Following a brief hiatus due to the third round of the FA Cup, the Premier League returns this weekend.
With games taking place in the midst of the January transfer window, it means that players heavily linked with moves away, such as Christian Eriksen and Wilfried Zaha, are in the shop window for potential suitors until its closure.
From those looking to avoid relegation to those looking to secure European football, teams will likely act to give themselves a boost for the second half of the season, making January one of the most exciting months of the season.
Match of the Weekend – Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool
Tottenham Hotspur will become the latest team to attempt to end Liverpool’s unbeaten start to the Premier League season when they host the Reds for Saturday’s evening offering.
Spurs themselves are desperate for the points as it is in order to keep pace in the race for a top four spot. Jose Mourinho’s side are currently six points behind Chelsea in fourth heading into this weekend, although the gap could be as many as nine points with the Blues playing earlier in the day.
The north London club’s task will be made significantly harder following the recent news that Harry Kane will be out of action until at least April will a hamstring injury. As well, Mourinho doesn’t have found memories against his counterpart on the touchline Jurgen Klopp, with him winning only two of his ten games against the German (D4 L4).
Not the news Tottenham fans will want to hear ❌
Harry Kane will be out of action until April after sustaining a hamstring injury against Southampton on New Year's Day 🚑
— Football Index (@FootballIndex) January 9, 2020
Meanwhile Liverpool have started 2020 in the same way they finished 2019, by winning. Victory over Sheffield United at the turn of the year saw them go 37 consecutive league games unbeaten (W32 D5) with the prospect of them becoming only the second team in the Premier League era to go a season without tasting defeat a real possibility.
Sadio Mane will be full of confidence heading into the game after recently being crowned African Player of the Year for the first time, following in the footsteps of teammate Mohamed Salah who won the award in 2017 and 2018.
It’s a fixture that Klopp’s side will have confidence heading into as well, with Liverpool losing on just one of their last six trips to Tottenham (W3 D2), as they look to maintain their sizeable lead at the summit of the table.
Rest of the Weekend
Brammall Lane hosts the first game of the latest round when Sheffield United take on West Ham United, as David Moyes looks for a third successive win in all competitions following his return.
Saturday’s lunchtime offering comes from Selhurst Park when Crystal Palace play host to Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal, with the Spaniard also looking for a third successive win in all competitions.
Carlo Ancelotti will be hoping his Everton side bounce back from their Merseyside derby defeat in the FA Cup when they face Brighton & Hove Albion at Goodison Park.
Southampton – who are unbeaten in their last four league games (W3 D1) – face Leicester City and will be wanting to avoid a repeat of their humiliating 9-0 defeat in the reverse fixture.
Wolverhampton Wanderers host Newcastle United with the visitors unbeaten on their trips to Molineux in the top-flight since 1977.
Sunday begins with Watford’s trip to the south coast to take on a Bournemouth side with one win in their last ten league games (D1 L8).
The round concludes with the reigning champions as Manchester City travel to the Midlands to face Aston Villa.
Manchester City boast an incredulous amount of forward-thinking players, although one of the standouts in recent weeks has been Riyad Mahrez.
The Algerian international has scored two goals and provided two assists in his last five starts across all competitions, with him making the most of his extended run in the team that is likely to continue against a relegation-threatened Aston Villa this weekend.