10 things to keep in mind this weekend

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1) Arteta returns to a tense Goodison

As the eighth permanent manager of the dire Farhad Moshiri era takes his bow at Everton, accompanied by more protests against a board that may or may not be present at Goodison Park, the sight of Mikel Arteta patrolling the opposition technical area and leading an elegant Arsenal. team with aspirations to the title will bring a new torment for the local fans. There really is an endless supply today. The former Everton midfielder was signed by Arsenal when Moshiri opted for the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti to Hollywood in December 2019. Some at Goodison felt the then Manchester City assistant coach would be a better fit but, had they had their way, there are few possibilities. Arteta would have been allowed to transform Everton. Arsenal have the patience, recruitment strategy and organizational experience required for a manager to thrive. They are all absent at Everton, as Sean Dyche will have discovered by now. andy hunter

2) New full-backs in sight at Spurs

There will be notable absences from Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. For Spurs, Antonio Conte is recovering from having his gallbladder removed, while Matt Doherty is now an Atlético Madrid player. For City, life begins without João Cancelo, who on Wednesday made his Bayern Munich after losing faith in Pep Guardiola. The only likely new face in the program will be Pedro Porro, who failed to qualify at City as a youngster before being sold to Sporting for £7m in 2020. Tottenham, after Porro’s initial loan, will eventually pay £39.7m. by a player. He signed to solve his problems in the right-back position. Doherty and Emerson Royal could not endorse that position. The same goes for the city. Cancelo had lost prominence lately and it remains to be seen who assumes his role on the left. Nathan Aké is the man in possession, although Rico Lewis, just 18, could be the heir apparent. John Brewin

3) Guimaráes leaves a gap at Newcastle

Eddie Howe is not usually critical of Newcastle’s board, but described the club’s transfer window deals as “not perfect” and was “very sad” to lose their centre-forward Chris Wood and central midfielder Jonjo Shelvey. He made financial sense and, by helping Newcastle stay on the right side of the rules of financial fair play, he facilitated the £45m signing of Anthony Gordon. But when Bruno Guimarães, Howe’s key central midfielder, received a red card and three-game suspension during the team’s semi-final in Carabao, David Moyes must have felt a surge of optimism about West Ham’s visit to St James’ Park. . It will be interesting to see how Newcastle manage without Guimarāes when Shelvey was the Brazilian’s natural replacement. Similarly, with Callum Wilson struggling to regain pre-World Cup form and Alexander Isak adjusting to the Premier League, Wood could have been a useful striker to have on the bench for Champions League qualification. Shelvey looks like the biggest loss. Will Newcastle regret sacking him without being able to sign someone capable of replacing Guimarães? Louise Taylor

4) Wolves smell blood with reds

There’s nothing like the desire for revenge to fuel motivation, and Wolves have a newly acquired grievance for Saturday’s game stemming from their recent FA Cup knockout against Jürgen Klopp’s side. Toti’s disallowed goal in the first leg secured a 2–2 draw, and gave Liverpool a second chance which they duly took advantage of, winning the replay 1–0. A furious Julen Lopetegui insisted on the night of the first leg that replays showed Gomes’ late effort should have held, and that VAR had been wrong. If that incident isn’t mentioned in your pre-game talk, it’s surely on the players’ minds. Liverpool were knocked out by Brighton in the fourth round, the latest disappointing result for a team that seemed all but invincible not too long ago. Klopp’s men have yet to win a league game in 2023 and Wolves will smell blood. luke mclaughlin

5) Ten Hag juggles injury-hit squad

It starts here, against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford, on Saturday: the business end of Erik ten Hag’s attempt to claim trophies (this month’s Carabao Cup final is a good start) and secure a Champions League place . For this challenge he has to take the blow of losing Christian Eriksen (until the beginning of May, perhaps) and Scott McTominay for two weeks or more, while he wonders if Marcus Rashford, who has 18 goals, can continue to lead the attack, the seriously injured. Anthony Martial can stay fit enough to help the latter, and Jadon Sancho can finally be a real force after physical and mental health issues. Oh, and pray that his point man, Casemiro, doesn’t join Eriksen in the treatment room for a long time. Wout Weghorst is the backup to Rashford and Martial, and Marcel Sabitzer is Eriksen’s: if Ten Hag needs to call one or both of them, his ability to keep the team on track will be put to the test. jamie jackson

6) Caicedo returns after failure in the launch

Last weekend, Brighton manager Roberto de Zerbi said he “loves” Moisés Caicedo, adding that he wanted him to stay until the end of the season rather than go to Arsenal in the January transfer window. He got his wish. He looks certain that Caicedo will leave in the summer, but for the foreseeable future, De Zerbi’s selecting hand may be forced by the suspension of Alexis Mac Allister after the Argentine picked up five yellow cards. Reintroducing the Ecuadorian to the starting lineup carries a risk of disruption: He will likely face some hostility from home fans after knocking down tools and demanding a move. But he is far from the first Premier League player to try to force a transfer, fail, and soon be happily reinstated. No doubt Caicedo will put his head down and work hard for the team, especially as he has an imminent summer transfer to think about. LMc

7) Santos arrivals face a difficult start

Southampton need to move and they certainly made signings at the end of the window that can up the ante. Given his position in the league, the sacking of Kamaldeen Sulemana, a lightning-quick winger from Rennes, feels like a huge coup, while 6-foot-7 forward Paul Onuachu will add presence and, judging by his record in Belgium, goals. They have a fresher look than some of their relegation rivals and it would be a useful statement if Nathan Jones’ revamped pack can leave Brentford with a positive result. The task is tall: only Arsenal have left this part of west London with three points all season. The Bees, unbeaten in eight, were comfortable enough in their skin not to make massive changes in the transfer window; everything is working well and they would polish their European credentials not far-fetched by getting the expected three points. Jones should expect the Saints’ season to start here. nick ames

8) Reinforced Forest Battle Hangover

With four unbeaten games to their name in the Premier League (W2 D2), Nottingham Forest’s 5-0 aggregate thrashing of Manchester United in the Carabao Cup semi-final can be seen as a cold blast of reality. A Wembley final would have been nice, of course, as well as symbolically important in the club’s mission to rediscover past glories, but it was ultimately irrelevant compared to the priority of preserving Premier League status. In a close table, Forest’s recent positive run has lifted them to 13th place. But they remain just six points clear of bottom-place Southampton and three clear of Sunday’s rivals Leeds, who are 15th. It would only take a couple of bad results to get the pressure back on. Steve Cooper has to make sure he doesn’t have a Cup hangover against the high-paced side of Jesse Marsch; The growing squad of him can help to that end. LMc

9) Villa returns fresh and strengthened

For Aston Villa, the advantage of being stunned in the FA Cup by Stevenage last month was a two-week break before facing Leicester. They shouldn’t lack freshness and energy, and the good news doesn’t end there: John McGinn and Lucas Digne are back in training and in contention to return to the team from injuries. In particular, having McGinn’s midfield hustle will be a boost to Unai Emery, who has won five of seven league games since he arrived in November. Leicester notched FA Cup victories against Gillingham and Walsall in January, while losing to Fulham, Newcastle, Nottingham Forest and (most recently) a 2-2 draw with Brighton. Brendan Rodgers says one of his midfield generals, Wilfred Ndidi, will be absent due to “a personal issue” while Harry Soutar, who arrived on deadline day from Stoke, is doubtful due to a hip problem. Emery will like to make it six out of eight. LMc

10) Does the mountain flood?

Graham Potter can’t complain about the lack of attacking options. Mykhailo Mudryk, João Félix and Noni Madueke joined Chelsea’s arsenal of creative weapons during January, while Hakim Ziyech is still around after his hopes of joining Paris Saint-Germain on loan ended in ridiculous circumstances today. limit. Competition for spots will be fierce, even with Christian Pulisic and Armando Broja sidelined with long-term injuries. With Ziyech not in the best of moods, it won’t be easy for Potter to keep everyone happy. Where do Raheem Sterling, Kai Havertz, Mason Mount and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fit into Chelsea’s plans? The Mount situation is particularly fascinating. The attacking midfielder is a fan favorite and Chelsea should look to build around him. And yet his contract expires in 18 months, while his form has declined recently. With Felix suspended, Mount could use a good display against Fulham. jacob steinberg









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