Two Premier League Fixtures to Watch This Weekend

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BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24: Junior Stanislas (2ndR) celebrates his goal with Jordon Ibe (R) Callum Wilson (CL) and Harry Arter (L) before the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Everton at the Vitality Stadium on September 24, 2016 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images)

LWOF presents our weekly look at the Premier League fixtures you cannot afford to miss this weekend. These are the matches we with the most interesting storylines. Agree? Disagree? Have your say in the comments below.

Two Premier League Fixtures to Watch This Weekend

Leicester City v Southampton
King Power Stadium, Sunday, 2:15 PM GMT

Title holders Leicester City have sputtered out of the gate this season. With only seven points in six matches, Claudio Ranieri faces the doubters he staved off much of last season.

Star striker Jamie Vardy decided to stay at Leicester, turning down a hefty offer from Arsenal. “It was more a case of seeing Leicester as a club that wanted to build on what we achieved with the title and I want to be part of that. I’m happy with how everything has turned out.” 

But for all his quality, Leicester are having their share of difficulties. What was a stalwart defence last season has shown massive holes. And the incredible counter-attacking style that propelled Riyad Mahrez and Vardy into household names has been less than spectacular. With only eight goals in six matches, how much have they missed N’Golo Kante? The former Fox—now with Chelsea—was the club’s insurance policy in their defence that allowed the Mahrez and Vardy-led counter attack.

Southampton have been consistent if nothing else. With two wins and as many losses and draws, they sit marginally ahead of Leicester. What’s interesting is how the two clubs will enter this contest. While Leicester triumphed over Porto mid-week—a fantastic win—it also means many of their best players will play on a short week.

Compare that to Southampton. Manager Claude Puel opted not to start Charlie Austin, Jose Fonte, Ryan Bertrand, and Steven Davis. Moreover, he specifically cited Sunday’s match with Leicester as the reason: “The players are staying home because with the travel many players won’t have enough time to recover for Leicester.”

Leicester are still the Cinderella story so long as they are alive and well in the Champions League. But until they right the ship in the Premier League, it will be hard to keep the pundits away.

Tottenham v Manchester City
White Hart Lane, Sunday, 2:15 PM GMT

Two of the Premier League’s top clubs will battle this weekend in North London. Tottenham and Manchester City are both on a tear, undefeated through six matches. For Spurs, the surprising Heung Min Son has been electric. The former Bayer Leverkusen player has followed up a mediocre first season at White Hart Lane with a string of stellar performances. Scoring his fifth goal in as many matches, he may be a difference-maker for Mauricio Pochettino if the manager chooses to deploy him.

Finding ways to score goals will be as important for Spurs as it will be to rigorously defend in Harry Kane‘s absence. The back four will certainly have their hands full with Sergio Aguero and David Silva in town. And if Hugo Lloris is to keep the ball out of the net, he will also need Tottenham’s midfield to provide cover.

To say Pep Guardiola has taken the Premier League by storm is an understatement. Manchester City’s manager has led the team to six straight wins to start the season. What’s particularly impressive is that he’s managed to take a group of star players who never quite meshed well, and have them playing as a unit. With a goal differential of 13 already, City are playing well all over the pitch—that is until their mid-week Champions League clash with Celtic.

One factor that could have a dramatic impact is each club’s recent travels. Manchester City are fresh off a short trip to Glasgow in their match with Celtic. Compare that to Tottenham who had a long trek to Moscow and back.

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