After a Terror Stuck International break, the Barclays Premier League will resume this weekend. The fans and players are getting ready to pay their respects to the people in France that are disturbed at the moment. The return of football in the wake of those attacks symbolizes the strength and unity with which the sport works. All the 10 games in the Premier League are scheduled to start at the right time and there are some exciting matches for the viewers this weekend.
In this article, we will take a look at the biggest talking points in all the weekend fixtures in the Barclays Premier League.
1. The Skrtel and Lovren show:
Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp will face their biggest test in their new era when they face table toppers Manchester City at the Etihad. The Liverpool side have looked a bit solid at the back under the German but the loss of Sakho to injury will surely shake the back four. It will be interesting to see how the Reds manage to keep the likes of Bony, de Bruyne and Yaya Toure quite at the Theatre of Dreams.
2. Alexis Sanchez is also human:
One of the biggest and most successful big money transfers in Arsene Wenger’s reign has been the signing of Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean has been relentless in his performances and has played more football than any other Arsenal player this season. With an already injury hit squad, it will be important for Arsene Wenger to mange his star players and decide on whether he can drop Sanchez to the bench against WBA on Saturday.
3. Louis van Gaal and his style of play:
For all the talk about a star studded line-up, Manchester United are yet to play the sizzling kind of football the most decorated team in the domestic history is known for. The manager has at times been criticized of playing for too long and with players who are shy of taking a shot. The style of play has also been branded boring but it will not affect the players till the results are positive. They travel to Watford this weekend and have a chance of playing their best football as a team.
4. An important Derby at the top of the table:
A season or two ago, this fixture would not have attracted too many viewers. But the form in which Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham are, this game is bound to be an exciting affair. Pochettino has done a great job with his side this season and will set his eyes on a top 4 spot. But West Ham have shown some great composure and will prove to be more than what the Spurs ordered for.
5. Chelsea and their season:
A bizarre season for Chelsea continued when they lost to Stoke at the Britannia Stadium in their last game. Their problem amongst many has been the lack of goals and the manager Jose Mourinho will be hoping that changing the front line and injecting a bit of pace in Loic Remy will help them get the result they need when they face Norwich City at the Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
6. Remi Garde’s tests continue:
Manchester City were held to a 0-0 draw by Aston Villa in the first game with Garde as the manager. He will hope that his team continues their solid performance at the back and will also add a bit of spark to give him his first victory with his new club. But it will not be easy as a trip to the Goodison Park awaits them in the Premier League. It will be interesting to see if the manger sets up Villa as he did against City or if he will change his tactics.
7. Jamie Vardy:
Yes, the name is enough for EPL fans to bring their attention to this clash between Newcastle United and Leicester City. The visitors have had an astonishing start to the season and are just a point behind the leaders of the points table. Most of these results have been due to the incredible scoring run of the England forward Jamie Vardy who however is a doubtful for this clash. Vardy if fit will be hoping to equal the feat of scoring in 10 consecutive Premier League game a record held by Ruud van Nistelrooy.
8. Gary Monk feeling the pressure:
With just one win in nine games in the Premier League, time is fast running out for Swansea to have a positive outcome at the end of the season. The Welsh outfit has looked good in patches but have not been convincing enough in those 9 games. A game at home against newly promoted AFC Bournemouth will provide a good opportunity for Monk to take all three points and get his side within the reach of the top half of the table.
9. Can Stoke build on their positive result?:
The last game for Stoke ended in a sweet 1-0 victory against Champions Chelsea. The game was popular for the absence of Jose Mourinho on the touch line but the way Stoke played in the game was worth noting. They were creative and direct in their approach and looked like scoring more than just the solitary goal. They will however have to travel to the St Mary’s and face a Southampton side that look solid in all the areas on the field.
10. Sunderland’s mistakes will cost them in the long run:
In three of the 4 games in-charge of Sunderland, Sam Allardyce has lost due to a horrific defensive error by his team. Their last game against Southampton was settled by a penalty that was gifted by a rash tackle Yann M’Vila. They will face high-flying Crystal Palace who are fresh from a 2-1 victory at the Anfield. Sunderland will have to hold it together and not award their oppositions simple goals if they want to stay in the top flight next season.