Conte is back and crucial Manchester derby – Premier League talking points

Liverpool face a tough trip to West Ham, while leaders Chelsea host Burnley.

Damian Spellman
Friday 05 November 2021 11:53
Antonio Conte, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Pep Guardiola (John Walton/Martin Rickett/PA)
Antonio Conte, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Pep Guardiola (John Walton/Martin Rickett/PA)

New faces and old rivalries will be to the fore as the Premier League’s latest round of fixtures unfolds this weekend.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the talking points and the men at the centre of them.

You can Conte on me

New Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte will renew his acquaintance with the Premier League when he sends his side out at Everton on Sunday. The Italian, who presided over an eventful 3-2 Europa Conference League victory over Vitesse Arnhem on Thursday evening in his first game in charge, has insisted he will need time to restore the club’s fortunes. However, having guided Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan to league titles, he will be confident of making his mark, starting with a trip to Goodison Park to face hosts who have lost their last three games.

Red Ron

Cristiano Ronaldo is sent off during a Manchester derby (Dave Thompson/PA)

Cristiano Ronaldo has endured something of a love-hate relationship with the Manchester derby. The 36-year-old United forward will head into Saturday’s clash with arch-rivals City at Old Trafford having tasted victory in seven of the 11 clashes with the old enemy in which he played during his first spell with the club and lost only three. He scored three goals in the process, but was also sent off twice, the first time for a lunge at Andy Cole during a 3-1 defeat at the Etihad Stadium in January 2006 and the second for two bookable offences in a 1-0 win at the same venue in November 2008.

Irresistible force meets immovable object

Two of the Premier League’s in-form sides go head-to-head at the London Stadium on Sunday when West Ham entertain Liverpool The Hammers, who were only denied victory in David Moyes’ 1,000th game as a manager on Thursday evening by substitute Tomas Soucek’s late own goal, had won their previous five in all competitions and have lost only twice all season. The Reds, who head into the weekend two points and as many places better off in second, are unbeaten in 16 since the start of the campaign and have scored a staggering 47 goals along the way.

Tyne for change

Newcastle travel to Brighton on Saturday evening at the end of yet another eventful week in the club’s turbulent recent history. Villarreal boss Unai Emery’s decision to reject the Magpies’ advances as they sought a replacement for departed head coach Steve Bruce saw the club’s new owners turn their attention to former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe. However, regardless of the identity of the man in the dugout, the need for a first league win of the season becomes more pressing by the week if they are to drag themselves out of relegation trouble and having lost 3-0 to the Seagulls home and away last season, the omens are not good.

Don’t look, Claudio

Watford manager Claudio Ranieri has a tough fixture list ahead of him (Tess Derry/PA)

Claudio Ranieri might just have shuddered when he cast an eye over Watford’s fixture list as he accepted the club’s offer of employment, and his task is getting little easier. A 5-0 drubbing by Liverpool at Vicarage Road left him in little doubt as to the job ahead, although a superb 5-2 win at Everton the following week sent spirits soaring. However, last week’s 1-0 home defeat by Southampton sends the Hornets into Sunday’s trip to in-form Arsenal looking over their shoulders and with Manchester United Leicester, leaders Chelsea and Manchester City waiting in the wings in their next four fixtures, things could get significantly worse before they get better.

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