October six-pointers and tough calls – the Premier League talking points

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Manchester City and Liverpool continue to lead the way ahead of the latest round of Premier League fixtures.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of the main talking points heading into the weekend’s action.

Six-pointer at St Mary’s?

SOCCER Premier League
How much the Premier League table can change this weekend (PA Graphics)

Rafael Benitez’s bottom-of-the-table Magpies have endured an alarming start to the season and have taken just two points from a possible 27. Saints, attempting to avoid a repeat of last term’s close encounter with the drop, have gone 385 league minutes without a goal and given their fans just one win to cheer at St Mary’s since last November.

Turf calls for Sarri

Chelsea v FC BATE Borisov – UEFA Europa League – Group L – Stamford Bridge
Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s hat-trick has given Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri food for thought (Nick Potts/PA)

At the end of a testing week which has seen him deal with the fallout of his coach Marco Ianni goading Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho last Saturday, the Italian has said he will make “six or seven” changes at Turf Moor from the side which beat BATE Borisov in the Europa League.

Sarri has to decide whether to risk star man Eden Hazard’s back injury, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek may be one of the players to make way, despite Thursday’s hat-trick.

Arsenal gunning for another win

They should be confident of continuing their impressive form when they make the short trip to Selhurst Park on Sunday afternoon to take on Crystal Palace. The out-of-form Eagles are the second-lowest scorers in the division with just five goals and have picked up a solitary point from their last four fixtures.

More woe for Mourinho?

Manchester United v Juventus – UEFA Champions League – Group H – Old Trafford
Jose Mourinho heads to the dressing room after United’s defeat to Juventus (Martin Rickett/PA)

That injury-time equaliser, combined with the midweek Champions League loss to Juventus, has once again helped turn up the heat on manager Jose Mourinho. Everton coach Marco Silva goes into the weekend as the top Portuguese boss in the division and hoping to inflict more misery on his compatriot at Old Trafford.

Will Wembley be pitch perfect?

Sunday’s NFL match at Wembley means association football fans must wait until Monday evening for the biggest game of the weekend. The clash between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Philadelphia Eagles has prompted debate about what state the stadium’s pitch will be in when Tottenham host champions Manchester City. City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is among those to have expressed concern. Spurs were twice torn apart by their table-topping opponents last season and the fixture should provide a stern test of their title credentials.

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