Preview: North London derby promises thrills, Man City looks to maintain perfect start
LONDON, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) —
Manchester City will expect to continue their 100 percent start to the season, while there is a fascinating north London derby in the sixth round of matches in the Premier League this weekend.
The league leaders entertain Nottingham Forest on Saturday afternoon, with a long injury list being Pep Guardiola’s main worry. John Stones, Kevin de Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish are all sidelined, with Mateo Kovacic doubtful.
Whether that means Kalvin Phillips gets a chance to play, however, remains very much a moot point for the England midfielder. If Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez continue their recent form, City should take all three points against a solid rival.
Manchester United’s poor start continued with a defeat to Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League in midweek, and after another error in that game, all eyes will be on keeper Andre Onana when they visit Burnley.
Onana accepted blame for his error in Bayern’s opening goal, but Burnley will look to exploit any possible lack of confidence and disunity at United, in an electric atmosphere at Turf Moor.
Things are looking bleak for Luton Town with four defeats in four games and only two goals to their name, but fans of the recently-promoted side will stress they have only played once at their Kenilworth Road ground due to refurbishment work.
A return to home comforts and the return of Ross Barkley after injury will give the Hatters hope when they face Wolves in what already feels like a relegation six-pointer.
Expect little to separate Crystal Palace and Fulham in their south London derby, while Brentford are also in action south of the Thames as they entertain Everton.
It’s easy to see what Everton’s problem has been again this season, as they travel with just one point and two goals scored in five games, and although Beto does give them hope of improvement, Brentford’s Bryan Mbeumo has shown he is a reliable replacement for Ivan Toney as the striker serves his suspension for gambling.
Chelsea continues to flatter to deceive as they lack a killer touch in attack, and Aston Villa will provide another stiff test for Mauricio Pochettino’s side on Sunday.
Villa has played much better at home than on their travels so far this season, but will feel that if they can close down Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Jackson, they have a good chance of taking something from Stamford Bridge.
Expect fireworks as Arsenal entertains Tottenham in the first big test for Ange Postecoglou’s Spurs, who is second in the table with 13 points from 15.
Tottenham’s aggressive and attacking style has seen them shell-shock rivals so far, but Arsenal is no strangers to attacking football themselves, and this promises to be thrilling as the visitors look to do better than the 3-1 defeats they have suffered in their last two visits to the Emirates Stadium.
Liverpool can welcome Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate back into defense at home against West Ham, after both sides enjoyed UEFA Europa League wins while resting key players on Thursday.
Brighton will look to recover from a defeat on their European debut when entertaining winless Bournemouth on Sunday afternoon, while Newcastle United visits Sheffield United, who is also seeking their first win on their return to the Premier League.
Newcastle is still below their best from last season, and coach Eddie Howe could be tempted to rest new signing Sandro Tonali.