What to look out for in the Premier League this weekend

25 November 2023

What to look out for in the Premier League this weekend

There’s nothing like that satisfying comfort after an international break. The Premier League is back. Normal service has resumed. The weekend has meaning again.

In preparation for getting back into the swing of things for gameweek 13 (with all matches live on Showmax Pro Mobile, courtesy of SuperSport), here’s what to look out for as club football returns.

Three teams have a chance to go top

All eyes will be drawn to the opening Saturday fixture between Manchester City and Liverpool. They’ve been the most common top two pairing in the last few seasons and just a point separates them now.

However, it’s not just a case of those two battling it out to be the league leaders. Arsenal have a chance of pipping them both this weekend.

If City win, they’ll stay top and put a valuable gap between themselves and Liverpool. If Liverpool win, they’ll leapfrog the defending champions but could still fall behind Arsenal if the Gunners get a bigger win against Brentford.

If you’re an Arsenal fan, you’re probably hoping for a draw in the game at the Etihad that could keep both rivals in check.

In a season where there’s already plenty of jostling at the top, this weekend could be pivotal in the title race.

Test for Spurs to stay in touch at the top

Not long ago, it was Tottenham who were sitting at the top of the table unbeaten with everyone praising Ange Postecoglou for how he’d completely turned the club around.

Back-to-back defeats has changed the sentiment somewhat. Past doubts about their soft underbelly have resurfaced, as have some accusations that Postecoglou’s tactics might be too naïve for the Premier League.

They come back from the international break two points behind the leaders and with a tricky game against Aston Villa ahead of them. A win against Unai Emery’s impressive side will not only keep them in touching distance of the top but could also silence some doubters who think they might not be up there for that long.

New kids on the block against the old new kids on the block

Twenty years ago, Chelsea turned the Premier League on its head with a new ownership that brought the kind of wealth that had never been seen before.

Five Premier League titles and two UEFA Champions League triumphs later, Chelsea have completed their journey from being the new kids on the block to an established name in the local and European game.

Most recently, it’s Newcastle that has turned heads with a Saudi-led takeover and all the capital that comes with it. While the transfer spending hasn’t been quite as dramatic as many expected, it’s been substantial with the investment already seeing returns as the club has exceeded expectations by qualifying for the UEFA Champions League last season.

This weekend’s game between Newcastle and Chelsea poses interesting questions for the new and older powers. For Newcastle, it’s a test to see if they can maintain their standards of last season. For Chelsea, it’s a chance to show that they can still keep up with the team that resembles what the Blues used to look like.

Everton to rally against punishment

Despite no club football being played, it was an incredibly eventful international window for Everton, who were docked 10 points due to breaching the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules, which is the biggest punishment handed down in the history of the league.

As expected, there’s a sense of injustice from the fans. Surely they can’t be the only ones that deserve punishment? Manchester City have to answer for no fewer than 115 charges of Financial Fair Play breaches, yet they sit at the top of the table without any penalty.

It’s bound to be a hostile atmosphere at Goodison Park, who now have to deal with their side back in the relegation zone after a good run of results allowed them to climb up the table.

Manchester United better be up for battle, because there’s no doubt that Sean Dyche will use the environment to galvanise his team.

Brighton looking to get their mojo back

Roberto de Zerbi couldn’t do any wrong when he led Brighton to their highest ever league finish last season. Now his club have the longest winless streak in the Premier League and people are questioning whether the other teams have figured his tactics out.

He would’ve been one of the managers that welcomed the international break as a chance to regroup and tactically fix all that needed fixing.

The Seagulls will resume their campaign with a trip to Nottingham Forest, where the atmosphere at the City Ground is quickly gaining a reputation as being one of the hardest environments in the Premier League.

A good away showing from Brighton will go a long way to redeem de Zerbi’s reputation as one of the best managerial prospects in Europe.

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