Is reported Liverpool target Moussa Dembele ready to make an impact at Anfield? And if you can sign one of either Diego Costa or Sergio Aguero, who would it be?
The Premier League’s top two scorers – Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa – come together on Saturday as third-placed Manchester City host leaders Chelsea. So, simple question, if you could sign just one of these two star strikers, who would you pick?
The bludgeoning Spanish bull or the lethal Argentine? Both have scored 10 Premier League goals this season – two more than anyone else – although Aguero has bagged his at an average of 92 minutes per game compared to Costa’s 115. And in terms of this fixture, Aguero has been the standout.
Last year he scored a hat-trick at Stamford Bridge in a 3-0 City win while he was also on target in the 3-0 victory at the Etihad. Costa scored the opener when Chelsea hammered a weakened City 5-1 in the FA Cup season although he’s never managed a Premier League goal against the Citizens. A win for either side would be a big statement in the title race and it’s likely that either Aguero or Costa hold the key.
Boss battle at Goodison
Both men hit the ground running with their new clubs at the start of the season but since then it’s become a bit of a grind for Everton boss Ronald Koeman and his Manchester United counterpart Jose Mourinho. A total of just 20 points from their opening 13 games is officially United’s worst-ever start to a Premier League season while Everton have won just one of their last nine games in all competitions.
Traditionally, Goodison Park has been a happy hunting ground for United. In fact, they’ve won there more times (15) than at any other top-flight stadium since the Premier League started. Will history repeat or should we pay respect to Everton’s home record this season as they’re one of just four sides in the top division who have yet to lose in front of their own fans?
A defeat for Everton will increase the rumblings amongst the Goodison faithful but anything other than three points is unacceptable for Mourinho as he tries to crank the Red machine into top gear.
Pardew on the brink?
Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew is now the odds-on favourite to be the next Premier League manager to lose his job. And you can hardly blame the bookies. Losing to bottom club Swansea last week was bad. Losing with the concession of five goals, two in added time when you were 4-3 up, was a new low.
The stats make grim reading for Pardew and this is the most damning. Palace have averaged 0.69 points per game in league football during 2016 so far (W5 D7 L20 ) – lower than any other team to play in the Football League or Premier League this year.
Pardew has now watched his side lose their last six Premier League games. If that extends to seven when a competent Southampton side visit Selhurst Park on Saturday, ‘Game Over’ could be scrolling across Pardew’s line of vision.
Dembele ready for big move?
Let’s go north of the border now. Signing exciting talent from Scotland helped fuel Liverpool’s successful quest for trophies in the 1970s and 80s. The most famous move was Kenny Dalglish’s switch from Celtic Park to Anfield in
1977 and, right now, there are strong rumours of another big deal between the two clubs.
The man in question though is not a Scot but Frenchman Moussa Dembele. After scoring 19 goals in 64 appearances in the Championship with Fulham, Dembele has blasted home 17 in 27 appearances for Celtic. With Sadio Mane off to the African Cup of Nations and current injury problems or concerns over Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge, the 20-year-old, who bids for more goals when the Bhoys travel to Motherwell this weekend, could be the solution for Jurgen Klopp.
Is he ready to star for a top-level Premier League team like Liverpool? Three goals in the Champions League group stages, including two against Manchester City, suggests he is.
Foxes in relegation fight
Leicester are champions of England and the new darlings of the Champions League after cruising through to the knockout phase. Sunderland were being written off a few weeks ago as one of the worst teams in Premier League history. And yet, if the Black Cats beat the Foxes this weekend, only two points will separate the two in the table.
Leicester have the worst points per game ratio on the road of any top-flight side this season (0.16). They could argue that they’ve had a tough fixture list with games against Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea and Spurs but a recent defeat to Watford at Vicarage Road suggests a pattern has been established and a malaise struck. Losing at Sunderland would enhance it to worrying levels. Too good to go down or are they actually in a relegation battle?