Chelsea versus Manchester United and Arsenal’s trip to Manchester City dominate Sunday’s Premier League programme but there are plenty of other sub-plots this weekend.
Tottenham come back down to earth with a visit from basement boys Crystal Palace, David Unsworth needs a win at Everton and Burnley are aiming high.
Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at the talking points surrounding the latest round of top-flight fixtures.
Back to the day job
Crystal Palace are not Real Madrid. Possibly not the boldest statement ever made but, despite their midweek heroics against the European champions, Tottenham still need to keep their eye on the ball against Roy Hodgson’s resurgent Eagles and in particular, Wilfried Zaha, who will love the wide open spaces at Wembley. For Palace, it’s a return to the scene of Alan Pardew’s dad dance at the 2016 FA Cup final while former England boss Hodgson will have to remember to head to the away dug-out.
Unsworth under the spotlight
David Unsworth has somehow landed a fourth interview for the permanent manager’s job at Everton, but a fourth straight defeat as caretaker boss against Watford will surely end his already slim chances. Everton head into the clash on a five-match losing run after their Europa League campaign ended following the 3-0 loss at Lyon. Former Toffees defender Unsworth is calling this one his ‘cup final’ and Evertonians of a certain age will fondly remember the Wembley meeting with Watford in 1984, and pray it goes the same way.
No case for the defences
Liverpool seemingly cannot defend, and West Ham have no defenders, so we could be in for a game of ‘next goal wins’ at teatime on Saturday. The permanently under-pressure Hammers boss Slaven Bilic has five defenders injured or suspended yet somehow has to contain Liverpool’s potent attack if he is to survive the latest instalment in the never-ending saga of matches to save his job. At the opposite end of the field Andy Carroll will fancy his chances against the fragile backline of his previous employers.
Dyche dares to dream
Heavily linked with Everton, Sean Dyche has long been touted as a potential manager of a top-six club. If Liverpool slip up and Burnley continue their fine away form at Southampton, he will be just that. Dyche’s Clarets could not buy an away win last season, yet this term only Manchester City have got the better of them on their travels. A Saints side every bit as mediocre as their current 10th place suggests should not pose too many problems, but will a place in the top six be Dyche’s leaving present?
Trio target top 10
Premier League first-timers Brighton and Huddersfield were tipped to struggle the moment the final whistle blew on their promotion campaigns. Not a great deal was expected of Championship title winners Newcastle, either. Yet come 5pm on Saturday all three could be in the top half. Newcastle, already up to ninth, host a horribly out-of-form Bournemouth, Brighton will fancy their chances at struggling Swansea and Huddersfield welcome a West Brom side without a win in eight to the John Smith’s Stadium.
Source: By PA Sport Staff
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