Despite the international break for the past 10 days or so, it didn’t stop the Premier League from making headlines thanks to the widely-condemened Project Big Picture.
Backed by Liverpool and Manchester United in the main, plans would’ve included cutting the league from 20 teams to 18, the abolishment of the League Cup and Community Shield, the scrapping of parachute payments and nine clubs given ‘special voting rights’ on certain Premier League issues based on their longevity in the division.
The plans were met with heavy backlash from the off, resulting in an announcement on Wednesday that all Premier League shareholders agree to “working together as a 20-club collective to discuss the strategic plan for the future structures and financing of English football”.
Despite the recent announcement, a £50m rescue package from the Premier League to the Football League was recently rejected, as this story looks set to rumble on. At we have matters on the field to look forward to this weekend.
Premier League Game of the Weekend: Everton vs Liverpool
17th October 2010. It’s a date Everton fans cherish as it’s, in fact, the last time the blue half of Merseyside beat the red half in a Premier League fixture, thanks to goals from Tim Cahill and current Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta.
It’s almost fitting then that the Toffees have the chance to put that wrong to right almost a decade on, and Carlo Ancelotti’s side may not have a better chance to do so.
The Italian has managed to get Everton purring once again, as they sit top of the Premier League with a perfect record from their opening four games. Their new front three of James Rodriguez, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison have clicked as an attacking trio, while new additions Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure have fitted in seamlessly. All is rosy at Goodison Park.
The same can not be said for Liverpool however if their last least league game was anything to go by. A 7-2 defeat at the hands of Aston Villa, who played exceptionally well it must be said, is not the result of a Premier League side, let alone defending champions, so the prospect of following that up with a loss to your neighbours for the first time in 20 league games is a thought not worth having.
Each of the last three fixtures between the two at Goodison Park have ended in a goalless draw, but a fourth seems highly unlikely if their starts to the season are anything to go by.
Rest of the Round
The Merseyside derby starts proceedings for Match Day 5, which is followed up by Southampton’s trip to Chelsea.
Old friends meet at the Etihad as Arteta takes his Arsenal side to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, before Saturday is rounded off with Newcastle United against Manchester United.
Sunday begins from Bramall Lane as two of the three sides still without a point meet in Sheffield United and Fulham.
What follows is a trio of derbies, beginning with the M23 derby between Crystal Palace and Brighton & Hove Albion.
A London derby follows when Tottenham Hotspur host an in-form West Ham United before the day is rounded off with a Midlands derby between Leicester City and Aston Villa.
There’s football on Monday as West Bromwich Albion take on Burnley, while Leeds United host Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Premier League Player to Watch: Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspur – £5.77
No player has been involved in more Premier League goals than Harry Kane this season (9 – three goals and six assists). Little more needs to be added to that.
Kane and Son Heung-min have been breathtaking at times in the final third for Spurs, while potentially adding Gareth Bale into the mix from this weekend makes for exciting times at the north London club.
Kane has 66p in In-Play Dividends alone this season, while the prospect of him playing up to seven games in the next 30 days in both league and Europa League means there’s plenty of opportunities to earn himself even more.