Image by Oldelpaso
By Anhad Imaan
After an early international break for the World Cup qualifiers, Premier League matches will resume from Saturday the 10th of September, to the delight of fans all across the globe. What makes the coming weekend special is the one fixture everyone is eagerly looking forward to- The Manchester Derby. While every fixture this weekend can be looked forward to with great enthusiasm, there are 2 games from this week’s Premier League extravaganza that stand out:
Manchester United v Manchester City:
Perhaps the most popular Derby in the Premier League, and in the context of the current campaign, the most overwhelming fixture of the weekend and possibly, the 2016-17 season. Never has the intrigue and anticipation of a Derby been overshadowed by the rivalry of managers; United boss Jose Mourinho, will find himself face to face with old rival Pep Gurdiola, his most fierce competitor from the time Mourinho was in charge at Real Madrid and Gurdiola, at Barcelona.
The two clubs have met a total of 171 times with United having won 61 of these fixtures as compared to City who have won only 43. The remaining matches have ended in draws.
Key players to watch out for:
Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic: All eyes will be on United’s newly recruited duo, who have settled well into Mourinho’s squad and will be expected to be in the starting XI.
Kevin De Bruyne, Nolito: First choice striker Sergio Aguero, widely regarded as one of the best strikers in world football, will miss this game with a 3 match ban imposed on him. Spanish international Nolito, who joined City in the summer, is likely to start for the Citizens up front. All eyes will be on him.
Time: 5:00 pm (IST), 12: 30 pm (GMT)
Venue: Old Trafford, Sir Matt Busby Way, Manchester, United Kingdom
Arsenal v Southampton:
After a difficult first two games, Arsenal got back to winning ways with a convincing 3-1 victory over Watford in their last game. Their fixture at the Emirates against Southampton is a game to look for. While the Manchester Derby is likely to draw a lot more attention this weekend, admirers of the quick-pass-movement in the game cannot and should not miss a game involving teams like Arsenal and Southampton, both of whom have done the game a lot of justice in that regard.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will go head to head with Southampton’s Claude Puel, who the Frenchman knows from the time the latter played under him at Monaco. For the lovers of the game, this is a match one cannot miss!
Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 21 home games against the Saints. However they have won only 1 out of their last 6 encounters with them, having lost 3 and drawn 2.
Key players to watch out for:
Granit Xhaka, Shkodran Mustafi, Lucas Perez.All eyes will be on Arsenal’s three big name signings. The Gunners signed Germany international Mustafi from Valencia towards the end of the transfer window alongside Lucas Perez, while Granit Xhaka arrived early on. At least two of out of the three are expected to find a place in the starting XI for this one.
Nathan Redmond. Selling your best players every transfer window must not be easy. Further, finding replacements for your best players must make it all a whole lot worse. Such has not been the case with Southampton. Having lost Sadio Mane to Liverpool, Southampton were quick to find a near perfect replacement in Nathan Redmond, a quick two footed player who does not shy away from displaying what he is best at.
Time: 7:30 pm (IST), 3:00 pm (GMT)
Venue: The Emirates Stadium, Hornsey Road, London, United Kingdom