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This week sees four of the top six playing on Saturday with the other two getting under way the following day. We have to admit, whilst not being lovers of the monopolising of the top six places by these teams, interest is better maintained when they play over two days and Sunday is certainly more interesting.

In the “what-used-to-be-normal” kick-off time of 3:00pm on Saturday are the following two games:

Manchester United 680 v Brighton & Hove Albion 618

There should be a backlash from United in this one following their dismal second half performance in Switzerland. They need to remember that a game of football consists of two halves and it is just as important to turn out for the second as it is for the first!

In José Mourinho they have a manager who will demand better and in Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimović and Marcos Rojo they have three players returning at just the right time.

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Brighton are visiting Old Trafford for the first time since 1983, when they managed a 1-1 draw. It wasn’t all good news though because two months later they would be beaten 4-0 by United in the FA Cup final replay and then they would be relegated!

Chris Hughton will be hoping for better things this time round, but they will be lucky to take anything from this game.

 

Tottenham Hotspur 728 v West Bromwich Albion 734

Fresh from yet another successful away-day in Europe Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping his Spurs team can keep their eye on the ball in the Premier League.

With Harry Kane’s August goal-scoring drought now long forgotten and other players chipping in with the odd goal, it is hard to see anything but a Spurs victory in this one.

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West Brom, on the other hand, are under the management of Gary Megson again, temporarily at least.

Maybe Nacer Chadli will get his opportunity now that Tony Pulis is no more, it wouldn’t be the first time that a returning ex-player has been the man-of-the-match.

Even if he is though, he will still be on the losing side because, as we said, a Spurs win is the most likely outcome.

 

Liverpool 676 v Chelsea 630

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The late game gives Mohamed Salah a chance to remind Chelsea that he, like Kevin De Bruyne, shouldn’t have been sold. He is capable of scoring the same type of goal as the one from the Belgian which beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and, as the game is at Anfield, he will probably have the occasional chance.

Liverpool’s problem, as always at present, will be preventing Chelsea from scoring and it will be interesting to see if Jürgen Klopp goes with the same tactics he did when playing Manchester United a few weeks ago. If he does and Chelsea decide to go on the offensive then there could be a few goals.

Both managers will want to win this one to stay in touch with the leaders but they will also both understand the importance of not losing the game and, because of this, they will collect one point each.

 

Sunday gets under way with a North-South battle which is followed by a “War of the Roses“.

Burnley 622 v Arsenal 602

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Sean Dyche’s team have already beaten Chelsea and drawn with Tottenham and Liverpool with all three results coming away from home and now get the chance, for the first time this season, to take on one of the top six at home.

A win would see them become one of the top six themselves at the expense of their visitors who are only ahead of them on goal difference.

Stubborn old man heads North having just lost in Europe for the first time this season, a fact which suggests that Arsenal have found their level in the Europa League.

He will want a reaction from his players and will expect to win this game. Turf Moor, however, is not an easy place from which to take points and Arsenal will leave empty handed.

 

Huddersfield Town 664 v Manchester City 679

Huddersfield Town play the team who recorded their biggest ever league win against them thirty years ago this month. Back then it was 10-1 to City but, even with this team, that scoreline will not be repeated.

At home Town are a decent, if slightly inconsistent, team who have displayed their best when beating Manchester United and their worst when losing to Tottenham. Which one will it be this time?

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City, on the other hand, generally only appear to have a “best” and, despite being some way below this level for once, still managed to beat Feyenoord in the Champion’s League.

They will be without John Stones but they will still be too good for Huddersfield.

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