5 talking points ahead of the midweek fixtures in the Premier League

The Premier League hosts a full programme this week, with all 20 clubs primed for action across Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Watford head to Leicester without a manager after dismissing Quique Sanchez Flores on Sunday, while Jose Mourinho returns to Old Trafford with Tottenham.

Elsewhere, Liverpool look to continue their momentum at the top as they host struggling local rivals Everton.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the main talking points ahead of the midweek fixtures.

Mourinho returns to Manchester

Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard and Jose Mourinho, who was United manager at the time
Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard and Jose Mourinho, United manager at the time (Adam Davy/PA)

Jose Mourinho will visit Old Trafford for the first time since taking charge at Tottenham, having been sacked by Manchester United in December 2018. The ‘Special One’ will encounter his replacement, Ole Gunnar Solskaer, as Spurs look to win their third successive league match and put some pressure on the top four. United have drawn their last two matches and sit ninth but could move above Spurs with victory.

Merseyside derby drubbing?

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (right) shakes hands with Everton’s Leighton Baines
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (right) shakes hands with Everton’s Leighton Baines (Mike Egerton/PA)

League leaders Liverpool meet Merseyside rivals Everton at Anfield on Wednesday with the two clubs at opposite ends of the Premier League table. Jurgen Klopp’s Reds are unbeaten so far and sit eight points clear of second-placed Leicester. By contrast, Everton are 17th after winning just four and drawing two of their first 14 league games and the pressure is very much on manager Marco Silva ahead of this one. The Reds will be without first-choice goalkeeper Alisson following his dismissal against Brighton and injured midfielder Fabinho, but Klopp will hope his side still have enough to give Silva the blues.

Who’s at the wheel at Watford?

Quique Sanchez Flores
Quique Sanchez Flores (Mark Kerton/PA)

Watford dismissed Quique Sanchez Flores on Sunday after the Spaniard had produced just one win from his 85 days in charge. Flores’ second spell at the club has left them bottom of the Premier League, but Under-23 boss Hayden Mullins will step up to take charge of the Hornets for the tricky clash with second-placed Leicester on Wednesday. Former Brighton boss Chris Hughton has been strongly linked with the role, along with former Real Betis manager Quique Setien, Sam Allardyce and Paul Clement.

Ljungberg looks to end losing streak

Arsenal interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg
Arsenal interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg (Adam Davy/PA)

Arsenal’s interim boss Freddie Ljungberg will want three points from his second game in charge after an underwhelming 2-2 draw at Norwich on Sunday. The Gunners, who have not tasted victory in eight games in all competitions, face Brighton, themselves in the midst of a three-game losing run. Ljungberg, who was assistant manager to the recently dismissed Unai Emery, has talked down the possibility of taking up the role on a permanent basis. With Max Allegri, Mikel Arteta and Nuno Espirito Santo all rumoured to be in contention, an end to the Gunners’ current winless streak will be vital if the Swede is to be considered.

Is patience paying off for Pellegrini?

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini
West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini (Daniel Hambury/PA)

West Ham seem to have finally hit their stride after ending an eight-game winless run with a 1-0 victory at Chelsea. Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini had appeared to be on borrowed time as the club waited for a first victory since September, but an upturn in fortunes against the fourth-placed Blues may have bought the Chilean a little more time at the helm. The Hammers now head to Wolves in search of another win that could see them move into the Premier League’s top 10.

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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