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Top Premier League storylines: Week 9


Liverpool’s Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates with Liverpool’s Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino (R) after scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on December 16, 2018. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

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Week 9 of the 2019-20 Premier League season is upon us, back from the international break and fast approaching the start of the busiest period of the season in just over a month’s time.

[ MORE: Spurs’ Son happy South Korea “unscathed” in North Korea qualifier ]

Here’s what to keep an eye on this weekend…

Liverpool’s perfect start on the line at Old Trafford

For all of Man United’s struggles since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure in 2013, Liverpool have only beaten the Red Devils three out of 12 PL meetings (four draws), including a solitary victory at Old Trafford back in March 2014. The major difference between those Liverpool teams and the current edition is, of course, the Reds’ current title-storming pace. Jurgen Klopp’s side will put its 100-percent record on the line on Sunday. Any other team will believe they can walk into present-day Old Trafford and leave with a victory, but it’s always that much trickier anytime it’s a derby the nature of Liverpool and Man United.

Man City in desperate need of sharp turnaround

Last time out, Man City suffered a thorough home defeat at the hands of Wolverhampton Wanderers, dropping them eight points off the pace of Liverpool just eight games into the season. At the risk of forgetting recent history (as in, less than a year ago), things are quickly trending toward Liverpool running away from the pack, including the two-time defending champions. City didn’t lose their first game until Dec. 8 last season. Pep Guardiola’s side has already lost twice this season, which they avoided doing until Dec. 22 a year ago.

When will Spurs right the ship? (Will they?)

Not even five months removed from appearing in the Champions League final, Tottenham are in a full-on crisis. Mauricio Pochettino appears to have lost the dressing room, largely because chairman Daniel Levy denied a number of outgoing transfers to players currently performing well below par — those facts are probably very closely linked with one another. Losing 3-0 away to Brighton & Hove Albion, as they did last time out, only served to highlight the glaring problems at Spurs. Anything but a victory over 20th-place Watford would be a disaster of an even higher order.

Would Silva survive another dismal defeat?

Marco Silva’s employment as Everton manager looks more and more tenuous every time his Toffees leave the field of play. Following four straight defeats to Bournemouth, Sheffield United, Man City and Burnley, how much longer will owner Farhad Moshiri give the Portuguese to turn results around?

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