SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The international break is over and we return to the ninth round of the English Premier League
With multiple injuries and positive COVID-19 tests, teams are starting to use all of their squads and, as the only best league in Europe to come back to three substitutions rather than keep the rule of five substitutions, we are seeing fatigue injuries like we have never seen before There is hope that this decision will be reconsidered as the Championship (the lower level than the EPL) is agreed and puts into effect work five substitutions starting this Friday
On top of that, last week’s COVID-19 test run for players and staff returned 16 positive tests
Let’s get to the task at hand … there are absolute crackers this weekend when it comes to games
Newcastle ❓ – ❓ ChelseaAston Villa ❓ – ❓ BrightonSpurs ❓ – ❓ Man CityMan Utd ❓ – ❓ West Brom
Fulham ❓ – ❓ EvertonSheff Utd ❓ – ❓ West HamLeeds ❓ – ❓ ArsenalLiverpool ❓ – ❓ Leicester
Your first KSL 5 match was an asset with this battle which starts at 10:30 am on Saturday
Spurs have designs to take the next step in their quest for glory and silverware Deprived of success in recent history where they were firmly pushed into the shadows of London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea, they now pay attention to their neighbors
The new stadium is attractive and a home worthy of the budding champions They have, in Jose Mourinho, a manager who has been there and made it The ability to make his teams win beautifully, but more often than not , able to squeeze every drop of granularity out of his teams and win lousy when it counts, a sign of serial winners We’ve seen both examples so far, and this is also the first season Mourinho has been able to put on his claws in the team and make it his
There is a confidence in the Spurs that has been lacking in recent years, an air of focus on being the top four legitimate challengers, and maybe even a title run The team is as well. deep as I can remember from a Spurs team, and the attacking talent available is extremely impressive There is a balance that allows them to attack with such speed and power that, if they continue in this manner, they will raise their eyebrows and see Liverpool and their Saturday opponent Man City looking over their heads. shoulders during the season (yes I know the Reds and City are not at the top of the table) Son Heung-min and Harry Kane had an absolutely stunning start to the season, scoring 15 goals and providing 10 assists between the two
Man City received a huge boost this week Manager Pep Guardiola signed a two-year extension to keep him at the Citizens until the summer of 2023 Without this uncertainty, could we see a more cohesive city ?
They were excellent in the game against Liverpool just before the international break The game ended 1-1 in a very entertaining 45-minute debut, only for both teams to run out of steam as the 45 seconds slipped away. flow In truth, we’ve seen flashes of shine from City before this season, and much of it looks promising as the season progresses with the arrival of Ruben Dias, a more than suitable partner it seems. for central defender Aymeric Laporte Pep, despite all the money spent in the team, seems to have finally found his left-back, Joao Cancelo Arrived last season and taking a little time to settle in, we are now witnessing a more resolute backline and defensive performances are the proof Marshaling behind them is the excellent Ederson in the goal facing City and how an opponent adapts to his style is always an indicator if you are a true top, and Spurs have yet to face that style this season.
We also didn’t mention that the best game in the EPL may well be featured, in Kevin De Bruyne The Belgium international will once again be at the heart of midfielder and offensive intentions, pulling the strings and dictating the pace of play, and seeking to unleash the myriad of attackers in front of him, whoever they are
This one will be a close affair, but some of the football that we will see will be of the highest quality Mourinho is as good as any coach when it comes to picking and choosing battles, and don’t be not surprised if he tries to take the sting out of the game and make his Spurs hard to break and then hit the counterattack
I can’t wait to see this one, but I have to give City a slight edge Their desire to close last season’s title gap may well give them the edge
Another thrilling game for league leaders Leicester City visiting the home of defending champions Liverpool You can catch this game on Sunday with a 12:15 pm kick-off, on NBCSN This has the makings of a good match Both teams try to play attractive football, but both teams are treating injuries in their teams
Liverpool are doing well this season After the resounding defeat to Villa and then Virgil Van Djik’s big loss for the season, the Reds have slightly changed the way they line up in formation, dropping from the proven 4-3-3 and reliable at a variation of 4- 2-3-1 and 4-2-4 They prepared well against City in the last game and deserved a point, but since then they have also lost Joe Gomez, potentially for the season The loss recreated what was previously the likely base addition of a new center-back in January, who is now in desperate need of a new center-back in January.
As always, the attack will be in the center of Liverpool Mohamed Salah will miss due to a positive COVID test while on international service But the likes of Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino will provide a lot of normalcy from the start, and the arrival of Diogo Jota will help the loss of Salah Then there is Shaqiri who made a precious impression, and his decision not to leave this summer paid off, not only for himself but for Jurgen Klopp. Not known for his goal return at Liverpool, his main role has been to impact the bench and open the stubborn deeply lying defenses
Leicester have been very good so far, and the arrival of Wesley Fofana from St Etienne has made their defensive play more mobile Adapting to the EPL is difficult, adapting almost flawlessly and immediately is a quite another thing, but the 19-year-old did just that
I am intrigued to see this perfectly fit Leicester side. Their 3-4-2-1 formation is paying off, adding full-backs in their role of hard work on both sides of the ball; then having two attacking midfielders behind Jamie Vardy gave them a license to express themselves a little more centrally What about Jamie Vardy? At 33, he’s got eight goals on the season so far, and he’s still green A busy, buzzing constant threat that talks to his markers to get under their skin Yet I still wonder what could have been s ‘he had made the jump from Leicester believe me there are a few clubs in Europe who would love his services I think England still misses him as a central option Although I understand his reasons for putting time on his international career and also his loyalty to the Foxes, the team that gave him everything and tried his luck on a non-league player In short, I think he’s fantastic and the Foxes have done a phenomenal job of building a team around him to use his strengths. Either during the counter-attack, or by bringing the ball back to him, in and around the penalty area, where he can isolate himself face to face with a defender
It will be a really fast and elegant game.We may not see the quality that we are used to as both teams struggle with key players not being available, but it will be a very good test for both teams, the Reds trying to adjust to a massive target on their backs as champions, and for the Foxes, can they really be title contenders?
It’s so good to be back, and next week we’re all going to be working on our Thanksgiving treats with another full match list. Enjoy the holidays and make sure you stay safe
World News – CA – Plagued by injuries and positive COVID-19 tests, Premier League still offers cracking matches