Premier League questions: Will Klopp shine? Will City miss Aguero?
By Simeon Gholam
Last Updated: 16/10/15 9:28pm
Ahead of an important round of Premier League fixtures, we take a look at 10 questions that could be answered by the end of the weekend.
How will Jurgen Klopp fare in his first game in charge of Liverpool? (Tottenham v Liverpool - Saturday, 12:45pm)
You have to go back to August 16, 1998 for the last time a new Liverpool manager won their first Premier League game in charge.
On that day, Gerard Houllier's side came from a goal down at Southampton to win 2-1, with a young Michael Owen scoring a 72nd-minute winner.
Since then, Rafa Benitez drew 1-1 at Tottenham in 2004, Roy Hodgson's debut finished 1-1 at home to Arsenal in 2010, Kenny Dalglish lost 2-1 at Blackpool in 2011 and Brendan Rodgers lost 3-0 at West Brom in 2012.
Like Benitez, new man Jurgen Klopp faces the difficult task of starting his reign with a trip to Spurs, where Mauricio Pochettino's side are unbeaten this season and saw off Manchester City 4-1 last time out. As starts go, it doesn't get much tougher for the German.
Will Diego Costa finally kick-start his season against Aston Villa? (Chelsea v Aston Villa - Saturday, 3pm)
Around this time last year, Diego Costa headed off for Spain duty having netted nine times in his first seven Premier League games for Chelsea.
So far this season, the striker has managed just one in six, and spent the October international break in Cobham having been left out of the Spain squad for the Euro 2016 qualifiers against Luxembourg and Ukraine.
Chelsea face an Aston Villa side on Saturday who have shipped 13 goals already this season, and sit 18th in the Premier League table with just a single win under their belts.
For Costa, who admitted last week that he returned for pre-season overweight, it represents the perfect opportunity for him to get back among the goals.
Can Crystal Palace or West Ham challenge for a European spot this season? (Crystal Palace v West Ham -Saturday, 3pm)
There can't have been too many people out there who would have thought that, come mid-October, Crystal Palace's clash with West Ham United would be a battle between fourth and sixth in the Premier League.
But that is where we find ourselves. Palace have been a revelation under Alan Pardew and West Ham have been remarkable on the road, recording wins so far at Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City.
Can either last the course and challenge for a European place? Early form suggests there is no reason why they couldn't. Whether they'd even want to, however, is a different question entirely.
Will Ross Barkley outshine Wayne Rooney on Merseyside? (Everton v Manchester United - Saturday, 3pm)
After two fine displays for England during the international break, Ross Barkley laid down an early marker to be a starter for Roy Hodgson by the time England reach Euro 2016.
There are growing calls for that Barkley should be playing in the No 10 role in place of Wayne Rooney, despite the latter becoming England's record goalscorer last month.
Martinez: Barkley must start
Everton boss Roberto Martinez urges Roy Hodgson to make room Ross Barkley in his England squad
Rooney was absent for England's final two qualifiers but he should be fit to travel to Merseyside on Saturday when Everton face Manchester United.
And, hopefully for the Red Devils, coming up against the man that some believe should be his replacement will inspire their captain to rekindle the form he is capable of.
Can Manchester City survive without Sergio Aguero? (Manchester City v Bournemouth - Saturday, 3pm)
It seems like a long time ago now, but before Sergio Aguero thundered five goals past Newcastle a couple of weeks ago, he hadn't actually started the season very well.
But as soon as he found his form, Aguero got injured. They've proved in the past they can cope without him, though. Since he joined in 2011, their win percentage is 68 with him and 65.6 without - not exactly a drastic drop-off.
Previously, however, they had the likes of Edin Dzeko, Alvaro Negredo or Carlos Tevez to cushion the blow of losing their star man. Now, they have only Wilfried Bony, who hasn't exactly set the world alight since his switch from Swansea in January.
But the visit of Bournemouth on Saturday represents the perfect chance for Bony to get off the mark this season and show Manuel Pellegrini that he is a worthy backup to Aguero.
Can Leicester City prove they are the real deal this season? (Southampton v Leicester City - Saturday, 3pm)
With sound reasoning, Leicester's defeat to Arsenal should have begun a downward spiral that saw them tumbling back towards the basement of the Premier League table.
Instead, Claudio Ranieri's man proved yet again that they are made or sterner stuff, and bounced back immediately to beat Norwich in their last game before the international break.
While they are unlikely to still be in their lofty position of fifth come May, a win at Southampton on Saturday will see the Foxes reach 18 points, half the total that would have kept a side in the top flight last season. It took until February (26 games) for them to amass that particular tally in 2014/15.
Will Sam Allardyce keep Sunderland in the Premier League? (West Brom v Sunderland - Saturday, 3pm)
There is another man, other than Jurgen Klopp, in the Premier League heading for a new dugout this weekend: Sam Allardyce.
The former West Ham, Blackburn, Newcastle and Bolton boss will take charge of Sunderland in an attempt to steer them away from what had seemed certain relegation under Dick Advocaat.
Big Sam's first test will be against another perennial club-saver in Tony Pulis, who took charge at West Brom under similar (if slightly less dire) circumstances last year. His second will be to sort out a Black Cats defence that has shipped 18 goals in just eight games so far.
Are Arsenal ready to challenge for the Premier League title? (Watford v Arsenal - Saturday Night Football, 5:30pm)
Even as early as October it is games like this that can define a title race. With Manchester City playing at 3pm, Arsenal could be five points behind by the time they've completed the short trip to Watford on Saturday Night Football.
Defensively, the Hornets have been in excellent shape so far this season, conceding just once in four games at home. It is problems at the other end that has held them back.
Watford have managed just six goals in eight games so far this season, five of which have come from Odion Ighalo, the other from a man who is no longer at the club, Miguel Layun. No side in the division has scored fewer.
With all that in mind, it should be a tight one at Vicarage Road. But for Arsenal, it is the type of game from which future Premier League champions must prevail.
Can Steve McClaren's side escape the foot of the table? (Newcastle v Norwich - Super Sunday, 4pm)
Newcastle could already be three points adrift at the bottom of the Premier League by the time they kick-off against Norwich on Super Sunday. If they lose to the Canaries, by the end of the weekend there could already be a seven or eight-point gap between themselves and safety.
Even with 29 games of the season to go, that would be an awful lot of ground to make up for a side who have scored just six goals and conceded 17 so far.
On top of all that, Steve McClaren really could have done without the loss of goalkeeper Tim Krul for the rest of the season. Defeat to Norwich, and the salvation of 17th place will look a long, long way away.
Will Xherdan Shaqiri prove his worth for Stoke City? (Swansea v Stoke City - Monday Night Football, 8pm)
It took less than 11 minutes of Xherdan Shaqiri's Stoke City debut for him to fling a pinpoint free-kick onto the head of Mame Biram Diouf and record his first assist in the Premier League.
Since then, it hasn't quite been the upward trajectory the Swiss star would have been hoping for. That ball against Norwich was his last act of genuine quality in a Potters shirt.
An injury ruled Shaqiri out of Stoke's last game before the international break, but he returned to action for Switzerland in midweek and should feature at the Liberty Stadium.
Mark Hughes will be hoping that Shaqiri's first Premier League game in front of the TV cameras on Monday Night Football will see a performance fitting of the man with such an illustrious history.