Analysis

Premier League preview: What (definitely) will and won't happen

Chelsea travel to the Etihad Stadium, while Southampton and Stoke contest a relegation six-pointer

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Burnley vs Everton (Saturday, 12.30pm)

The big talking point: Our eyes! Our eyes! This promises to be a horrendous watch.

What will happen: If Burnley are ever to end their long, winless run, it will happen here: against the side that don't do away wins. Or goals. Or football with any semblance of ambition.

What won't happen: No easy decision in goal for Sean Dyche, who will again have to make a decision over the Tom Heaton/Nick Pope issue. Pope has played so well since coming into the side, but if Heaton doesn't get back in he can forget about the World Cup - and that's tricky, because he's actually Dyche's longest-serving player. 

Leicester vs Bournemouth (Saturday, 3pm)

The big talking point: Bournemouth's comeback against Newcastle last week, which was another indication of their growing health.

What will happen: Shinji Okazaki is ready to return so could go straight back into the starting XI to help out Jamie Vardy. For Bournemouth, Adam Smith was very impressive as a substitute last weekend so should be restored to Eddie Howe's side.

What won't happen: A visiting clean sheet. This is a bad, bad match-up for Bournemouth, who are not really equipped to nullify the Vardy/Mahrez access. Key to their problem is an inability to track runners who go beyond them - remember what Liverpool did them a few months ago - so this should be a fairly comfortable home win.

Southampton vs Stoke (Saturday, 3pm) 

The big talking point: Relegation, unfortunately. These two teams are in desperate trouble and, while both have shown marginal improvement lately, they really need to start winning. Stoke are in the relegation zone. Southampton are only outside of it on goal difference.

What will happen: In light of Guido Carrillo not really hitting the ground running, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Manolo Gabbiadini back in the side at St Mary's. He scored a late equaliser at Turf Moor last weekend and Mauricio Pellegrino can't afford to ignore anyone who's capable of providing goals. 

What won't happen: We don't fancy Southampton here - no win from them. Stoke aren't substantially better than they were under Mark Hughes, but they do seem freer and better defensively. Conversely, Southampton look deeply inhibited whenever they play at home and this looks, at a glance, like the kind of game destined to be settled by some Shaqiri excellence or something similar.

Swansea vs West Ham (Saturday, 3pm)

The big talking point: Has the Carvalhal bubble burst? Swansea were comfortably second best at Brighton a week ago and the long, unbeaten stretch of form which led them into that fixture hasn't lifted them out of the relegation zone.

What will happen: Manuel Lanzini completed almost an hour on his comeback against Liverpool last weekend, and although he made little impression, his return does make West Ham a far more dangerous side. Lanzini is their most gifted attacking player. You could make an argument for Marko Arnautovic, but Lanzini is really the one with all the craft and whom, if fit, Swansea will have to be most wary of. Expect the result to be determined by his level of performance.

What won't happen: Both sides are carrying long injury lists: Renato Sanches, Leroy Fer and Wilfried Bony will all be missing for Swansea - and will be for some time - while Patrice Evra has been added to a West Ham absentee list which already includes Pedro Obiang and, of course, Andy Carroll.

Tottenham vs Huddersfield (Saturday, 3pm)

The big talking point: Given what it experienced on Wednesday, the Wembley pitch will most likely be atrocious by the time Saturday arrives. A leveller, perhaps?

What will happen: David Wagner will do what he's done against every big side: Huddersfield will sit deep, volunteer the ball back to their opponent and will likely be brutalised by Mauricio Pochettino's forward line.

What won't happen: There'll be no Toby Alderweireld, as there won't be against Juventus next week. The Belgian broke down in training on Tuesday with another hamstring injury.

Watford vs West Brom (Saturday, 3pm)

The big talking point: Alan Pardew's job security. It's astonishing that he's still there actually, given that he lost at home to Huddersfield last weekend. This must surely be a last chance.

What will happen: P45 time. West Brom are absolutely useless. Only Swansea have scored fewer goals and their defence isn't nearly good enough to win points the hard way. A greatly improved Watford should have few problems here, then, and relegation will soon become a virtual certainty for the Baggies.

What won't happen: Still no Daniel Sturridge for West Brom - who didn't see that coming? - but Watford are suffering, too, with Gerard Deulofeu the latest first-team player to be ruled out. He'll be gone for a while, too.