Premier League Preview: Can Manchester United beat Arsenal?

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Domestic football returns this weekend after the international break and there are some big games in the English Premier League.  None are bigger than the opening game which sees rivals Manchester United host Arsenal on Saturday lunchtime with managers Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger renewing their own personal battle.

Premier League leaders Liverpool face a potentially tricky trip to Southampton whilst Chelsea finish the weekend at Middlesbrough on Sunday.  Here's a look at the big games:

Manchester United vs Arsenal

All eyes will certainly be on Old Trafford as Mourinho and Wenger go head-to-head once more.  The two managers certainly don't get along to say the least.  The Gunners boss will be keen to pick up another three points to keep his side among the title challengers, whilst United are looking for three points just to keep themselves in the hunt for Champions League football next season.

Alexis Sanchez has been in fine form up front for Arsenal this season but having been away with the Chile national team midweek, he often returns a little fatigued from the international break and would certainly be considered a risky selection for your fantasy team this weekend.  Manchester United's defence hasn't been great of late so attacking players from Arsenal that you may want to consider in your fantasy team are Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott.

Manchester United certainly won't roll over and both they and Mourinho have had the better of Arsenal and Wenger for several years.  However, neither Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Wayne Rooney are firing up front.  Youngster Marcus Rashford was the star in this fixture last season and could be worth a gamble for your fantasy team in this match.

Crystal Palace vs Manchester City
Manchester City are widely-expected to pick up a comfortable three points from Selhurst Park on Saturday after surrendering the lead at the top of the Premier League by being held 1-1 at home by Middlesbrough before the break.  In their previous away game Pep Guardiola's side thrashed West Brom 4-0.

It's a match that many players will be looking forward to with their fantasy sport picks - several goals expected from the visitors.  it must be said though that a clean sheet is no guarantee as Crystal Palace do provide a good attacking threat themselves, scoring twice versus Liverpool recently.

Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling should all be considered for your fantasy team this weekend, particularly the first two names on the list.

Southampton vs Liverpool

Although Southampton have suffered back-to-back Premier League defeats, Liverpool's trip to St Mary's on Saturday certainly isn't a guaranteed three points.  The Reds themselves have players coming back from afar over the international break, such as Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino in Peru on Tuesday night.

The Saints can be a difficult side to break down at times with Virgil van Dijk and Jose Fonte two of the best centre-backs in the Premier League.  If his Brazilians are showing any signs of fatigue Jurgen Klopp has Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi who can come into the starting XI.  Sturridge scored the opener in England's 3-0 thrashing of Scotland on Friday night.

Adam Lallana picked up an injury playing for his country on Tuesday so in terms of fantasy players from this match it's a bit of a gamble.  Liverpool's front three have all been excellent so far this season but their long travels means they are not guaranteed to start.

Middlesbrough vs Chelsea

The Premier League fixtures have been kind to Chelsea this weekend who get an extra day's rest compared to their fellow title chasers, and a trip to Middlesbrough on Sunday could previously have been seen as a favourable match up too.

However, Aitor Karanka's side are unbeaten in their last three league outings - drawing 0-0 at Arsenal, beating Bournemouth 2-0 and then holding Manchester City to a 1-1 draw at the Etihad.  Chelsea are playing so well right now that they are expected to take three points regardless.

Eden Hazard and Diego Costa are on fire - these are the obvious choices to any fantasy team manager.  Pedro could be worth considering too whilst the Chelsea defence has kept five consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League so any one of the back three are certainly worth picking right now.

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