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Premier League questions: Can Jamie Vardy make it 12? Will Manchester United end goal struggles?

Daniel Sturridge celebrates scoring Liverpool's equaliser
Image: Daniel Sturridge celebrates scoring Liverpool's equaliser at Southampton

Can Newcastle stop Liverpool's in-form attack? Is this the week Jamie Vardy's goal-streak ends? We take a look at 10 questions that could be answered by the end of the Premier League weekend.

The action gets underway at the Britannia Stadium as Manchester City look to make it three in a row against Stoke, before Jose Mourinho's Chelsea seek to build on their hard-earned point at White Hart Lane against Bournemouth on Saturday Night Football.

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On Super Sunday we've got in-form Liverpool's trip to St James' Park while Everton and Crystal Palace go head-to-head on Monday Night Football.

With all that and more to look forward to, here's what to keep an eye out for in the league this weekend...

Can returning Silva inspire City? (Stoke v Manchester City, 12.45pm Saturday) 

Sergio Aguero is substituted after suffering an injury
Image: Sergio Aguero was substituted after suffering an injury against Southampton

Both teams eased into the Capital One Cup semi-finals in midweek, and after a mini wobble, Manuel Pellegrini's side have got back on track with back-to-back wins - two results that just so happened to coincide with the return of David Silva.

In Saturday's early kick-off much may depend on the fitness of Sergio Aguero - the striker simply loves playing against Stoke with five goals in his last five league appearances against the Potters.

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Highlights of Manchester City's 4-1 win over Hull City in the quarter-final of the Capital One Cup

But regardless of Aguero's availability, the return to form of Silva on Tuesday night was a huge boost for City's title hopes. As Chelsea found out earlier this season, a lack of creativity in the final third can prove fatal in the Potteries so Silva's magic could prove to be crucial once again.

Allardyce to pile on Arsenal misery? (Arsenal v Sunderland, 3pm Saturday) 

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Sam Allardyce confirms Jermaine Defoe will not be fit to face Arsenal this weekend

It's been 13 years since Sunderland last won at Arsenal, but they were celebrating at the Emirates on the penultimate day last season as a 0-0 draw secured their Premier League survival. Six months on and Sunderland return to north London with a new manager who seems to love nothing more than getting one over Arsene Wenger.

"I enjoyed beating Arsenal more than anyone when I was in charge at Bolton," wrote Allardyce in his autobiography. "We'd really got to them and Arsene Wenger hated us."

While Allardyce's record against Wenger does not make for great reading, the former Newcastle boss has made an immediate impact at the Stadium of Light.

Alexis Sanchez injured his hamstring in Arsenal's 1-1 draw with Norwich
Image: Alexis Sanchez injured his hamstring in Arsenal's 1-1 draw with Norwich

The absence of Jermain Defoe will be a big blow, but after three wins from six games the Black Cats have climbed out of the relegation zone and will be aiming to pull further clear at the Emirates. The Gunners can't seem to shake the injury bug, and will be without key man Alexis Sanchez as they look to end their three match winless league run.

Can Norwich turn performances into points? (Watford v Norwich City, 3pm Saturday)

Jonny Howson (R) of Norwich City celebrates scoring his team's first goal with his team mate Dieumerci Mbokani (L) during the match against Swansea
Image: Norwich secured a 1-1 draw against Arsenal in their last Premier League match

The Canaries put up a spirited fight at Stamford Bridge and then the Etihad Stadium, but ultimately came up just short on both occasions. Basic defensive errors plagued Alex Neil's side in the early season, but the display at home to Arsenal offered further encouragement for Norwich fans, even if they couldn't find a winner.

The visit to Watford offers an inviting opportunity to convert those improving performances into the cold, hard currency of Premier League points.

While this isn't quite the six-pointer some may have expected at the start of the season, it's still a huge game for the Hornets too. A quick glance ahead to their upcoming fixture list reveals a torturous run over the holiday season - they face Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City all before January 2.

Will Berahino put himself back on Spurs' radar? (West Brom v Tottenham, 3pm Saturday)

Saido Berahino of West Bromwich Albion applauds the crowd
Image: Saido Berahino was an unused substitute against West Ham

The West Brom striker was strongly linked with Tottenham over the summer, and famously said he'd never play for chairman Jeremy Peace again after a late switch fell through.

Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham have been just fine without him, though, while Berahino has been in and out of the Baggies' team. The striker was a second-half substitute against Manchester United and Arsenal, and didn't get on against West Ham.

Spurs, unbeaten since the opening day, will look to extend their best ever Premier League run without defeat to 14 games, and as it stands, it's unlikely too many Tottenham fans will be disappointed to have missed out on the West Brom forward.

Will United find their shooting boots? (Manchester United v West Ham, 3pm Saturday)

It seems like a striker will be high up Louis van Gaal's Christmas list, and with the January transfer window fast approaching the latest to be linked is Fulham's talented young forward Moussa Dembele.

It speaks volumes for their profligacy in front of goal that a Championship forward (albeit one full of potential) would be reasonably expected to improve their output, and that will be van Gaal's main concern as they enter a stretch of friendly fixtures before the window opens. United face two newly-promoted teams after West Ham, but so far have struggled to find the net regardless of opposition.

The Hammers' impressive early-season form was bound to falter at some point, and the signs were there even before Dimitri Payet's injury.

Diafra Sakho is helped off the pitch by physio Dominic Rogan after injuring his thigh in West Ham's draw with West Brom
Image: Diafra Sakho injured his thigh in West Ham's draw with West Brom

Add Diafra Sakho to the absentee list, and without a win since late October, West Ham could be the perfect opposition for United to end their goal struggles against - the Irons haven't beaten United in their last 13 league attempts.

Time for Adama Traore to make an impact? (Southampton v Aston Villa, 3pm Saturday)

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Ronald Koeman criticised his side's defensive display after they suffered a 6-1 defeat at home to Liverpool.

It's been an up and down campaign for Ronald Koeman's side. After a slow start headlined by Europa League elimination, things picked up following their 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge. But Wednesday night's humbling to Liverpool capped a difficult 10 days, and with Koeman shuffling between formations and personnel, their defensive solidity has crumbled.

The Saints were exposed by pace against Liverpool and Man City, which suggests Remi Garde could do worse than handing Adama Traore a start.

The former Barcelona trainee is raw, but boasts a quick first step, along with the skills and direct approach that has troubled the Saints defence all season.

Will Vardy make it 12? (Swansea v Leicester, 3pm Saturday)

Leicester City's Jamie Vardy scores his side's first goal of the game during the Barclays Premier League match against Manchester United
Image: Jamie Vardy scored for his 11th consecutive game against Manchester United

We're at that point with Vardy when it would be a bigger surprise if he didn't score on Saturday. But he has a great opportunity to extend his Premier League record, with the Swans mired in a horrible slump.

Garry Monk's side have won just once in their last 10 league matches, a run that has seen them slide to within four points of the relegation zone.

It's not like they're shipping goals - West Ham have conceded more this season - but they have picked up a nasty habit of losing by the odd goal. From their seven defeats since September, five have been via a 1-0 scoreline.

And if there's one player you don't want to face as you look to shake that record, it's the striker who scores every time he plays.

Will Diego Costa earn a recall? (Chelsea v Bournemouth, 5.30pm Saturday, live on Sky Sports 1 HD)

Diego Costa
Image: Diego Costa was left on the bench against Tottenham

Chelsea looked dynamic again in parts at White Hart Lane, and although it was only a goalless draw, there were positives for Jose Mourinho, chief among them signs of life from Eden Hazard.

But what to do with Diego? Mourinho played down their spat in Israel, but benched him for the first time this season five days later, and it's difficult to imagine the Chelsea boss will have taken too kindly to Costa's targeted bib antics.

Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao are not inspiring alternatives, but starting Hazard, currently on a 24-match barren run in front of goal, would not be the most adventurous move against a Cherries side with the league's joint-worst defensive record.

Fortunately for Chelsea, they have been practically unstoppable against newly promoted opposition at Stamford Bridge, having not lost to top-flight new-boys since April 2001.

Can Steve McClaren's Newcastle slow in-form Liverpool? (Newcastle v Liverpool, 4pm Sunday, live on Sky Sports 1 HD)

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A visit from Liverpool is possibly the last thing Steve McClaren needs right now with Newcastle embroiled in a relegation battle and with players, reportedly led by captain Fabricio Coloccini, questioning the leadership.

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Steve McClaren says his players are lacking confidence

The Super Sunday clash has historically produced goals - 132 in 42 games is the highest goals-per-game average in Premier League history - which perhaps doesn't bode well for the Magpies considering they welcome a Jurgen Klopp-inspired attack that can't stop scoring.

Divock Origi celebrates with team-mates Lucas Leiva and Jordon Ibe
Image: Divock Origi celebrates with team-mates Lucas Leiva and Jordon Ibe after his hat-trick against Southampton

Liverpool smashed six past Southampton on Wednesday taking their tally to 13 from four games, and with Christian Benteke, Divock Origi, Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino all healthy, the Reds boss has a full complement of in-form strikers.

Who wins the battle of the wingers? (Everton v Crystal Palace, 8pm Monday, live on Sky Sports 1 HD)

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Highlights from Everton's 2-0 win at Middlesbrough in the quarter-final of the Capital One Cup

Everton, unbeaten in their last 15 league matches on a Monday, boast a striker not far off Vardy-levels of proficiency in front of goal. Romelu Lukaku struck again in midweek as the Toffees progressed to the Capital One Cup semi-finals, but it was the performance of Gerard Deulofeu that really caught the eye.

In Yannick Bolasie and Wilfried Zaha, Alan Pardew can call on two of the league's most skilful wingers, but Deulofeu has proven himself every bit as effective on the flanks.

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The Spaniard's dribble and cross was just as eye-catching as his goal at the Riverside Stadium, and with six assists from seven league starts, he's established himself as a key player at Goodison Park after an injury-affected pre-season.

Gerard Deulofeu of Everton
Image: Gerard Deulofeu scored one and made another against Boro

Another sub-plot for the Toffees will be what Roberto Martinez does with Leighton Baines and Brendan Galloway. Baines got 17 minutes against Boro on his first appearance of the season, and could be in line for a recall, but Galloway's form has given the Everton boss something to think about.

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