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What you must not miss in the EPL this weekend

Last updated on: August 30, 2013 15:02 IST

What you must not miss in the EPL this weekend

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Manchester City vs Hull City

When: Saturday, August 31

Time: 1715 IST

Manchester City will look to shake off the defensive vulnerability they showed in losing to promoted Cardiff City last weekend when they host Hull City on Saturday.

Having splashed around 90 million pounds ($140 million) on bolstering their attack, they need to demonstrate that they have not missed a trick by penny-pinching at the other end, following their embarrassing 3-2 loss to Cardiff.

With first-choice centre backs Vincent Kompany and Matija Nastasic out injured, City, who were undone twice at set-pieces against the Welsh side, could be forced to call on midfielder Javi Garcia as a stand-in defender once again.

 


Image: Alvaro Negredo of Manchester City and teammates react
Photographs: Michael Steele/Getty Images

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Cardiff vs Everton

When: Saturday, August 31

Time: 1930 IST

Cardiff play Everton on Saturday, with the Liverpool club's new manager Roberto Martinez still looking for his first win after two draws, while Newcastle United, also winless, host Fulham (1930 IST).

Saturday's action is completed by Norwich City taking on Southampton (1930 IST), West Ham United playing Stoke City (1930 IST) and Crystal Palace facing Sunderland (2230 IST).

West Bromwich Albion meet Swansea City on Sunday (1800 IST).


Image: A young supporter of Cardiff City
Photographs: Michael Steele/Getty Images

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Liverpool vs Man United 

When: Sunday, September 1

Time: 1800 IST

Liverpool are also bathing in optimism after winning their opening two Premier League matches, but are set for a rigorous examination when they host champions and bitter rivals United.

The Merseysiders have also not snared a big-name signing to excite fans, but the goal-scoring form of January recruit Daniel Sturridge and positive start made by goalkeeper Simon Mignolet bode well for manager Brendan Rodgers.

One close-season signing he will probably have to do without, however, is centre-back Kolo Toure, who was carried off when what should have been a straightforward League Cup clash against third-tier Notts County turned ugly on Tuesday.

Liverpool are also awaiting news of injuries to new loan signing Aly Cissokho and midfielder Joe Allen following their bruising 4-2 extra-time win.


Image: Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard (right) gives Kolo Toure some advice
Photographs: Stu Forster/Getty Images

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"We've got plenty of recovery time now for the players. That was the idea -- that I could put some of the senior guys in knowing there was enough recuperation period after the game, and obviously to give our young players good experience playing in a competitive game," Rodgers said on the club website.

"They'll all be fine, they'll recover well and we'll be excited now looking forward to that game on Sunday."

United manager David Moyes, used to a heated Anfield atmosphere after 11 years at Everton, will be satisfied with his opening two competitive games at his new club.

A stylish win over Swansea City was followed by a solid goalless draw against likely title rivals Chelsea.

Speculation surrounding the future of striker Wayne Rooney also seems to have quietened after his hard-working display against the team who have been trying to sign him.


Image: Manchester United Manager David Moyes speaks to Wayne Rooney
Photographs: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

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Arsenal vs Tottenham 

When: Sunday, September 1

Time: 2030 IST

Arsenal will be eager to show the north London balance of power has not shifted to Tottenham Hotspur.

Arsenal pipped their neighbours to a Champions League qualifying spot last season, but while Arsene Wenger's team has been thwarted in their efforts to strengthen their squad, Tottenham have liberally splashed the cash.

Argentina international Erik Lamela is set to become Spurs' fifth transfer-window signing, taking their spending to more than 90 million pounds ($140 million), and Spurs fans are optimistic for the season ahead.

Two wins from their opening two matches have added to the positive vibe emanating from White Hart Lane, which has not been dampened by the impending world-record transfer of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid.

Things could not be more different at Arsenal, who have added a solitary new face to their ranks, the free transfer of Yaya Sanogo.


Image: Tottenham Hotspur Manager Andre Villas Boas (left) and Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger
Photographs: Clive Mason/Getty Images

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'I feel we're very, very strong'

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Manager Arsene Wenger has been rebuffed in his efforts to bring in a marquee signing with reported efforts to recruit Liverpool's Luis Suarez and now-Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain coming to nothing.

Although they reached the Champions League group stage with a comfortable win over Fenerbahce and beat Fulham in the Premier League last weekend following the shock opening home loss to Aston Villa, there is still frustration among supporters.

It is a feeling not shared by Arsenal forward Theo Walcott, who rejected suggestions that Tottenham's activity in the transfer market makes them stronger than their rivals.

"Not at all. I feel we're very, very strong," he was quoted as saying by British media.

"Everyone makes out our squad is very weak and there are not many of us, but we showed in the last few games that we can bounce back from a bad result, proving a lot of people wrong.

"Every club is different and Tottenham invested their money very well. For us players we just want to do a job on Sunday, we don't care if they have brought in 30 million pound stars."


Image: Jack Wilshere of Arsenal clutches his ankle after a tackle
Photographs: Michael Regan/Getty Images

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