By Jim van Wijk, Press Association Sport

After the midweek European action, the fight for points at both ends of the Premier League table kicks off again.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at five talking points ahead of the next set of games.

Can City turn up the heat?

Pep Guardiola’s side will be out to extend their lead over title rivals Liverpool in Saturday’s 5:30pm kick-off at home against Watford. City had some 23 shots to get their only goal in last weekend’s 1-0 win at Bournemouth, so expect them to come out firing on all cylinders against the Hornets as they bid to lay down another title marker.

No love lost at Selhurst Park

There will be little quarter given when the Eagles host the Seagulls to kick-off Saturday’s action from 12:30pm at Selhurst Park. Brighton boss Chris Hughton has called for cool heads from his players to secure bragging rights but with Wilfried Zaha and Michy Batshuayi leading the Palace front line, nobody said it would be easy.

Home comforts for Brendan’s Foxes

New Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers will be in the dugout for the first time at the King Power Stadium. (Steven Paston/PA Images)

New Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers is sure to get a warm reception from the home support when he heads to the dugout at the King Power Stadium for the visit of relegation-battlers Fulham. The Cottagers have yet to win away in the Premier League – something which their caretaker boss Scott Parker could do with adding to his CV for the full-time position down at Craven Cottage, whatever league they are in next season.

Can Reds sink the Clarets?

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (Richard Sellers/PA Images)

Liverpool have dropped momentum since opening up a healthy lead on City, which is now a one-point deficit following last weekend’s goalless draw in the Merseyside derby at Everton. By the time the Reds host Burnley at Anfield for Sunday’s noon kick-off, they could again be playing catch-up. Boss Jurgen Klopp, though, will keep everyone focused as his men look to reproduce the form which swept Watford aside 5-0 in their last home outing.

Will Ole’s United front roll on?

After their amazing Champions League exploits in Paris on Wednesday night, Manchester United will look to continue their domestic revival with a trip to top-four rivals Arsenal on Sunday. The impact of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his coaching staff has been remarkable – the rediscovered togetherness all too evident on and off the pitch. However, the Gunners will be seeking a response after a Europa League defeat at Rennes on Thursday night – and there will be no Video Assistant Referee to aid either side at the Emirates Stadium for Sunday’s 4:30pm kick-off.

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