1. Rodgers returns to Anfield – and Leicester could beat Liverpool

Brendan Rodgers returns to Anfield for the first time since leaving Liverpool, and he brings with him a Leicester side fully capable of ending Jurgen Klopp’s side’s winning start. Liverpool may have made a perfect Premier League start but they have looked somewhat vulnerable at the back, particularly beyond the right side of their defence.

Leicester may well look to spring Jamie Vardy behind Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez in the absence of Joel Matip, and they have plenty of quality to take advantage of any defensive insecurities Liverpool do have. HLC

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2. Spurs must bounce back

Following their Champions League embarrassment, Tottenham’s trip to Brighton has an added weight to it. Their looked to be back on track after a well-fought victory over Southampton last week but Bayern’s dominant display in midweek brought them back down to earth. After a run of inconsistent performances, facing Brighton – who haven’t won since the opening day against Watford – could be what kick-starts Spurs’ season.

With the teams placed fourth and eleventh separated by just two points, it’s vital they keep pace and not fall by the wayside. AdR

3. Wolves sense another potential scalp

Wolves have quietly gathered themselves in recent games. Perhaps it was that penalty shootout win over Reading in the League Cup that galvanised them: since then they have beaten Watford in the Premier League before a vital 1-0 Europa League victory over Besiktas over Thursday night. The game in Istanbul offered something of a template for Sunday’s trip to the Etihad: soak up the pressure, limit their opponents to a few half-chances, before hitting them with a sucker-punch.

Manchester City present a substantially tougher task, but Wolves’ record against the top six was outstanding last season and they will not be overawed at the Etihad. LO

4. Unai Emery’s midfield muddle

There is a sense that Unai Emery has not quite figured out how to sculpt the Arsenal midfield ahead of their game with Bournemouth. Granit Xhaka offers little but has been named captain, while Lucas Torreira is lacking in both form and a definite role. Matteo Guendouzi has impressed, yes, but with Joe Willock so good in the Europa League and the bizarre exclusion of Dani Ceballos somewhat inexplicable, this could be the perfect opportunity to look at a new combination in midfield.

Bournemouth are yet to pick up a point at the Emirates Stadium, but possess forward players who can cause damage in an unstable contest. Emery needs to get his selection right. HLC

5. Weary rivals renew hostilities

One of the great old Premier League rivalries will renew on Sunday with both clubs wandering directionless into their meeting at St James’ Park. Steve Bruce took on a funereal tone as he attempted to explain Newcastle’s 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Leicester City last weekend, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted for a more chipper message following United’s draw with AZ Alkmaar on Thursday night – one that smacked of delusion.

Solskjaer surely cannot afford to extend United’s winless away streak beyond its current 10-game run, but perhaps the oddest part of this game is that, given United’s shortcomings, Newcastle will be disappointed not to get something from the game too. LO

6. Frank Lampard and evolution rather than revolution

Five or four at the back for Chelsea against Southampton? Frank Lampard has found a degree of success with both systems in recent weeks, but the former looks particularly solid, with the remnants of the Antonio Conte era are rediscovering themselves in a back five.

Indeed, for all the talk of revolution at Stamford Bridge, Lampard has largely allied himself to the systems that have gone before – Sarri’s 4-3-3, Conte’s 3-4-3 – partially due to Chelsea’s inability to bring players in during the transfer window, and it seems he may be settling on the latter for the medium-term. Evolution, then, rather than revolution.

Southampton have similar questions over their set-up – it was a five against Tottenham last week after Cedric pulled up in the warm-up, but Hasenhuttl may return to his favoured 4-2-2-2 as Southampton look to best Chelsea. HLC

7. Marco Silva and Everton need to produce

As they have done for many-a-season, Everton have struggled to meet pre-season expectations. This season, the Toffees have looked both scintillating in attack and porous in defence which has led to consistently inconsistent performances. Against Wolves, they looked unplayable but disappointing outings at Bournemouth and at home to Sheffield United have pegged them back.

A trip to Burnley won’t be easy for Marco Silva but it is in these games where he must prove Everton can be a team that could puncture the top six. Currently 15th, his side look far off that, and after a season in which they won 15 games and lost 14 last year, Silva must make his team more consistent to be considered a real threat. AdR

8. Hammers a dark horse?

After a sketchy reintroduction to Premier League football against Manchester City, West Ham have quietly crept up the table. Now in fifth place, and only outside the top four on goal difference, Manuel Pellegrini has formed a side that looks like it can do what Everton can’t: take their chances and be hard to beat.

A good attacking side, their variety can benefit them highly. Sébastien Haller has shown to be a good all-around striker as well as a goal-scorer, Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko are coming into their own coming in off the wings and they can hurt you from direct set pieces.

A point behind them in 9th, however, Crystal Palace won’t be pushovers but West Ham may have too much firepower for them to handle. AdR 

9. Will Villa take off against Norwich?

Aston Villa have looked dangerous so far this season but have lacked true killer instincts. Dropping eight points from winning positions this term, closing out games has been Villa’s biggest problem and has seen them drop into the relegation zone. Facing Norwich – who sit just a point and a place ahead of them in 17th – this could be the chance Dean Smith’s side have been looking for.

Taking the lead against both Arsenal and Tottenham as well as performing well against established Premier League teams like Everton and Crystal Palace, Villa have shown they can compete at this level. But taking points from those in and around them could prove crucial for survival and they have a chance to do just that this weekend. AdR

10. Sheffield United look to add to Watford’s strife

Ahead of the season, a trip to Watford may have looked daunting for a newly-promoted team. Seven games in, and there isn’t quite the same aura around Vicarage Road. Still searching for their first Premier League win of the season, the Hornets have looked lacklustre under both Javi Gracia and their new-old boss Quique Sanchez Flores.

Sheffield United, on the other hand, have looked anything but lacklustre. Chris Wilder has brought an exciting, hardworking team to the top flight and they look like they can cause anyone a problem.

Facing Liverpool without star striker, Billy Sharp, they still looked dangerous in attack and were unlucky to get anything out of the game. Translating a performance like that against the European champions to a struggling Watford shouldn’t be a problem and Wilder could push his team into the top half as Watford stay rock bottom. AdR

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/premier-league-talking-points-liverpool-leicester-brendan-rodgers-manchester-city-manchester-united-a9142546.html