fbpx Skip to main content

The Premier League returns this weekend after a busy midweek of European action.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at five of the biggest talking points heading into the latest round of fixtures.

Can Saints stifle scoring machine Haaland?

Erling Haaland has plundered goal after goal for Man City
Erling Haaland has plundered goal after goal for Man City (Nick Potts/PA)

Expectations were high when Erling Haaland arrived at Manchester City from Borussia Dortmund in the summer, but nobody could have foreseen quite how well he would settle in.

The 22-year-old’s brace in Wednesday’s Champions League hammering of Copenhagen took his tally to 19 goals in 12 matches and the Norway striker is gunning for a hat-trick in a fourth successive Premier League home game when Southampton come to town this weekend.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side were unbeaten across their two Premier League fixtures against the champions last season and the Austrian boss could do with a positive result given the mounting speculation about his future.

Spurs head to Brighton after tragic week

Frustration at defeat in the north London derby at Arsenal and the midweek goalless draw at Frankfurt in the Champions League pales into insignificance following the death of much-loved fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone.

Spurs confirmed on Thursday morning that the highly respected Italian had died at the age of 61.

Ventrone joined Spurs when Antonio Conte was appointed manager last November, with the likes of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min making heartfelt tributes.

Tottenham and Brighton will wear black armbands in tribute to Ventrone when the sides meet on Saturday evening and further tributes will occur in next week’s home fixture with Frankfurt.

How will Arsenal fare against Liverpool?

Grant Xhaka celebrates wrapping up Arsenal's 3-1 win against Spurs
Grant Xhaka celebrates wrapping up Arsenal’s 3-1 win against Spurs (Zac Goodwin/PA)

The 3-1 derby victory against bitter rivals Tottenham kept Mikel Arteta’s men top of the Premier League after eight matches.

The Gunners have impressed this term but face a stern test on Sunday afternoon when Jurgen Klopp’s Reds come to town.

Liverpool comfortably overcame Rangers in the Champions League on Tuesday – a rare straightforward night in a season that has so far been far from easy for the side expected to be City’s biggest title challengers.

The Reds have been porous at the back and were held to a 3-3 home draw by Brighton last weekend, meaning they start the weekend in ninth and 11 points behind Arsenal.

Can Red Devils find form?

Manchester United were humbled at the Etihad Stadium last weekend
Manchester United were humbled at the Etihad Stadium last weekend (Martin Rickett/PA)

Manchester United’s four-match winning run in the Premier League came to an abrupt halt last weekend as neighbours City ran amok at the Etihad Stadium.

Haaland and Phil Foden scored hat-tricks in a victory where the 6-3 scoreline did not accurately reflect what manager Erik ten Hag admitting was a “hammering”.

The United boss felt a lack of belief proved their undoing at the Etihad Stadium and said that Thursday’s 3-2 Europa League win at Omonia Nicosia is only the “warm-up” in their bid to make amends for the derby defeat.

Ten Hag wants fight and intensity from his side at improving Everton on Sunday evening, when Frank Lampard’s men will look to win a third successive game.

Cooper backed to bring Forest together

There was a need to make widespread changes following promotion due to the departures from Nottingham Forest’s triumphant Championship play-off side, but the sheer volume of arrivals has meant the team have lost momentum and identity.

Steve Cooper’s side languish rock bottom of the Premier League having recorded just one win since leading the club back to the top flight for the first time in 23 years.

It appeared the popular manager’s position was in jeopardy, only for Forest to stun onlookers on Friday by announcing he had signed a new deal until 2025.

It was a big statement of support from the City Ground hierarchy ahead of Monday’s home clash against Aston Villa.