Belfast Telegraph

Premier League talking points

The biggest match of the weekend sees leaders Chelsea go to Manchester United but there are a number of other points of interest in the Premier League.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of the issues over the next couple of days.

WILL UNITED'S TRAVEL SICKNESS STRIKE AGAIN?

The relatively short trip to Anderlecht on Thursday should not have presented too many logistical issues for United but they have not enjoyed playing Thursday-Sunday this season. After the 10 Europa League ties before this week Jose Mourinho's side have recorded five wins on their return to domestic action - and one of those was in the FA Cup against Sky Bet Championship side Blackburn. United have already lost twice to Chelsea this season and have yet to score against the champions-elect. Mourinho will not want the hat-trick.

AN IRRESISTIBLE FORCE VERSUS A VERY MOVABLE OBJECT

Everton are chasing an eighth successive home league win, which would be a club Premier League-era record, and they could not have chosen more suitable opponents than Burnley. The Clarets have yet to win away from home this season, with just four draws in 16 trips. The Toffees are strong favourites but Sean Dyche's side like nothing better than upsetting the odds.

WILL THE BLACK CATS' LUCK CHANGE?

Rock-bottom Sunderland host West Ham, themselves still not out of danger despite last week's vital win over fellow strugglers Swansea, in the proverbial last-chance saloon. David Moyes' side have won just once in 14 matches and incredibly have gone 11 hours and 15 minutes without a goal.

SAFETY MARK A CURSE FOR PULIS

Whichever Premier League club he has managed - Stoke, Crystal Palace or current employers West Brom - Tony Pulis' oft-quoted pre-season target has always been 40 points. He invariably reaches his goal with something to spare but with mission accomplished his side's form then tails off. Without a win in three matches, the Baggies have seen an almost insurmountable 10-point gap open up to Everton above them. However, Liverpool - masters of set-piece vulnerability - are in town and West Brom could well take advantage.

MORE MONDAY MISERY IN MIDDLESBROUGH FOR WENGER?

The surprise defeat at Crystal Palace on Monday night has seen the pressure on Gunners boss Arsene Wenger exceed all previous levels. There will be no hiding place in front of the television cameras once again as they face a Boro team who have not won in the league in four months. Defeat on Teesside would probably be the final straw for Wenger's increasingly fragile tenure.

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