Arrivals, exits as top teams prepared for the weekend fixtures

Manchester City v Watford Liverpool v Wolves Premier League If there is a top priority this weekend for Man City it is probably James Milner. Pep Guardiola has put the veteran in charge of…

Arrivals, exits as top teams prepared for the weekend fixtures

Manchester City v Watford Liverpool v Wolves Premier League

If there is a top priority this weekend for Man City it is probably James Milner. Pep Guardiola has put the veteran in charge of the defence at the Etihad Stadium and he will need some expert midfield playmaking from him on Sunday afternoon to prevent his side from falling even further behind leaders Manchester United. Guardiola even brought the midfielder’s No 17 shirt on board at the beginning of the season but not all his City teammates are convinced.

Guardiola’s right-hand man, Raheem Sterling, has been the most outspoken, repeatedly criticising the Argentina international this season. “People talk about me liking him but it’s not the truth,” he told Sportlobster recently. “He’s too old to play the [Midfield of the] Champions League. He should have gone abroad.” Guardiola responded by saying it was “naive” to assume his player wasn’t capable of playing in Europe’s top competition and did not place much stock in what Sterling said. He acknowledged, however, that Sterling could play at a higher level and wanted to see him become the best he could be.

Guardiola gave Sterling plenty of room to prove his manager wrong by leaving him out of his Champions League starting lineup on Wednesday, which may signal a change in player-manager relationship. With that in mind, can the England winger maintain his form to help the visitors turn the tables in what is expected to be an all-English affair?

Any prospect of a Liverpool upset should take a back seat in favour of a City side set to face a West Bromwich Albion side with their own problems. With manager Alan Pardew having been sacked in September, the Baggies are looking for a new manager and are in disarray after a chaotic transfer window. A 3-1 loss to Bournemouth on the opening day of the season led to Tony Pulis getting the chop and replaced by Gary Megson, who is set to return to the club for the first time since parting ways with the club in 2006.

The fixture looks set to be played in cold, wet conditions. Heavy rain blanketed the city over the weekend and Spurs moved their game against West Ham to Monday night in the hope that the games would be able to be played indoors but that idea failed to live up to expectations.

City’s runaway lead at the top of the table and the reality that United, Tottenham and Arsenal might pull one or two points clear of their rivals should mean that the game could become a formality but the visitors will need to watch out for West Brom, which manager Steve Clarke believes is under “massive pressure” to perform in his final home game in charge of the Midlands club.

Both teams won on Saturday, meaning they will come into the game unbeaten. But City were the better side in both contests as the 2-0 win over Brighton saw Guardiola’s men remain in front of United at the top of the table.

Reds v Wolves The Mail title lead Liverpool 2.0 game to 2.0. Watford 0.0 game to 0.0. pic.twitter.com/fVF7iXMpGp — Bwin (@WinBwin) October 30, 2017

Wolves have played three times, managing just a 1-1 draw with Leicester City and beating Fulham and Southampton before the international break. The visitors go into the game hoping that the training period behind closed doors has toughened them up ahead of the Premier League contest.

In Wolves’ last outing, they beat Southampton 3-0 in a win which proved to be an important one, as it cements their place in the top six. With three wins in their last four games and three clean sheets, the Wolves squad have been able to focus on what they have to do for the rest of the season.

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