Steven Gerrard, Eddie Howe and Dean Smith all take charge of their new clubs on Saturday for the first time before the small matter of Arsenal’s trip to Anfield.
A first League win at Anfield in a decade would put us above them in the table, which was unthinkable after the last international break.
Leicester 0-1 Chelsea
Not an away game the league leaders would want early on a Saturday when their players have been around the world representing their nations.
Yet there hasn’t been that energy you associate with the Foxes; at times this season they have been flat.
These are the games that will make Chelsea Champions.
They battle and find a way to win.
Aston Villa 2-0 Brighton
More of a gamble for Gerrard than Villa.
Clubs can simply sack managers, give them a payoff and hire someone else.
It feels like young coaches can’t afford to get that next job wrong. Your judged on the here and now, not your entire body of work.
Look at Lampard!
Gerrard could have stayed in Scotland winning SPL’s and just waited for the Liverpool job.
Rangers will argue they are a big club, but the SPL isn’t bigger than the Prem.
It’s a million times harder for Gerrard to get Villa in the top 6 compared to finishing first in the SPL.
That he’s willing to risk his reputation in taking Villa to Europe shows the character why he is so highly thought of.
A special atmosphere at Villa Park will blow Brighton away.
Burnley 1-1 Palace
I read an article this week where Vieira says he has taken a bit of everything from those he worked with. When you consider those names, he could turn out to be a great manager.
What I like about Vieira though is he doesn’t get carried away.
He’s a perfectionist and actually feels the Eagles should have more points, but have failed to kill off teams in this type of fixture.
That’s the next target.
Norwich 1-0 Southampton
For a side who see themselves as a family club, how ruthless was it to sack Farke hours after your first League win of the season?
Dean Smith is as good an appointment as they could get.
I just hope he hasn’t taken this job just to remain a Prem manager because it won’t last for long.
You have to pick your next job wisely, and he had a body of work where he could have waited for a position with a more achievable target.
Short term though the Canaries might get that new manager bounce.
Newcastle 3-0 Brentford
Brentford’s last fixture saw them concede 3 at home to Burnley so if Eddie Howe could pick a first game to be in charge of the Toon this could be it.
Due to my Bournemouth connections, I have a soft spot for Howe.
He took a long time picking his next job and I just hope he’s not spat out the moment he secures safety. I fear that will happen, once Prem status is achieved, his employers will seek a more glamorous appointment.
I would be more confident if Howe had arrived in the summer as his strength is on that training pitch. The longer he gets on there, the better he will make his players.
Watford 3-2 Man United
The international break helped Ole because it meant two weeks wasn’t spent talking about how for the second home game running his side were humiliated.
United are one upset away from their manager being under massive pressure.
The way they defend it could happen at any point.
Wolves 1-2 West Ham
Gone for an away win as every Hammer at the moment is playing out of their skin.
They are equally enjoyable to watch which I didn’t always find under David Moyes, even after last season’s 6th place.
Even if they don’t play well, they can catch you out with a set-piece from Bowen or Creswell.
Liverpool 4-1 Arsenal
So, this will be the true test of how much progress has been made at Arsenal.
Win and we go above the hosts but I’m more interested to see what lessons have been learnt from previous trips to Anfield.
We often, on the red half of Merseyside, concede early and then fall apart.
What will Arteta change.
Will we be mentally stronger, braver, and have more self-belief than previous times in this fixture.
Do the squad believe they can get a result?
We have the youngest team in the division so it’s fascinating to see how one or two individuals will cope with this game.
Man City 3-0 Everton
When City play like they did in the Manchester Derby they are unplayable.
They are capable of an off day, but will Everton have the ambition to ask any questions.
Rafa went back to his conservative self in a 0-0 home draw with Spurs, taking few chances to go for the three points. So, he might simply park the bus here, which won’t make his fans warm to him.
Spurs 4-0 Leeds
Here is an incredible stat, Spurs haven’t had a shot on target in the League in two and a half games.
It might change here.
The international break could be crucial for Spurs because firstly it gave Conte two weeks on the training pitch – the longer he has there, the better.
Also, Harry Kane scored 7 goals.
Yes, it was against Albania and San Marino, but he will still get confidence by scoring.
Could this be the game he finds his mojo for the club again?
Last Week’s Table will be out today
Be kind in the comments