The international break has given many a chance to take stock, with Tottenham and particularly Manchester United among clubs experiencing a disappointing start to the campaign.
Liverpool, though, lead the way after a perfect start, while Leicester, Palace, Burnley and West Ham will hope to push on after outstripping expectations to this point.
Tottenham and Chelsea host Watford and Newcastle respectively, while Liverpool travel to Manchester United on Sunday in the pick of this weekend’s games.
Follow live updates as we hear from several Premier League managers today ahead of a bumper weekend of action …
Silva hoping win vs West Ham will be turning point
Under-pressure Everton boss Marco Silva is convinced Saturday’s home clash with West Ham will be a turning point in the Toffees’ season,writes Phil Medlicott.
The Merseysiders head into the fixture having lost each of their last four Premier League games and lying in the relegation zone.
After the 1-0 defeat at Burnley on October 5, Silva said the meeting with eighth-placed West Ham was a “must-win game for us”.
When he was asked on Friday about that, and if the message to the players was it had to be a turning point in the campaign, the Portuguese said: “We believe it will be.
“When I used those words, it was first because for us as a club, all the matches must be must-win matches. That is the mentality we are trying to create.
“And I use that because it has to be a turning point for us because we have all the conditions to do that, full confidence in our players to be able to play in our stadium as well, and I think it is a good start to the match, thinking of it like a must-win.
“At the moment we are not in the best moment with confidence really high, but we have to go for this match thinking it will be a must-win game.”
Silva said he had been in frequent contact with the club’s majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri, emphasizing that was “normal”, and insisted “pressure is really good” as he urged his players to react to their current predicament.
He said: “Pressure for us as professionals has to be a privilege, a pleasure, because it means we are doing what we really love, that we are working In a football club which is demanding for ourselves.
“We have to put this pressure behind us every day. For me it is never a problem, and it is something I try to pass to my players every single day. Pressure is really good. It means you are at a club that wants to win, a club with big ambition, and it is the reality of our position.
“The table is not good. Our last results aren’t good enough. We have to react and the pressure has to be good for us . Embracing the moment is the reality in this moment. We can perform better, we can win the game. “
WEST HAM NEWS
Reid set for U 23 s outing to rebuild West Ham career
West Ham defender Winston Reid has been pencilled in for a return to action in an Under – 23 s game on Monday as he bids to resurrect his career after (months out.) ********
Reid has not played a competitive match for West Ham since March 2018 but hopes to make long-awaited return to action in a development game at Stoke.
The 31 – year-old has been sidelined since he suffered a freak injury against Swansea when he was knocked unconscious and fell to the gr ound awkwardly twisting his knee.
Reid returned to training last summer but broke down, had to have knee surgery which ruled him out of the whole of last season and has had several setbacks in his recovery.
The New Zealand international featured three times for West Ham in pre-season but the club have been cautious with him since then.
He had hoped to return for the Under – 23 s at Cheltenham Town earlier this month but his comeback was pushed back.
Reid has been training with West Ham’s Under – 23 squad but it is hoped he will return to first-team training if he comes through the game on Monday unscathed.
West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini said: “We must pray that he will not have any other injuries. He has had a long time without playing and deserves to try to return to his career. ”
CRYSTAL PALACE NEWS
Hodgson uncertain over Sakho return
Roy Hodgson says he is unable to put a time frame on the return of Mamadou Sakho as he looks to battle back from a
The French defender, who underwent surgery on a serious knee injury last season, made a brief return to the Crystal Palace side earlier this campaign but has since been Unable to take part in full training.
Hodgson recently said he had hoped that the injury would not keep Sakho sidelined for months and had mooted the possibility of a return against Manchester City this weekend.
However, the former England manager is likely to continue w ith both Gary Cahill and Martin Kelly at the back, though James Tomkins is fit and available.
“I hope it is going to be soon [that he returns],” said Hodgson.
“He has basically been out since February if we ignore the couple of games that he was able to play before breaking down again. It is high time really that we get him back and he is working very hard to get back.
“I hope it is soon rather than late, but I can’t put a time on it.”
Klopp tells Liverpool players to disprove suggestion they are perfect opponent for Man Utd
Jurgen Klopp has called on his Liverpool players to disprove the suggestion that they are the perfect next opponent for struggling Manchester United.
The Reds travel to Old Trafford 15 points ahe ad of their arch-rivals in the Premier League and looking to extend a perfect start to the season that has thus far featured eight wins from eight.
The gap between the teams has led to suggestions that Sunday’s game could provide a springboard for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men to turn their fortunes around.
But Klopp cannot imagine any opponent relishing the prospect of taking
He said: “They are ready, they wait for us. They said we are the perfect opponent now – you can see it like this, but you don’t have to.
“I don’t think there are a lot of teams who would love to play against us. In the moment, it looks like Manchester United is the only one who wants to play us and we have to make sure that that is a misunderstanding. ”
MAN CITY NEWS
De Bruyne passed fit for Palace visit
James Robsonin Manchester
Kevin de Bruyne has been declared fit for Manchester City ahead of Saturday’s clash with Crystal Palace.
John Stones is also expected to be available after training well this week, with Benjamin Mendy nearing a return.
De Bruyne has recovered from the groin injury that ruled him out of the games against Dinamo Zagreb and Wolves before the international break.
Stones has been out since last month’s defeat to Norwich with a thigh strain, but Pep Gu ardiola is hopeful the center back will be fit to travel to Selhurst Park. Mendy also missed the Wolves game due to a hamstring injury, but has resumed training.
Meanwhile Guardiola refused to hit out at broadcasters after City were handed a daunting festive schedule, which sees them play twice in less than 48 hours between Christmas and New Year.
The Premier League champions issued a strongly-worded statement, claiming the sporting integrity of the competition could be undermined by the demands placed on them.
But Guardiola said: “Since I came here every season it’s the same. The broadcasters are the bosses, it’s not about us.
“I love to play Boxing Day, families go to the stadiums, the players travel and the system does not protect the players too much.
“We’ll have more recovery than the others at other times – it’s what it is.
“Maybe the broadcasters are fans for some clubs.
“We have meetings with Premier League, managers, Uefa, they are so glad, nice pictures, it doesn’t matter, we have to play. ”
Guardiola praises Hodgson for his longevity at the age of 72 .. .
“Of course I admire him. He has the patience and love. It’s incredible. You have to have a lot of energy every day and he is there.”
… and Hodgson is asked about his retirement plans:
“I’m not sure if I’ll be managing in five or 10 years’ time, but I still get great satisfaction from this job and I’m not r eady to stop yet. “
CRYSTAL PALACE NEWS
A glowing tribute from Hodgson for Man City winger Raheem Sterling …
“I think Raheem Sterling’s maturity as a person has been commendable. Not only to score goals and perform for Manchester City, but shouldering the very heavy burden of off-the-field matters such as racism.
“I don’t know that coming off the pitch would have changed anything about the racist abuse received in the England game. I can only add my praise about how they handled it – I thought they were quite brilliant. “
MAN CITY NEWS
The festive fixtures were released this week and Pep Guardiola has given his thoughts on the congested schedule …
“Every year I’ve been here it is the same (Christmas fixture schedule). Broadcasters are the bosses in these situations. I love to play in Boxing Day, winter time when people are off and can enjoy.”
On the increase of Under – 21 players in the Premier League …
“It pleases me because of the academy and for the players. These boys are contesting and having to prove why they should be in the team. They have proved it on merit and they are competing to get their place. “
The Blues boss seems keen to avoid any sort of complacency from his players …
“It would be easy to look at us as favorites, it would be a casual mistake for us to make that a story. We have to control what we can control, can we create chances and to make sure that we are at our best. “
CRYSTAL PALACE NEWS
Hodgson on whether Palace fans are getting carried away with themselves …
“We shouldn’t stop people from enjoying this good form. We shouldn’t begrudge people for dreaming. These fans have seen a lot of ups and downs over the years. “
MAN CITY NEWS
Guardiola with a prickly response after being quizzed about Liverpool’s eight-point lead at the top …
“Every situation is different. We are not going to change. I will not change my opinion of my team. We have to be focused on increasing our game and winning games.”
Lampard says Kante was not fit when he got injured playing for France …
“We all have our selection problems, but the Kante one was not a laughing matter. We communicated before the first international break. It was clear that he wasn’t fit to play the second game and he sat on the bench.I think it could have been handled better.
“I understand that when a player is on international duty that they are their players, but it was clear that he wasn’t fit.”
Lampard on the threat posed by Chelsea’s opponents Newcastle …
“I saw them at Tottenham put in some resilience, they have got templates to get results in that way. What can they do to hurt us? I expect nothing different. “
Lampard says he spoke to his players after England players were subjected to racist chanting from Bulgaria fans in their Euro 2020 qualifier on Monday …
“I kind of remember the game back then , I may have been on the bench. I think the big progression of Monday night is that the governing body have to take a big step. The collective nature that England dealt with it was really good to see.
“I spoke to the players there, they are strong boys. They know I am there to support them. It’s a learning curve in all cases. “
Lampard confirms N’Golo Kante has been ruled out of tomorrow’s game, but there’s better news about Mateo Kovacic and Ross Barkley …
“No, N’Golo is not fit. A small groin issue with France, he isn’t fit for Saturday. Kovacic had a knock on his thigh, but in contention. Ross is fine. Andreas has a hamstring problem which is going to see him out for two weeks.
“Rudiger is outside training, a bit of work to be done for match fitness. But a positive that he is outside. “
Lampard has now arrived, so let’s see what he has to say …
CRYSTAL PALACE NEWS
Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson is also in place for his press conference and the veteran boss has some injury news …
“There are a couple of players who will be assessed tomorrow morning. The two missing for certain are Mamadou Sakho and Connor Wickham.”
MAN CITY NEWS
While we wait for Lampard, our Manchester correspondentJames Robsonis in place to hear what Pep Guardiola has to say ahead of their game with Crystal Palace.
And here’s some injury news that will make City fans a lot happier after some disappointing results of late …
” Kevin De Bruyne is back for Man City. John Stones trained well this week, while Benjamin Mendy is close. “
Next up, it’sChelsea boss Frank Lampard, speaking ahead of the Blues’ clash with Newcastle tomorrow.
Updates to follow from Cobham.
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EPL fixtures | Gameweek 9
|Saturday, October (th) (Kick-off)||Coverage||TV|
|Everton vs West Ham||12: 30 PM||LIVE|
|Aston Villa vs Brighton|
|Bournemouth vs Norwich|
|Chelsea vs Newcastle||3pm||LIVE|
|Leicester vs Burnley||3pm|
|Tottenham vs Watford||3pm||LIVE|
|Wolves vs Southampton||3pm|
|Crystal Palace vs Man City||(LIVE)|
|Sunday, October 20|
|4: 30 PM||LIVE|