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Eight BIG questions for the weekend's matches

Eight BIG questions for the weekend's matches

Rasmus Hojlund
Referee Ivan Kruzliak rules out Rasmus Hojlund's second goal for offside during the UEFA Champions League Group A match between Manchester United and Galatasaray at Old Trafford on October 3, 2023 in Manchester, England(Image-Getty) 

By Alex Keble | 22 Feb 2024


The weekend's Premier League fixtures promise excitement and intrigue. Alex Keble examines the key talking points and potential outcomes for Matchweek 26.

Can Emery overcome his Nuno jinx?

Aston Villa seeks redemption at Villa Park against Nottingham Forest, while Unai Emery aims to break his streak against Nuno Espirito Santo.


 Villa's recent win restored momentum, but Emery faces a tough historical record against Nuno's sides.

Tactical Insight:

 Nuno's counter-attacking style may exploit Villa's vulnerabilities, especially through Elanga's speed.

Can Doucoure keep Gross quiet?

Brighton's Pascal Gross poses a threat to Everton's midfield dominance. Can Abdoulaye Doucoure contain him?

Tactical Analysis:

 Everton's midfield pressure, led by Doucoure, faces a challenge from Gross's playmaking abilities.

Key Matchup: 

Doucoure's defensive prowess against Gross's creative influence will be decisive.

Can Glasner’s reactive tactics have an instant impact?

Oliver Glasner's Crystal Palace debut against Burnley offers an opportunity to exploit vulnerabilities in Sean Dyche's setup.

Strategic Approach: 

Glasner's focus on exploiting Burnley's defensive weaknesses through quick breaks could prove effective.


 While Glasner's impact may take time, his tactical adjustments could offer Palace an immediate advantage.

Will Arsenal continue their hot streak against porous Newcastle?

Arsenal's attacking prowess faces Newcastle's leaky defense. Fabian Schar's injury adds to Newcastle's woes.

Defensive Concerns: 

Newcastle's vulnerability between the lines presents an opportunity for Arsenal's in-form attack.

Player Focus: 

Bukayo Saka's form and his duel with Dan Burn highlight Arsenal's attacking threat.

Can Hojlund capitalize on slack defending?

Manchester United's Rasmus Hojlund aims to exploit Fulham's defensive fragilities, posing a significant threat at Old Trafford.

United's Offensive Power: 

Hojlund's goal-scoring form alongside Rashford's resurgence elevate United's attacking threat.

Defensive Vulnerabilities:

 Fulham's away struggles and defensive lapses provide opportunities for United's prolific attack.

How does Iraola improve against 'Big Six' sides?

AFC Bournemouth faces Manchester City, seeking improvements against top sides under Andoni Iraola's management.

Defensive Challenges: 

Bournemouth's defensive strategy against City's attacking prowess remains a critical concern.

Strategic Adjustments:

 Iraola must address defensive frailties while countering City's attacking threats, notably Jeremy Doku.

Can Wolves rise up to eighth?

Wolves' pursuit of a top-eight spot intensifies against Sheffield United, offering a chance to elevate their season's narrative.

Mid-table Dynamics:

 Wolves' consistency against mid-table rivals contrasts with their struggles against top-six sides.

Potential for Progress: 

Victory against Sheffield United could reshape Wolves' season, offering momentum for a top-eight finish.

Will West Ham finally get first win of 2024?

West Ham's search for their first 2024 Premier League victory faces Brentford, presenting a critical opportunity for David Moyes' side.

Pressure on Moyes: 

West Ham's winless streak underscores the importance of securing a victory against Brentford.

Tactical Insights: 

Moyes' strategic adjustments and Brentford's vulnerabilities provide avenues for West Ham's breakthrough.


The weekend's matches promise a blend of tactical intrigue and narrative significance, offering teams opportunities to reshape their seasons and stake their claims in the Premier League hierarchy.

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