Chelsea face-off with Manchester United… as Potter, Ten Hag offer fresh face to rivalry

Stamford Bridge today play host to what promises to be an intriguing clash between two of the English Premier League’s heavyweights.

Eric ten Hag – Manchester United manager

While their 0-0 draw at Brentford on Wednesday was not the ideal result, Chelsea are yet to lose in seven matches in all competitions under Graham Potter, and resurgent goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has now kept clean sheets in his last five.

The Blues rearguard will be put to the test today by a Manchester United side who were superb in their victory over Tottenham on Wednesday night.

It has not been the perfect start to the season for Erik ten Hag’s side, but it seems as if the Dutchman’s ideas are now really beginning to take hold.

Manchester City find themselves in a funny position after one defeat in a big match totally changes the complexion of the club’s season.

Everything was going swimmingly for the champions but Erling Haaland could not get on the score sheet at Anfield and points were dropped, leaving them four points behind Arsenal in the title race.

With no mid-week fixture, Pep Guardiola will be hoping his side can bounce back quickly this today, but it would not be easy against a Brighton side who are a match for anyone in the league on their day.

The Seagulls are yet to win under new manager Roberto De Zerbi and have not scored in their last two matches but their trip to the Etihad is a free hit and if luck is on their side, it could play out similarly to their draw away at Liverpool at the start of the month.

It has not even been two weeks since Liverpool were in full blown crisis mode but a fortnight is a long time in football, and back-to-back victories over Manchester City and West Ham have suddenly filled the Anfield faithful with hope.

Mohamed Salah is looking like his old self again, Darwin Núñez is chipping in with the goals, the defence is looking much more robust and Alisson is coming to the rescue with some big saves, most notably his penalty save to deny Jarrod Bowen on Wednesday.

It’s difficult to imagine the Reds not winning again when they travel to face a Nottingham Forest side who have still only won once all season.

It was a 2-2 draw the last time these two sides met at the City Ground in the Premier League way back in 1999, with Pierre van Hooijdonk netting a late equaliser for the hosts.

There is no disgrace in losing at Old Trafford but the manner of Spurs’ defeat there on Wednesday was concerning, and Antonio Conte admitted afterwards that his side struggles when coming up against “high-level” opposition.

Whether Newcastle can be considered ‘high-level’ just yet is a matter of opinion, but there’s no doubt that the Magpies are a tricky opponent.

Another goal for Miguel Almirón in Wednesday’s win over Everton took his tally to five for the season, and the Paraguayan is looking more confident than ever.

Eddie Howe’s side have drawn with Manchester City and Manchester United this season but a victory over one of the so-called ‘Big Six’ would really send out a statement.

Spurs’ players will no doubt be eager to avoid another Conte ear-bashing, however.

There has never been any doubt about Saka’s quality but his goals and assists record has left room for improvement in recent seasons.

The 21-year-old has found the net four times in his last four games in all competitions, however, putting him on seven for the season. He only scored 12 in the entirety of last season and is well on course to beat that figure.

His finish against Leeds was brilliant last week, and we fancy another goal from him at Southampton this weekend.

Other matches

Everton v Crystal Palace

Aston Villa v Brentford

Leeds v Fulham

Wolves v Leicester

West Ham v Bournemouth –

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