Premier League questions: Can Southampton stun Man Utd again? Will Arsenal break Chelsea hoodoo?
By Patrick Surlis
Last Updated: 23/01/16 12:04pm
Can Arsenal end their remarkable goalless run against Chelsea? Will Southampton stun Manchester United at Old Trafford again? Can Francesco Guidolin get Swansea going?
The Premier League action gets underway on Saturday lunchtime as Norwich host Liverpool, before six 3pm kick-offs in the afternoon, including a resurgent Saints' trip to United and top-four chasing Tottenham's visit to Selhurst Park.
The Saturday Night Football clash sees Manuel Pellegrini's Manchester City at West Ham as the Hammers look to get back to winning ways following their 2-1 reverse at St James' Park.
And there's two intriguing games lined up for Super Sunday. First up, Guidolin takes his Swansea side to Goodison Park before Arsenal face Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium hoping to break a scoreless streak in the Premier League that stretches back to 2013.
With all that and more to look forward to, here's what to keep an eye out for...
Can Liverpool do it against Norwich without Luis Suarez? (Norwich City v Liverpool 12.45pm Saturday)
It goes without saying that Luis Suarez terrorised most Premier League defences, but he particularly picked on Norwich. In their last six league meetings, Suarez scored 12 of Liverpool's 22 goals.
The Reds have struggled to replace him even now, having scored just one in their last four league matches away from Anfield.
Norwich, meanwhile, are unbeaten in five league games having conceded just twice, and will rest a little easier knowing they won't be facing the Uruguay striker this time around.
Will Saints stun United again? (Manchester United v Southampton, 3pm Saturday)
Dusan Tadic's winner earned the Saints three points on their last trip to Old Trafford, but overall Southampton have a poor recent record against the Red Devils - that win was their sole triumph in 10 league games.
United have the same amount of points after 22 games (37) as they did at this stage under David Moyes, but victory over Liverpool last weekend rekindled title talk, and United do seem to have picked up a habit of winning by the odd goal.
After a disastrous run of form, Southampton bounced back with consecutive victories and combined with the signing of striker Charlie Austin, the feel-good factor has returned on the south coast.
Which attack gets back on top? (Leicester City v Stoke City, 3pm Saturday)
The Foxes and Potters have been two of the biggest surprises in the league this season, and that's due in no small part to the impressive play of their respective front-lines.
But Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have cooled off a little for Leicester, while Marko Arnautovic and Bojan Krkic have suffered slightly in the absence of Xherdan Shaqiri.
He should return this weekend, and the attack that gets back among the goals at the King Power Stadium could be stealing the three points.
Can Newcastle blunt Deeney and Ighalo? (Watford v Newcastle, 3pm Saturday)
It's certainly not enough to concern Quique Sanchez Flores just yet, but after scoring in 11 successive league games between October and January, Watford have now failed to score in their last two.
Against Southampton, Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo failed to muster a shot on target between them, while Swansea comfortably kept both at bay having shipped seven goals against Sunderland and Oxford United the week before.
Newcastle haven't kept a clean sheet since Boxing Day, but the Magpies deserved more against Arsenal, held their own against United and secured three precious points against high-flying West Ham. They're on the up.
Will Palace find their shooting boots against Spurs? (Crystal Palace v Tottenham, 3pm Saturday)
Connor Wickham returned against Manchester City, but Palace's woes in front of goal continued, and Alan Pardew's side go up against the league's stingiest defence on Saturday after a run of three straight league defeats with zero goals scored.
Tottenham ended their Leicester trilogy on a high on Wednesday as they kept their ninth clean sheet of the campaign, and they've allowed a league-low 3.1 shots on target per game while simultaneously attempting the most.
That's a combination that bodes well for Spurs.
Can Sunderland slow Bournemouth's fast starts? (Sunderland v Bournemouth, 3pm Saturday)
The Cherries are notoriously fast starters - Eddie Howe's side have scored the most goals in the opening 15 minutes of Premier League games this season (seven).
And which team has conceded the most? Correct, the Black Cats have struggled to get going in the early stages, conceding the most goals in the opening quarter-hour.
Recent history suggests then, if Sunderland can stay in the game they'll have gone a long way towards securing a positive result at the Vitality Stadium.
Will Villa take advantage of "tired" Baggies? (West Brom v Aston Villa, 3pm Saturday)
In a season to forget so far, Villa have put together a mini run in recent weeks, going four games unbeaten. But victories over Palace and Wycombe came at Villa Park, and sooner or later they'll have to win away from home if Remi Garde is to give them a fighting chance of survival.
They might not get too many better opportunities than this either, as West Brom are coming off the back of a grueling schedule.
Tony Pulis' side played at Chelsea, Southampton and Bristol City in the space of seven days, and before their FA Cup victory over City, the Baggies boss admitted "half a dozen players looked empty".
Will City stay solid at Upton Park? (West Ham v Manchester City, Saturday Night Football, 5.30pm)
City have kept three straight clean sheets since Martin Demichelis replaced Eliaquim Mangala alongside Nicolas Otamendi in the starting line-up.
A West Ham without Andy Carroll is a less threatening proposition, even if they can still call upon the mercurial talents of Dimitri Payet.
As Newcastle demonstrated last weekend, the Hammers attack can be blunted, and in Sergio Aguero, City have a striker on a hot streak.
The forward has four goals and two assists in his last five games, and has been a particular nemesis for West Ham in recent years, scoring or assisting six goals in seven league appearances against the club.
Will Everton fall victim to the new-manager bump? (Everton v Swansea, Super Sunday, 1.30pm)
Francesco Guidolin has his work cut out if Swansea are to reverse their awful record against the Toffees. The Italian's new side have not won in 21 league meetings, and before his appointment their form didn't suggest an end would be coming.
But Monday night's victory over Watford arrested their slide, and they travel to face an Everton side in shaky form themselves at home.
Since late November, Roberto Martinez has watched his side drop a league-leading 11 points from winning positions. At Goodison Park they've won just three of their last 13 league games, but Swansea's away record - one win in 11 - does not inspire much confidence either.
Can Arsenal break their Chelsea hoodoo? (Arsenal v Chelsea, Super Sunday, 4pm)
Eight hours, two minutes and counting. It's been that long since Theo Walcott scored Arsenal's last league goal against Chelsea three years ago this week.
If they fail to break their duck on Sunday, it will equal their longest run without a goal versus any opponent in Premier League history.
The good news for the Gunners is Chelsea's dire state of affairs can be neatly summarised in a single stat too. The Blues are currently on their longest unbeaten run of the season, a six-game streak that includes four draws.
Olivier Giroud has been criticised in the past for failing to show up in the big games, but he won't come into too many in better form. The Frenchman, who has nine goals in his last 10, will be crucial for the Gunners.