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

1) Will Palace face City backlash?

Ten months ago Patrick Vieira’s men carried out a classic smash-and-grab win over Manchester City, the manager instructing Wilfried Zaha to be fed quick balls over the home high line helmed by Rúben Dias and Aymeric Laporte, with the forward’s teammates to rush forward in support. It was executed to perfection. Dias and Laporte, hardly the quickest or best on the turn, were hassled by Zaha, who scored the opener and caused the latter to be sent off in the first half. Then, after the break, Zaha’s slick footwork led to Conor Gallagher’s second for Palace. Can they do it again? Sure. Especially after Newcastle gave Pep Guardiola’s champions a hounding in last Sunday’s 3-3 thriller to suggest they are not quite at their finest. But City ooze class and have a habit of responding to a setback in box-office fashion. Post-Palace last October they lost only once again in the league – the following February. JJ

2) Fulham adapt to life without ball

The campaign remains in its infancy but Arsenal and Fulham are already making a mockery of many pundits’ pre-season predictions. Having enjoyed the lion’s share of possession on their march to the top flight last season, Fulham have quickly adapted to life without the ball constantly at their feet and are unlikely to see a great deal of it on Saturday evening at the Emirates if Arsenal’s monopolisation of it against Bournemouth last weekend is anything to go by. Arsenal are obviously favourites but Andreas Pereira remains a set-piece threat for Fulham, while tabs will obviously have to be kept on the in-form battering ram that is Aleksandar Mitrovic. The battle between the Serbian striker and Arsenal’s central defensive pairing of William Saliba and Gabriel is one to relish. BG

3) Forwards in focus at St Mary’s

The air of listless, slow-burn decline that surrounded Southampton in the later stages of last season appeared to have followed them into this one when they crumbled at Tottenham on the opening day, but since then stirrings of spirit have returned, late goals salvaging a point against Leeds and an impressive victory at Leicester. Southampton’s matchwinner last Saturday, Che Adams, built on his double with two more goals at Cambridge in the League Cup on Tuesday, all of which has added to transfer speculation around the Scotland forward, with Nottingham Forest and Leeds thought to be keen. Ralph Hasenhüttl is adamant Adams is staying and he can prove his value with another potent display against Manchester United at St Mary’s. United’s own attackers, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford, stepped out of their slumps in Monday’s rousing win over Liverpool and the question of which United will turn up will be an inevitable point of focus. Erik ten Hag suddenly has genuine grounds for optimism but so too does Hasenhüttl. TD

Casemiro ready ‘to win trophies’ with Manchester United – video

4) Can Carvalho liven up Liverpool?

A visit from newly promoted Bournemouth, fresh from 4-0 and 3-0 losses to Manchester City and Arsenal respectively, is on the surface an ideal opportunity for Liverpool to finally kickstart their Premier League campaign. But something must change in response to the insipid defeat at Manchester United. It is unlikely to be found in terms of personnel, with the treatment room still busy and Darwin Núñez suspended, but as well as demanding more intensity throughout the team and concentration from his defenders, Jürgen Klopp may consider a departure from his trusted 4-3-3 formation. The Liverpool manager spoke of having greater variety in attack after signing Núñez and Fábio Carvalho this summer, and could put that theory to the test even with the Uruguay international serving part two of a three-match ban. Carvalho is 19 with only three substitute appearances to his name in the Premier League but lifted Liverpool’s entire performance level with his late cameo at Old Trafford. A fresh option for the fresh start that Klopp urgently requires. AH

5) Henderson to make point at Forest

Few things encapsulate the apparent haphazardness of Manchester United’s recruitment policy than their very public pursuit of a backup (or potential replacement) goalkeeper for David de Gea while Dean Henderson, the Spaniard’s understudy at Old Trafford last season, is playing out of his skin on loan at Nottingham Forest. Before a ball had been kicked or saved this season, Henderson opened himself to mockery when he revealed that he had demanded to go on loan before the arrival of Erik ten Hag because he wanted playing time, but figured the Dutchman would insist on keeping him in reserve if he saw how good he was in training. Henderson is likely to be kept extremely busy with the visit of Tottenham on Sunday and will back himself to further embarrass whoever it was at Old Trafford who acceded to pre-season demands the 25-year-old may now regret. BG

6) Newcastle race to give Isak his debut

It has been a summer of change at Molineux with a new wave of signings refreshing Bruno Lage’s squad but Newcastle have upstaged any grand plans Matheus Nunes and Gonçalo Guedes had of making a splash on their home league debuts after wrapping up a £59m deal for Alexander Isak. Newcastle are hopeful of registering the Sweden striker before midday on Friday, the cutoff if Eddie Howe is to be able to include him in his squad to Wolverhampton. Nunes arrived for a club-record £38m but Isak will be lumbered with an even bigger price tag. The 22-year-old scored on his last appearance for Real Sociedad, equalising in defeat to Barcelona last Sunday, where he has been a big hit after signing from Borussia Dortmund. With Callum Wilson awaiting the results of a hamstring scan, Isak could get a chance to shine sooner rather than later. BF

7) A Fofana derby to savour

Unsettled but pictured in the stands of the King Power Stadium wrapped snugly in expensive cashmere last weekend, Wesley Fofana is unlikely to be spotted at Stamford Bridge unless Chelsea stop lowballing their visitors and he hitches a ride on the Leicester team coach to complete what seems an inevitable transfer. With no new faces in his squad, only a point from three league games on the board and the sound of mutinous midweek chanting from the away end at Edgeley Park still ringing in his ears, Brendan Rodgers is already a manager under pressure. While Leeds’s remarkable win over Chelsea last weekend provides grounds for Leicester optimism, Rodgers’s opposite number, Thomas Tuchel, is also in need of a win after that hiding at Elland Road. What looked a fairly mundane and unremarkable fixture just a month ago has taken on far greater significance. BG

8) Gray a threat to Bees’ defence

Thomas Frank remained upbeat despite Brentford’s last-gasp loss at Fulham last weekend, merely lamenting that “football is a cruel game” and praising his team’s enterprising performance in a thrilling derby. However, he will be aware that Brentford’s defending needs to improve after some costly lapses at Craven Cottage. Frank recruited well at the back in the summer, with Ben Mee and Aaron Hickey useful acquisitions, but they need to tighten up. Everton may be obliging opponents in that regard on Saturday, with their injury problems in attack and poor start to the campaign making Brentford likely favourites against a side they did the double over last term. But Frank Lampard can at least take heart from the manner in which Everton grabbed a point against Nottingham Forest last Saturday, and overcame a hazardous trip to Fleetwood in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday. Their scorer on each occasion, Demarai Gray, is proving his worth to a depleted team and could be the man to punish further defensive lapses from Frank’s side. TD

9) Leeds press poses questions for Potter

Graham Potter is renowned for his ability to successfully tailor his Brighton side’s approach to specific opposition and the manner in which Leeds tore Chelsea asunder will have given him much to ponder before the Yorkshire side’s visit to the Amex Stadium. Few Premier League teams press with the intensity of Jesse Marsch’s almost supernaturally fit players but with Brighton’s ability to change their formation and shape on a match-by-match basis, it will be intriguing to see how Potter plots to play through, over or around the inevitable Leeds press. In the corresponding fixture – a scoreless draw – last season, Brighton were booed off after an astonishing display of profligacy in front of goal. After their bright start this season, fan patience is likely to be in greater supply even if the Amex faithful have yet to see their team score at home in this campaign. BG

Jesse Marsch after the midweek League Cup win over Barnsley. Photograph: Anna Gowthorpe/Rex/Shutterstock

10) Injury leaves Villa short at back

There is only so much rejigging Steven Gerrard can do and, understandably still reeling about the long-term injury to Diego Carlos, suddenly his squad feels almost identical to the one that laboured towards the end of last season. The arrival of Carlos was seen as a coup but after rupturing his achilles against Everton, Gerrard is effectively back where he started at the end of May and conceded three goals in defeat to Crystal Palace last weekend. Gerrard partnered Calum Chambers and not Ezri Konsa alongside Tyrone Mings for their comeback victory at Bolton in the Carabao Cup in midweek, a combination he may persist with. Beyond picking Konsa or Chambers to play alongside Mings, there are few options. Villa are expected to dip into the transfer market in the coming days and, with the team yet to keep a clean sheet in four attempts, their apparent defensive frailty remains an area of concern. BF

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