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Saturday 24 August 2019

Premier League talking points

Alexis Sanchez (left) and Mesut Ozil face a tough battle at Burnley.
Alexis Sanchez (left) and Mesut Ozil face a tough battle at Burnley.

Liverpool go up against Chelsea on Saturday as both sides look to avoid losing further ground on runaway leaders Manchester City.

Here, Press Association Sport discusses five talking points ahead of another intriguing weekend in the Premier League.

Salah another Chelsea talent that got away

Kevin de Bruyne has already reminded Chelsea this season of what they might have had orchestrating their midfield and there could be another Stamford Bridge cast-off about to prove a point this weekend. Mohamed Salah, sold to Roma in 2016, has proven a sensational signing by Liverpool, with 14 goals in 20 games heading into Saturday's clash at Anfield. Chelsea can ill-afford to let their nine-point gap behind Manchester City grow further while Liverpool will be looking for a pick-up after their midweek collapse against Sevilla. Salah is likely to be key.

Palace resurgence ready for lift-off

This weekend marks 10 weeks since Roy Hodgson's first game in charge at Palace, with fans still waiting for the revival he was supposed to spark. There have been near-misses - Southampton, Newcastle and Tottenham all beat them by a single goal - and missed opportunities, with home games against West Ham and Everton, both woefully out of form, yielding only two points. Performances have improved, and luck has played a part, but Palace must now capitalise on a kinder run of fixtures, starting at home to Stoke on Saturday. It is time to deliver.

Arsenal triumphed over Tottenham but can they battle at Burnley?

There is perhaps no better fixture to test Arsenal's mettle and the abiding expectation appears to be that their exhilarating victory over Spurs might not carry over into a rough and tumble at Turf Moor. That may prove the case but to judge anything but an away win as another Arsenal failure would be to underestimate Burnley, who have lost only once at home all season and have already taken points off Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool. With Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez firing again, Arsenal have no excuse not to compete. But a draw would not be the worst result.

Megson's West Brom can be optimistic at Wembley

Under Tony Pulis, West Brom became something of a bogey team for Spurs, managing three consecutive draws against Mauricio Pochettino's side, between two convincing defeats. In fact, Tottenham have only beaten West Brom twice in their last seven meetings with them at home, a record that points to a more long-standing problem when trying to break down resilient opponents. The irony then is that with Pulis gone, West Brom are likely to play more freely this weekend, which in turn would play into Tottenham's hands. Interim boss Gary Megson will want to appease the fans but this might not be the week to do it.

Boosted Bournemouth should extend Swansea slide

Swansea have lost seven of their last eight matches and sit 19th in the Premier League table. With Palace below them showing signs of revival, there is a distinct possibility Paul Clement's side could be bottom by the turn of the year unless form improves. Results at home have been particularly disappointing - they have managed only one win at the Liberty Stadium this season. Swansea host Bournemouth this weekend, with the Cherries on the up after four wins in five. Clement insists he has the support of the club's owners but more disappointment, and the pressure will mount.

PA Media

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