As the Premier League gears up for another exciting weekend of football, several intriguing storylines and key battles are set to unfold. Here are ten things to watch out for:
Dawson’s Defensive Prowess:
The spotlight at Molineux will be on the Korean derby between Hwang Hee-chan and Son Heung-min. However, the pivotal battle may be in the hands of the underrated Craig Dawson, who previously tamed Erling Haaland. Wolves’ defensive trio will need to be on high alert to stop Son and company.
Arsenal’s Striking Woes:
Following Arsenal’s setback at Newcastle, questions arise about their striking options. Mikel Arteta’s faith in Eddie Nketiah is evident, but the lack of a prolific finisher is apparent. The Gunners may need to explore alternatives, with January links to Ivan Toney making strategic sense.
Counter Attacking Clash at Selhurst Park:
Crystal Palace and Everton, both relatively conservative in the summer transfer market, face off in a battle of counterattacking styles. Hodgson and Dyche have blended youth with experience, and the clash promises to be a tactical affair with one team likely to dominate possession.
Ten Hag Under Pressure:
Manchester United’s vulnerability, as seen in their Copenhagen implosion, puts Erik ten Hag under scrutiny. Facing relegation favorites Luton, United needs a convincing win to quell doubts about their manager’s abilities.
Eddie Howe’s Return to Bournemouth:
Newcastle’s Eddie Howe returns to Bournemouth surrounded by familiar faces. The reunion includes Jason Tindall and others with Bournemouth connections. Howe’s return to his former club brings sentimental value but also poses challenges for his current team.
Villa’s Winning Run:
Aston Villa, buoyed by a 12-game home winning streak, aims to equal the 1983 vintage’s 13-game run. Unai Emery’s side has become a formidable force at Villa Park, and a victory over Fulham would mark a significant milestone.
Sheffield United’s Hope Against Brighton:
Sheffield United, showing signs of life with a recent win over Wolves, faces a winless Brighton side. With both teams seeking points, the match could be pivotal for their respective campaigns.
Midfield Depth for Klopp:
Jürgen Klopp’s “Liverpool 2.0” midfield faces challenges, with defensive depth being a concern. The departure of Fabinho and Henderson’s absence exposes vulnerabilities, emphasizing the need for a solid defensive midfield presence.
Antonio’s Struggles at West Ham:
West Ham’s Michail Antonio, without a goal since August, faces pressure to deliver. David Moyes has alternatives, and the versatile Jarrod Bowen could provide a spark if given the opportunity.
Reece James’s Defensive Test:
Chelsea’s Reece James, returning from injury, faces a tough test against Manchester City’s attacking options. Handling the likes of Jérémy Doku and Jack Grealish will be crucial for James to prove his defensive prowess.
As the weekend unfolds, these storylines will add layers of excitement and drama to the Premier League action. Football fans can anticipate thrilling encounters and pivotal moments that could shape the course of the season.