LONDON, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) — With Manchester City visiting an improving Leicester City and Arsenal facing Nottingham Forest, new Aston Villa manager Unai Emery may reflect on what might have been when his new club visit Newcastle in the Premier League -League weekend this year.
Back-to-back wins have eased the pressure on Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers, but his side now face a tough home game against second-placed Manchester City in the opening match of the weekend.
Pep Guardiola’s side could be without goal machine Erling Haaland, who was substituted in midweek with a foot injury, and his absence could help Leicester continue to improve their defensive record.
Chelsea manager Graham Potter returns to face Brighton seven weeks after leaving them to move to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea have improved since his arrival, while Roberto De Derby, who replaced Potter, is yet to win a game with just two points from a possible 15.
Comparisons can often be tricky and it could be a bad day for De Zerbi if Chelsea continue their recent form.
Unai Emery left Spanish club Villarreal to replace Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa on Monday and as fate would have it, his first game in charge will be at Newcastle United.
Emery was reportedly close to a move to the north of England last season after Newcastle sacked Steve Bruce and Eddie Howe took over. Newcastle are currently fourth with four wins from their last five games and striker Callum Wilson is looking to score goals to book his ticket to the World Cup.
Tottenham remain third, but have not impressed of late, and Antonio Conte’s side will still have work to do next week in the Champions League to secure qualification. Spurs visit Bournemouth on Saturday after back-to-back defeats that ended a six-game unbeaten run to remind the hosts they are still fighting to avoid relegation.
Liverpool’s revival suffered a setback last weekend when they were beaten by Nottingham Forest, but they bounced back with a 3-0 win over Ajax in midweek. Jurgen Klopp’s men now entertain Leeds United, who have dropped into the bottom three with just two points from eight games.
Leeds manager Jesse Marsh has admitted that some fans want him to leave the club and if they suffer a fifth straight defeat they could get their wish.
Southampton also visit Crystal Palace on Saturday in a game between two teams looking to distance themselves from the bottom three, while Wolves must add to their miserable tally of just five league goals to get anything from the visit of Brentford.
The fact that Brentford have conceded 21 goals, with four of them against Aston Villa last week, could give Wolves veteran Diego Costa hope.
Everton impressed at home to Crystal Palace last weekend and now visit Fulham in their season opener. Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who is fit again, is another player hoping for a late run of goals to take him to the World Cup.
League leaders Arsenal rested players for their Europa League defeat to PSV Eindhoven in midweek and should be at full strength to entertain Nottingham Forest.
Forest’s key to building on their win at home to Liverpool last weekend is likely to be that they withstood Arsenal’s typical fast start and tried to hang on until the break when leg fatigue could take its toll on the hosts.
Manchester United welcomed Cristiano Ronaldo to win the Europa League on Thursday, but it will be interesting to see what role he plays in Sunday’s league game against a fast-improving West Ham side.
Anthony Martial or Marcos Rashford are likely to lead United’s attack, with Erik ten Hag preferring their mobility and work-rate to Ronaldo, 37, who lacks the movement the Dutch coach needs today.