The international break is over and all eyes are now set on the weekend fixtures of the Barclays Premier League. There are a few exciting clashes coming up while there are many players who will be stepping out onto a pitch in England for the first time. Exciting times are ahead in perhaps the most competitive league in the world with teams fighting for points as they try to improve on their early season form.
The blockbuster clash of the weekend sees champions Manchester City visiting the Emirates to take on Arsenal. The champions are reeling after a shock home defeat to Stoke City last time out and face a tough challenge against Arsene Wenger's men.
Danny Welbeck who was signed on deadline day, may make his debut and he will have a point to prove against the "Noisy Neighbours" as the former Man United striker starts a new chapter in his career. Wenger has a fit squad except for Aaron Ramsey who picked up a knock on international duty and Olivier Giroud who is out for a three months.
Manuel Pellegrini will be without Fernando who picked up a groin injury against Stoke City. Willy Cabellero could start ahead of Joe Hart while captain Vincent Kompany should be partnered by new signing Eliaquim Mangala. David Silva was in great form for Spain and will hope to continue where he left off. It should be an exciting match which could go either way but it could end in a stalemate.
Chelsea will welcome Swansea City in a battle of the flawless teams so far. Both clubs have won all 3 matches and should be going into this clash with confidence. Jose Mourinho could be without Diego Costa after he pulled out of the Spain squad. This could open the door for Loic Remy to make his Chelsea debut. Mourinho has a an otherwise healthy squad and will be looking to secure all three points.
Gary Monk faces the toughest test of the season going to Stamford Bridge to take on a very strong Chelsea team. Swansea has been very disciplined in their approach and has been brilliant going forward. They are moving the ball quickly with a lot of quality and will be confident of causing the Blues a few problems. The Blues should be able to secure all three points but the Swans could pull out a draw or even spring a surprise in this fixture.
The late kick off on Saturday features Liverpool hosing Aston Villa. The Reds has picked up 2 wins so far from their 3 games and will be aiming for all 3 points against Villa. Daniel Sturridge will be missing for Brendan Rodgers after picking up an injury while on duty for England. This could mean that Mario Balotelli starts as a lone striker with Raheem Sterling playing off him. Steven Gerrard will lead his troops out at Anfield with 3 points on the agenda.
Paul Lambert's Aston Villa is yet to taste defeat with 2 wins and a draw so far. They could give Manchester United loanee Tom Cleverley his Villa debut against a familiar foe in Liverpool. They will still be without Christian Benteke which leaves the goal-scoring burden on Andreas Weimann and Gabriel Agbonlahor. Villa could taste their first defeat of the season against Liverpool as the Scousers should have too much going forward for Villa to handle. Lambert's team will have to be at their absolute best to leave Anfield with any sort of point(s).
Elsewhere on Saturday Crystal Palace host Burnley, Newcastle travels to the St Mary's to take on Southampton, Stoke City welcomes Leicester City to the Brittania, Sunderland plays host to Tottenham while West Brom will look to secure all 3 points as Everton makes a trip to the Hawthorns.
On Sunday, Manchester United will host QPR at Old Trafford. Louis van Gaal is yet to register a victory in the BPL with just 2 draws and a defeat. Radamel Falcao, Damey Blind, Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo could all make their debut for the Red Devils. Van Gaal will still be without 9 players who are all nursing injuries most notably Phil Jones, Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini.
QPR's visit marks a return for Rio Ferdinand to Old Trafford. The 35 year old left Old Trafford just a few months ago, after 12 years with the club, when he wasn't offered a new contract. He will come up against a lot of new faces and will not be relishing going up against Falcao, Wayne Rooney, Angel Di Maria and Robin van Persie. The Red Devils will be gunning for all 3 points to kick-start their miserable season and should be able to secure a victory over Harry Rednapp's team.
On Monday, Hull City will host West Ham at the KC Stadium. Steve Bruce made some good signings during the ttransfer window and will be hoping to take all 3 points on home soil against Sam Allardyce's Hammers.