Chelsea chase City scalp and new boys eye debuts – Premier League talking points

The top flight returns after last weekend’s FA Cup action.

Pa Sport Staff
Friday 14 January 2022 13:00
Philippe Coutinho, Thomas Tuchel and Chris Wood will hope to make headlines for the right reasons this weekend (John Walton/Nick Potts/Martin Rickett/PA)
Philippe Coutinho, Thomas Tuchel and Chris Wood will hope to make headlines for the right reasons this weekend (John Walton/Nick Potts/Martin Rickett/PA)

Nine Premier League fixtures will take place this weekend after the majority of clubs have battled through their recent Covid-19 issues.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the key talking points before this round of matches with important clashes at both ends of the table.

Will Tuchel have Midas touch?

Chelsea travel to the Etihad for a lunchtime kick-off on Saturday already trailing Manchester City by 10 points. When Thomas Tuchel first arrived in England, he got the better of Pep Guardiola in three crunch games at the end of the 2020-21 season, one being the Champions League final, but did lose to the champions in September. Now would be the perfect time to rediscover his winning formula versus the Spaniard.

Wood you believe it

At the other end of the table Newcastle, fresh from an embarrassing FA Cup exit to Cambridge, will hope new signing Chris Wood can fire them to a crucial win over relegation rivals Watford. The 19th-placed Magpies and their new owners have weakened another struggler in the form of Burnley by prizing away a player who has been the Clarets’ top goalscorer in each of the last four campaigns. Wood should make his debut against Watford, who have lost seven in a row but are still outside of the bottom three.

Catch up time for Foxes and Clarets

Leicester’s Covid-19 and injury problems have been well documented over the last month and it has resulted in Brendan Rodgers’ side playing only twice in the Premier League during that period. The Foxes have been involved in four separate postponements and a fifth has been added to the equation after Burnley’s request to call off this weekend’s match between the sides was granted. The Clarets will now have played only 17 of their scheduled 22 top-flight matches, leaving both clubs playing catch-up during the coming months.

Coutinho to give Gerrard quick revenge?

Steven Gerrard and Philippe Coutinho played with each other at Liverpool to great effect (Peter Byrne/PA)

Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa were knocked out of the FA Cup last weekend by Manchester United in spite of a dominant display at Old Trafford. A 1-0 loss felt harsh on the former England captain’s side, who have a shot at some type of redemption seven days later. The arrival of Philippe Coutinho on loan hands Villa a boost and the Brazilian has a good record against United in recent times, scoring in his last appearance against the Red Devils for parent club Barcelona and also in 2016 for Liverpool.

Arsenal eye more Spurs woe

The reality of Antonio Conte’s task at Tottenham has been laid bare of late. A 3-0 aggregate defeat to Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semi-finals followed a harder than expected FA Cup victory over third-tier Morecambe and dropped points at Southampton. With Son Heung-min still injured, the visit of Arsenal is the last thing Spurs would have wanted, especially after the Gunners showed fine resolve to earn a 0-0 draw with 10 men at Liverpool on Thursday.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in