- The Premier
League returns this weekend after an FA Cup hiatus with a
heavyweight clash between Liverpool and Manchester City while Arsenal cannot
afford to be cut adrift in the race for Champions League places.
Chelsea take on Leicester in a
clash of the past two winners of the Premier League, Spurs host Everton,
second-placed Manchester United play Stoke and Arsenal, in sixth spot, travel
Here are some of the main talking
points ahead of the action:
start post-Coutinho era
Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool
host Manchester City on Sunday in the first match since Philippe Coutinho's
big-money transfer to Barcelona.
club's "Fab Four" of the Brazilian, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and
Roberto Firmino have terrorised opposition defences this season.
have scored 50 goals in the Premier League, second only to Manchester City, and
five more than second-placed Manchester United. And they have shored up their
suspect defence by paying an eye-watering 75 million ($102 million, 84 million
euros) to Southampton for defender Virgil Van Dijk.
hailed Coutinho's "professionalism" as the Brazilian secured his
dream move. On paper the team still have plenty of goals in them but have they
lost the player who made them tick?
Will City come unstuck at
sides who have most troubled Manchester City this season are those who have sat
deep and conceded possession to Pep Guardiola's slick Premier League leaders.
had a spell when they needed a succession of late goals to see off their
opponents, with narrow victories against Huddersfield, Southampton and West
Ham. But Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool, even without the departed Philippe Coutinho,
are unlikely to hold back at Anfield, where the home crowd will demand they
take the game to City.
boast an array of exciting attacking talent but Klopp will have to find a way
of knitting it together in the absence of the departed Brazilian. An attacking
approach could favour City but if Liverpool find their mojo there could be an
keep their biggest stars?
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is
adamant the likes of Harry Kane and Dele Alli are going nowhere but can he
withstand the pressure in the cut-throat world of top-level football where the
natural pecking order usually asserts itself eventually?
has hinted that Spurs will need to match his ambitions if they wish to hang on
to him. "I've always said, just keep progressing, keep getting
better," Kane said.
want to start winning trophies so that's the aim. As long as the club keeps
doing that then I'm happy here."
is no suggestion that home-grown Kane is agitating for a move, with the club on
the verge of moving to a new stadium but Levy sounds confident he can keep the
circling sharks at bay. "I'm 100 per cent confident," he said.
single player that we want to keep, I can assure you will be playing for
Tottenham Hotspur next season."
could face former midfield at Chelsea
League-winning midfield of Danny Drinkwater and N'Golo Kante could line up
together against their former team for the first time this weekend. The pair
were instrumental in Leicester's 2015-16 title triumph alongside Jamie Vardy
and Riyad Mahrez but have both since decamped to Stamford Bridge, where Kante
became a title winner again last season.
of the reasons Danny is here is because he won the title with N'Golo two years
ago," said Chelsea boss Antonio Conte after his side recently demolished
Stoke. Drinkwater praised Kante after he joined the London club.
played with N'Golo for a season and there was not really a game I didn't enjoy
playing next to him... I think we hit it off from the first game and after that
we did not really lose. He is a top lad, the most down-to-earth person you will