Sterling the man in form ahead of derby showdown
As derby preparation goes, 12 goals in two home matches represents a good return for Manchester City ahead of Sunday’s clash with Manchester United. Southampton and Shakhtar Donetsk have both been hit for six in the last week as Pep Guardiola’s side have exercised ruthlessness in the extreme. Raheem Sterling scored two and assisted two last weekend against the Saints, before winning a penalty and finding the net in midweek. The England winger has six league goals this season, while no other player in the Premier League has registered more assists (five). Luke Shaw will have his work cut out at the Etihad.
Chelsea's Spanish contingent the unsung heroes
Eden Hazard has stolen the headlines for Chelsea this season and, as joint top scorer in the league, rightly so. However, his fellow forwards have been finding the net in his absence, with Alvaro Morata in particular reminding Blues fans of his early promise at the club. He has three goals in Chelsea’s last two league games and has formed a solid partnership with Pedro, who wrapped up the scoring against Crystal Palace last weekend. Morata and fellow countryman Cesc Fabregas were on the scoresheet when Everton visited Stamford Bridge last season, and the number nine will be confident of continuing his scoring streak this time, especially with Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpiliceuta supplying the crosses.
Leicester out to win in front of home fans
Victory over Cardiff last Saturday was the perfect response from Leicester after the tragedy that befell the club seven days prior. This weekend sees the Foxes’ first home match since the untimely death of chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha as they entertain Burnley at the King Power Stadium (named after their former owner’s retail company). The reaction from the club’s support at Cardiff demonstrated how warmly regarded Srivaddhanaprabha remains, and the tribute from the home fans this time will be unlike any other the Premier League has seen.
Wilson deserves England call-up
Despite defeat to Manchester United last time out, Bournemouth are clinging onto sixth place in the table and can look for positives ahead of their trip to Newcastle. One such highlight this season has been Callum Wilson, who this week received his first call-up to the senior England squad. It had been coming, too. The Cherries’ forward has directly contributed to 11 league goals this season and was on the mark last weekend. With three goals in his last two away outings, the match against Newcastle offers the perfect opportunity to celebrate his new status.
Fulham risk losing ground on relegation rivals
Eight defeats in 11 matches wasn’t quite the return to the top flight that Fulham envisaged, but Monday’s loss at Huddersfield leaves them propping up the table. It doesn’t get any easier for Slaviska Jokanovic’s men either. An away game at Liverpool doesn’t offer much hope for a team on a five-game losing streak, not least because the hosts will fired up by Jurgen Klopp’s criticism following a 2-0 defeat to Crvena Zvezda. The worse news for Fulham is that the four sides directly above them all play at home to mid-table teams, providing them with the chance to pull clear. The London club might have to wait until after the international break to stage a resurgence.
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