LONDON (AFP) – Premier League leaders Manchester City travel to Chelsea with Erling Haaland in ominous form as Arsenal and Tottenham seek to recover from their first defeats of the season.
Early-season results boosted hopes of a genuine title race but City were the only team in the top five to win last weekend.
At the other end of the table, the bottom four sides are in danger of being cut adrift even before the season is a third of the way through. AFP Sport picks out the talking points ahead of the action in the English top flight.
MAN CITY TURN ON STYLE
Manchester City recently had an uncharacteristic mini-wobble but they have responded in emphatic style, hitting 17 goals in five games in all competitions.
Pep Guardiola’s champions are back on top of the Premier League, taking advantage of slip-ups from Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool.
Erling Haaland, who scored 52 goals for City last season, is in red-hot form, with 15 in the current campaign so far.
City travel to Chelsea not knowing exactly what to expect from Mauricio Pochettino’s inconsistent team, who beat nine-man Tottenham 4-1.
But the treble winners will be full of confidence, having won their past six matches against the Stamford Bridge side in all competitions without conceding a single goal.
PRESSURE BACK ON TEN HAG
Manchester United got out of jail last week when Bruno Fernandes struck a last-gasp winner to earn a 1-0 victory at Fulham and ease the pressure on manager Erik ten Hag.
But the Dutchman is once again in the spotlight after United went down 4-3 in a chaotic Champions League match in Copenhagen.
The club have lost nine of their opening 17 matches in a season in all competitions for the first time since 1973/74, a campaign in which they were relegated.
United would normally be expected to sweep aside Luton, the opponents at Old Trafford, but they have scored just 12 goals in 11 Premier League matches so far and their injury-ravaged defence looks shaky.
Ten Hag, however, is convinced his team’s luck will change.