Manchester City’s Jack Grealish, Morgan Gibbs-White of Nottingham Forest and Southampton’s new manager Nathan Jones. Photograph: AP, Getty Images
Nathan Jones takes his Saints to Anfield, a template for Graham Potter on Tyneside and Rice v Maddison
1) Grealish giving City extra dimension
Jack Grealish had Pep Guardiola positively purring after an effervescent and relentless performance of attacking play in Wednesday’s 2-0 Carabao Cup win over Chelsea. For this observer it was by far the 27-year-old’s finest outing in Manchester City colours as he menaced Graham Potter’s visitors at will, both from his wide left zone and through more central areas. Afterwards, Guardiola said: “I want Jack to have the responsibility, to play with Kevin [De Bruyne] with Phil [Foden]. I want Jack to get the ball to attack the back line. We talk to him – that the first intention is to score a goal. And today the body language is that the first intention is to score a goal and after to pass. He was exceptional again, Jack is playing really good.” The winger seemed, at last, to remember how brilliant he can be, how his blend of dribbling, pace, trickery, power and athleticism can take him past most opponents and give City – and England at the World Cup – a different and breathtaking dimension. Brentford should beware. Jamie Jackson
- Manchester City v Brentford, Saturday 12.30pm (all times GMT)
2) Howe shows patience needed for Potter
Chelsea arrive on Tyneside without a win in their last four league games and sitting seventh, six points behind third-placed Newcastle. It means this has become much more than a mere beauty contest between two potential successors to Gareth Southgate as England manager. While Eddie Howe can reinforce Newcastle’s Champions League credentials, Graham Potter hopes to reassure anxious Chelsea fans. He may well succeed in doing so but, even if he doesn’t, Howe’s example underscores the importance of patience. It was a year ago last Tuesday that the former Bournemouth manager succeeded Steve Bruce at St James’ Park but Howe started slowly, so slowly indeed that by the time Newcastle visited Leeds on 22 January he had presided over only one win – . Like Howe, Potter wants to change Chelsea’s playing style but first he, too, needs to pass through a pain barrier. “If you want to do something properly you sometimes have to fail first,” said the former Brighton manager this week. As Brighton fans would doubtless tell their Chelsea counterparts, it will surely be worth it in the end. Just look at Howe and Newcastle. Back in January some impatient fans wanted him sacked. Louise Taylor
- Newcastle v Chelsea, Saturday 5.30pm
3) A new manager bounce at Anfield?
Liverpool were stung by the element of surprise when they last hosted a team with a newly appointed manager. After the 3-3 draw with Brighton in Roberto De Zerbi’s first match in charge in October, Jürgen Klopp admitted “We had no idea what they would do,” until adapting at two goals down. He also conceded that Liverpool were suffering a crisis of confidence having dropped points for the fifth time in seven league games. They should be better prepared when Nathan Jones makes his bow as Southampton manager. First, the former Luton and Stoke manager has had little preparation time for the trip to Merseyside, having been officially installed on Thursday – a recovery day for players involved in the Carabao Cup shootout win over Sheffield Wednesday – before travelling north on Friday. More important for Klopp, confidence should not be an issue after Liverpool’s impressive win at Tottenham last weekend. It is imperative his team build on that result if they want a more relaxing World Cup break. Andy Hunter
- Liverpool v Southampton, Saturday 3pm
4) More of Marsch’s strange alchemy?
This will be Leeds’ first meeting with Tottenham since the 4-0 loss in February which proved to be Marcelo Bielsa’s final game in charge at Elland Road. Jesse Marsch has been attempting to step out of his predecessor’s long shadow ever since, though how a man sat on an upturned bucket can cast a long shadow is open to question. Despite defeat for a much-changed side in the Carabao Cup in midweek, Leeds travel to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on a relative high after back-to-back league wins against Liverpool and Bournemouth. They still lack that enigmatic, intangible magic that Bielsa extracted from the team at his best but, if they can win three straight league fixtures for the first time in Marsch’s tenure, it will go some way towards showing that the American has his own strange alchemy. With three defeats in five in the league, and no clean sheet in seven in all competitions, Spurs look vulnerable. Will Magee
- Tottenham v Leeds, Saturday 3pm
5) Lopetegui keeps it in the family
Julen Lopetegui will take in Wolves’ game at home to Arsenal on Saturday evening before officially starting work at Compton Park on Monday. Lopetegui will be joined by his long-serving assistant Pablo Lanz and Edu Rubio, most recently West Ham Women’s assistant coach, as first-team coach. Lopetegui has brought six staff with him to Molineux in total, including his son, Daniel, a performance analyst who studied football business and finance at the University Campus of Football Business at Wembley before working on opposition analysis at MK Dons. A family business? Across the West Midlands, Steve Bruce appointed his son Alex to his staff at West Brom and Lopetegui’s predecessor, Bruno Lage, appointed his brother, Luís Nascimento, to his staff upon taking charge last year. Ben Fisher
- Wolves v Arsenal, Saturday 7.45pm
6) Eyes on Welbeck and Seagulls’ strikers
“If we want a striker as good as Danny Welbeck then we need to spend £80m-90m in my opinion in the English market. They don’t exist, they’re not out there,” Adam Lallana said after criticism of Brighton’s lack of goals. He was defending his teammate, who does a lot of work in the final third without reward, although his valuation of an striker who is almost 32 and yet to score a league goal this season was just a tad generous. Lallana pointed out the team need to do better as a whole and Brighton did have three different goalscorers last weekend. There is plenty of one-touch play inside the opposition box, something Wolves were unable to cope with. Should they carry on playing with that level of speed and composure, Welbeck will inevitably get on the end of a chance, boosted by the penalty he scored at Arsenal in the Carabao Cup. De Zerbi does not mind his striker not scoring while those around him do but, for Welbeck’s own confidence, he will want to get in on the act. Will Unwin
- Brighton v Aston Villa, Sunday 2pm
7) Test for Ten Hag on the Thames
There is no guarantee that Manchester United are going to bounce back from last Sunday’s capitulation at Villa Park. Fulham are in good form and were unlucky to lose to Manchester City. Marco Silva has put a clever team together and Fulham’s attack is capable of causing problems for anyone. It will not be easy for United. They have made progress under Erik ten Hag, but still have plenty of room for improvement. The defence can be exploited, the midfield can still be overrun and Ten Hag was unhappy with how reliant United were on crossing during their league defeat to Villa. “I think it was stupid to do that,” the Dutchman said. Ten Hag wants to see more thought and care from his players. But will United resist the urge to fling crosses in the general direction of Cristiano Ronaldo if they have to chase the game at Craven Cottage? Jacob Steinberg
- Fulham v Manchester United, Sunday 4.30pm
8) Gibbs-White a perfect 10 for Forest?
There’s been plenty of tinkering in the Forest ranks in recent weeks while Steve Cooper tries to nail down a starting XI. Against Brentford one beneficiary of the changes was Morgan Gibbs-White. The forward was chased by Cooper for most of the summer but he had yet to get the best out of the former Wolves man. He scored his first goal for his new club on Saturday thanks to clever feet and a perfectly directed shot from the edge of the area. In addition to his goal, Gibbs-White was at the centre of all of Forest’s best moments from the No 10 role behind Emmanuel Dennis and Brennan Johnson. Gibbs-White had previously spent more time out wide this season but Cooper might finally have found the role to make the most of Forest’s record signing’s attributes. Now he must prove he can do it consistently in the Premier League. WU
- Nottingham Forest v Crystal Palace, Saturday 3pm
9) A meeting of Qatar-bound teammates
James Maddison should be buzzing. The Leicester midfielder’s international exile is over and he is going to the World Cup. Gareth Southgate has included him in England’s 26-man squad for Qatar and Maddison will hope to sign off from domestic duty by helping Leicester beat West Ham. Standing in his way, though, will be an international teammate: Declan Rice. This is a huge game for West Ham’s captain. David Moyes’s side are two points above the bottom three after stinking the place out against Crystal Palace last weekend and they could do with an inspirational midfield display from Rice when they host Leicester. The pressure is on. The London Stadium was an impatient place when West Ham lost to Palace, so there is a responsibility on Rice to lift the mood. That will depend on whether the midfielder can pin down Maddison and stop him making chances for Leicester’s forwards. JS
- West Ham v Leicester, Saturday 3pm
10) O’Neil to go out with bang?
This could be Gary O’Neil’s final game in charge of Bournemouth. Everything started so brightly thanks to a run of six games unbeaten at the beginning of his tenure, but three straight Premier League losses have damaged his chances of getting the job on a permanent basis. Saturday’s opponents, Everton, were hammered 4-1 at the Vitality Stadium in the League Cup in midweek to give Bournemouth great confidence going into this fixture. The players will want to give it everything in one last push for the interim manager; he has given them hope of staying up. Without O’Neil the season could be over; he took charge after the 9-0 humiliation at Liverpool but managed to pick the players back up and help create a side capable of competing in the top flight, something Scott Parker had failed at. Whether O’Neil stays or goes, he can be proud of what he has achieved in his first managerial role. WU
- Bournemouth v Everton, Saturday 3pm