1) Games that should have been held last week
The Premier League should not have postponed last weekend’s games. If people are working, confiscating their hobbies is wrong, and that’s before we consider fans who took time off or paid for transport to watch their team. In addition, families relying on football-related income to pay bills and eat food had their right to earn taken away without warning, while cricket, rugby union and – among others – Polo had the confidence to continue . Football is called the people’s game because it was started by the people for the people – people who looked for a bit of weekend fun to escape the harshness of everyday life and forget their place in the order of things, just a few hours. The suitors who have since been evicted would do well to remember that. Daniel Harris
2) Will Forest bounce back from shame?
After allowing Bournemouth to come from two goals down to beat them, Nottingham Forest will face another newcomer in Fulham as they look to stop a run of three wins in a row, and a rare but audible booing from City greeted the latest one. ground stands. Despite playing without a streak, Forest scored twice in the first half against Bournemouth but could not cope with substitute Gary O’Neil’s half-time switch to three goals left Jordan Zemura with the goal. more attacking wing back Ryan Fredericks. Having had an extra week on the training ground to get things right and get a better understanding of what his best XI is, Steve Cooper will be hoping for a response from his side in what should be an entertaining game between two attacking teams. With three of their next four games away from home, recent evidence suggests that failure to get one will be a concern for all concerned heading into the international break. Barry Glendenning
3) Confrontation that could be a villa keeper
Five years ago Filip Marschall didn’t even pull on a pair of goalkeeper gloves but, barring injuries like Steven Gerrard thinks by the time Southampton visit Villa Park on Friday, the 19-year-old could start between the sticks Marschall joined Villa in 2018 from Cambridge City, where he played as a defender until the age of 13. Emi Martínez missed training on Thursday due to illness and Robin Olsen due to a knee problem, while Jed Steer is out long-term with an Achilles injury. Gerrard hopes Martínez will be fit in time. Marschall was part of Gerrard’s squad on Villa’s pre-season tour of Australia and recently signed a new long-term contract, but the teenager, who was on loan in the sixth tier with Gateshead Town last season, could finish the weekend with debut in the Premier League to. his name. “He’s ready to be ready,” Gerrard said. Ben Fisher
4) Cost to let go of the Wolves leash?
The bar is set. Wolves announced the signing of Diego Costa until the end of the season with a stunning video of the chiselled striker keeping three snarling wolves, James, Alice and Gray, shackled and now Bruno Lage must consider whether to let the 33-year-old go from the. leash The clip has gone viral and Costa will be hoping to hit the ground running on his return to England, his last appearance for Chelsea coming in the 2017 FA Cup final against Arsenal. Costa has been working on a customized training program and said he “needs two or three weeks to get better”, but Lage must be tempted to play him against Manchester City. “If I had ever doubted my potential, I would not have accepted this challenge,” Costa said this week. “I can bring something to the table.” BF
5) The highest standards for the City
It’s silly to pick a hole in Manchester City and find fault with Pep Guardiola, given that the former has won three of the last four league titles and the latter is a great manager if he quits tomorrow or unless he claims another trophy. But the feeling remains that City could and should be even better than they are, not only in defense – a weak point in all Guardiola’s teams – but in attack. Leroy Sané and Raheem Sterling may have had to be released, but it remains true that City lack balance and pace without them. Of course, they are brilliant at compensating, whether through the rhythm of their passing or their ability to score a goal out of nothing, but any team willing to stay narrow and defend with discipline and violence has the potential to frustrate them. make them – especially if, like Wolves, they also have pace on the counter. For him
6) Howe urges Newcastle players to aim higher
It took Newcastle until November 30 last year to reach the seven-point mark. After just six games they’ve got there this season, but they’ve won just once – against Nottingham Forest at St James’ Park – and Eddie Howe isn’t too happy. “I’m not happy, I need more points,” said the Newcastle manager before giving his squad a stern look talking about the need to achieve and maintain consistently high standards. Despite the probable absence, injury-enforced, of two key creative players in Allan Saint-Maximin and Bruno Guimarães, he will be particularly keen to beat Bournemouth at home on Saturday. There are few known limits to Howe’s praise on Tyneside at the moment, but the manager knows that Newcastle’s Saudi Arabian owners have spent more than £200m on new players in less than a year and that they feel in entitled to see that investment translated into a win. It’s little wonder that Howe is doing everything in his power to ensure his side don’t end up against the team he left behind through promotion in six years, but still without a permanent manager. Louise Taylor
7) Bees to test the durability of Arsenal
The Brentford Community Stadium will call up difficult memories for Arsenal, who suffered a big win there on the opening night of last season, even if it came with Covid-related caveats. Mikel Arteta’s side are a different proposition now but the Bees feel more comfortable as an established top-flight unit as well, so the margins on Sunday lunchtime are likely to be fine. It will be a test of Arsenal’s ability to bounce back from the slightly torrid 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford a fortnight earlier, which ended their winning streak but did not affect their status as league leaders. A win this time would ensure they finish top of the pile this weekend and that would be handy given that any pretense of a title bid will be thoroughly examined in the subsequent home meetings with Spurs and Liverpool. Arsenal are about to have their survival scrutinized and you would feel they are well set if they leave West London with three points. Nick Ames
8) Conte needs more stability from Bissouma
Antonio Conte plans to rotate his personnel for the visit of Leicester – following a mentally and physically draining Champions League win at Sporting on Tuesday – but he does not appear ready to call on Yves Bissouma. It felt like a coup when Spurs brought Bissouma from Brighton for £25m in the summer; here was a player who could add a new dimension in midfield, running with the ball, breaking the lines and creating chances. But playing in the middle of Conte’s 3-4-3 formation is not simple and the verdict so far on Bissouma, to quote the manager, is that he is “struggling a bit with the tactical aspect. With the ball he is very good; defensively he has to pay more attention.” It explains why Bissouma started just once and a total of 121 minutes in all competitions. He needs time to adapt. David Hytner
9) Time running out for Rodgers?
Brendan Rodgers is a great coach – if you’re not sure, ask him – but he may be running out of steam at Leicester, who sit bottom of the table with one point from six games, and travel to third unbeaten place. -he sent Tottenham this weekend. The malaise is not entirely to blame, as his board did not give him much scope to strengthen this summer, citing FFP regulations and ground improvements as the reason. But it’s hard not to wonder if the pandemic has also had an impact, with reduced travel meaning reduced duty-free income for the King Power group – a line the club would never speak publicly, because who’s going to apologize to a billionaire parsimonious during the cost of living crisis? Rodgers, however, must justify any funds he is allowed, meaning it is time to lure or push out of Patson Daka and Boubakary Soumaré, players who have bought players among authored last summer but hasn’t bothered much since. For him
10) The importance of Calvert-Lewin
Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s status as Harry Kane’s understudy looked secure in the England hierarchy 14 months ago when he replaced the captain in the Euro 2020 quarter-final win over Ukraine. He has not played for the country since, and this week Brentford midfielder Ivan Toney was named in Gareth Southgate’s squad for England’s final pre-World Cup internationals. Qatar now appear to have a long-term hope for the 25-year-old, who has been limited to 18 appearances for Everton since winning his last cap due to toe, thigh and knee injuries. Frank Lampard has been desperate for Calvert-Lewin’s presence all season and, despite signing Neal Maupay, claimed the return of the main opposition reduced the need to add another striker in the transfer window. Goals remain a serious problem for a team without a win in the Premier League this season but, after returning to training during the enforced break, Calvert-Lewin should have the chance to repay his manager’s faith and b maybe send a late message to Southgate. Andy Hunter