The weekend’s Premier League action promises to throw up plenty in the way of talking points as Jose Mourinho visits his old friends at Anfield and Louis van Gaal looks to help Manchester United get over their derby defeat with a home win over Crystal Palace.
But there are plenty in the way of talking points to consider before a ball has even been kicked – here are five of the biggest ahead of another exciting instalment of top-flight football drama.
What team will Brendan Rodgers pick against Chelsea?
Much was made of the fact that the Liverpool boss seemingly opted to rest several stars for the Reds’ trip to the Bernabeu in the Champions League with Rodgers insisting that the likes of Raheem Sterling, Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson were dropped after losing to Newcastle.
But with the Merseysiders second-string faring better than expected against Los Blancos, Rodgers faces a tricky situation – stick with those who started in Spain and thus prove the side was picked on form, or go with what was most likely the original plan and bring Gerrard & co back into the fold?
Can Manchester United find a way back to the top four?
If Manchester United are serious about securing Champions League football next term then a home win over Crystal Palace is a must. The Red Devils dispatched the Selhurst Park outfit home and away last term and will be expected to win here.
With the Eagles without on-loan star man Zaha, United will know they are there for the taking, particularly as Neil Warnock’s team have taken one point from 12. With some of the teams above them tipped to drop points in the wake of their Europa League endeavours, it’s now or never.
Will the Saints to go marching on against Leicester?
Southampton are the plucky underdogs every neutral is willing on to take on Chelsea this season and give us some kind of title race to enjoy, with Manchester City looking increasingly on course for a season to forget across all competitions.
The good news is that their fine run of form looks likely to continue when they entertain Leicester City at St Marys’ with the Foxes enduring a miserable run of form that has seen them sucked back into the relegation mire of late.
Is Bobby Zamora going to put Vincent Kompany through hell?
On television and in front of a partisan Loftus Road crown, Bobby Zamora will be aiming to put in the kind of display that saw him inspire the Rs to a potentially crucial win over Aston Villa last time out at home in the Premier League.
And after running Chelsea close last week in a 2-1 defeat, QPR will fancy their chances of getting something against the Citizens who are reeling after a run of one win from their last five games in all competitions. With City’s defensive proving frail to say the least, Big Bobby could take advantage.
Can Pardew’s Newcasissance to continue at Hawthorns?
Back at the end of September, Newcastle fans were calling for Pardew’s head following a 1-0 loss to Stoke that left the Magpies deep in the relegation zone. However, four wins and a draw later and it’s a different story for the Toon, who are up to 12th in the Premier League and dreaming of Europe.
With Ayoze Perez emerging as the Magpies’ new goalscoring hero, a trip to face West Brom at the Hawthorns could go either way, with victory ensuring the Toon continue their march up the table while a loss could see some calling for Pard’s head again – that’s the magic of football!
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £100 in free bets.