Unai Emery, Jurgen Klopp, Antonio Conte and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Spurs v Liverpool, Aubameyang face Arsenal and Emery’s first big weekend in the Villa game

Big?! It’s damn big! Liverpool go to Spurs; Auba reunites with Arsenal; Emery gets hold of Villa; and Christ knows what we will get from Leeds. Then it’s Serie A and a huge Champo match…

Match to watch – Tottenham v Liverpool
Sorry, dear readers. If you’ve come here looking for insight into the biggest game of the Premier League weekend, we’re sorry to disappoint you. Because we have no idea what to expect.

Anyone who claims to know is lying to you scoundrels. But that is partly what makes Liverpool’s trip to Spurs so enticing. One or both sides may turn it on and dazzle us all; equally likely both can shoot their own sheets. Again. Either way, it’s a must watch.

Both sides enjoyed spirit-lifting Champions League victories in midweek. Tottenham’s were much more consequential, with Spurs’ trip to Marseille going as well as it could, finishing top of Group D when the potential was the misfortune of a third-placed finish. For Liverpool, it was never really about chasing the four-goal win that would have seen them leapfrog Napoli, but rather lifting spirits after back-to-back Premier League defeats against sides mired in the bottom three.

Injuries have not helped either side in their recent struggles and absences could play a big part in north London on Sunday. The hosts could be without Son Heung-min, Dejan Kulusevski, Richarlison and Cristian Romero – three nail-biting starters and their £50m summer signing.

As Klopp has never tired of reminding us, Liverpool also lack big players, but Antonio Conte could reasonably claim the greater handicap.

Still, the carrot for Conte is a 13-point gap between his side and Klopp’s on Sunday night. Which would be significant because, despite their prejudice and carelessness, and every reason before us why they won’t, we’re still waiting for Liverpool to go on one of those winning runs that propel them up the table.

Team to watch – Leeds United
As inscrutable as Spurs and Liverpool have been, Leeds are arguably the Premier League’s biggest underdogs this season.

Before last week they were eight games without a win and the screw was on Jesse Marsch. Then they went to Merseyside and outplayed Jurgen Klopp’s men to end the hosts’ 30-game unbeaten run at Anfield.

Indeed, it wasn’t much of a shock to see Leeds build it up at Liverpool, and not just because of the Reds’ woes. Even during their winless run, there were many signs that the Whites could turn it around. There were also some they wouldn’t.

After beating Chelsea in August, they capitulated at Brighton. They probably motivated more than the points from home games against Everton and Villa, sandwiched between a deserved beating against Brentford. At Palace they were naive; then they gave Arsenal a big scare before being drilled away fairly easily by Leicester and Fulham. Then they turned over Liverpool.

So Christ knows what to expect from Marsch’s men when they welcome Bournemouth to Elland Road on Saturday. Gary O’Neil, himself looking to halt a worrying run of three defeats in a row, has seen plenty of other sides frustrate Leeds this season and he would be foolish not to follow a similar plan. But now Leeds have learned not to fall into that trap? The Liverpool triumph must be a springboard for the rest of the season, right?

You’d think but, well, Leeds…

Player to watch – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Aubameyang wanted to “become an Arsenal legend, maybe leave a legacy” when he signed a brand new deal with the Gunners. Two years and two clubs later, he meets his former club in a London derby as one of the enemies.

Instead of making an indelible mark on Arsenal, he became a symbol of their malaise, one who went from captain to outcast and a burden that needed to be cut free. Ahead of Sunday, he likely feels he has a point to prove to Mikel Arteta, but he should be more concerned with winning over his current boss.

At least Arteta and Arsenal have moved on. Tearing up Aubameyang’s contract came at a cost to the Gunners, who opted to tackle the second half of last season with too few options in attack, costing them a top-four finish, but laying the foundations for a potential title challenge this term.

The former skipper said Arteta could not handle “big characters and big players”. Having changed the culture at Emirates, now he doesn’t have to.

Instead of leading the Gunners out, Aubameyang will look to derail their World Cup ambitions from the Premier League summit. He was on the bench at Brighton last week after scoring just one Premier League goal for the Blues, but on Wednesday night against Dinamo Zagreb, he looked desperate to catch Potter’s eye to ensure he is at the welcome party for Arteta and his old . friends on Sunday.

Manager to watch – Unai Emery
Emery will take charge of Aston Villa for the first time on Sunday, almost two weeks after replacing Steven Gerrard, giving the new manager plenty of time to plot Manchester United’s downfall. He will need it, judging by Villa’s capitulation at Newcastle last week.

The Spaniard’s first job, like the vast majority of managers who take over failing sides, is to strengthen Villa at the back. Gerrard’s biggest failing was seen as his inability to make the most of his attacking riches, or even have the sketchiest idea of ​​how best to use them. But while they struggled to score, they were also porous at the back. You can bet Emery’s first few days at Bodymoor Heath since taking his first training session on Wednesday have been about tightening up the defence.

Beyond that, it will be fascinating to see how he interprets Villa’s attacking conundrum, which Gerrard simply could not solve.

The ex-boss spent much of his time worrying about Philippe Coutinho’s place and whether he might be able to play in the same team as Emi Buendia. Emery is more likely to prioritize pace, especially against a United side who are likely to come to Villa Park and have most of the ball.

Read more: Aston Villa have appointed an ‘elite manager’ in Unai Emery but they are not an elite club

EFL Match to Watch – Sheffield United v Burnley
Leagues One and Two take a weekend away from EFL action while they attend to FA Cup matters, but in the Championship the battle for third versus first demands your full attention, especially in the absence of a Premier League fix at lunchtime on Saturday.

We are not yet halfway through the Championship season but the Bramall Lane battle has the feel of one that could prove decisive in the promotion race. The Blades have enjoyed their spell at the top before the international break in September halted their momentum and they slipped to six games without a win.

Burnley make a better fist of things, with a stunning come-from-behind victory, thanks to two added-time goals, over Rotherham that saw them open up a five-point lead at the summit. Second-placed Blackburn could see an opportunity to claw back some of that deficit as they host bottom-of-the-table Huddersfield on Saturday before a much-anticipated Lancashire derby at Turf Moor next week.

European game league to watch – Serie A
Serie A is really spoiling us this weekend…

At teatime on Saturday, the top two meet as Atalanta welcome Napoli looking to bring the leaders back to within touching distance of the five-point cushion they currently hold. Each team has lost just once this season, and Napoli’s unbeaten run was halted at Liverpool on Tuesday. Despite their flying start, it remains possible that a shake-up at the Serie A summit could take place before the World Cup for Luciano Spalletti’s side slips up again on Saturday.

Then on Sunday it’s derby day in Italy. It starts with fourth-placed Roma against fifth-placed Lazio at 5pm with just a point between them. After the fireworks in the capital, it’s the Derby d’Italia as Juventus take on Inter Milan with both sides playing catch-up in the battle for a Champions League spot.

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