All eyes on new signings; Everton face Chelsea; Saints meet West Ham
There will be a host of new signings in action as the Premier League resumes after the close of the transfer window and an international break.
One of the main topics of discussion over the past fortnight has been whether more can be done to nurture young English talent rather than spend heavily on new players, after Premier League clubs spent over £600million this summer.
Deadline day provided its usual level of drama with a number of big-money moves including Mesut Ozil to Arsenal and Marouane Fellaini to Manchester United, and managers everywhere will now be relieved they can focus on results rather than recruitment.
Early leaders Liverpool are not in action until Monday against Swansea City so there is a chance for Chelsea to move top of the table with victory at Everton on Saturday, in a match that can be seen live on Sky Sports 1HD. Chelsea agonisingly lost out to Bayern Munich on penalties in the UEFA Super Cup last time out but the late additions of Samuel Eto'o and Willian have given Jose Mourinho even more attacking power and they will be looking to inflict a first defeat of the season on Everton, who have so far drawn all three of their Premier League matches.
Everton bolstered their squad on deadline day and kept hold of Leighton Baines, but they eventually had to part with Fellaini as the Belgian midfielder followed David Moyes to Old Trafford. He will hope to help Manchester United return to winning ways in the lunchtime kick-off on Saturday after a 1-0 loss to Liverpool left them five points off the pace. Crystal Palace, who added four players to their squad in the final hours before the window closed, will be looking to follow up their 3-1 victory over Sunderland with another positive showing.
Sunderland have yet to win a league game this season and face a difficult test this weekend against Arsenal, where all eyes will be on the Gunners' record signing Ozil. The Arsenal faithful had to wait a long time for their club to spend any money but the arrival of German playmaker Ozil from Real Madrid finally demonstrated their ambition and hopes will be high for another three points after success against Tottenham Hotspur.
News broke just after the north London derby of Gareth Bale completing his transfer to Real Madrid, and Tottenham can now get down to work without speculation about the Welshman overshadowing their every move. Spurs made a number of exciting signings themselves and there is sure to be a new look to the side Andre Villas-Boas sends out against Norwich City. The Canaries edged out Southampton 1-0 before the international break for their first win of the campaign.
Southampton have a chance to bounce back from that defeat in a Super Sunday encounter at home to West Ham United. Both sides have been tipped to enjoy strong seasons, although the Hammers were also beaten in their most recent outing by Stoke City and have been dealt a blow with the news that Andy Carroll has suffered a new injury.
Stoke and Manchester City are currently locked together on six points and manager Mark Hughes is looking forward to welcoming his former club to the Britannia Stadium to get a measure of his side's level. Man City slipped up in their first away fixture, against Cardiff City, and have injury problems in defence after new signing Martin Demichelis joined Vincent Kompany on the sidelines.
Home form key
There is a battle between two of the newly-promoted clubs at the KC Stadium as Hull City entertain Cardiff. Hull have been beaten by Chelsea and Manchester City but may feel their home form holds the key to survival and a 1-0 win over Norwich last month will give them encouragement. Cardiff followed up their shock win over Man City with a goalless draw against Everton to continue a solid start to the season.
Aston Villa and Newcastle both endured unexpectedly difficult campaigns last season and will be determined to steer clear of a relegation dogfight this time around. Villa had a particularly tricky set of fixtures last month and will be relishing the return to action after a three-week rest since their last league game. Newcastle were frustrated in their attempts to sign new players in the transfer window but did at least hold on to Yohan Cabaye, while Hatem Ben Arfa's stunning late strike against Fulham ended their wait for a first league goal and win.
West Bromwich Albion are currently bottom of the table with just one point but they will hope for an upturn in fortunes after making four signings on deadline day, including the acquisition of Stephane Sessegnon on a club-record deal. The Baggies travel to Craven Cottage to take on a Fulham side who have suffered back-to-back defeats against Arsenal and Newcastle.