Tuesday 20 November 2018

Reunions dominate Premier League agenda this weekend

Jose Mourinho and Joe Hart go back to old stomping grounds while friendship will be put aside between Klopp and Wagner.

Joe Hart is set to line up at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday (Martin Rickett/PA)
Joe Hart is set to line up at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday (Martin Rickett/PA)

By Press Association Sport staff

The Premier League resumes this weekend after the international break with match-day nine set to unfold.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of the main talking points.

Mourinho back at the Bridge

Chelsea’s home game against Manchester United at lunchtime on Saturday is the pick of the bunch as Jose Mourinho attempts to beat his former club for the first time since taking charge at Old Trafford.

Chelsea are unbeaten in the Premier League since Maurizio Sarri replaced Antonio Conte in the summer and have won widespread acclaim for their entertaining brand of football under their latest Italian manager.

In contrast, Mourinho returns to Stamford Bridge under a cloud as he struggles to re-establish himself as English football’s top dog. A fourth league defeat of the season would crank up the pressure.

Klopp and Wagner friendship on hold

Jurgen Klopp and David Wagner share one of the closest friendships in football and they will go head to head at the John Smith’s Stadium when Huddersfield take on Liverpool.

Klopp’s Reds have stuttered after making their best-ever start to a Premier League season, but remain unbeaten and could return to the top of the table if they return to winning ways after successive league draws.

Huddersfield will set a new and unwanted club record of seven straight home games without scoring a goal if they fail to end their drought in front of their own fans.

De Bruyne comeback on cards

Manchester City bid to extend their 100 per cent league record at the Etihad Stadium this season and Burnley’s visit could be marked by the return to action of Kevin De Bruyne.

The Belgian has recovered from knee ligament damage which has kept him out for two months and could feature as City also aim to extend their unbeaten start and stay top.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche insists goalkeeper Joe Hart has nothing to prove as he returns to the Etihad for the first time since being told he was surplus to requirements two seasons ago. City announced on Friday they had named one of their training pitches after their former goalkeeper and intend to pay proper tribute to his achievements with the club on Saturday.

Cherries bid to stay on top

Southampton are used to being top dogs down on the south coast, but currently that is not the case and their short trip to neighbours Bournemouth could be a spicy affair.

The Saints are struggling, having won just one of their first eight Premier League games this season, while the Cherries, in their fourth straight season in the top flight, are flying.

Eddie Howe’s side are in sixth place with five wins already this season and are chasing a third straight Premier League victory for the first time since March 2016. Southampton are staring at a fourth successive league defeat and could slip into the bottom three.

Press Association

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