What questions could be answered by the time the final whistles go in the latest round of Premier League matches?
The weekend gets underway at Saturday lunchtime as Fulham host Watford on Sky Sports. Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham also play on Saturday before West Ham v Chelsea and Arsenal v Everton on Super Sunday on Sky Sports.
Here are questions that could be answered over the weekend…
Will Mitrovic continue scoring streak? (Fulham v Watford, Saturday, 12.30pm, live on Sky Sports)
Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored more goals (16) in English league football than any other player since making his Fulham debut in February and will be eager to add to his four Premier League goals so far this season against Watford.
Javi Gracia’s side have made slow starts to each of their league games this season despite their four wins, so the Serbian may be afforded a couple of early chances if Fulham manage to get on the front foot inside the first 20 minutes.
Fulham vs Watford
September 22, 2018, 11:30am
Will Burnley rediscover home form? (Burnley v Bournemouth, Saturday, 3pm)
Since winning five successive Premier League games between March and April in 2018, Burnley have picked up just three points from a possible 30. However, their failure to qualify for the group stages of the Europa League means Sean Dyche has had ample time to prepare his team for the visit of the Cherries.
The Clarets only conceded 19 goals at Turf Moor in the entirety of last season but have already let in five in their two home games this term. Dyche will have spent the week working on bringing back the defensive organisation which went a long way to securing a seventh-placed finish last season.
Will Cardiff “have a go” against City? (Cardiff v Manchester City, Saturday, 3pm)
Cardiff manager Neil Warnock has lost all six of his league meetings against reigning top-flight champions, by an aggregate score of 0-13.
After their 3-2 defeat to Arsenal, Warnock said the Bluebirds “have to have a go” against better opposition in front of their home fans, but such an approach against Pep Guardiola’s side could see them torn to shreds.
Either Cardiff set up defensively with the slim hope of keeping City at bay, or they throw caution to the wind and risk being on the wrong end of a hefty scoreline. The rewards for the attacking approach might be greater, despite the risk.
Will Newcastle kickstart their season? (Crystal Palace v Newcastle, Saturday, 3pm)
Newcastle’s form this season does not make for good reading: four defeats and one draw from five games played. However, it should be noted that those four defeats have come against Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal.
Now the fixture list appears to ease up a little, can Newcastle lift themselves? And will Rafa Benitez allow his side to play with more freedom, having gone into their shell against Chelsea and City?
“We’ve been close, but now we have to make the difference in the final third,” was Benitez’s assessment after the 2-1 defeat to Arsenal last weekend.
With goals looking hard to come by, how Newcastle would love to have a match-winner in their side like Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha.
Will Liverpool rotate? (Liverpool v Southampton, Saturday, 3pm)
Jurgen Klopp’s side continued their perfect start to the season with impressive wins against Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain over the last week, but will they come at a cost?
Liverpool added considerable depth to their squad in the summer transfer window and now may be the opportune time to utilise some of those new faces.
Xherdan Shaqiri and Naby Keita can slot into the first team with little risk, while a home game against Southampton is surely an ideal opportunity for Fabinho to be given his first Premier League appearance.
Who is going to get Huddersfield’s goals? (Leicester v Huddersfield, Saturday, 3pm)
Huddersfield have scored just two goals this season, one of which was in a 6-1 thrashing at Manchester City, and Steve Mounie has drawn a blank in his first five starts, so is it time for the Terriers to turn to Laurent Depoitre?
The striker has only featured off the bench this season but his first goal last year came against Leicester at the King Power Stadium.
If Huddersfield are going to stay in the Premier League they surely need to find more firepower from somewhere.
Should United stick with Fellaini? (Manchester United v Wolves, Saturday, 3pm)
Marouane Fellaini may not always be the most popular figure at Old Trafford but he played a part in both goals against Watford last week and deservedly took home the man-of-the-match award.
His aerial dominance and defensive focus meant his inclusion against the high-flying Hornets made a lot sense, but should Jose Mourinho stick with the big Belgian in a home game where United are expected to dominate and play possession-based attacking football?
Nemanja Matic’s suspension opens up a midfield spot for Saturday’s game but Fellaini will have to compete with Fred and Ander Herrera to line-up alongside Paul Pogba.
Will Spurs sink or swim on the south coast? (Brighton v Tottenham, Saturday, 5.30pm)
It’s been nearly six years since Tottenham last suffered three successive defeats in the Premier League, but they are bidding to avoid that fate when they travel to Brighton.
Spurs have lost to Watford and Liverpool in their last league outings and were beaten by Inter Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday. Mauricio Pochettino said the performance against Inter was Spurs’ best of the season, but also appeared to show his frustration with the current situation when he accused journalists of “disrespecting” his players.
While Spurs might have played well against Inter, they did not perform to their best against Watford or Liverpool, and desperately need a response to lift the mood.
Will Chelsea suffer from Europa? (West Ham v Chelsea, Sunday 1.30pm, live on Sky Sports)
The last time Chelsea competed in the Europa League at this time of the year was in 2002/03, before the group stages were introduced.
Since then they have been regulars in the Champions League, but it’s back to Thursday-Sunday this season, and it’s far from a gentle re-introduction as Chelsea start with their longest group-stage trip to Greek side PAOK.
West Ham vs Chelsea
September 23, 2018, 12:30pm
Eden Hazard has not made the trip but otherwise Chelsea’s players will face a quick turnaround as they look to maintain their perfect start to the season on Sunday.
West Ham might fancy their chances having got off the mark at Everton last time out.
Will Richarlison’s return lift Everton? (Arsenal v Everton, Sunday, 4pm, live on Sky Sports)
On the face of it, there’s not much going for Everton on Sunday.
Arsenal have scored more goals against Everton than any side has managed against another in the history of the Premier League, and the last time Everton won at Arsenal was in 1996. Add to that Everton have a number of players out with injury and it looks like a tough ask for the Toffees.
Arsenal vs Everton
September 23, 2018, 3:30pm
However, they are set to be boosted by the return of Richarlison, who was in fantastic form before he was sent off against Bournemouth.
The summer signing scored twice on his Brazil debut recently and there have been suggestions that he might start up front against Arsenal in place of Cenk Tosun. Wherever he plays, Everton need him to hit the ground running again.