10 things to look out for this weekend

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1) Arteta returns to Goodison tense

As the eighth permanent manager of the terrible Farhad Moshiri era takes his bow at Everton, along with further protests against a board that may or may not be present at Goodison Park, the sight of Mikel Arteta patrolling a technical area the opposition and leading a stylish Arsenal. A team with designs on the title will bring fresh excitement to the home crowd. There really is an unlimited supply right now. Arsenal hired the former Everton midfielder when Moshiri opted for the Hollywood appointment of Carlo Ancelotti in December 2019. Some at Goodison felt the Manchester City assistant coach at the time would be more suitable but, if successful, the chance is small. Arteta would be allowed to transform Everton. Arsenal have the patience, recruitment strategy and organizational expertise a manager needs to succeed. They are all absent at Everton, as Sean Dyche may have already discovered. Andy Hunter

2) New reserves appear at Spurs

There will be notable absences from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. For Spurs, Antonio Conte is recovering from the removal of his gall bladder, while Matt Doherty is now an Atlético Madrid player. For City, life begins without João Cancelo, who committed to Bayern Munich on Wednesday after losing faith in Pep Guardiola. The only newcomer likely to feature is Pedro Porro, who failed to make the grade at City as a youngster before being sold to Sporting for £7m in 2020. After Porro’s initial loan, Tottenham will pay £39.7m for a player in the end. signed to solve their problems in the position on the right wing. Neither Doherty nor Emerson Royal could do that position. The same goes for City. Recently Cancelo has fallen from prominence and it remains to be seen who takes his role on the left. Nathan Aké is the man in possession, although Rico Lewis, only 18, could be the heir apparent. John Brewin

3) Guimaráes leaves a hole in Newcastle

Eddie Howe is not allowed to criticize the Newcastle board but described the club’s transfer window negotiations as “imperfect” and was “very sad” to lose his central cover ahead of Chris Wood and midfielder Jonjo Shelvey. It made financial sense and, by helping Newcastle stay on the right side of the financial fair play, facilitated the £45m recruitment of Anthony Gordon. But when Bruno Guimarães, Howe’s main midfielder, picked up a red card and a three-match suspension during the team’s Carabao semi-final, David Moyes must have felt a surge of hope ahead of West Ham’s visit to St James’ Park. It will be interesting to see how Newcastle cope without Guimarāes when Shelvey was the Brazilian’s natural replacement. Similarly, with Callum Wilson struggling to regain form ahead of the World Cup and Alexander Isak adapting to the Premier League, Wood could be a useful striker to have on the bench as he chases Champions League qualification. Shelvey looks the loss more. Will Newcastle regret offloading him as they fail to sign someone who can study Guimarães? Louise Taylor

4) Blood wolves smell with Reds

There’s nothing like a desire for revenge to inspire, and Wolves have a fresh grievance to face on Saturday following their recent FA Cup exit against Jürgen Klopp’s side. Toti’s disallowed winner in the first leg made it 2-2, and gave Liverpool a second chance which they duly seized, winning the replay 1-0. A furious Julen Lopetegui insisted on the night of the first leg that the replays proved that Gomes’ late effort should have stood, and that the VAR was wrong. If that incident is not mentioned in the team talk before the game, it will certainly be in the minds of the players. Liverpool were eliminated by Brighton in the fourth round, the latest encouraging result for a team that looked so close to improbable not so long ago. Klopp’s men have yet to win a league game in 2023 and smell blood from Wolves. Luke Mac Lochlainn

5) Ten Hag’s hitting squad handles injuries

It starts here, against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford, on Saturday: the business end of Erik ten Hag’s bid to claim trophies (this month’s Carabao Cup final is a good start) and secure a place in the Champions League. For this challenge he will have to take the blow of losing Christian Eriksen (until early May, perhaps) and Scott McTominay for a fortnight or more, while wondering whether Marcus Rashford, who is 18 goal, continue to carry the attack, the injury serially. Anthony Martial can stay fit enough to help the latter, while Jadon Sancho can finally be a real force after physical and mental fitness issues. Oh, and pray that his main man, Casemiro, doesn’t join Eriksen in the treatment room for long. Wout Weghorst stands in for Rashford and Martial, while Eriksen is Marcel Sabitzer: if Ten Hag need to call on one or both his ability to keep the team on track will be seriously tested. Jamie Jackson

6) Caicedo returned after failure to send

Last weekend Brighton manager Roberto de Zerbi said he “loves” Moisés Caicedo, adding that he wanted him to stay until the end of the season rather than leave the Swans for Arsenal in the January transfer window . He got his wish. Caicedo will certainly be leaving in the summer, then, but for the immediate future, Alexis McAllister’s suspension could force De Zerbi’s hand in selection after the Argentinian picked up five yellow cards. Inserting the Ecuadorian into the starting line-up carries the risk of disruption – he is likely to face some hostility from the home fans after downing tools and demanding a move. But he is far from the first player in the Premier League to try to force a transfer, fail, and soon happily reintegrate. There is no doubt that Caicedo will clear his head and work hard for the team, especially as he has a summer transfer to consider. LMc

7) A tough start to overcome at the arrival of the saints

Southampton need to move on and they certainly made signings at the end of the window who can make the introduction. Their league position makes the signing of Kamaldeen Sulemana, a lightning-quick winger from Rennes, feel like a major coup while 6ft 7in striker Paul Onuachu will add presence and, given his record in Belgium, goals. They look fresher than some of their relegation rivals and it would be a useful statement if Nathan Jones’ revamped group can leave Brentford with a positive result. The task is tough: only Arsenal have left this part of west London with three points all season. The Bees, unbeaten in eight, felt comfortable enough in their skins not to make wholesale changes in the transfer window; everything is working well and they could improve their non-massive European credentials by taking the expected three points. Jones has to hope the Saints’ season starts here. Nick Ames

8) Reinforced Forest battle hanging

With four games unbeaten behind them in the Premier League – two wins, two draws – Nottingham Forest’s 5-0 thrashing of Manchester United in the Carabao Cup semi-final could be seen as a cold blast from reality. ​​​​​​A Wembley final would be nice, of course, as well as being symbolically important in the club’s mission to rediscover past glory, but ultimately it was irrelevant compared to the priority of status preserve the Premier League. In a tight table, Forest’s recent positive run has propelled them to 13th place. But they remain just six points above bottom side Southampton and three above Sunday’s opponents Leeds, who are in 15th place. It would only take a few bad results to raise the pressure again. Steve Cooper must ensure there are no Cup hangovers against Jesse Marsch’s high-speed side; perhaps their ever-expanding squad will help with that. LMc

9) Villa back fresh and strengthened

For Aston Villa, last month’s FA Cup win over Stevenage was a two-week break before facing Leicester. They shouldn’t lack freshness and energy, and the good news doesn’t stop there – John McGinn and Lucas Digne are back in training and struggling to get back into the team after injuries. In particular, McGinn will rely on Unai Emery for a drive in midfield, who has won five of seven league games since his arrival in November. Leicester won the FA Cup against Gillingham and Walsall in January and lost to Fulham, Newcastle, Nottingham Forest, and (most recently) drew 2-2 with Brighton. Brendan Rodgers says one of his midfield generals, Wilfred Ndidi, will be missing due to a “personal issue” and deadline day arrival Harry Soutar from Stoke is a doubt with a hip problem. Emery will be keen to make it six out of eight. LMc

10) A mountain becoming submerged?

Graham Potter can’t complain about a lack of options in attack. Mykhailo Mudryk, João Félix and Noni Madueke joined the armory of Chelsea’s creative arms during January, while Hakim Ziyech is still around after his hopes of joining Paris Saint-Germain on loan ended in farcical circumstances on the deadline. Competition for places will be fierce, even with Christian Pulisic and Armando Broja sidelined by long-term injuries. With Ziyech not at his best, it won’t be easy for Potter to keep everyone happy. Where do Raheem Sterling, Kai Havertz, Mason Mount and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fit into Chelsea’s plans? Mount’s situation is very interesting. The attacking midfielder is a fan favorite and Chelsea should be looking to build around him. And yet his contract expires in 18 months and his form has dipped of late. With Félix suspended, Mount could do with a good performance against Fulham. Jacob Steinberg









City Man




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Aston Villa


Crystal Palace


Nottm Forest






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