Belfast Telegraph

Premier League talking points

The third round of Premier League fixtures comes at an important time this weekend before the closing of the transfer window and the international break.

Here, Press Association Sport details where the intrigue will be across the 10 games.

WILL A FIT-AGAIN ALEXIS SANCHEZ FIRE ARSENAL PAST LIVERPOOL?

While a number of other transfer targets are expected to sit out these matches with injuries or attitude concerns, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is ready to unleash Sanchez at Anfield on Sunday despite continued noise over his future. Arsenal seem prepared to let the Chilean, who has overcome injury and illness, run down his contract rather than cashing in this summer and Sanchez's importance to them in the short term is obvious as they face up to their first big test of the season against the side that kept them out of this year's Champions League.

KANE AND TOTTENHAM OUT TO BANISH POOR RECORDS

Harry Kane has 78 Premier League goals across 118 appearances for Tottenham and has won back-to-back golden boots, but has never scored a top-flight goal in the month of August. Burnley's trip to Wembley on Sunday represents his last chance to break his duck in 2017. Meanwhile, Tottenham's defeat to Chelsea last week meant they have won just twice at the new Wembley, recording as many victories in the stadium as NFL franchises the New England Patriots, Jacksonville Jaguars and San Francisco 49ers. This is Spurs' latest opportunity to prove there is no curse in their new temporary abode.

WEST HAM'S TRIP TO NEWCASTLE ALREADY LOOKS MASSIVE

Two of the five clubs yet to register a point meet in the north-east this weekend when West Ham visit Newcastle. It may be too early in the campaign to make judgements but both Hammers chief Slaven Bilic, who has been backed in this transfer window, and Magpies manager Rafael Benitez, who would like some more support, will know the importance of this fixture right before the international break. The loser faces an awfully long two weeks.

THE FINAL ACT BEFORE THE TRANSFER WINDOW CLOSES

For the Premier League managers still unsure over whether they need additions in key areas, this weekend will be their last chance to garner evidence either way. If Liverpool's defensive fragilities rear their head again, it may persuade the Reds to ramp up their pursuit of Virgil van Dijk, and if Chelsea are wasteful when Everton come to Stamford Bridge, it might tempt their decision makers to push harder for another forward. Questions need to be answered one way or another before trading ceases after Thursday night.

WILL TONY PULIS' STOKE HOODOO CONTINUE?

A good portion of Potters fans were not too disappointed to see the back of Pulis in 2013 after seven years in charge, yet he has exacted plenty of revenge since. First as Crystal Palace boss, then as West Brom's manager, Pulis has claimed five victories and one draw in the six fixtures against Stoke since he left them. There has been plenty of recent bad blood between the two due to the fall-out since Saido Berahino's move, and Sunday's trip to The Hawthorns would be a fitting time for him to finally open his Stoke account.

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