10 things to watch out for this weekend

10 things to watch out for this weekend

1) Games that should have been held last week

The Premier League shouldn’t have postponed last weekend’s matches. If people are working, it’s wrong to confiscate their leisure activities, and that’s before you consider fans who have taken a break or paid for transportation to see their team. In addition, there are families who rely on football-related income to pay their bills and eat food whose right to earnings have been revoked without warning, while cricket, rugby and – among others – polo have had the confidence in themselves. to continue. Football is called the people’s game because it was created for people by people, people who were looking for some weekend fun to escape the grind of normal life and forget their place in the order of things, just for a few hours. The clothes that have expropriated him since then would do well to remember him. Daniel Harris

Related: Getting Chelsea to fall off their WSL perch will be the hardest task

2) Will Forest recover from embarrassment?

After allowing Bournemouth to score two goals behind to beat them, Nottingham Forest face another newcomer to Fulham as they attempt to stop a three-game losing streak, the most recent of which was met with rare but audible whistles from the City Ground supports. Despite playing without a full-fledged striker, Forest scored two first-half goals against Bournemouth but proved utterly unable to cope with Gary O’Neil’s three-way pass at half-time when he replaced left-back Jordan Zemura with Ryan Fredericks, a full-back with a more offensive mentality. Having had an extra week on the training ground to sort things out and get a better idea of ​​what constitutes his best XI, Steve Cooper will be expecting a reaction from his team in what should be a fun match between two teams. ‘attack. With three of the next four away games, recent evidence suggests that failing to hit one will be of concern to all concerned as they approach the international break. Barry Glendenning

3) A possible enigma of the caretaker of the Villa

Five years ago Filip Marschall had not even worn a pair of goalkeeper gloves but, if injuries do not decrease as Steven Gerrard predicts when Southampton visits Villa Park on Friday, the 19-year-old could start in the club. Marschall joined Villa in 2018 from Cambridge City, for which he played as a defender until the age of 13. Emi Martínez missed training on Thursday due to illness and Robin Olsen due to a knee problem, while Jed Steer has been absent for a long time with an Achilles tendon injury. Gerrard hopes Martínez will be fit on time. Marschall was part of Gerrard’s squad during Villa’s pre-season trip to Australia and recently signed a new long-term contract, but the teenager who was on loan in tier six with Gateshead Town last season could finish the end. week with a Premier League debut to his name. “He is ready to be ready,” said Gerrard. Ben Fisher

4) Does it cost to leave the Wolves on a leash?

The bar has been fixed. The Wolves have announced the signing of Diego Costa until the end of the season with a superb video of the chiseled striker holding three snarling wolves, James, Alice and Gray, in chains and now Bruno Lage must consider whether to leave the 33-year-old off the pitch. leash. That clip went viral and Costa is hoping to take flight upon his return to England, his last appearance with Chelsea in the 2017 FA Cup final defeat by Arsenal. Costa is working on a bespoke training program and said it took him “two or three weeks to get back in shape”, but Lage must be tempted to throw him against Manchester City. “If I had ever doubted my potential, I would not have accepted this challenge,” Costa said this week. “I can bring something to the table.” BF

5) The highest of standards for City

Putting holes in Manchester City and finding fault with Pep Guardiola is a silly thing, as the former has won three of the last four league titles and the latter is an all-time great coach if he retires tomorrow or never claims another trophy. . But the feeling persists that City can and should be even better than it is, not only in defense, the weak point of all Guardiola’s teams, but in attack. Leroy Sané and Raheem Sterling may have had to be fired, but the fact remains that without them City lacks balance and speed. Sure, they’re good at compensating, either through the pace of their passes or the ability to conjure a goal out of thin air, but any team willing to stay narrow and defend with discipline and aggression has a chance to frustrate them, especially if, like Lupi, they have also step on the break. Dha

6) Howe urges Newcastle players to aim higher

It took Newcastle until 30 November last year to reach seven points. After only six games they have made it there this season, but have only won once – against Nottingham Forest at St James’ Park – and Eddie Howe is not too happy. “I’m not happy, I want more points,” the Newcastle manager said before addressing his side a seemingly stern speech about the need to achieve and maintain consistently high standards. Despite the likely absence through injury of two key creative players Allan Saint-Maximin and Bruno Guimarães, he will be particularly keen to beat Bournemouth at home on Saturday. Admiration for Howe on Tyneside currently knows few limits, but the manager is aware that Newcastle’s Saudi Arabian owners have spent more than £ 200m on new players in less than a year and will feel entitled to see that investment translated into victories. No wonder Howe is doing everything in his power to make sure his team doesn’t stumble against the team that has led to three promotions in six years, but is still without a permanent manager. Luisa Taylor

7) Bees to test the durability of Arsenal

Brentford Community Stadium will bring back troubled memories for Arsenal, who suffered a punishing defeat on the opening night of last season, even though they came with Covid-related warnings. Mikel Arteta’s squad is a different proposition now, but the Bees feel more comfortable as an established top-tier unit as well, so Sunday lunchtime margins are likely to be fine. It will be a test for Arsenal’s ability to bounce back after their slightly tough 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford two weeks earlier, which ended their winning start but didn’t affect their leadership status. Winning this time around would ensure they finish this weekend at the top of the standings and that would be useful as any claim on a title bid will be thoroughly scrutinized in subsequent home fights with Spurs and Liverpool. Arsenal are about to have their durability examined and would feel okay if they left West London with three points. Nick Ames

8) Conte needs more stability from Bissouma

Antonio Conte plans to rotate his staff for the Leicester visit – after the psychologically and physically heavy Champions League defeat against Sporting on Tuesday – but he doesn’t seem ready to call Yves Bissouma. It felt like a coup when the Spurs took Bissouma from Brighton for £ 25m over the summer; here was a player who could add a new dimension to midfield, running with the ball, breaking lines and creating chances. But it is not easy to play in the midst of Conte’s 3-4-3 and the verdict so far on Bissouma, to quote the coach, is that “he is struggling a bit with the tactical aspect. With the ball he is really good; in the defensive phase he has to pay more attention. ”he It explains a lot why Bissouma has only started once and has scored 121 minutes in all competitions. he He needs time to adapt. David Hytner

9) Is time running out for Rodgers?

Brendan Rodgers is a great coach – if you’re not sure, ask him – but it could be that he is running out of way at Leicester, which is bottom of the standings by one point in six games, and on his way to unbeaten, third – placed Tottenham. this weekend. The malaise isn’t just his fault, as his board gave him little room to strengthen this summer, citing FFP regulations and terrain improvements as a reason. But it’s hard not to wonder if the pandemic was also influential, the reduction in travel means a reduction in tax-free income for the King Power group – a phrase the club would never utter in public, because whoever excuses a thrifty billionaire during a cost of live the crisis? Rodgers, however, must also justify all the funds that have been granted to him, namely that it is time for him to convince or force the melodies of Patson Daka and Boubakary Soumaré, players bought in the midst of the hype last summer but who have since they contributed little. Dha

10) The importance of Calvert-Lewin

Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s status as Harry Kane’s replacement seemed secure in the English hierarchy 14 months ago when he replaced the captain in the Euro 2020 quarter-final win against Ukraine. He hasn’t played for the national team since and this week saw Ivan Toney in Brentford form named to Gareth Southgate’s squad for England’s international finals ahead of the World Cup. Qatar now looks like a distant hope for the 25-year-old, who has been limited to just 18 appearances for Everton since winning his last appearance due to toe, thigh and knee injuries. Frank Lampard has been desperate for Calvert-Lewin’s presence all season and, despite buying Neal Maupay, said the center forward’s return has diminished the need to add another striker in the transfer window. Goals remain a serious problem for a team that hasn’t won the Premier League this season but, having resumed training during the forced break, Calvert-Lewin should soon have the opportunity to repay his manager’s trust and perhaps send a late message to Southgate. Andy Hunter









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