EPL: 6 Key Battles to Watch This Weekend
After the international break, the English Premier League returns this weekend, and there are a few interesting clashes to keep an eye on this weekend.
Whether it's what the fixtures themselves, or individual rivalries between players and managers, there's a lot to keep an eye out for.
In no particular order, let's take a look at the six things to watch out for in the Premier League this weekend.
Will Van Persie Find the Net Again When Wigan Come to Old Trafford?
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I think that it'd be fair to say that Manchester United's threat in their last game against Southampton totally revolved around Robin van Persie.
The Dutchman scored two late goals to win the game for United to complete his hat-trick and he also missed a penalty.
That means he's scored four goals in two starts for the Old Trafford side, and he's continued at United where he left off at Arsenal: scoring goals.
United's defence has looked shabby at times in their opening three fixtures, allowing five goals, including two in their last home game against Fulham.
Wigan have started the season in decent form, securing four points from their opening three games, which isn't bad when you consider Liverpool only have one to their credit.
I don't expect Wigan to win at Old Trafford, but if they're to have any chance of coming away with a result, they need to play with the same belief and desire they showed when beating the then-defending champions last April.
United will more than likely dominate possession, but if Wigan can hit United on the break instead of sitting back, then there's every chance they can sneak a goal at the other end.
Chelsea's Return Premier League Visit to QPR
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The spotlight this weekend, at least in London anyway, will be on John Terry as Chelsea make their Premier League return to Loftus Road for the first time since the case of alleged racism from the Chelsea captain reared its head last season.
Since then, Terry has been cleared by criminal proceedings against him, but is awaiting the results of an FA enquiry into the allegations.
It's not for me to talk about what he did or didn't say to Anton Ferdinand, or what his punishment (if any) should or shouldn't be.
The fact is that a London derby will probably be focused more on two men than on the teams playing.
QPR have made significant changes to their side over the summer, and Chelsea have brought in another £80million of players.
One thing's for sure: this is going to be a fiery affair on Saturday and it might end up being the match of the day.
Liverpool Go Searching for Their First Win of the Season at Sunderland
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Three games down, two goals scored, seven conceded and just one point on the board probably wasn't the start that Brendan Rodgers had in mind when he took over at Anfield, but the fixture list hasn't been kind to him.
He's already come up against Arsenal and Manchester City at home and Manchester United come to Anfield next Sunday.
This weekend, he goes to Sunderland in search of his first win in charge.
To be honest, he'll have a job on his hands to make that happen.
Martin O'Neill's teams are generally well-drilled and disciplined, and he'll have watched Liverpool struggle to get out of the blocks so far this season.
He's added a couple of great signings in Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson, so they'll be looking to make an impact on their home debuts.
If Rodgers can't get a win this weekend, he goes into next Sunday's lunchtime clash with Manchester United under a lot of pressure.
Michael Owen Could Make His Debut for Stoke Against Manchester City
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This is another intriguing fixture, much like the Manchester United one I spoke about earlier.
Stoke are an excellent side, and they have a good manager in Tony Pulis.
They're tremendously well-supported, especially at home, where the Britannia Stadium is like a cauldron at times.
Is there a styles clash here? Maybe.
Stoke are normally pegged as just a physical side, but they've added some excellent footballers to the squad over the last couple of years, which sometimes goes unnoticed.
On the other hand, City have a squad full of world-class footballers and their attacking options are frightening.
I was a little surprised by the signing of Scott Sinclair because, to be honest, I've never really seen what all the fuss was about with him.
It could be another potential debutant that has the final say over this fixture.
One of England's all-time leading goalscorers could make his Stoke debut this weekend, and what better way for him to introduce himself to the Stoke fans than with a winner against Manchester City?
If he's fit, then I certainly wouldn't bet against it!
Will AVB Get His First Win as Spurs Boss?
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Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart have left, and Andre Villas-Boas has brought in players who he thinks can add to the Tottenham squad.
It seems like he's got something at Spurs that he didn't have at Chelsea: his own players that he'll be happy to work with.
By that reasoning, he should have no excuses when Spurs make the short trip to Reading on Sunday.
He's assembled his own squad, with players that he thinks can do a better job than those who have left.
Reading won't just roll over for Spurs on Sunday though.
They went to Stamford Bridge in their last game and were incredibly unlucky to be on the wrong side of a 4-2 defeat.
In front of their own fans, Reading will want to get their first win of the season just as much as Spurs.
As for who'll win, I'm not sure, but I think it'll be an interesting game with plenty of good football. Hopefully everyone watching it will see some goals too!
Everton and Newcastle Could Shine Bright on Monday Night
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The Everton fans have been pleasantly surprised with their start to the season.
A win over Manchester United on the opening weekend followed up by another three points at Villa Park five days later saw them get six points from their first two games for the first time in a long time.
Although they slipped up last time out against West Brom, I'm on record as saying David Moyes' squad is among the best in the Premier League.
The same can be said about the Newcastle squad.
Most clubs in England, and some in Europe, would love to have the likes of Papiss Cisse, Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye, Hatem ben Arfa and Cheick Tiote on their books.
Both managers like their teams to get the ball down and play, and I reckon this match could almost be decided on the flip of a coin!