Premier League talking points

1. TOP SIX FLEX THEIR MUSCLES

The Premier League table is taking a familiar shape, with 10 games gone for most sides.

The two Manchester clubs got off to flying starts and have been established in the top-two spots, but unfamiliar interlopers such as Watford entered the picture in the early weeks as Liverpool and Arsenal faltered.

However, normal service appears to have been resumed with all the "big six" clubs now occupying the top-six places.

Despite City's current form, traces of sloppiness at West Brom - where they wasted several chances and were opened up several times with surprising ease - will give hope to the other five sides who might be fighting for scraps.


2. BIG CALL FOR WENGER AT CITY

On Sunday, Manchester City host Arsenal before Manchester United play Chelsea .

The pressure will be on the clubs playing in the later fixture, because they will either be fighting to stay in touch or to take advantage of a rare City slip.

Arsenal's attacking trident of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette are good enough to give any team problems, but is Arsene Wenger really brave or foolish enough to deploy them at the Etihad?

One thing is sure: They will spend a fair bit of time chasing the ball, so the Gunners might do better to leave Ozil out, stay in the match, and then introduce his quality once home legs have tired after what is sure to be a taxing midweek examination at Napoli.


3. REDS' SPOT-KICK DILEMMA

Liverpool's penalty prowess accounts for two of their European Cups, two of their League Cup triumphs and the 2006 FA Cup.

It has deserted them of late.

They have been awarded three penalties at Anfield in 2017 and squandered them all. James Milner and Roberto Firmino were the earlier culprits.

When Huddersfield 'keeper Jonas Lossl pushed Mohamed Salah's penalty away, it suggested that Jurgen Klopp is running out of penalty takers. Salah had converted a 95th-minute spot-kick to book Egypt's World Cup place.

"The pressure is bigger in Liverpool than in Egypt. I'm not sure that he is (taking penalties) any more," Klopp said. Perhaps Milner, who has converted 10 of 11 penalty attempts, would have been a better bet.

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2017, with the headline 'Premier League talking points'. Print Edition | Subscribe