Premier League 2020 21 Season Preview: Big Questions, New Players To Watch, Team By Team Projections

Players are back from their respective national teams and the Premier League is ready for another full weekend of action.

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After four matchdays, only two teams remain perfect. On the flip side, there are still three teams searching for their first points of the 2020-21 campaign, and one other (West Brom) that remains winless.

Additionally, a number of players could be making their debuts for their clubs — with one big name possibly making his long-awaited return. 

Here are five things to watch this weekend.

Massive Merseyside Derby

Everton vs. Liverpool, 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday

It's fitting that the first match in the Premier League's return from hiatus is Everton vs. Liverpool. Also known as the Merseyside Derby, this cross-town rivalry hasn't gained the kind of attention that the likes of the Manchester or North London Derbies have received in recent years — mostly because of how one-sided it has been.

Liverpool is a traditional giant with numerous championships, not only in England but also in European play, while Everton has had to settle for also-ran status in its own town and in the Premier League.

However, this year sees the Toffees outshining their glamourous neighbours in the early stages of the season, as Everton has put together a perfect 4-0 start to the campaign. Liverpool hasn't exactly been poor either, suffering just a single loss — albeit a big one — and sitting in fifth place.

The teams will clash on Saturday with Everton playing the unfamiliar role of league-leader, although a Liverpool win on Saturday would see the clubs tied on points.

Will Bale finally play for Spurs?

Tottenham vs. West Ham, 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday

Gareth Bale is a Tottenham player once again, but he has yet to suit up for the club as he's been recovering from a knee injury suffered in September.

The Real Madrid loanee finally began training with the north London side this week, setting the stage for a possible season debut as early as Sunday versus West Ham. While Spurs are eager to unleash the Welsh star, they are rightfully taking it slowly as they know that Bale will be needed throughout the entire season.

Still, the questions about his season debut have grown louder since Bale returned to training, and Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho was coy when asked about the 31-year-old star's possible involvement against West Ham.

"The team is the most important thing and Gareth is here to help the team," Mourinho told Sky Sports on Thursday. "But at the same time we care about him. We care a lot about him.

"So the decisions we are going to make are going to be for the good of the team, but also for his own good. It is very important he has a happy season with us and I think at this moment of his career that is very, very important."

Can Werner and Havertz find the mark for Chelsea?

Chelsea vs. Southampton, 10 a.m. ET Saturday

The German duo of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz joined Chelsea this summer to great fanfare as manager Frank Lampard embarked on rebuilding the London club into a younger, more dynamic attacking side. Werner and Havertz are at the centre of that rebuild, with both heading to the Premier League after successful stints in the Bundesliga.

Through four Premier League matches, the pair has combined for zero goals as Chelsea has looked less-than-menacing at times.

However, each player recorded a goal and assist in Germany's comeback draw against Switzerland earlier this week, so perhaps they'll be able to ride that form into the weekend for their club.

Chelsea will need the young duo to get going sooner than later.

Unlikely heavyweight clash

Leicester City vs. Aston Villa, 2:15 p.m. Sunday

A Leicester City vs. Aston Villa clash wouldn't normally invoke much excitement, but Sunday's meeting between the two sides features the current No. 2 and 3 teams in the Premier League.

Villa's one of the two remaining teams with perfect records, its most recent result a jaw-dropping 7-2 victory over Liverpool on Matchday 4. Led by hometown boy Jack Grealish, Villa has turned aside all challengers thus far.

Meanwhile, Leicester has just one loss on the season after also winning its first three matches of the campaign. The Foxes have been a well-oiled machine under Brendan Rodgers, and also have a "Big 6" win to their credit after downing Manchester City 5-2 on Sept. 27.

Man City vs. Arsenal

Manchester City vs. Arsenal, 12:30 p.m. Saturday

It's been a rough start to the campaign for the aforementioned Manchester City, which sits in 14th place after three matches played (its Matchday 1 fixture against Villa was postponed). Pep Guardiola's side has looked anything but the freeflowing juggernaut that has been a perennial title contender over the past decade, and it heads into this weekend having claimed just a single point from the previous two matches.

The Sky Blues now face a busy schedule as the UEFA Champions League group stage starts up next week, diverting attention (and manpower) while they attempt to climb back to the top of the league standings.

First up for City is Arsenal, which has played well under Mikel Arteta to start the campaign. The Gunners appear re-energized to start their first full season under Arteta, with a new identity and clear directives on what the manager wants from his players.

Add in a possible Arsenal debut for mig-money transfer Thomas Partey, and City will face a motivated and confident opponent.

Source : https://www.msn.com/en-ca/sports/soccer/premier-league-matchday-5-preview-five-things-to-watch/ar-BB1a6BWU

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