EPL Spotlight: Champions League sides need domestic tonic
It's been a rough mid-week for the EPL's Champions League teams. Will Chelsea be able keep their perfect record when they visit the lair of the champions? Can Arsenal pick themselves up after their Dortmund drubbing? And who is the in-form Leicester striker that can spoil Man United's revival? We preview this weekend's EPL action as the spotlight falls on...
Manchester City and Chelsea
The obvious stand-out match of the weekend. After ending Swansea's perfect start with some ease at Stamford Bridge last week, Chelsea now face an even sterner test to preserve their perfect record this weekend as they travel to the home of the wounded champions.
Both teams come into this big match with something to prove after a far from ideal mid-week excursion in the Champions League.
City were just minutes away from celebrating an arguably decent draw against Bayern Munich when they were condemned to a heartbreaking defeat courtesy of a deflected striker by ex-Citizen Jerome Boateng.
Manuel Pellegrini's men have now gone nearly a month without tasting victory. They'll be keen on regaining that winning feeling while bringing down one of their certain title rivals at the same time.
Even though Chelsea will be looking to bounce back from from their frustrating 1-1 draw with Schalke, Diego Costa's finicky hamstrings will surely give Jose Mourinho a few worries.
The manager revealed that the ex-Atletico Madrid hitman started the game on the bench because he can't play three times a week.
Even though the Blues can count on Loic Remy - who scored on his debut against Swansea - to fill in, Mourinho would certainly be loathe to enter such a critical game without one of his best weapons at his disposal.
After showing his spoiled brat side during the summer over his birthday shenanigans, Toure has started his season with Manchester City looking like a spoilt footballer.
The Ivorian has been a pale shadow of the marauding midfield colossus that steamrollered all before him in the past few seasons.
His sluggishness and disinterest couldn't have been more evident at the Allianz Arena. While "Birthday-gate" was deemed as a tactic to earn him a fat new deal, Toure will be lucky to get one with a Championship side if he continues his current run of wretched form.
Arsenal and Mesut Oezil
Outplayed and outgunned by a superior Dortmund side, Arsene Wenger badly needs a win.
After spending the whole week defending his players, how long more will it take before the questions start to get directed at the Frenchman himself?
One of those under-fire players was Oezil, who has gone missing in an Arsenal shirt for far too long.
A commanding performance from Arsenal's club record signing is long overdue and his playmaking talents will certainly be needed to unlock the stubborn Aston Villa defence that shut out Liverpool at Anfield last week.
The only English Champions League side to emerge with three points, but only just.
Brendan Rodgers made a crucial error by omitting Raheem Sterling last weekend against Villa, so it will be interesting to see if he decides to put his star attacker in cotton wool again after their clash with Bulgarian champions Ludogorets in midweek.
Also, with Daniel Sturridge still on his way back to fitness, it is time for the Reds' remaining attackers to impress if Liverpool is to prove they aren't over-reliant on their SAS special forces combination.
The crazy summer spending in the transfer window has seen several Premier League teams break the bank to pick up a club record signing, but few have had a larger impact than Leicester's £8 million ($16.6m) man.
The Argentine striker has made an instant impact with the Foxes since signing from Brighton, scoring thrice in four matches including an equaliser against Arsenal and a winner against Stoke.
Expect the 28-year-old to give Manchester United's defenders an uncomfortable time on Sunday.
While they face yet another promoted side, the Red Devils face a completely different proposition from last week's truly dire QPR in the shape of a very much in-form Leicester City. Time to show that the Angel di Maria-inspired 4-0 thrashing was not a one-off.
With the Toon Army in open revolt after a 4-0 thumping at the hands of a much-changed Southampton, Pardew needs wins. Is there anymore that needs saying?
Still not in the same boat as Pardew just yet, but after spending all that money in the transfer window to build what looks like a decent Premier League squad, Redknapp has to pull his troops together and whip them into a unit.
With Mark Hughes returning to Loftus Road with a rather inconsistent Stoke, it is a good chance for the Rs to get their EPL campaign underway with the right performance and result.