Premier League preview
United host Chelsea; Liverpool go to Spurs; City play Fulham
By James Riach. Last Updated: 17/09/11 9:37am
Rooney and Manchester United have been in imperious form
After a busy week of European football for many teams, it is a return to Premier League action.
Seven top-flight sides played in the Champions League and Europa League in midweek and it will be interesting to see how those particular teams adapt to the rigours of the domestic division after some tough fixtures.
In what should be a cracker of a Super Sunday, Manchester United host Chelsea in the most anticipated tie of the weekend, with Tottenham taking on Liverpool.
Elsewhere, the pressure is on Blackburn manager Steve Kean as Rovers welcome Arsenal to town, while high-flying Manchester City visit Fulham.
Click below for individual match facts and previews:
Blackburn v Arsenal
Aston Villa v Newcastle
Bolton v Norwich
Everton v Wigan
Swansea v West Brom
Wolves v QPR
Tottenham v Liverpool
Fulham v Man City
Sunderland v Stoke
Man Utd v Chelsea
Champions Manchester United have swept away all opposition in the league so far this season, with a ridiculous 13 goals scored in their last two games. All eyes will be on Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon when Chelsea travel to the North West, and you can watch the action live on Sky Sports 1 and HD1 from 4pm. Andre Villas-Boas faces his biggest test so far since joining the Blues but will have been heartened by a 2-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday night - United drew with Benfica in Lisbon. Expect fireworks in this one.
The only other side with a 100 per cent record is Manchester City and Roberto Mancini will be looking to make it five wins from five on the banks of the Thames at Fulham. City marked their Champions League debut with a draw at home to Napoli in midweek while Fulham played Dutch outfit FC Twente in the Europa League. Martin Jol's side have made a sluggish start to the campaign but it is still early in his reign and he has plenty of time to get them going.
Tottenham earned a 0-0 draw with PAOK Salonika in the Europa League on Thursday - a competition Harry Redknapp has been none-too-shy about criticising. His side have three days to recover before Liverpool go to the capital on Sunday, looking to bounce back from their defeat at Stoke. Kenny Dalglish was certainly outspoken after the 1-0 reverse in the Potteries and these are two teams who will be desperately trying to break into the Premier League's top four this term. Watch the action live on Sky Sports 1 and HD1 from 1pm.
Blackburn fans will protest against Steve Kean before Saturday's home tie against Arsenal, which is a lunchtime kick-off. Rovers have only earned one point from a possible 12 this season and a certain section of supporters are calling for his head at this early stage. Kean insists that he has the backing of the club's owners but another defeat and he could be the Premier League's first managerial casualty, which was expected in August. Arsenal earned a credible draw at Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday and are seemingly on the road to recovery after their Old Trafford nightmare.
Tony Pulis will be justly proud of his Stoke team after their draw away to Dynamo Kiev on Thursday, although the Potters were so close to a famous victory in Eastern Europe. Pulis had a number of players missing who could return when his fifth-place team go to Sunderland. For the Wearsiders the season has not gone according to plan so far. Asamoah Gyan's shock departure to the UAE has added to Steve Bruce's woes - he needs a win.
Two sides looking to bounce back from defeats last weekend are Norwich and Bolton, with the pair locking horns at the Reebok Stadium. Manchester United tore Owen Coyle's men to shreds and there were sure to be some heated words in the dressing room at the final whistle. Norwich, meanwhile, played well against West Brom but lacked a cutting edge in the final third. The Canaries will want to get their teeth into a shaky Trotters defence.
Newcastle currently occupy fourth in the standings after an impressive start, but they face a tricky encounter away at Aston Villa, who have been unspectacular but solid under Alex McLeish. Hatem Ben Arfa is close to a return which will be a boost to the Magpies, although Davide Santon suffered a knee injury in training on Thursday. Alan Pardew's men were held to a 0-0 draw at QPR on Monday night while Villa were fortunate to come away with a point from their match at Everton.
A good start to the season for Wolves was ended last week after they fell to Tottenham, but Mick McCarthy has the chance to see his side get back to winning ways when QPR go to Molineux. This is a meeting between two Yorkshire managers who certainly do not mince their words and there could be some interesting verbals after the match in the Black Country. Rangers are slowly settling into life back in the Premier League and this one is difficult to call.
Unrest remains the order of the day at Everton but if the Toffees can overcome Wigan at Goodison Park then they will be well placed in the top half of the division. Question marks always remain over the Wigan defence, especially away from home, but David Moyes is now short of options up front after summer sales. A North West clash is always a spicy occasion, even if there is not really any bad feeling between these two sides, and the Everton board will be hoping a win can appease the dissenters.
Finally, Swansea will be desperate to break their goalscoring duck when West Brom travel to South Wales. The Swans had a decent game at Arsenal last week and could have snatched a point were it not for Danny Graham's profligacy in the final third. The Baggies have only managed three points from four games and, with the Liberty Stadium a tough place to visit, Roy Hodgson will know this is not an easy game.