Two of the season’s most in-form strikers are due to clash this weekend, as Ivan Toney and Gabriel Jesus meet for an all-London contest.
It’s not the only thrilling prospect in the Premier League, either. Nottingham Forest and Fulham are playing each other in a battle between the promoted sides. Man City are taking their expansive and free-flowing playing style to the packed Wolves defence. And Everton play West Ham in what could be an early decider for relegation places.
Even with a slimmed down fixture list, it’s still going to be a cracking weekend in the Premier League.
Aston Villa v Southampton, Today, 8pm, Sky Sports
The Premier League gets its first chance to pay respect to the Queen tonight. This fixture ended in a 4-0 victory for Villa in March, ex-Saints striker Danny Ings among the scorers, but Steven Gerrard’s side have won just four and lost ten Premier League matches since.
Southampton have a vacancy as vice-captain to James Ward-Prowse after Oriol Romeu left the club. ‘You can say there’s a vacuum, or you can say there are opportunities for getting a new hierarchy,’ said boss Ralph Hasenhuttl.
Match Stat: Saints have won seven of the last ten encounters between the sides.
Nottingham Forest v Fulham, Today, 8pm
This is quite a curious switch to a Friday night to accommodate cricket’s One-Day Cup final between Lancashire and Kent at neighbouring Trent Bridge tomorrow. Forest have had a fortnight to dwell on a 2-0 half-time lead turning into a 3-2 home defeat by Bournemouth.
They will hope for better against the other of last season’s promoted clubs but Marco Silva’s team inflicted Steve Cooper’s first defeat as boss last October when Aleksandr Mitrovic scored two in a 4-0 win at the City Ground.
Match Stat: The last top-flight meeting was a 2-2 draw at Forest in 1968.
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester City, Saturday, 12:30pm
One definite fall-out from last weekend’s set of cancellations will be moans from managers over an increasingly congested fixture list as the season wears on. For now, Pep Guardiola is all too aware of the tight turnaround after City’s midweek Champions League game.
‘A team like Wolves is hard because of the mentality they have for many years,’ he said. ‘They have two weeks to prepare exactly that game.’ Pep may well also have to contend with new Wolves striker Diego Costa.
Match Stat: Wolves claimed a first league win in 12 against Southampton.
Newcastle v Bournemouth, Saturday, 3pm
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe enjoys a first reunion with the club where he made his name before leaving the Cherries in 2020. Whereas Howe’s south-coast success was built on free-flowing attack, shoring up the defence was his first priority at the Magpies and they have already kept three clean sheets this season.
Gary O’Neil has taken four points out of six as caretaker manager since Bournemouth axed Scott Parker and is staking a claim to become the fourth boss since Howe’s departure.
Match Stat: Howe enjoyed two wins at St James’ park as Bournemouth coach.
Tottenham v Leicester, Saturday, 5:30pm, BT Sport
Spurs will be looking to bounce back from their miserable 2-0 defeat at Sporting Lisbon on Tuesday – which saw angry boss Antonio Conte drag his players in for an earlier than planned training session on Wednesday morning after their injury-time implosion during which both goals were scored.
They host a Leicester side who have taken a solitary point so far, although under-fire Brendan Rodgers has had an extra week of preparation since the crushing 5-2 defeat at Brighton.
Match Stat: Harry Kane has scored 17 goals in 14 league games against Leicester.
Everton v West Ham, Sunday, 2:15pm, Sky Sports
With Chelsea’s game against Liverpool being called off, Sky will instead show a clash between two struggling clubs locked on four points apiece from their opening six matches.
Everton have drawn their last four including the stalemate with Liverpool at Goodison Park a fortnight ago, although reports in-form goalkeeper Jordan Pickford faces a month out with a thigh injury are a major blow.
Hammers boss David Moyes visits his former club less than 72 hours after a Conference League tie in Denmark.
Match Stat: The Hammers secured a league double over Everton last season.
Brentford v Arsenal, Sunday, 12 noon, Sky Sports
This game has been brought forward by two hours to help police prepare for the state funeral. Thomas Partey, Emile Smith Rowe and Cedric could be in contention for the Gunners after injury as the league leaders look to bounce back from losing 3-1 at Manchester United last time out.
The Bees famously won this fixture 2-0 on the opening day of last season and have hardly looked back, Ivan Toney bagging a hat-trick in a 5-2 win over Leeds last time out and earning an England call-up.
Match Stat: Only Man City have scored more than the Bees’ 15 league goals so far.