Chelsea and Manchester United both have reasons to be hopeful under their respective new managers, with Graham Potter and Erik ten Hag looking to outwit each other when the two teams meet on Saturday.
Chelsea are unbeaten in seven matches in all competitions since Potter took charge at Stamford Bridge in early September.
Four wins and a draw in their last five league matches has propelled Chelsea back into the top four after their difficult start to the campaign, with defensive solidity key to their renaissance.
Potter has elected to drop last season’s first-choice goalkeeper Edouard Mendy in favour of Kepa Arrizabalaga and it has paid off handsomely, with the Spaniard having kept five clean sheets in a row in all competitions.
“It is brilliant for him and I think it is a nice example to everybody that sometimes it doesn’t go your way and you have to suffer in life,” Potter said of Arrizabalaga this week.
“Things aren’t ideal or perfect but I must admit I’ve been really impressed with his character, his personality. Very professional.”
Defensive improvement is well-timed ahead of the visit of United, who put in what Ten Hag described as their best attacking performance of the season in Wednesday’s 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur.
While they only managed two goals, a dazzling United had 28 shots in this match – the most by a team in a Premier League game this season.
Ten Hag’s side have recovered well since their 6-3 derby mauling at Manchester City three weeks ago, winning four and drawing one of their last five games in all competitions.
However, Potter will be doing all he can to end that revival. He has already beaten United in the Premier League this season, winning 2-1 when he was still in charge of Brighton & Hove Albion on the opening weekend.
LIVERPOOL ON THE UP
It was important that Liverpool earned a positive result against West Ham United on Wednesday to prove that victory over champions Manchester City at the weekend was no fluke, with Darwin Nunez’s header making the difference in a 1-0 success.
It was not the most convincing Liverpool display but given that they had endured their worst start to a league season after eight games since 2012-13, the result was all that mattered.
Juergen Klopp’s side go to struggling Nottingham Forest on Saturday looking to make it three wins on the bounce. Their newly-promoted opponents still do not seem to know their strongest XI after a busy transfer window.
Champions City will have had a week to think about their Anfield defeat as they did not have midweek fixture to fulfil.
Brighton will be fearing a mauling as City look to respond, four points behind leaders Arsenal going into the weekend.
Arsenal just will not go away. The Gunners have won nine of their 10 league games this season, their best ever start to a top-flight campaign.
On Sunday they travel to Southampton, where the home side have lost seven of their last 11 encounters.
Elsewhere on Sunday, third-placed Spurs will be looking to put their disappointing display against Manchester United behind them as they host Newcastle United, with the visitors still having lost only once in the league this term.