Premier League Preview: Matchday 8 fixtures, TV guide, key battles and impact on Liverpool

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Another weekend of Premier League action is about to take place, including the 225th Merseyside derby. Here is a rundown of what is on offer.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 30, 2015: Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers and Daniel Sturridge during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Europa League Group Stage Group B match against FC Sion. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With yet another international break on the horizon, we all need to savour this weekend before Roy Hodgson’s face takes over our television screens.

The derby at Goodison Park on Sunday is the standout fixture, along with Man United‘s trip to Arsenal, and Brendan Rodgers will be well aware of how important the result is in terms of his future.

The Toffees will fancy their chances against the Reds, and currently sit three places and one point ahead of them in fifth place.

Roberto Martinez’s side will know that a win will not only cause more misery at Anfield, but also act as a huge confidence boost in their quest for a top-six finish.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 26, 2015: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge scores the third goal against Aston Villa during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It is United who lead the way in the table, following Man City‘s two defeats on the bounce, and Arsenal‘s defeat at home to Olympiakos in midweek arguably makes Louis van Gaal’s team narrow favourites to win in north London.

Chelsea‘s terrible start to the campaign continued with a 2-2 draw at struggling Newcastle last Saturday, and their home clash with Southampton on Saturday evening is must-win game.

Sunderland, Newcastle and Aston Villa make up the current bottom three, with the two North East clubs enduring equally miserable spells right now.

We are in for a potentially thrilling couple of days.

Full Fixtures and TV Information

Crystal Palace vs. West Bromwich Albion- Selhurst Park, Saturday 12:45pm, BT Sport 1

Aston Villa vs. Stoke City– Villa Park, Saturday 3pm

Bournemouth vs. Watford– Dean Court, Saturday 3pm

Manchester City vs. Newcastle United- Etihad Stadium, Saturday 3pm

Norwich City vs. Leicester City– Carrow Road, Saturday 3pm

Sunderland vs. West Ham United- Stadium of Light, Saturday 3pm

Chelsea vs. Southampton– Stamford Bridge, Saturday 5:30pm, Sky Sports 1

Everton vs. Liverpool- Goodison Park, Sunday 1:30pm, Sky Sports 1

Arsenal vs. Manchester United- Emirates Stadium, Sunday 4pm, Sky Sports

Swansea City vs. Tottenham Hotspur- Liberty Stadium, Sunday 4pm

Key Fixtures and Players

The return of Daniel Sturridge has been like a new signing for Liverpool, with his two goals in the 3-2 win against Aston Villa outlining what a fantastic player he is.

The 26-year-old may well play a pivotal role in the showdown with Everton, and his link-up with Philippe Coutinho will be key to the Reds’ hopes.

Romelu Lukaku is in terrific form too, and his physicality has all the potential to give Liverpool’s defence an extremely tough afternoon. Ross Barkley is another who looks a real threat right now.

United will head to Arsenal hoping Anthony Martial continues his terrific start in England, while Chris Smalling and Juan Mata are also in eye-catching form of late.

The Gunners’ dreadful aforementioned loss to Olympiakos has seen their famously knee-jerk fans throw their toys out of the pram, and a defeat to United doesn’t bear thinking about.

Under-fire boss Arsene Wenger will need Alexis Sanchez to replicate the form that saw him score a hat-trick at Leicester last weekend, but Laurent Koscielny will be a huge loss at the back.

Chelsea still have several players completely out of form, most notably the hapless Branislav Ivanovic, and in attack they look fairly toothless.

Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas are all searching for their top level, and if they fail to find it against Southampton on Saturday, it may well be more points dropped.

You would expect City to overcome Newcastle at the Etihad, and the talented attacking quartet of Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero could all start together in the league for the first time.

Leicester duo Jamie Vardy (6) and Riyad Mahrez (5) are the two top scorers in the league currently, and will fancy their chances of adding to their respective totals at Norwich.

Bournemouth‘s Callum Wilson also has five goals to his name, but the Englishman may miss the rest of the season because of a serious knee injury.

It is a bitter blow to Eddie Howe and his side, and their home clash with fellow promoted side Watford is crucial even this early in the season.

Tottenham will be hoping Harry Kane can build on his goal against City last week when they travel to a Swansea side without a league win in four matches.

Things for Liverpool to keep an eye on

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 26, 2015: Liverpool's James Milner celebrates after the 3-2 victory over Aston Villa during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Despite some very poor results for Liverpool already this season, they are only five points off United at the top of the table.

They have a three-point lead on Chelsea, and only trail Arsenal and City by two and three, respectively. It could be worse, that’s for sure.

The Arsenal-United clash has the feel of a draw about it, and that would be the perfect result for the Reds in terms of keeping in touch with their rivals.

City and Chelsea will have both played by the time the derby kicks off on Sunday lunchtime, and dropped by points by either would come as both a surprise and a bonus for Liverpool.

Expect victories for last season’s top two, despite their slightly erratic form.

Spurs are going quietly under the radar in a lot of ways, and their trip to Swansea is a test of their top-four credentials.

White Hart Lane will be the destination of Liverpool’s next league game after Everton, so keeping an eye on Mauricio Pochettino’s improving Spurs side could be handy on Sunday.

We’re all set for yet more drama and entertainment in (debatably) Europe’s most entertaining league. Let battle commence.

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