EPL: 6 Key Battles to Watch This Weekend
After another busy midweek where the majority of Premier League sides played in the Carling Cup, the focus is back on the bread and butter of the league again this weekend.
There are a few tasty tussles to sink our teeth into, including three derbies over the weekend.
Let's take a look at six of this weekend's key Premier League battles!
Saturday: Arsenal vs Chelsea
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When these two London giants faced each other at the Emirates last season, it was a goalless draw so no doubt both sets of fans will want to see some goals this weekend!
Both sides hit their Carling Cup opponents for six during the week and they're also both unbeaten in domestic competitions so far this season.
Logically, you'd think that something's gotta give when they play each other on Saturday lunchtime.
Arsenal have been solid at the back this season and they'll need to be at their best to keep the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Juan Mata at bay.
Similarly, Chelsea will need to keep Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla quiet.
This should be an open game with plenty of good football, but I just can't pick a winner.
Saturday: Fulham vs Manchester City
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In the same fixture last year, these sides played out an entertaining 2-2 draw packed with good football and plenty of chances.
They head into this fixture in differing form, with Fulham above the defending Premier League Champions in the table, albeit on goal difference.
Over the years, Fulham's home form has always been key to their success and the fact that they've become an established Premier League club, so City won't find it easy at Craven Cottage.
The champions head to Fulham in pretty indifferent form and are looking for their first win in four games (in all competitions).
Last Sunday Joleon Lescott scored for City in their 1-1 draw with Arsenal, so I'd be surprised if he didn't keep his place in the side.
The home side have a resurgent Dimitar Berbatov among their ranks and he'll be looking to make a statement at the expense of one of the top four clubs.
Fulham are more than capable of causing City some problems on Saturday and I think they could end up with all three points by 4:45pm (GMT).
Saturday: Norwich vs Liverpool
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The last time these sides met, Luis Suarez scored a sensational hat-trick (capped off with a wonderful 40-yard lob) as Liverpool walked away with all three points after a 3-0 victory.
Saturday's match sees two new managers still searching for their first league wins of the campaign.
After being thumped 5-0 at Fulham on the opening day, Chris Hughton's Norwich side have shored up their defence, conceding just three goals in the league since then.
Their problem so far this season has been scoring goals.
Norwich have only scored twice in the league. That's an area where Hughton will be looking for some improvement and he might think there's no better chance of that than against Liverpool.
Although they've not won in the league, Liverpool should head into the game full of confidence after what was an outstanding performance against Manchester United.
They may not have won the match, but they outplayed United for huge spells of the game, with a dubious penalty award being the difference between the two sides.
The Reds go into Saturday's game without the injured Daniel Agger and Martin Kelly, and Jonjo Shelvey is serving the first match of his three-game ban.
Even before those injuries and suspensions, Brendan Rodgers already had a paper-thin squad, so he might have to put some kids on the bench for cover.
Saturday: Manchester United vs Tottenham
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Saturday's late game sees Manchester United tackle Tottenham at Old Trafford.
With Wayne Rooney back in contention for Manchester United, as well as Darren Fletcher making his first start in 10 months against Newcastle on Wednesday, Sir Alex has pretty much a full squad to choose from.
Although he'll have been disappointed with their performance against Liverpool last Sunday, Sir Alex will have been glad to have walked away with three points, ending their recent poor run at Anfield.
Their visitors on Saturday, Tottenham, will go into the game in confident mood.
Jermain Defoe has been in sparkling form so far this season and with a dangerous midfield including Moussa Dembele, Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon and Gylfi Sigurdsson, Tottenham have got the ability to cause United problems.
It'll be interesting to see how Andre Villas-Boas fares in his first real test Tottenham manager.
I think he was given a raw deal at Chelsea and with Tottenham, Villas-Boas will show exactly what a good manager he is.
Whether that's enough to come away from Old Trafford on Saturday with a result, only time will tell.
Sunday: Aston Villa vs West Brom
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In this fixture last season, Paul Scharner scored the winner to give West Brom a 2-1 win: their first league win at Villa Park since 1979.
Sunday's live match between the two local rivals sees two Scotsmen slugging it out in the dug-out: Paul Lambert and Steve Clarke.
The home side have started to improve recently, highlighted by their stunning 4-2 win over Manchester City at the Etihad on Wednesday.
Paul Lambert is an excellent man manager and armed with the experience of the Old Firm derbies as a player, he'll have his troops fired up for Sunday's clash.
As far as West Brom are concerned, I'll be the first person to admit that my pre-season prediction of them struggling was wrong.
Steve Clarke's side have won three and drawn one of their opening five matches, leaving them fourth in the table on 10 points.
He's still without Peter Odemwingie on Sunday after his red card at Fulham a couple of weeks ago, but in Romelu Lukaku, he seems to have found a gem.
Lukaku is a big, strong lad who's a handful for any defender and Villa will have to keep him quiet to come out of Sunday's derby with a positive result.
Monday: QPR vs West Ham
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The last fixture of the weekend takes place on Monday night with QPR taking on fellow Londoners West Ham at Loftus Road.
QPR head into the game second bottom of the table, without a win in their opening five league games.
They just haven't been able to get started this season, which might be down to the dozen or so players that Mark Hughes brought in during the summer transfer window.
I'm never a big fan of making wholesale changes like that because it causes too much unrest, and the players take time to gel with each other.
Each time they've lost a game this season, QPR have drawn the next one so that might continue on Monday night.
West Ham on the other hand have settled back into life in the Premier League with relative ease.
Eight points from their first five games, added to the loan signing of Andy Carroll from Liverpool, has given the Hammers a great start.
There's one man on the books at West Ham who typifies everything that's great about football: Kevin Nolan.
He leads by example, he's got battling qualities, he's a box-to-box midfielder, he can pick out a pass and he can score goals.
Nolan is one of the most under-rated players of his generation. If he played somewhere like Arsenal or Manchester United, people would rave about him, but because he isn't, he tends to get forgotten about, which is a crying shame.
In what will be a typical London derby on Monday night, full of blood, guts and passion, I'd be surprised if Kevin Nolan isn't the difference between these two teams.