Liverpool v Everton, 12:45
Last season this was one of the big games that went completely to plan for Brendan Rodgers and his Liverpool side, and the loss of one talent up front should not negate the difference in quality totally from the corresponding fixture in the 2013/14 season you’d think. Everton have definitely added to their squad too, but for all the money and time spent trying to improve their prospects the first five games have yielded six and five points respectively for the home and away side, and this is a match both teams are desperate to win for a number of reasons.
Liverpool hope Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho will be fit and Daniel Sturridge may be on the bench, but Joe Allen, Emre Can, Glen Johnson and Jon Flanagan remain out. Everton right-back Seamus Coleman is doubtful while Steven Pienaar’s will also be assessed, but the game comes too soon for Ross Barkley and Arouna Kone.
Chelsea v Aston Villa, 15:00
It’s been a rare good start to the year for Aston Villa, and as a result Chelsea face yet another top 4 tie after their leaders clash with Swansea recently. Villa have picked up a couple of good results, most notably against a Liverpool side who really offered very little to suggest their loss was a shock and playing away from home means they can commit to their counter attack/set pieces game plan that has served them so well up until this point.
Ramires will miss the game with a groin problem suffered against Manchester City. Aston Villa quartet Ashley Westwood, Nathan Baker, Darren Bent and Andreas Weimann have all overcome the sickness that afflicted them last week but Ron Vlaar and Christian Benteke remain out.
Crystal Palace v Leicester, 15:00
Last week Leicester City had the time of their lives against Manchester United, and while it will jar the ears of many to hear the phrase ‘but this game against Palace will be a tougher game’ used in relation to the Red Devils that is probably the reality. None of the complacency and little of the fear that United displayed is likely to infect the Palace team in front of their home fans, and while Leicester may have beaten a £200m+ team last time out they know they are likely to be facing off with Palace at the end of the season to avoid relegation, so this really counts.
Crystal Palace striker Marouane Chamakh is finally available and Neil Warnock reported no fresh fitness concerns. Leicester also have no new injury problems and could name the same side which defeated Manchester United, although Nick Powell is available now.
Hull v Man City, 15:00
After five game Man City are only two points ahead of their hosts for the day, and that is the kind of form that leads to knee-jerk articles in the nationals and questions being asked about the manager at most big clubs. The likes of Gary Neville have obliged with the former already, but the City board have shown themselves to be a good deal more patient than other rich foreign owners and are unlikely to move rashly anytime soon you’d think. Nevertheless, a win today would be great with Chelsea already five points ahead in the table, but Hull are in tenth for a reason, and won’t play along with the plan.
Hull midfielder David Meyler doubtful and Gaston Ramirez is a likely absentee for the Tigers. Manchester City full-back Pablo Zabaleta is available again, but Samir Nasri is sidelined by a groin problem and Stevan Jovetic and Fernando are ruled out by hamstring and groin issues respectively.
Man Utd v West Ham, 15:00
United started their season with matches against Swansea, Sunderland, Burnley, QPR and Leicester, and having taken just a point a game on average from those fixtures it is clear they’ve got some distance left to travel if the club is to be a factor domestically or in Europe anytime soon. West Ham were delighted with their win over Liverpool, and will be hoping the same opportunities comes their way at Old Trafford this weekend as the home team are definitely vulnerable to a sneak attack.
Manchester United have Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans injured and Tyler Blackett suspended, so defensive options are limited. West Ham will be without midfielders Cheikhou Kouyate, Kevin Nolan and Matt Jarvis.
Southampton v QPR, 15:00
Rangers aren’t having a great year, in fact it’s so bad they’re the only team United have beaten until now, but there is still a belief around the club that they’ve got a much better setup than last time they were in this league. Experience counts for a lot if you can put it into practice, and they’ll want the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Joey Barton to deliver on the talk soon, but it may be that the loss of Loic Remy turns out to be the hammer blow to QPR’s survival and goals will be tough to come by today.
Southampton central defenders Toby Alderweireld and Maya Yoshida will be assessed ahead of the visit of QPR, but James Ward-Prowse’s is out for up to 10 weeks. QPR midfielder Sandro is not expected to play, Niko Kranjcar is a doubt and while Joey Barton, Jordon Mutch and Adel Taarabt are all out for sure.
Sunderland v Swansea, 15:00
Four draws and a loss is not the sort of form Sunderland wanted at the start of this season, but they were hampered in the transfer market by some procrastinating players and today should be a chance to recover some of the lost ground as Swansea are probably not as good as their fifth place position suggests. Having taken advantage of some average opposition, the Swans have shown talent and ruthlessness, but their squad depth is an issue and the season will be a continual test for a manager new to the trade in Garry Monk.
Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has confirmed that Will Buckley and Billy Jones will start, and will assess Steven Fletcher, Emanuele Giaccherini and Wes Brown pre-game. Swansea defender Jordi Amat remains but Wilfried Bony is back after serving a one-match suspension.
Arsenal v Spurs, 17:30
A day bookended by derbies sees see the North Londoners provide a fitting close to what might be a very interesting few hours of football in the Barclays Premier League, and you know the noise in the run-up to this will be as good as London hears anytime soon. The Emirates can be something of a gallery rather than the cauldron provided by the Anfield crowd, for example, but when Tottenham are the visitors there is a rare bile and spite that drips from the rafters of this lovely new stadium and infects the players with a sort-of madness.
Arsenal defenders Kieran Gibbs and Per Mertesacker will be available to but Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and Mathieu Debuchy remain out for a while. Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino rotated his squad for the midweek win over Nottingham Forest, with Kyle Walker his only absentee.