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Premier League Game Week 4 Preview

After the international break the Premier League returns for Game Week Four of action and what a weekend it promises to be with Liverpool taking on Leicester City and the big one, Mourinho v Guardiola – The Manchester Derby.

Manchester United v Manchester City kicks-off a fantastic weekend of Premier League football

It is the clash of the Manchester giants this weekend – Manchester United take on Manchester City at Old Trafford, Jose Mourinho pitted against Pep Guardiola.

Mouth-watering. Expect the pair to be stalking the touchline, screaming at their players, lots of arm-waving and gesticulation, and saving plenty of glares for each other.

Hopefully those on the pitch won’t be too pumped up or it could spell trouble. In matches between Pep and Jose sides down the years, no fewer than 10 players have been sent off.

But this will be their first Premier League encounter. Mourinho and Guardiola’s relationship stretches back more than 20 years, when they were together at Barcelona as assistant coach and player.

At first relations were relatively close but it all went sour as they found themselves under huge pressure when in opposing dugouts for games between Barcelona and Real Madrid.

When Mourinho took over at United, he took a pragmatic approach when asked about Guardiola, stating: “If in the Premier League I was to focus on him and Manchester City and he were to focus on me and Manchester United, someone else would be champion.”

Both have three wins out of three so far this season so something has to give. With the teams a work in progress, big signings, a huge clear-out of unwanted stars, it will be an intriguing contest.

And it will certainly amount to more than Zlatan Ibrahimović – he loathes Guardiola too incidentally after an acrimonious year at Barcelona – versus John Stones as is being talked up.

Will Jose play Marcus Rashford after his late substitute appearance and winning goal against Hull, plus the 18-year-old’s hat-trick for England Under-21s in their 6-1 thrashing of Norway?

City will be without suspended top scorer Sergio Aguero,

It all may come too soon for Ilkay Gundogan but the central midfielder, signed from Borussia Dortmund earlier this summer, is nearing his Manchester City debut as he gradually recovers from a dislocated kneecap.

Could he make the bench perhaps?

Arsenal face Southampton – while Liverpool open their new stand with a clash against champions Leicester City

Arsenal take on Southampton at the Emirates with centre-forward Olivier Giroud back to full fitness. He has been eased into the season after his exertions over the summer as France reached the final of Euro 2016.

Alexis Sanchez has been leading the line to date so it will be interesting to see how Arsene Wenger shuffles his pack and whether he gives a starting berth to new signing Lucas Perez.

Liverpool welcome Leicester to Anfield, the Reds’ first home match of the season due to work on the new Main Stand – it will be officially in use for the first time. High profile signing from Southampton, Sadio Mane, has confirmed he will be fit despite picking up a knock on international duty with Senegal.

Liverpool’s inconsistency remains a worry, so far featuring a win against Arsenal, defeat at Burnley and a draw with Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

It leaves them 11th in the table albeit it is early days.

Chelsea looking to continue perfect start – Tottenham Hotspur looking to pick up momentum

Swansea v Chelsea on Sunday will be a further opportunity to see how the Stamford Bridge squad are coming together. New manager Antonio Conte has nine points out of nine, an excellent start after last season’s angst.

David Luiz is back following a £32 million transfer deadline day move from PSG and it will be fascinating to see where he fits in.

Fellow new boy Marcos Alonso, signed from Fiorentina is set to take the left-back slot, with current incumbent Cesar Azpilcueta shifting to his more natural right side.

Stoke and Tottenham Hotspur will be a clash of styles, the more rumbustious Stoke approach against the silky skills of Spurs. The London side will see clever midfielder Christian Eriksen pulling the strings – he has signed a new contract, keeping him with the club until 2020.

The Denmark international, aged 24, has made 134 appearances for Tottenham since joining them from Ajax in August 2013.

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