5 Talking Points of this Weekend’s Premier League Games

Looking at the round of Premier League matches to be played this weekend, it’s difficult to pick out just five that are worthiest of attention... but we've still given it a good go.

Of course, every weekend of football brings a wide array of talking points, and here are some subjects that we can confidently expect many football followers to comment on as the action unfolds.

Man City’s un-Guardiola-like form

At first glance, it's easy to think that the Manchester City v Tottenham is bound to be a close-run thing. After all, only three points currently separate City and Spurs in the table.

However, the North London club thoroughly outclassed Pep Guardiola's team when the two met at White Hart Lane in October; furthermore, City are coming off the back of a disastrous 4-0 defeat to Everton last Sunday, while Tottenham have racked up victories in their last six league games.

Therefore, the onus is very much on the home side to improve - and show the kind of form that we have come to expect over the years from Guardiola’s teams.

How will Diego Costa respond to fallout?

Chelsea gaffer Antonio Conte had a big falling out with his striker Diego Costa last week. The former is said to have told the player to "go to China" in the wake of rumours that the 28-year-old was overly tempted by interest in him from the East Asian country.

However, Chelsea still sailed past Leicester in a 3-0 win – and with manager and player having been reconciled, it is crucial for Costa to show that the bust-up is behind him by delivering against Hull City this weekend.

Middlesbrough not scoring enough goals...

Middlesbrough haven't exactly been wowing the crowds this season - but bringing attacking, attractive football is surely low on manager Aitor Karanka's list of priorities right now.

After all, his players are still fighting a relegation battle, with a mere four points separating them from the drop zone.

Boro have scored by far the fewest goals of any Premier League team this season - just 17. Will recently-arrived strikers Patrick Bamford and Rudy Gestede provide some more firepower at home to West Ham?

...and Sunderland letting too many in

Sunderland have been performing terribly in several recent fixtures - against Stoke last weekend, they let in three goals in just 34 minutes, and on their home turf, too.

However, they made a recovery of sorts, ultimately losing the match 3-1 - and that's a sign that David Moyes could stir the Black Cats into excelling against West Brom, who are nonetheless eighth in the table.

On points, Sunderland are joint bottom with Swansea, although they remain only a point away from safety.

Swansea’s mission (almost) impossible against the Reds

If Sunderland look somewhat unlikely to beat West Brom, fellow relegation battlers Swansea appear even less likely to triumph against Liverpool, who currently hold third position in the league.

Still, the Welsh side's 44-year-old manager, Paul Clement, has expressed optimism after their recent performance against Arsenal, his Premiership bow as Swansea's gaffer. A defeat would be no disaster here, but a fighting display would keep spirits up.