Premier League questions: Can Newcastle upset Chelsea? Will Rodgers get a pressure-reliving win?


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.

Will Newcastle cause an upset by beating champions Chelsea? (Newcastle United v Chelsea, Sky Sports 1 HD, Saturday 5.30pm)

Steve McClaren
Image: McClaren will be looking to guide Newcastle to their first league win of the campaign against the Blues on SNF

Despite the fact that Newcastle United have won their previous three home games against Chelsea, few neutrals will be expecting Steve McClaren's men to make it four in a row against the champions at St James' Park on Saturday Night Football.

The Magpies, second from bottom, have so far failed to win any of their opening six league contests, while McClaren himself is on an even worse run, with no Premier League victories to his name in his past 10 matches in charge of Newcastle and Middlesbrough.

So even though the Blues travel to the north-east without striker Diego Costa, and themselves struggling down in 15th place in the table, it would still be a huge shock were the visitors to lose for a fourth time in the league this season.

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Can the Hornets enjoy another Vicarage Road shutout against Palace? (Watford v Crystal Palace, Sky Sports 1 HD, Sunday 4pm)

Watford form a huddle before their match against Southampton
Image: Watford have yet to let in a Premier League goal at home so far this campaign

Watford host Crystal Palace on Super Sunday having still to let in a goal in three Premier League matches at home so far this season.

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It is the Hornets' unbeaten start to the campaign at Vicarage Road that has been the basis of their solid start, which sees Quique Sanchez Flores's side sitting pretty in 10th place in the table ahead of the Eagles' visit this weekend.

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Will the Toffees lay down a marker against the Baggies on MNF? (West Bromwich Albion v Everton, Sky Sports 1 HD, Monday 8pm)

Aaron Lennon (L) celebrates after Steven Naismith scored his third goal during the match between Everton and Chelsea
Image: Everton can make a statement by taking all three points at the Hawthorns on MNF

Everton have only lost once in all competitions so far this season, and even that setback came against Premier League leaders Manchester City.

But the sixth-in-the-table Toffees are sure to face a test of their credentials against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on Monday Night Football, with Tony Pulis's team having not conceded in their last three league matches.

Three points against the Baggies, though, and the Merseysiders will have announced themselves as a side to keep an eye on in this campaign.

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Can Spurs reverse their poor recent run against bogey team Man City? (Saturday, 12.45pm)

Sergio Aguero scores his fourth goal of the afternoon to put the game beyond Spurs and take three points, 4-1 to Man City
Image: Can Spurs get the better of bogey team Man City at the Lane on Saturday lunchtime?

Tottenham Hotspur have been beaten in eight of their last nine top-flight matches against Manchester City heading into their meeting with the Premier League leaders at White Hart Lane on Saturday lunchtime.

In fact, Spurs have lost their last four games in a row against City, during which time Manuel Pellegrini's side have scored 16 times compared to their opponents' tally of just two goals.

Will Rodgers get a win against Villa to relieve the pressure on his shoulders?  (Saturday, 3pm)

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers
Image: Rodgers and Liverpool have not won any of their last four league encounters

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has faced more questions about his future after the club's disappointing display against Carlisle United in the Capital One Cup in midweek.

Luckily for the Northern Irishman, the Reds have won more Premier League games against Aston Villa, who they host on Saturday afternoon, than any other side.

However, failure to collect all three points against Tim Sherwood's strugglers at Anfield will make it five league matches in a row without a win for Rodgers for the first time since he took charge of the club at the start of the 2012/13 campaign.

Can Southampton arrest their recent slump in form against Swansea?  (Saturday, 3pm)

Southampton's Dutch manager Ronald Koeman
Image: Koeman will be hoping the Saints can get back to winning ways when Swansea travel to the south coast this weekend

Southampton have made a disappointing start to the season, with Ronald Koeman's side having won only two of their last 12 Premier League encounters stretching back to the previous campaign.

As a result, the Saints host seventh-placed Swansea City at St Mary's on Saturday afternoon lying in an unfamiliar 16th place in the table and hoping to kick-start their stuttering campaign with a much-needed victory.

Will Stoke finally record their first win of the season against the Cherries?  (Saturday, 3pm)

Charlie Adam walks off the pitch after being shown a red card - Stoke down to 9 men against West Brom
Image: Charlie Adam and Stoke have not won a league match so far this season

Stoke City have made their worst-ever start to a Premier League campaign, with Mark Hughes's side still to register a victory in their opening six games.

That poor run has left the Potters in the relegation zone ahead of Saturday's encounter with newly promoted Bournemouth at the Britannia Stadium, with Stoke having not won any of their first seven top-flight matches of a campaign since 1973-74.

Can Martial enter United's record books by continuing his scoring run again Sunderland?  (Saturday, 3pm)

Anthony Martial of Manchester United celebrates
Image: Martial is aiming to become the first-ever United player to score in his first three Premier League matches when Sunderland visit Old Trafford on Saturday

Anthony Martial has made quite an impact since signing for Manchester United from Monaco at the start of September.

The striker has scored in his opening two league games for the club, against Liverpool and Southampton, and if he continues that trend against struggling Sunderland at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon, he will become the first United player to net in his first three Premier League matches.

Not only that, but Martial will also become the first Red Devils player since Ian Storey-Moore in 1972 to score in his opening three league appearances for the club.

Will West Ham continue their rise up the table against the Canaries?  (Saturday, 3pm)

Mark Noble, Dimitri Payet, Manchester City v West Ham United, Premier League
Image: West Ham have made their best start to a Premier League season since 1999-2000

West Ham United have caused more than a few raised eyebrows with their Premier League wins at Arsenal, Liverpool and last time out leaders Manchester City.

As a result, the Hammers entertain mid-table Norwich City on Saturday afternoon flying high in third place in the standings on the back of their best start to a Premier League campaign in more than 15 years.

And with the Canaries having not tasted victory at Upton Park since March 1989, the odds must be in favour of West Ham maintaining their excellent recent form under new boss Slaven Bilic this weekend.

Can Leicester maintain their unbeaten start to the season against Arsenal?  (Saturday, 3pm)

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 01:  Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Birmingham City and Leicester City at
Image: Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri will be looking to guide the Foxes to a first win against Arsenal in 17 league contests

New Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri has confounded his many critics, who questioned the Italian's appointment at the King Power Stadium last summer, by steering the club to fourth place in the Premier League.

In fact, the Foxes are so far unbeaten in all competitions this season. However, they have not beaten the Gunners in any of their previous 17 top-flight contests stretching back to November 1994.

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