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

Burnley vs Manchester City (Saturday, 12.30pm)

The big talking point: Aymeric Laporte's first big test. It's cold, it's February, and it's Burnley away - the rest writes itself.

What will happen: In the current climate, it wouldn't be a surprise to see another one of those waist-high challenges that have been aimed at Manchester City's players in recent weeks. It's likely not due to malice; more descriptive of opponents' inability to subdue them.

What won't happen: On the receiving end won't be Leroy Sané, though, who is out for six weeks. Steven Defour is on the sidelines for Burnley, while Sean Dyche must contend with the absence of James Tarkowski as well.

Bournemouth vs Stoke (Saturday, 3pm)

The big talking point: Bournemouth's reaction to Wednesday night – because how do you respond to one of the finest results in your club's history?

What will happen: Badou Ndiaye is a possible inclusion for Stoke. The midfielder was signed on deadline day and easily the high point of their January recruitment. Paul Lambert will be hoping that the former Galatasaray player can cure his team's longstanding weakness in that area of the pitch.

What won't happen: Josh King is fit and available for Bournemouth again, but Jermain Defoe is not yet fit to feature.

Brighton vs West Ham (Saturday, 3pm)

The big talking point: Jurgen Locadia: the latest Eredivisie forward to be gambled upon by a British club.

What will happen: West Ham have not lost in six games, while Brighton have failed to win in their last six. Form points to an away win here, but the limitations of David Moyes's squad were laid bare in the draw with Crystal Palace on Tuesday night. West Ham have more talent than Brighton, but most of it is stuck in the treatment room.

What will happen: Something's brewing between Moyes and Michail Antonio, who was left out of that Palace game because of a breach in team discipline. Antonio hasn't had a good season – it's been disrupted by injury and poor form – and he has work ahead to reclaim the reputation he once had.

Leicester vs Swansea (Saturday, 3pm)

The big talking point: Swansea's recovery. It's not an illusion, because they really have improved under Carlos Carvalhal, but Leicester at the King Power is very different to facing Arsenal at home in front of the Sky cameras. Relegation won't be avoided through sporadic high points, but by sustained form. Time to back up those wins.

What will happen: Andre Ayew should make his second debut for Swansea, joining brother Jordan in attack. Swansea paid an awful lot of money to complete the deal, but Ayew remains a quality player whose aerial ability and wandering style will be highly useful.

What won't happen: It doesn't appear if Riyad Mahrez will play any part. Claude Puel has been conciliatory in public, empathising with the player's situation, but no word yet on whether the Algerian is willing to play for Leicester again.

Manchester United vs Huddersfield (Saturday, 3pm)

The big talking point: Angry Jose. Mourinho was visibly disgusted with his players' performance against Spurs on Wednesday, and presumably at least one of them will be warming the bench here.

What will happen: Maybe - given that performance and also who the opposition is on Saturday - it might be time to leave out Romelu Lukaku? If Alexis Sanchez is to permanently occupy the left side, then the opportunity exists to deploy Anthony Martial or Marcus Rashford as the centre-forward. It's worth a try against a team that - on the evidence of their showing against Liverpool - are happy just trying to keep the score down.

What won't happen: An adventurous Huddersfield. One of the curiosities of that last game was how, even when 2-0 down, David Wagner's side were still willing to cede possession to their opponents. There was no pressure on the ball and no intent to do anything beyond circle the wagons. Very strange - and not an approach which will bear any fruit at Old Trafford.

West Brom vs Southampton (Saturday, 3pm)

The big talking point: Hammer-time for Mauricio Pellegrino, who had a season ticket chucked at him by a supporter at St Mary's on Wednesday. Yes, it's reached that stage.

What will happen: Daniel Sturridge made his West Brom debut on Wednesday, coming off the bench during the loss to Manchester City. He should start here in concert with an in-form Jay Rodriguez.

What won't happen: Still, Pardew is contending with all sorts of injuries: Nacer Chadli remains out, Jonny Evans and Jake Livermore, too, meaning critical missing figures from all departments of his team.

Arsenal vs Everton (Saturday, 5.30pm)

The big talking point: Arsenal are already out of the FA Cup and used the weekend's rest to... lose heavily to Swansea. A bad week so far, then, but one which could end with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's debut. We say could, since the Gabonese speedster faces a late fitness test, having battled illness this week. Perhaps a cameo is more likely. 

What will happen: Theo Walcott will play against Arsenal for the first time in his career. Walcott is off to a good start at Everton, scoring his first two goals for the club against Leicester, but this will look very... odd. If his old team's luck (and defensive standard) holds, he'll have a very productive day.

What won't happen: This game will come too early for Jack Wilshere, who is sadly sidelined again. That's not quite as incidental as it once was, either, because Wilshere had added some real punch to Arsenal's midfield.

Crystal Palace vs Newcastle (Sunday, 2.15pm)

The big talking point: Islam Slimani moved to St James' Park on deadline day, meaning a chance to finally see what Rafael Benitez's side looks like with a proper centre-forward at its tip.

What will happen: Depending on which side of the pitch he plays, Wilfried Zaha will be lined up against either DeAndre Yedlin or Paul Dummett. Fantasy Football managers, you know what to do.

What won't happen: There will be no Bakary Sako for Palace, and that's more of a blow than it might seem. Sako has been in the form of his career over the past few weeks and Roy Hodgson will certainly miss the attacking thrust he provides.

Liverpool vs Tottenham (Sunday, 4.30pm)

The big talking point: A huge, huge game. Spurs were mightily impressive against Manchester United in midweek, but have really struggled to show their true selves at Anfield in recent years. Last season's defeat in particular will have upset Mauricio Pochettino and he'll want to see something far more in keeping with the general standard.

What will happen: No new injury doubts for either side, so expect very similar lineups. Tottenham have Danny Rose available again after injury, but Toby Alderweireld will likely have to wait until the Newport County game to make his return.

What won't happen: It would be a surprise to see Loris Karius start again for Liverpool. Simon Mignolet is not without his flaws, but is probably the safer of the two options - and Karius has hardly seized his opportunity over recent games.

Watford vs Chelsea (Monday, 8pm)

The big talking point: Crisis at Chelsea. Losing 0-3 at home to Bournemouth can't be described as anything else. Antonio Conte needs a win here.

What will happen: Olivier Giroud should make his debut. Alvaro Morata is still injured - or hiding - and Conte will likely prefer to employ Eden Hazard from something other than a false-nine role. Michy Batshuayi is no longer available, of course, having been loaned to Borussia Dortmund.

What won't happen: Clean sheets. Chelsea obviously look porous at the moment, but Watford are also enduring desperate defensive troubles (not helped by their array of injuries in midfield/defence). Their goalless draw with Stoke (Stoke) was the first time they haven't been breached since the 3-0 win over Newcastle on November 25.

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