By Damian Spellman, PA
All eyes will be on crisis club Manchester United as they take to the field to bring an end to the latest round of Premier League fixtures.
Bottom-of-the-table United entertain Liverpool on Monday evening without a point to their name after two fixtures and amid an ongoing debate over the club’s ownership, management and playing staff.
Elsewhere, champions Manchester City will hope to continue their serene start to the campaign. Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the weekend’s talking points.
Trouble at Old Trafford
Manchester United have endured one of the most turbulent weeks in their recent history in the wake of last weekend’s 4-0 drubbing at Brentford, which left new boss Erik ten Hag, his misfiring team and the Glazer family under intense scrutiny.
Keeper David de Gea endured a personal nightmare against the Bees, while Cristiano Ronaldo’s role has come under ever greater scrutiny.
The last thing anyone at Old Trafford needs – perhaps barring a derby clash with noisy neighbours City – is an early-season showdown with Liverpool, but that is exactly what lies ahead on Monday evening.
If Ten Hag has problems, so too does Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, although his are of a different nature.
The Reds will head for Old Trafford without big-money summer signing Darwin Nunez as a result of his red card against Crystal Palace and with eight men – defenders Ibrahima Konate, Joel Matip and Calvin Ramsay, midfielders Thiago Alcantara, Curtis Jones, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, striker Diogo Jota and back-up keeper Caoimhin Kelleher – in the treatment room.
The season may be still in its infancy, but defending champions Manchester City do not need a head-start.
— FA Spokesperson (@FAspokesperson) August 15, 2022
Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte will hope for a less eventful weekend after their Stamford Bridge contretemps.
The Chelsea boss and his Tottenham counterpart clashed during and after Sunday’s 2-2 draw, landing themselves red cards and Football Association charges in the process.
Tuchel goes head-to-head with Leeds boss Jesse Marsch this time around, while Conte will hope to get the better of Bruno Lage when Wolves head for North London.
Much has been made of the fact that Manchester City’s £51million summer signing Erling Haaland touched the ball just eight times during the 74 minutes he played in the club’s 4-0 win over Bournemouth last weekend.
However, the fact that one of those interventions by the Norway international, who had scored both goals in a 2-0 win at West Ham six days earlier, set up Ilkay Gundogan to score will not have been lost on Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe, whose players face the task of cutting off the supply lines both to and from the 22-year-old on Sunday.
Gloom over Goodison
Frank Lampard managed to keep Everton in the top flight last season after a run of three wins in their final six games, and would have hoped to carry some of that momentum into the new campaign.
However, defeats at home to Chelsea and at Aston Villa have left the Toffees pointless heading into Saturday’s fixture against promoted Nottingham Forest on Merseyside, a game which could either dispel the dark clouds gathering over Goodison Park or add to them.