Premier League: 10 things to keep an eye on this weekend | Premier League

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1) Fred and Sancho were able to deliver the key to Carrick

“Why are you playing Fred?” Roy Keane wanted to ask that question as he squeezed Ole Gunnar Solskjær against a wall in the dressing room, and perhaps Solskjær would have struggled to answer. But apparently Michael Carrick knows what Fred is doing well because the Brazilian was one of Manchester United’s best players in their midweek win at Villarreal, and he contributed intelligently to both United’s goals and covered the left when he was on the defensive. The question now is whether he will start against Chelsea, where including Reece James should be an important part of the visitors’ game plan. Carrick also needed Donny van de Beek and Jadon Sancho, as it had previously appeared United had signed both without knowing why. Starting Sancho to the right may be the best way to take advantage of Ben Chilwell’s absence. PD

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2) Dubravka back to boost Newcastle’s confidence?

At the bottom of the table and still without a win, Newcastle travel to the Emirates for Saturday’s kick-off at lunchtime against an Arsenal team that has presumably been injured by their gnawing at the hands of Liverpool. Whether Eddie Howe will be in his technical field or feverishly reassembling his trouser press in the hotel room while counting down his last hours in quarantine is still unknown, but his presence will not matter unless his players rectify the defensive mistakes that led to , that they conceded three goals against Brentford last time. There were visible signs of improvement from Newcastle as they played at the forefront during Howe’s first match in official management, but the record books will show they scored three goals at home and still failed to win. Visibly uncomfortable as he tried to play the ball out from behind and blamed Brentford’s opening match, it would come as no surprise to see Karl Darlow make room for the fit again, Martin Dubravka in Newcastle’s goal. BG

3) The Saints back up Hassenhüttl in the long run

More than a quarter of Premier League clubs have fired a manager already this season, but Southampton know they have a good one. So even though Liverpool on Saturday turn out to be the team handing out the Saints’ annual 9-0 defeat, and after last week’s defeat in Norwich, it’s unlikely the club will drop Ralph Hassenhüttl, who is doing a good job in difficult times . limitations. Indeed, the Saints have proved annoying to some of the big clubs already this season, having drawn with both Manchester clubs and also Chelsea (in the Carabao Cup). Mohamed Salisu has been fantastic in their defense and will have to be in top form again if the Saints are to escape Anfield by one point, or at least their pride. PD

4) Hammer midfield an upgrade at PSG

Seeing Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé off is one thing, but will Manchester City be able to suppress Michail Antonio? They will if they prevent him from getting the ball, of course, but the problem for them is that West Ham have a better midfield than PSG had on Wednesday, so David Moyes can travel with the knowledge they can threaten City. But their chances of keeping City out have been hurt by the loss of Angelo Ogbonna, so Craig Dawson will have to be at his most cunning to keep track of City’s many and elusive strikers. Another high-brow duel is on the cards at Etihad. PD

Michail Antonio up against Conor Coady from Wolves
Michail Antonio (left) can give Manchester City several problems. Photo: Charlotte Wilson / Offside / Getty Images

5) Cantwell under the microscope as Smith seeks revenge

Dean Smith could still be in charge of his beloved Aston Villa if they had not snatched the defeat from the jaws of victory by throwing away a two-goal lead in the final 10 minutes of their home game against Wolves in mid-October. This weekend he gets the chance to take some form of revenge as Norwich host Bruno Lage’s impressive side on Carrow Road. Looking for their third win in a row in Tuesday’s six-pointer against Newcastle, most Norwich fans would probably settle for one point to keep the momentum going. After spending the last two months of the Daniel Farke regime confined to the bench amid rumors of an altercation with the club due to his lack of application in training, Todd Cantwell started Smith’s first fight only to be withdrawn in the interval after an ineffective first half -half performance. It will be exciting to see what reaction the manager will get if the creative midfielder gets another run-out. BG

6) Cornet and Moura go their separate ways

Antonio Conte described last week’s win over Leeds as “two different matches”. In the first half, Tottenham were dull, offensive. In the second, they turned into a violent, overwhelming side that seemed to be able to overwhelm most opponents. The challenge is for them to play like that regularly for 90 minutes, starting at Turf Moor, where Burnley will look for the win that can lift Sean Dyche’s team out of the bottom three. Harry Kane can keep tooting around, but in Lucas Moura and Maxwel Cornet, this match can still feature two of the Premier League’s most exciting strikers in newer form. PD

7) Returned Douglas Luiz can show value for Villa

Aston Villa fans were understandably happy to see photos of Douglas Luiz back in training on Tuesday after a three-match absence with a hamstring injury, but will have been less impressed with Wednesday’s speculation that the Brazilian defensive midfielder and his representatives are looking for a move . to Roma in January. Should Douglas Luiz return to action in the role he excels at this weekend, Marvelous Nakamba looks set to make room. And should Douglas Luiz agitate for a switch to Serie A during the next transfer window, he will be greatly missed at Villa Park. BG

8) Meslier is ready for a busy night in Brighton

Brighton were able to welcome Robert Sánchez back after his exclusion for a hasty expulsion against Newcastle. But the better goalkeeper will be at the other end. It is not normal for a young goalkeeper to be as reliable as Ilan Meslier has been since coming to Leeds, for whom he, now at the age of 21, has been a faithful despite the ever-changing number of defenders in front of him. and the unique pressure of playing. for Leeds. With Marcelo Bielsa likely to be stripped of first-choice defenders again and Brighton in need of a positive result after a couple of wasted performances, Meslier is likely to get more chances to show his quality. PD

Illan Meslier makes a save against West Ham
Illan Meslier has impressed with his performances for Leeds. Photo: Zac Goodwin / PA

9) Toney could come back to haunt Benítez

This could have been considered a meeting between the wisest users of English football and the most ruthless, if it were not for Everton’s recent hiring of Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend at low prices. Aside from the decent performance of that pair, Everton are in sad shape. Although Dominic Calvert-Lewin is still missing, they need to find a way to beat Brentford, who mustered just one point from their last five games. If Everton fail to win their first win since September, Rafael Benítez will enter next weekend’s Merseyside derby under heavy pressure. Especially if Ivan Toney, who Benítez did not appreciate in Newcastle, demonstrates his scoring skills. PD

10) Ranieri set for triumphant Leicester return

Claudio Ranieri and Leicester will always have 2016. It was a wonderful, extraordinary season that neither of them has yet been able to recreate. Ranieri is on to his fifth club since being removed by Leicester less than five years ago. He did not stay long enough at Fulham to lead them out on King Power, so only now will he return with a team to the ground where he enjoyed his and Leicester’s greatest achievement. He is sure to get a loving welcome. But what reception awaits the hosts? Leicester were bubbled up after last week’s defeat to Chelsea, and Ayoze Pérez hinted over the course of the week that the team has slipped into a negative spiral – unlike Watford, who will strike out against last week’s invigorating blunder against Manchester United. Brendan Rodgers will do his utmost to ensure Leicester avoid yet another of the slow starts, which has been a recurring issue for them recently, otherwise Ranieri could celebrate at King Power again. PD

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