Eternal rivals Liverpool and Manchester United do battle in a top-of-the bill clash in the Premier League this weekend as champions Manchester City look to put last week’s Chelsea defeat behind them.
United have an impressive recent record against Liverpool, unbeaten in eight league games, but away fans will travel with a sense of trepidation to Anfield as Jurgen Klopp’s unbeaten side begin to click into gear.
Jose Mourinho came under fire last year for failing to attack Liverpool’s then leaky defence, settling for a 0-0 draw that cost his side momentum after a fine start to the season.
While a draw at Anfield would be a good result for the Red Devils, defeat on Sunday could leave United 11 points off the top four if other results go against them.
United scored four goals last week against Fulham but their attacking play has rarely been fluid this season and they are coming up against a defence that has conceded a single goal at home in the Premier League this season.
City entertain Everton at the Etihad and a major concern for Guardiola is how to get Gabriel Jesus firing again.
The Brazilian has not found the net in the Premier League since August despite chances to stake his claim in the absence of Sergio Aguero through injury.
A goal against the Toffees would do him, and his club a world of good as they aim to prove that the defeat against Chelsea was just a blip.
Arsenal are without a clutch of centre-backs for their trip to second-bottom club Southampton, seeking fresh direction under new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.
Club captain Laurent Koscielny could feature even though has been missing from the Premier League since May with a serious Achilles injury.
Manager Unai Emery said the club could look into recruiting a defender when the transfer window opens – both Chelsea’s Gary Cahill and Eric Bailly of Manchester United have been recently linked with a move to the Emirates.
But of immediate concern to the Spaniard is warding off the challenge at the South Coast as they look to cement their hold in the top four.