The Premier League continues this weekend with Matchday 9, and Sportsnet will have live coverage of five games:
Friday, October 20
• Brighton & Hove Albion vs. West Ham United, 2:00 p.m. ET (Sportsnet World)
Saturday, October 21
• Manchester City vs. Burnley, 9:30 a.m. ET (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific)
• Swansea City vs. Leicester City, 9:30 a.m. ET (Sportsnet ONE)
Sunday, October 22
• Everton vs. Arsenal, 8:00 a.m. ET (Sportsnet World)
• Tottenham vs. Liverpool, 10:30 a.m. ET (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific)
Here’s what you need to know ahead of this weekend…
THE BIG GAME
Tottenham vs. Liverpool: Both teams are coming off impressive mid-week results in Europe, and could badly use three points from Sunday’s showdown at Wembley Stadium. Spurs sit third in the table and three points adrift of Manchester United and five back of Manchester City, while Liverpool is eighth, but is level on points with the three teams directly above them in the standings, including Chelsea and Arsenal.
Recent history doesn’t bode well for Tottenham, as their last Premier League win over Liverpool was in 2012. Since then the Reds have won six and drawn three against Spurs, and they’ve kept clean sheets in five of those contests.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Gabriel Jesus, Manchester City: The Brazilian has scored 13 goals in his 15 starts since his Premier League debut last season. That puts him in pretty good company, as only Mick Quinn (14) and Andrew Cole (15) scored more goals in their first 15 Premier League starts. He’ll be looking to add to this season’s tally of six goals when Manchester City hosts Burnley on Saturday.
LEICESTER CITY FIRES SHAKESPEARE
Craig Shakespeare became the latest managerial casualty in the Premier League when he was fired by Leicester City on Tuesday. Shakespeare was only on the job for four months, having replaced Claudio Ranieri on an interim and then a full-time basis. The Foxes ended up avoiding relegation last season after the switch, but at the moment they sit 18th in the table, having gone winless in their last six games, and having earned just one victory this campaign. Assistant manager Michael Appleton has been placed in temporary charge of Leicester, who travels to Wales to take on Swansea City on Saturday.
PALACE’S BENTEKE ON THE MEND
Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke revealed this week that he is on the mend from a knee ligament injury and that he is hopeful of returning to action in November. The Belgian international sustained the injury in last month’s loss to Manchester City and has missed the Eagles’ last two games, including their first win of the campaign against champions Chelsea last weekend. “The rehab is going really well and I’m feeling really happy with the way that my ligament is healing, so hopefully I can be back in a few weeks,” Benteke told the club’s website.
NEWCASTLE UNITED UP FOR SALE
Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has put the Premier League club up for sale. Ashley’s company, St. James Holdings, released a statement this week saying the decision was made in order “to give the club the best possible opportunity of securing the positioning and investment necessary to take it to the next level.” Ashley bought Newcastle in 2007, and put the team up for sale the following year. He also poured in major money into the club to clear its debts over the years. Newcastle hosts Crystal Palace on Saturday.
CANADIAN TEEN SIGNS WITH BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION
Premier League newcomers Brighton & Hove Albion added some Canadian content this week with the signing of Jordan Araujo, an 18-year-old midfielder who cut his teeth at ANB Futbol, a Toronto-area youth academy. A native of Bradford, Ont., Araujo recently spent time on trial with Brighton, playing in a number of exhibition games before the Premier League club decided to sign him. Brighton visits West Ham United on Friday.
THE BIG QUESTION
Every week, Sportsnet’s soccer panel will debate The Big Question. Have your say by voting in the poll below:
HE SAID IT
“Not that I read it a lot, but sometimes when I read the press – not only English but Portuguese – I feel that sometimes defending properly it is seen as a crime. But it is not. That’s why we controlled the game [Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Benfica] because we defended properly.” – Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho responds to criticism of his defensive tactics.