Premier League: Arsenal aims to settle nerves as Liverpool attempts reset

Premier League leader Arsenal and defending champion Manchester City will be desperate to return to winning ways this weekend as Jurgen Klopp searches for answers to Liverpool's dire form. Chelsea faces a tough trip to West Ham, with Graham Potter forced into a juggling act after an influx of expensive new players, while Manchester United take on Leeds for the second time in five days.

Here are some of the key talking points ahead of the action.

Can Arsenal hold its nerve?

Arsenal travlled to Goodison Park last week as hot favorites to extend its lead at the top of the Premier League but left after suffering just its second league defeat of the season.

Mikel Arteta's men -- chasing the Gunners' first league title in 19 years -- struggled to silence the doubters earlier this campaign, even after starting at a sprint. But in recent weeks, the club has shown its mettle, drawing against Newcastle before beating Tottenham and Manchester United.

Arsenal takes on in-form Brentford at the Emirates on Saturday before hosting Manchester City next week. The Gunners' recent record against the champion is woeful -- it has lost the past 10 league meetings by an aggregate score of 26-3.

Arteta said after the Everton defeat that his players were not feeling the pressure, and it was helped by City's loss at Tottenham the following day. But he knows he must keep Pep Guardiola's seasoned winners at arm's length.

Derby test for faltering Liverpool

Liverpool needs to find its mojo quickly after three defeats in four Premier League matches has left the club floundering in mid-table. Manager Jurgen Klopp will be wary of a reinvigorated Everton, which travels to Anfield on Monday with a spring in its step after last week's shock win against Arsenal in new manager Sean Dyche's first match in charge.

Liverpool's home record against relegation-threatened Everton is impressive -- before its defeat at Anfield in 2021, it had not lost to its neighbors at home for more than two decades. But, if Everton can repeat the energy and intensity it showed against Arsenal, it will fancy its chances against a Liverpool team currently short of confidence.

A team once hailed by Klopp as "mentality monsters," which came agonizingly close to winning an unprecedented quadruple last season, has quickly lost its way. The German described last week's 3-0 defeat by Wolves as the "pinnacle of our problems." He will hope that gives him a vantage point to see the way ahead.

Can Joao Felix get Chelsea on the goal trail?

Graham Potter's new-look Chelsea kicks off the weekend's Premier League action at the London Stadium on Saturday with Joao Felix likely to be back in the fold after serving a three-game ban. The forward, on loan from Atletico Madrid, was sent off in his first appearance for the club at Fulham last month.

He will return to find a very different dressing room from the one he experienced in the Fulham match, which Chelsea lost 2-1. The club splashed the cash in spectacular style last month -- bringing in eight new faces in total, including wingers Mykhailo Mudryk and Noni Madueke, and breaking the British transfer record to sign Argentinian midfielder Enzo Fernandez.

Potter knows his team must gel quickly if it is to have any hope of closing the 10-point gap to the top four. The team has no chance unless it boosts its disappointing total of just 22 goals in 21 Premier League matches.

Saturday: West Ham vs. Chelsea, Arsenal vs. Brentford, Crystal Palace vs. Brighton, Fulham vs. Nottingham Forest, Leicester vs. Tottenham, Southampton vs. Wolves, Bournemouth vs. Newcastle
Sunday: Leeds vs. Manchester United, Manchester City vs. Aston Villa
Monday: Liverpool vs. Everton


© Agence France-Presse

1 comment about "Premier League: Arsenal aims to settle nerves as Liverpool attempts reset".
  1. R2 Dad, February 13, 2023 at 4:37 a.m.

    EPL VAR flaws destined to determine/scramble league table and results. No wonder zero English VAR officials qualified for the recent World Cup. The British isles: home to meddling IFAB ninnies.

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