Premier League back with a bang, pick of the weekend

Manchester United
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has set his sights on catching City.

The Premier League returns with a bang and there is the potential for more drama in the title race with Liverpool and Manchester City facing tough away games.

Liverpool opened up an eight-point gap at the top of the table before the International break and even though it is still very early days, City need to move quickly to close it and have to come out with all guns blazing this weekend.

There are some intriguing fixtures throughout the top flight, here is a pick of the best.

Manchester United v Liverpool – Always one of the games of the season. United have got this one off to a shocking start and Liverpool should be hot favourites to make it nine wins from nine to consolidate their place at the top of the table.

However, despite United being in turmoil, the form book can go out of the window with this one as the fierce rivals go head-to-head at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is in desperate need of a response from his players following a run of poor results, and if he does not get one in a game like this, the issues at United will be highlighted even more.

With the game being on a Sunday, Liverpool have the advantage or disadvantage, depending on how you look at it, of playing after Manchester City. Another win and they are over another hurdle on their way to the title.

Crystal Palace v Manchester City – A very tricky game for Pep Guardiola’s men as they desperately try to close the gap on Liverpool. A win at Selhurst Park in the late kick-off on Saturday will put pressure on Jurgen Klopp’s men ahead of their game with United.

Defeat and Liverpool have the chance to open up an 11-point gap, which could be too much to overturn, even at this early stage of the season. The games are huge already, the stakes are high and so is the pressure.

Last season City would be nailed on to win a fixture like this. But these days you would not put your house on them due to their frailties at the back caused by the loss Aymeric Laporte and John Stones to injury.

City have already lost 3-2 at Norwich, while Wolves won 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium last time out, and they face another banana skin here.

Palace are full of confidence having won their last two games and are up to sixth in the table.

Aston Villa v Brighton – 15th plays 14th in what is another big game at the other end of the table. Both teams picked up their first win in five games before the International break to ease the pressure slightly. But it will be back on for one of these sides if they were to lose at Villa Park.

The winner could potentially jump up to the relative safety of midtable, so plenty at stake for these two just eight games into the new season.