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1) Will Candide Conte repeat the Chelsea thing?

Antonio Conte returns to the Etihad, a stadium that helped announce him to English football. Chelsea’s 3-1 loss to Manchester City in December 2016 came halfway through the 13-game winning streak that took control of this title race. Like Conte, Pep Guardiola was in his first season in the Premier League, and his side had no answer to the vigor and power of Chelsea. More than five years later, Guardiola is master of everything he inspects, part of the furniture, commanding a bespoke multifunctional team. Conte has earned a reputation for exploding and exploding when all is not to his satisfaction. His Sky Italia interview this week was explicit in his opinion of Tottenham’s January transfer window. Conte taking on Guardiola in a battle between two of the game’s top managers should be a tantalizing prospect, but the Italian doesn’t seem to believe his side are capable of making a contest out of it. J.B.

2) Arsenal want revenge on the sorry fly-half

Brentford’s visit to the Etihad gives Arsenal the chance to show how much things have changed since day one of the season, when Mikel Arteta apologized to the fans after a 2-0 defeat. The team that Arteta chooses on Saturday will be very different from the one that played in August, especially because Bernd Leno is no longer the first-choice goalkeeper, Callum Chambers has been sold and Pablo Marí and Folarin Balogun have left for France. ready. Aside from the quality that has since been added, Arsenal seem to have developed a granularity that has served them well in recent weeks. With Brentford no longer as buoyant, this is a great opportunity for Arsenal to come closer to qualifying for the Champions League, a possibility that seemed far-fetched a few months ago. DP

Premier League: 10 things to watch this weekend |  premier league
Ben White reacts during Arsenal’s decisive defeat at Brentford. Photo: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC/Getty Images

3) Will Chelsea let the crown slip away to Palace?

Back from Abu Dhabi, Chelsea fans will no doubt be celebrating their side’s new world championship status, but questions remain over the two goalscorers against Palmeiras, Romelu Lukaku and Kai Havertz. England. Havertz, so calm with his decisive penalty, continues to be a man for the big occasion while being inconsistent during cut-rate assignments. Mason Mount will be out with an ankle injury suffered during the Club World Cup. Thomas Tuchel therefore needs more Havertz, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic in a forward line full of talent but short of magic. Palace, without a league win in 2022, can still be a dangerous opponent, even though they have lost their last three games against Chelsea, conceding 11 goals and scoring just one. J.B.

4) Gerrard looks for a spark in Villa midfield

Steven Gerrard has lost more matches than he has won as Aston Villa manager. There were redeeming qualities in the defeats to Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea, but nothing to admire in last week’s terrible display at Newcastle. The centre-backs played competently but their attackers were hardly involved, mainly because the Villa midfield allowed Jonjo Shelvey and Joelinton to run the show. It’s damning for John McGinn and Douglas Luiz and helps explain why Gerrard was so keen on signing Yves Bissouma from Brighton in January. Reinforcements will have to wait, so Gerrard must find another way to make his team still strong and dangerous. There should be a big improvement this weekend, especially as Watford at home are about as good as any team can get in the Premier League. DP

Premier League: 10 things to watch this weekend |  premier league
Douglas Luiz takes the ball for Aston Villa at Newcastle but he struggled against Jonjo Shelvey and Joelinton. Photo: MI News/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

5) Allan and Van de Beek can save Everton

What does Allan really think about life at Everton? Rather than playing in sun-drenched Napoli and competing near the top of Serie A, he finds himself in wintry Merseyside, on the brink of a relegation drop. Signing Carlo Ancelotti was asked to sit down and protect all four defenders under the now departed Rafael Benítez, with few opportunities to attack. He plays under his third Everton manager in Frank Lampard. The arrival of Donny van de Beek is perhaps only the tonic. Allan has been far from consistent this season, like the rest of the squad, but the pair impressed in midfield in Leeds’ 3-0 dismissal last weekend. Newcastle are just one point behind 16th-placed Everton and Southampton have lost once in 10 games. Lampard and his men need a result at St Mary’s; Allan and Van de Beek achieving harmony in midfield can go a long way in determining their fortunes. ML

6) It’s time for Howe to liberate Guimarães?

Eddie Howe’s bid to guide Newcastle to a fourth straight win has been complicated by the injury of Kieran Trippier and possibly Javier Manquillo as well. The manager will be forced to tweak a winning line-up at least a bit, but the most interesting tweak might be voluntary: Bruno Guimarães hasn’t started since joining in January. Newcastle’s other midfielders reacted to his arrival by improving their own performances, but this weekend could be the perfect time to start the Portuguese as visitors West Ham try to rein in Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek. DP

7) James can show Rangnick what he’s missing

At Elland Road, Daniel James faces the club that sold him in August just weeks after playing his part in Manchester United’s 5-1 destruction of Leeds on the opening weekend of the season. James’ two goals against Aston Villa in last week’s 3-3 draw were a reminder of just how effective a player he can be. Manchester United have been handed £25m for him but, despite their attacking talent, appear to be lacking a player of their own pace on the counter, although Anthony Elanga has started to fill that role. James may not have the star quality of those remaining at Old Trafford, but he is ready to follow his manager’s instructions to the letter. Ralf Rangnick, bequeathed to a group of soloists, might have found good use of a Welshman ready to give everything for the collective. J.B.

Premier League: 10 things to watch this weekend |  premier league
Daniel James in action at Goodison Park. Photograph: Craig Brough/Action Images/Reuters

8) Klopp can count on his team against the Canaries

With Liverpool facing two league games in four days following a grueling Champions League encounter at the San Siro, Jürgen Klopp is likely to show his newfound squad depth. Klopp hailed Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané as ‘forces of nature’ and said they recovered quickly from the Africa Cup of Nations efforts, but Salah in particular looked tired against Internazionale, although he scored his usual goal. To preserve his African stars for even more important games to come, Klopp could afford to give Salah and Mané a rest this weekend, even if Diogo Jota is unavailable and the match against Norwich is not scheduled. given. DP

9) Burnley need more than draws

Ahead of last weekend’s 2-0 win at Watford and Tuesday’s loss to Manchester United, Brighton have recorded three consecutive 1-1 Premier League draws. Burnley have drawn their last three games. No one can match Brighton’s appetite for a draw; they have 12 this season, compared to 11 for Southampton, Crystal Palace and – it’s true – Burnley. One point is not really enough for Sean Dyche and the Clarets. They are bottom, seven points behind 17th-placed Newcastle and still with a league victory under their belt. On the positive side, Wout Weghorst’s link-up play has been positive since joining the transfer window, and Dyche expects the Dutchman to feature against Brighton despite his injury last weekend. Burnley are unbeaten in their last five league visits to Brighton. Four of those were draws and eight of the last 12 league meetings have ended level. Smart money is about more of the same. ML

10) Rodgers should look to Lage for lift

West Ham’s late equalizer at Leicester was inevitable. A free kick and added time make a likely combination for the Foxes to concede and Craig Dawson’s shirt sleeve delivered, such has become the soft underbelly of Brendan Rodgers’ defense. That Rodgers is not a disciple of the Giovanni Trapattoni style catenaccio is no secret, the question is whether his difficulties in organizing a defense are due to his idealism or his incompetence. The pressure is starting to mount on an Ulsterman who was very recently linked with vacancies at Tottenham and Manchester United. Adept at taking notes during matches, perhaps his perpetual journey of surpassing himself will perhaps go through observing the training sessions of Bruno Lage, his Sunday counterpart. Wolves, who don’t score much and yet don’t concede much, are in the type of position Leicester would have hoped to be in before the season. J.B.

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