Premier League statistical preview: Everton vs Chelsea; Crystal Palace vs Manchester City; Manchester United vs Liverpool return to preview the Premier League's key matches this weekend

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Everton vs Chelsea

It's fair to say Jose Mourinho may well have welcomed the international break given his side's form going into it. While most of his players have been off with their national teams the manager has had the time to assess just what has been going wrong. Nevertheless, righting said wrongs away at Everton will be no easy task, and it's very unlikely that we'll see a repeat result from this fixture last season, when the Blues ran out 6-3 winners.

Traditionally, while Chelsea have had the better of the recent meetings between the sides, it's been tough to separate the two, with the match at Goodison last year representing the only time in the last 6 encounters that Everton and Chelsea have been separated by more than a single goal. The Blues have come out on top in 5 of said match-ups, but the fact that an out of sorts Eden Hazard remains their top player to make more than two appearances with a modest rating of 7.01 from highlights the poor shape the visitors are in.

Everton, meanwhile, remain inconsistent but still carry a threat. For the hosts the focus will be on former Chelsea front man Romelu Lukaku and centre-back John Stones, who handed in a transfer request this summer in an attempt to secure a move to this Saturday's opponents. With's statistically calculated match forecast suggesting Everton will make a comeback if they go behind, Chelsea's poor start could yet continue.


Crystal Palace vs Manchester City

First take on second as Manchester City travel to face Palace at Selhurst Park, aiming to protect a perfect start to the season that has seen them collect maximum points, scoring 10 and conceding 0. This could also be the first opportunity for the fans to get a glimpse of Kevin De Bruyne in sky blue, though the Belgian international is likely to be among the substitutes.

It's been a superb start to the season for the Eagles too, who continue to go from strength to strength under Alan Pardew, and they also bolstered their squad with impressive summer signings. Yohan Cabaye was the most notable new arrival but it's been Bakary Sako that has made the biggest impact, scoring in each of his 2 appearances in back-to-back wins by a single goal over Villa and Chelsea. Of all those to play more than once in the Premier League this season, only Riyad Mahrez has a better rating from WhoScored (8.36) than the former Wolves man.

Sako is just ahead of Yaya Toure in the rankings, and the Ivorian's rating of 8.08 indicates that he is very much back to his best after a disappointing 2014/15 campaign. That said, Toure has scored in each of his last 3 appearances against Palace, so the visitors will be hoping he can continue that run to help exact revenge on Pardew's side after a shock 2-1 win for the hosts in this fixture back in April.


Manchester United vs Liverpool

Saturday's action is rounded off by what is undoubtedly the biggest game in England this weekend as United host fierce rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford. The two sides have had very similar campaigns so far, both looking somewhat turgid in attack in the most part and mirroring one another's results each week to ensure that they are separated only by goal difference.

Following his mega-money move from Monaco all eyes will be on Anthony Martial ahead of kick-off, though he is only likely to make the bench, while the absence through suspension of Coutinho is a talking point for the away side. While the Reds would certainly rather have the Brazilian available, compatriot Roberto Firmino could profit from the added space and freedom afforded to him. The 23-year old is yet to really make his mark on the Premier League - much like Memphis for the hosts - but will be looking to build on a modest rating of 6.70 from so far.

While it may be hard to separate these two sides in terms of form or their current standings, history suggests that there will be a winner this weekend. Only once in the last 23 meetings between the two in all competitions have the spoils been shared, with United looking for a repeat of last season's double over Brendan Rodgers' men. With Chris Smalling (7.57) and Christian Benteke (7.31) currently the top rated players for either side, the aerial battle between the two could prove decisive.

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