5 talking points ahead of this weekend’s Premier League action
Another weekend of top-flight drama
The Premier League returns on Friday evening after the mid-week European fixtures. As ever, there are plenty of compelling storylines from the top to the bottom of the division.
The Coral News Team have taken a closer look at five of the big talking points before the games get underway…
Can Tottenham take the next step?
Tottenham Hotspur produced a superb display to draw 1-1 with Champions League holders Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday.
They even had the chance to win the game, but Keylor Navas produced a great save to deny Harry Kane with 20 minutes remaining.
Having shown they can compete with the best in Europe, are Tottenham ready to take the next step domestically? They’ve come close to mounting a proper title challenge in each of the last two seasons.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side look the most likely contenders to push the two Manchester sides at the top of the table. A win against Liverpool on Sunday would be an impressive statement.
How will Leicester respond?
Craig Shakespeare was sacked by Leicester City earlier this week after a run of six league games without a win.
He leaves the Foxes in the relegation zone ahead of this weekend’s trip to Swansea City.
Shakespeare is understood to have been very popular with the squad at the King Power Stadium. Reports suggest the players are far from happy with the board’s decision to sack him. It will be very interesting to see how they respond in the coming weeks.
Is Ronald Koeman running out of time?
Everton were on a run of one win in ten league games when Arsenal visited Goodison Park last season. The Toffees got a vital 2-1 win to turn their season around. They desperately need a repeat against the Gunners on Sunday.
Ronald Koeman’s side are currently 16th in the table. They’ve only won two of their last 12 games in all competitions. And Tuesday’s 2-1 home defeat to Lyon leaves them bottom of their Europa League group.
Koeman is now 1/6 to be the next Premier League manager to leave. The pressure on him will ramp up even further if Everton lose again.
Can Crystal Palace put a run of form together?
It took eight games, but Crystal Palace finally scored their first goals and picked up their first win of the league campaign against defending champions Chelsea last weekend.
Roy Hodgson’s team looked much more solid at the back. And the unorthodox strike duo of Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend was very lively in Christian Benteke’s absence.
Palace are still bottom of the table but the mood at the club has transformed. Saturday’s game against Newcastle United is a chance to build some much-needed momentum.
Can Conte pick Chelsea up?
Speaking of Chelsea, there seem to be real problems at Stamford Bridge. They’ve now gone three games without a win in all competitions, their worst run since Antonio Conte took charge.
Conte has bemoaned the lack of depth to his squad several times this season. And now reports have emerged suggesting that several players are unhappy with the manager’s intense training regime.
The Blues are likely to be without several regulars against Watford in Saturday’s early kick-off. And those that do start may not be at their sharpest following Wednesday’s 3-3 draw against Roma.
Any weakness is likely to be exposed by Watford. The Hornets came from behind to beat Arsenal last weekend. They’re riding high in fourth place, two points above Chelsea.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing