Premier League Questions: Will Theo Walcott or Raheem Sterling shine? Will Chelsea start title surge? Can Sunderland make it five in a row?
Last Updated: 08/04/15 11:56am
With the Premier League returning this weekend, we ponder 10 questions that will be answered by the end of Monday...
Will Sterling and Walcott let their feet do the talking?
The Premier League returns with a bang on Saturday lunchtime as Arsenal host top-four rivals Liverpool at the Emirates.
But even though the international break is over, much of the spotlight will still be on two England wingers: Theo Walcott and Raheem Sterling.
Both have been in the headlines recently more for their contractual situations rather than anything they have done on the pitch.
It's been almost two months since Walcott scored in the Premier League, while Sterling has found the net just twice in the top-flight this year.
An impressive performance for either at the Emirates could be significant not only for their respective teams' top-four chances, but also, perhaps, for their futures.
Can Toffees stay perfect after breaks?
Everton have won all three matches this season immediately after an international break, beating West Brom, Aston Villa and West Ham.
They will have their work cut out to make it four from four this weekend as they face a Southampton side still in contention for a top-four finish.
Many expected Saints' challenge to have faded by now but two wins in March, either side of an impressive draw at Chelsea, have kept them in touching distance of the Champions League places.
They will be hoping that Graziano Pelle can follow up his goal for Italy by netting in the Premier League for the first time since December 20 - when Saints beat Everton 3-0.
Is it last-chance saloon for Leicester?
Time is running out for all the teams in the relegation battle, but none more so than Leicester.
Not only are the Foxes propping up the Premier League table, but they are seven points from safety and haven't won in almost three months.
If they are to suddenly snap that streak, then this Saturday looks as good a time as any to do it.
West Ham might have beaten struggling Sunderland last time out, but that was only their second win of 2015 and came off the back of three successive defeats.
The Foxes will start as favourites and will be desperate to secure a priceless victory.
Can Sherwood get Old Trafford win?
If the history books are anything to go by, then this looks the most one-sided fixture of the weekend.
Villa have won just one of their last 38 matches against United and have conceded 14 goals in their last four visits to Old Trafford.
On a positive note, they did hold Louis van Gaal's side to a 1-1 draw earlier in the season, despite having Gabriel Agbonlahor sent off after 65 minutes, and won two of their three top-flight matches in March.
If they can make that three wins from four with victory at the Theatre of the Dreams, then it would surely rank alongside reaching the FA Cup semi-finals as Tim Sherwood's greatest achievement in his short time at the club.
Can Swans give Fabianski a hand?
Having earned their last two wins against Aston Villa and Burnley, Swansea could have another say in the relegation race with victory over Hull this weekend.
They could also help goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski edge closer to winning the Golden Glove by keeping a 12th clean sheet of the season.
With Fraser Forster (13) out for the rest of the season and Ben Foster (11) also injured, Fabianski is one of the front-runners to win the award along with Simon Mignolet (11), David De Gea (10) and Joe Hart (10).
Swansea have not kept a clean sheet at home this year but did win 1-0 at the KC Stadium in December.
Can Rangers breach Baggies backline?
With their Premier League future in the balance and a five-match losing run to snap, a trip to West Brom is probably not what QPR manager Chris Ramsey would have wished for.
Not only are Tottenham Hotspur the only side to win at The Hawthorns this year, but they are the only team to score there since the appointment of Tony Pulis in January.
The Baggies have kept six clean sheets in seven games in all competitions at home under Pulis, shutting out the likes of Southampton, Swansea and West Ham.
They will be fancied to improve that record this weekend against a QPR side who have lost 13 of their 14 top-flight matches on the road this season and are in danger of equalling Derby's worst-ever away record of three points in 2007/08.
Will Chelsea start title surge against Stoke?
The Premier League title has looked Chelsea's to lose for a while now, but it has been some time since we have seen them win with authority.
Home draws against Burnley and Southampton, a narrow win at West Ham and a nervy victory at Hull have given the chasing pack a glimmer of hope as the race enters its final furlongs.
Still, with a six-point lead over their nearest challengers and a game in hand, Chelsea remain very much in the driving seat.
Whether they edge a step closer to the title with a 1-0 win over Stoke on Saturday evening or smash five past the visitors will probably not matter to Jose Mourinho, but a commanding display would set them up well for the run-in.
Can Kane and co inspire Spurs?
While international breaks are supposed to be times of concern for club fans, it would surely have put a smile on the faces of Spurs supporters to see Andros Townsend celebrating his fantastic equaliser against Italy along with Harry Kane, Ryan Mason and Kyle Walker.
If Kane can continue his superb form and Townsend can score goals like that for Spurs, then Mauricio Pochettino's men could still be in with a chance of making the top four.
However, if they are to make up six points on fourth-placed Manchester United, then they can ill afford any slip-ups in the run-in.
Burnley will be buzzing after beating Manchester City in their last home match and it could be a game full of goals.
Will it be five in a row for Black Cats?
Paolo di Canio started it, Gus Poyet continued it, now can Dick Advocaat extend Sunderland's winning run against rivals Newcastle by recording a fifth victory in a row?
If he could - in only his second match in charge - it would go a long way to justifying the club's decision to appoint him with just nine games of the season remaining and would be a huge boost to the Black Cats' survival hopes.
By the time the match rolls around on Sunday, they could be in the bottom three, but victory over the Magpies could be a springboard to their survival.
On the other side of the coin, John Carver could certainly improve his standing at Newcastle by ending a near-four-year wait for a derby victory at the Stadium of Light.
Will City and Aguero rediscover spark?
A few months ago it seemed almost certain that Chelsea and Manchester City would make up the top two in the Premier League this season.
But, such has been City's decline as of late, that by the time they kick-off against Crystal Palace on Monday Night Football, they could find themselves fourth in the table.
If that is the case, and they are leapfrogged by Arsenal and Manchester United, then City will need to improve rapidly to reclaim second spot.
They have lost their last two away games - against Liverpool and Burnley - and also seem to have lost their early-season attacking swagger.
City fans would certainly be glad to see Sergio Aguero scoring again; he has not done so in 466 minutes of competitive football.