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Premier League: What to expect this weekend

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Kai Havertz
Mikel Arteta and Kai Havertz. Photo/ Eurosport.
  • Premier League weekend action is here with us and we look at the major talking points of the league.

Premier League weekend action is here with us and we look at the major talking points of the league.

Havertz back on form

Havertz celebrates Just Arsenal

Havertz celebrates. Photo/Just Arsenal

Since leaving Chelsea in the summer, Kai Havertz has been under intense scrutiny, raising concerns about how the 24-year-old fits into and enhances Mikel Arteta’s team. Havertz has had a good week after a difficult start, and he is starting to demonstrate his worth.

He scored for Germany over the international break, and last Saturday, when Arsenal defeated Brentford in the Premier League, he scored a vital late goal off the bench. He scored the first goal in the Gunners’ 6-0 thumping of Lens in the Champions League midweek, and he appeared at ease playing for Arsenal, breaking forward to connect with the front line.

Although Havertz’s skill has never been in question, he was inconsistent while wearing a Chelsea shirt. Although he has shown Arsenal what he can do in the last week, it will be difficult to maintain such standards every week.

United’s Keeper dilemma

Andre Onana

Andre Onana made two errors that cost Manchester United against Galatasaray. Photo/ ESPN.

Several qualities make a great goalie. Generally speaking, distribution, handling, and communication are all crucial, and shot-stopping comes in close second. The capacity to instill calm in those ahead is, however, the greatest asset. For the Manchester United defense at the moment, Andre Onana is having the opposite effect.

Onana’s mistakes in the midweek draw at Galatasaray have left the club’s prospects of qualifying for the Champions League in shambles. After coming to Old Trafford, the Cameroon international has made a growing number of blunders, including letting Hakim Ziyech free kicks get through his fingers twice.

Ten Hag has steadfastly supported Onana up to this point, but his squad has suffered greatly this season—especially in Europe—due to the goalkeeper’s mistakes.

As of right now, United has given up 33 goals in all competitions, which is a record for the team and the highest it has seen since 1962–1963, a season in which the Red Devils finished 19th in the standings.

If Ten Hag decides to remove Onana from the firing line, Altay Bayindir, who arrived from Fenerbahce this summer, is ready and waiting in the wings. Onana’s confidence is obviously lacking, so the Dutchman will have to make a tough choice. However, because the 27-year-old is leaving for AFCON in just a few weeks, this could be the perfect moment to get Bayindir up to speed.

Will Spurs change the narrative?

Ange Postecoglou’s outstanding start at Spurs might come to an end as the team’s injury issues could ruin their season. Spurs had won their first ten games and were leading the standings, but they have already dropped their last three.

After starting the season with 10 wins in a row, the North Londoners became only the third side in Premier League history to lose three straight games, and the first in 52 years. Spurs is now only the sixth Premier League club to lose after blowing three straight leads. All of those losses occurred while Spurs were ahead.

The absence of James Maddison and Micky van de Ven, two important players, has affected Postecoglou’s preparations. Rodrigo Bentancur has been added to the growing list of absentees following an ankle injury sustained last weekend against Aston Villa.

The daunting task of traveling to play Manchester City for Spurs comes next. The timely addition of Yves Bissouma and Cristian Romero to the Spurs roster is encouraging, but they still have a formidable challenge against the champs.

Everton need to win

everton

Everton FC received a 10-point deduction recently. Photo/Sky Sports

After a depressing loss to Manchester United in their previous match, Everton will try again this weekend to avoid relegation and their Premier League penalty. Despite a strong showing, hopes of a significant reaction to the club’s 10-point suspension were dashed in a 3-0 loss.

It carried on Everton’s tendency of dominating games this season without receiving much in the way of rewards. Despite the final scoreline’s optics, no club has underperformed in terms of xG (+9.30) more than the Toffees, who had 24 shots on goal to United’s nine last weekend.

This season, Everton has had ten or more more shots than the opposition three times and yet lost. With six set-piece goals, only behind Arsenal and Manchester City, Everton might be the team to beat against Nottingham Forest this weekend. In contrast, Forest has let up seven goals from set pieces, more than any other team in the division (tied with Bournemouth).

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