Leicester-City-defenders

The English Premier League returns after the international break, with fans and supporters anxious to see their clubs back on the pitch.

With three wins from the first three matches, we find Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea on top of the table with nine points each.

We highlight five of the key matches from the coming weekend.

MANCHESTER UNITED vs. MANCHESTER CITY

(SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 10TH – OLD TRAFFORD)

The Manchester derby highlights the weekend and gets the football action under way in the early kickoff slot.

The two rivals meet with quite a bit on the line already, as both look to move to the top of the league and hand the other their first loss.

Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola renew their coaching rivalry for the first time in England and will both want to get three points any way possible.

With star striker Sergio Aguero out serving a three-match FA ban for violent conduct, will City’s offence still be able to hit top gear? Will we see any magic from Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Wayne Rooney?

Intense drama awaits at the Theatre of Dreams.

ARSENAL vs. SOUTHAMPTON

(SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 10TH – EMIRATES STADIUM)

A difficult start to the season saw the Gunners gain one point from their first two matches, as defensive issues and a tough outing for Petr Cech on opening day left manager Arsene Wenger searching for answers.

The additions of forward Lucas Perez (Deportivo La Coruna) and defender Shkodran Mustafi (Valencia) before the transfer deadline should address some of those problems.

Arsenal will look to keep up the good form they displayed in their most recent 3-1 victory against Watford.

Southampton and manager Claude Puel will need a disciplined and organised approach to pull an upset in North London.

WEST HAM UNITED vs. WATFORD

(SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 10TH – OLYMPIC STADIUM)

Perhaps more than any other Premier League club, West Ham United are ready to get back on the pitch.

A disappointing league start and elimination from the UEFA Europa League have left the Hammers seeking stability.

Star midfielder Dimitri Payet has had a slow start coming off of Euro 2016 with France, and manager Slaven Bilic’s attack has suffered as a result.

A strong response in front of the home crowd at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday against Watford is essential for the squad moving forward.

LIVERPOOL vs. LEICESTER CITY

(SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 10TH – ANFIELD)

Two differing philosophies clash in Saturday’s final match as defending league champions Leicester City visit Liverpool.

Reds manager Jurgen Klopp and his high-press system will meet a stern test from Foxes head man Claudio Ranieri and his defensive approach.

Leicester will look to absorb pressure and strike on the counter, although the champions have not looked quite effective without N’Golo Kante patrolling the midfield.

SWANSEA CITY vs. CHELSEA FC

(SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 11TH – LIBERTY STADIUM)

In the only Sunday match this weekend, Antonio Conte brings his Chelsea side to Wales against Swansea City.

Depending on the results of the Manchester derby the day before, the Blues could be playing for the top spot in the league.

A strong start to 2016-17 has seen some nervy finishes thus far, but forward Diego Costa and midfielder Eden Hazard each have two goals on the season as a potent attack is coming together.

Conte’s tactics are functioning well with his new side and the return of David Luiz on deadline day should provide a boost.

Swansea and manager Francesco Guidolin will need Nathan Dyer and Leroy Fer to break through Chelsea’s formation at some point in order to find a result at home.

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