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Premier League: Weekend talking points

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Newcastle players
Newcastle players. Photo/ iNews
  • In anticipation of the Premier League weekend, we examine the talking topics as Rodri begs for a break and Spurs return to the site of last season’s horror show.

In anticipation of the Premier League weekend, we examine the talking topics as Rodri begs for a break and Spurs return to the site of last season’s horror show.

Spurs back for revenge

Tottenham Hotspur players celebrate after beating Bournemouth 3 1 Photo Sky Sports

Tottenham Hotspur players celebrate after beating Bournemouth 3-1. Photo/ Sky Sports

This weekend, Tottenham will visit Newcastle in an attempt to maintain their Champions League football pursuit. The North Londoners arrived to the embarrassing scene in April of last year. Spurs suffered a 6-1 thrashing at St. James’ Park little over a year ago under interim manager Cristian Stellini.

On a remarkable afternoon in the North East, Spurs found themselves behind 5-0 after only twenty-one minutes; the only other team to trail 5-0 in a Premier League match sooner was Watford (18 minutes against Manchester City in 2019).

Under Ange Postecoglou, this young team has shown promise this season. After defeating Nottingham Forest the previous weekend, they have taken the lead again in the fight for the top four. A victory away from home against Newcastle, who own the best record outside of the top five teams in the Premier League this year, would make a statement and help put the humiliation from last season behind us.

No love lost for Nuno

Due to their recent loss to West Ham, Wolves’ chances of qualifying for Europe have diminished, and they are currently in the bottom half of the league under Gary O’Neil’s leadership.

Wolves have only managed four clean sheets in their 32 league games this season, but Nottingham Forest will be encouraged by that stat before the two clubs play in the Midlands at the City Ground. As Forest finds itself in the bottom three on goal differential following their PSR punishments, Nuno Espirito Santo will be looking to orchestrate a victory versus his former team.

Though they have struggled for regular results, Forest has only failed to score in two of their past fifteen league games. In the last third, the 32-year-old Chris Wood, who has scored 12 goals this season, will be turned to. He has scored more goals in a Premier League season just once previously (14 goals for Burnley in 2019–20).

Everton deduction bounce again?

Everton players Photo BBC

Everton players after a loss. Photo/ BBC

It was almost impossible for Everton to respond better to their 10-point punishment in November. Within a month, four straight victories without a goal conceded eliminated the gap, which was subsequently reduced to six points on appeal.

44% of the Blues’ league victories this season have come just after they were sanctioned for breaking the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability guidelines, suggesting that the team was given a boost by the decision. After that triumph, though, the Toffees went on a 13-game losing streak that sent Sean Dyche’s team back into the relegation zone.

The winning streak was broken last weekend against Burnley, but more fines were revealed this week. The Merseysiders have lost two more points, bringing their total number of points above the relegation zone to just two. Dyche will be hoping his club can find another post-sanctions bounce before Monday’s trip to Chelsea.

Rodri exhausted?

rodri

Manchester United manager Pep Guardiola with midfielder Rodri. Photo/90MIn.com

Rodri is a player who Manchester City relies heavily on. Since February 5th, 2023, the Spaniard has not lost a club match—66 games overall, across all competitions, to be exact. Since that defeat to Spurs, City has suffered five more losses, but the midfield player hasn’t been there for any of them.

When Rodri said last week that he was feeling tired, it should have triggered red flags.

Rodri, whose 3,498 minutes for City this season are second only to Phil Foden’s 3,560, stated, “I do need a rest.”

“Let’s see how we communicate and handle the circumstance. At times, things just are. I must adapt. Yes, it is what we are preparing for the remainder.

The midfield metronome should get some break this weekend because of the crucial matchup with Real Madrid on Wednesday. The only team with less away points this season is Sheffield United, and Luton will be making their journey to the Etihad. Even if there isn’t much room for mistake in the title fight, now seems like the perfect moment to give City’s star player a much-needed break.

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

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