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Premier League: What to expect this weekend

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Raheem Sterling will look to create problems for the Arsenal defence. Photo/ The Independent
  • The International Break is finally over and players flying back to their clubs.
  • We look at the major talking points ahead of the Premier League weekend.

With the International break finally over and players flying back to their clubs, we look at the major talking points ahead of the Premier League weekend.

Gary O’Neil back against his former club

Gary O’Neil faces his old employers as Wolves take on Bournemouth. Photo/SkySports

The firing of Gary O’Neil by Bournemouth surprised a lot of people. The inexperienced manager oversaw a comeback that resulted in top-flight survival after inheriting a team that Scott Parker had deemed “ill-equipped” to contend at Premier League level.

Most people believed that O’Neil had done a good job, but Bournemouth felt that change was necessary and fired him last summer. Andoni Iraola, whose reputation at Rayo Vallecano was building, was brought in, but the Spaniard has had a difficult start to the season and is winless through his first eight games.

O’Neil resumed his career after assuming the Wolves position that was left open by Julen Lopetegui a few days before the start of the new season. The first four games of his tenure have gone well, earning four points against Manchester City and Aston Villa.

De Zerbi faces the Champions

Brighton

Brighton. Photo/ Sports Illustrated.

This weekend, Manchester City will try to recover from two straight Premier League losses, but Brighton will present a tough obstacle. Roberto De Zerbi, the manager of Brighton, has received a lot of acclaim recently from Pep Guardiola, who considers him to be one of the 20th-century’s most significant managers.

Last season, De Zerbi guided Brighton to Europa League qualifying, and he did so in an enticing fashion. While Manchester City and Brighton are ranked first (City) and second (Brighton), respectively, in terms of anticipated goals (xG) this season, Brighton has scored more goals than Manchester City.

The expected return of Rodri to the Manchester City midfield will help both teams’ efforts to exert control of the ball at the Etihad. The midfielder’s recent suspension for receiving a red card against Nottingham Forest resulted in him missing three games, all of which City lost.

Arsenal face an improved Chelsea side

Chelsea

Chelsea players celebrating against Fulham. Photo/ Eurosport.

This weekend’s London derby pits Chelsea against Arsenal, and the Blues are looking to keep up their recent improvement.

For most of the Roman Abramovich period in west London, Chelsea had the advantage in this matchup, but lately, Arsenal has been dominant. In the clubs’ past six Premier League encounters, the Gunners have won five of them, including the last three straight.

Chelsea will play Brentford, Tottenham, Manchester City, Newcastle, Brighton, and Manchester United in quick succession after this game.

Raheem Sterling, who overcame his England rejection with an electrifying display in the victory against Burnley, will be looking to continue where he left off before the break, and Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping for the same. At Turf Moor, Sterling contributed to all four goals and showed flashes of his Manchester City best early in the season.

Sterling may be placed on the right side of the field by Pochettino, where Arsenal has occasionally looked exposed this season. The most of Premier League goals have been given up by Mikel Arteta’s team (28% of shots from the left-sided defensive zone).

United’s Goalkeeper dilemma

Altay Bayindir. Photo/ Manchester United

Without a doubt, Andre Onana is having a difficult time at Manchester United right now. The goalkeeper’s time at the club has gotten off to a terrible start as a string of errors put the Cameroonian under pressure.

The Red Devils lost to Galatasaray in the Champions League as a result of Onana’s mistake before halftime, and only Scott McTominay’s heroics against Brentford last time kept them from losing three games in a row.

Erik ten Hag must make a choice about his goalkeeper, whose self-assurance has obviously diminished as a result of a poor start to his English football career.

Altay Bayindir, a goalkeeper who joined from Fenerbahce, was also signed this summer, therefore Onana was not the only goalie. The 25-year-old 6’6″ shot-stopper has six international caps for Turkey, and Ten Hag may give him an opportunity this weekend at Sheffield United.

I am an ardent sports enthusiast interested in writing about football, motorsport and athletics.

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