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Top two face off in another big weekend in Premier League

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-10-01 22:02
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LONDON - The big matches keep coming thick and fast as the Premier League moves into its last round of games before the forthcoming international break.

The standout clash of the weekend sees league leaders Liverpool at home to second-placed Manchester City in what promises to be another fascinating contest between title contenders.

Pep Guardiola's City travel to Anfield after a week that saw them produce a fine display to win away to Chelsea, but then fail to convert their chances as they lost 2-0 to Leo Messi's Paris Saint Germain in midweek.

Liverpool meanwhile cruised past Porto in the Champions League but were held to a thrilling 3-3 draw by Brentford last weekend in a performance that raised some doubts over their defensive capabilities.

So the big questions about the game are whether Manchester City can turn chances into goals or whether Liverpool's back four will tighten up from last weekend, while there seems to be little doubt that if Liverpool's forward get chances, they will take them.

It has been a chastening week for Chelsea with their defeat at home to Manchester City followed by a 1-0 setback away to Juventus.

Southampton's visit to Stamford Bridge should allow Thomas Tuchel's side to recover, but the visitors are better than their four points from six games suggest and their high pressing down the flanks will limit the ability of Chelsea's full-backs to get forward as much as they like.

The weekend opens with fourth-place Manchester United and fifth place Everton going head-to-head at Old Trafford, with United needing to convince after a shock defeat to Aston Villa last week and a fortunate win after being outplayed by Villarreal on Wednesday. United have had little time to recover, while Everton will make the short trip fully prepared for what promises to be another game that will show both sides' true credentials this season.

Sixth-placed Brighton have been the surprise package so far this season and they entertain Arsenal in what looks like an evenly matched tie between two teams that like to have the ball. Arsenal have Granit Xhaka out with a knee injury.

Saturday also sees second from bottom Burnley seek their first win of the season against bottom of the table Norwich, who have lost all six matches so far.

Third from bottom Leeds United are also searching for that elusive first win at home to a robust Watford, while Steve Bruce's winless Newcastle United are without Callum Wilson for their visit to an attractive Wolverhampton side.

Tottenham recovered from their chastening defeat to Arsenal with an easy 5-1 win against NS Mura in the Conference League on Thursday and fans will hope that Harry Kane's hat-trick will mark a turning point ahead of their tricky home game against Aston Villa where they need to end a three-game domestic losing streak.

Leicester City suffered a chastening Europa League setback to Legia Warsaw on Thursday and a dynamic Crystal Palace will again test their defense, while West Ham entertain Brentford in a London derby which sees West Ham's Said Benrahma face his former club.

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