Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend | Soccer

1) More tinkering with Tuchel after a ‘lucky’ win

Chelsea were far from their best in the midweek win over Watford, and Thomas Tuchel admitted his side were lucky to pick up the three points. The German has had to switch his squad in a big way for the trip to Vicarage Road and will be adjusting his deck again ahead of his team’s lunchtime at West Ham following the death of Trevoh Chalubah with a hamstring injury. The young central defender joins key players Reece James, Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante and Ben Chilwell in the treatment room. In better news for Chelsea, Romelu Lukaku got 21 minutes under his belt on Wednesday while Jorginho is set to replace Saul Nguez, who, not for the first time this season, was hooked at halftime and appears to have played his last game on loan at the club. BG

2) Claret has an opportunity that money can’t buy

Burnley have lost once in their past seven Premier League games. Although it’s the equivalent of a five, it’s definitely a platform to build on for the lazy beginner. Confidence should be relatively high thanks to their disciplined defense that picked up a midweek clean sheet at Wolverhampton and the knowledge that they finally have a bona fide winner at Maxwell Cornet. All is well and well reaped the individual points but Burnley have a bit of a catch up, as they are currently in the relegation zone, two and three points above Newcastle. If they can open a hole in Eddie Howe’s side this weekend, they will deal a psychological blow, knowing that the new Newcastle owners will be looking to plow their way out of trouble in January, while Burnley are unlikely to spend much money solving their problems – and three Relegation points are something money can’t buy. WU

Maxwell Cornet
Maxwell Cornet impressed since his arrival from Lyon. Photo: Andrew Kearns / CameraSport / Getty Images

3) Can Brighton Maximize Lamptey’s Threat?

Southampton and Brighton play Saturday’s game at St Mary’s on the back of entertaining draws with Leicester and West Ham respectively, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the points they share are seven places in the Premier League but only four. Against West Ham, Brighton lost Jeremy Sarmiento, Adam Webster and Adam Lallana to injury, and will miss the trio on Saturday, but the excellent form of Tariq Lamptey, who is managing cautiously with a serious hamstring injury after missing the second half. Last season, that was a huge positive for Graham Potter’s team. Brighton have won just one of the eight matches the 22-year-old has played this season and, despite his current quality of play, they need to find a way to turn their offensive threat into a match-win. Objectives. BG

4) The Liverpool experience for Traore?

How do you solve a problem like Adama Traoré? Strong, fast, agile and capable of beating a man or two in his regular attacks in the lead, the Wolves winger is undoubtedly talented but constantly underestimates himself with poor finishing and questionable decision making in the final third. It’s a flaw in his game that’s been highlighted at length, most recently by Danny Murphy in today’s game. Just seven league games this season means he hasn’t convinced Bruno Lage yet, and the 25-year-old Spaniard is reported to have been on Saturday’s guest radar, Liverpool, despite his shocking scoring record of just seven goals in 152 league games. Excellent English. . Jurgen Klopp clearly thinks he can pull it off, and will never get a better chance of impressing potential new employers – assuming he gets a run out. BG

5) Akémust make the most of the injury crisis

Pep Guardiola bemoaned Manchester City’s problems with injuries, which is perfectly fair given that he had to muster the bench with the teenagers. One of this week’s donor was Nathan Akie, who has been a plump man since arriving at the Etihad in 2020 for £40m from Bournemouth. There was a rare outing for him at Aston Villa on Wednesday alongside Robin Dias, only his fourth start in the league this season, to go with the nine throughout last season, which was wracked by injury. He seemed confident alongside his most respected teammate, a man caught up in the 5-2 defeat to Leicester last season, and Aké at the center of a failing defence. The Netherlands international is hoping his positive performance at Villa Park will earn him more exposure in a very busy period into the new year, buoyed by the fact that he can play at left-back as well. If he can’t convince Guardiola of his qualities at this point, Aki’s career with City may be over before it even begins. WU

6) Seeing Unspotted Patrick Bamford

While the show notes that Leeds CEO Angus Kinnear awfully compared the fan-led review of Tracey Crouch to a policy of totalitarianism that led to the deaths of 15 million Chinese citizens, resulting in more headlines than the actual match for which it was published, there It was a real sense that Ravenha’s late winner might be a turning point for Leeds after a poor start to the season. They host Brentford on Saturday in what looks to be a promising match between two attacking teams that could come too soon for the recovering duo of Luke Ailing and Patrick Bamford. These two key players have been conspicuously absent from the Leeds squad since mid-September, but both appeared with the Under-23 squad on Monday night, with Bamford playing the full 90 minutes. Even seeing him among the alternatives would brighten the moods of the Elland Road collective. BG

Patrick Bamford is looking forward to getting back into fitness.
Patrick Bamford is looking forward to getting back into fitness. Photography: Mike Egerton/Penn

7) Rangnick must be better than before

Sunday’s game at home to Crystal Palace will be Ralf Rangnick’s first in charge of Manchester United and it will be great to see how he proceeds in his new and temporary job. So far in his career Rangnick has managed very good players, very good teams but relatively few great players and no great teams, but if he wants to succeed at United he must be able to differentiate them. Although he did a great job while inspiring a generation of coaches, Leipzig were the best team he managed, and while it was useful, if he and his followers couldn’t build a better team, they would leave Old Trafford having failed. On top of that, Rangnick is a systems guy, but the best teams have managers who give spontaneity and stars, and given the team that finds him, he’ll need to do that too – while working at a level he’s never been before. DH

8) There is no excuse for the inability of Spurs

Structural change takes time, so Spurs’ continued struggle under Antonio Conte shouldn’t be entirely alarming. But the lack of a new coach is bouncing back, even Thursday’s win over Brentford is worrisome. Despite having defensive issues that cannot be resolved in four weeks, especially now Christian Romero is injured, a team with attacking talents such as Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Stephen Bergwijn, Lucas Moura, Brian Gill and Sergio Reguilon should not under any circumstances boast. The Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso, and Dele Alli are very shy or helpless. In theory, a home game with Norwich is exactly what is needed to keep things going – only Newcastle have conceded more than 28 goals in 14 games. But things have improved significantly since Dean Smith was appointed, which made this match difficult: all the pressure of Spurs must win, against opponents full of renewed faith. This might not be the best game of the weekend, but it might be the most interesting. DH

Tottenham x NorwichSunday 2 pm

9) Chukwuemeka has a chance in a villa

Karne Chukwuemeka is keen to leave Aston Villa due to the lack of first-team opportunities. Needless to say, that’s a very strange concept when talking about a player who turned 18 in October and was dispatched against Premier League champions Manchester City to help turn the game in Aston Villa’s favour. He almost scored the equalizer, but Ederson made a superb save to convert Chukwuemeka’s shot, after running well into the spaces, just wide. Chukwuemeka made his first-team debut at Villa and is younger than the £100m man Jack Grealish, off the City bench, so he is one step ahead of the future England international. Steven Gerrard clearly has faith in the midfielder who is coveted by the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool as well. It looks like the teenager will get more opportunities to please him by the manager with a thing or two to explain how to play in midfield. Chukwuemeka is advised to take his chance and make the most of a clear path instead of listening to his agent. WU

10) The time Arsenal’s top players took over

It’s been a strange season for Arsenal, who were easily put into fourth – the best they could do. However, the balance in Mikel Arteta’s team is not right and like his North London rivals there is no excuse for their holding attack given creative players such as Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Martin Odegaard, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe. Alexandre Lacazette. The first two could be absolved of any blame – without them, Arsenal would be nowhere to go – but their centrality must be a cause for deep disgrace in the last four goals, who combined a total of seven goals and two assists between them, in a total of 41 league games; By comparison, Saka and Smith Rowe have seven and four out of 28. But whatever the quality of the players, relying on younger players is probably unsustainable, and while Arteta is also responsible for the malaise, it’s time for others to step in. DH

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