Premier League: World Cup threatening injuries, a worry in last round of matches (preview)

The last round of Premier League matches before the World Cup is to be played this weekend and will make England coach Gareth Southgate nervous while leaving some coaches with a selection dilemma.

With just a week before the World Cup kicks off, any injury picked up this weekend, will mean missing out on the tournament, and Southgate will be hoping none of the 26 players he named in his squad on Thursday suffer any setbacks.

Meanwhile, some coaches might consider leaving out some of their internationals to save them from the risk of missing out on one of the highlights of their careers.

Manchester City coach, Pep Guardiola, will have no such dilemma about striker Erling Haaland for his side’s home game against Brentford. The Norwegian won’t be going to Qatar, but has recovered from his foot injury and will lead the City attack.

Southgate would probably be grateful for defender Kyle Walker to get some minutes under his belt before the World Cup, while Brentford striker Ivan Toney has a point to prove after failing to make the England squad.

In-form Newcastle United have climbed to third after recent results and might take another step towards a Champions League place when they meet Chelsea. The Londoners make the long trip north after being outplayed by Arsenal in the league last weekend and by Manchester City in the Carabao Cup in midweek.

New Southampton coach Nathan Jones makes his debut away to Liverpool, whose coach Jurgen Klopp has admitted he doesn’t like facing new managers as he is never sure what tactics they are going to use, but Liverpool are in good shape after beating Tottenham last weekend.

Tottenham are looking rocky with three defeats in five games despite sitting fourth in the table, and coach Antonio Conte this week admitted striker Harry Kane is “very tired” ahead of the World Cup.

Spurs are at home to Leeds United, who have moved away from the bottom three after winning at Anfield and in last weekend’s 4-3 thriller at home to Bournemouth.

That defeat means Bournemouth have lost four games in a row to slide to fourth from bottom and probably put an end to caretaker coach, Gary O’Neil’s chances of getting the job permanently.

The stoppage for the World Cup should see Bournemouth appoint a permanent coach and O’Neill will want to go out on a high when his side entertains Everton, who are just one place above them, reports Xinhua.

League leader Arsenal visit second-from-bottom Wolves, who will have new coach Julen Lopetegui watching from the stands as he prepares to take over next week.

Manchester United have a difficult visit to an impressive Fulham, who were seconds away from taking a draw from their visit to Manchester City last weekend.

Brighton continue to play an attractive passing game, but coach Roberto De Zerbi will be looking for striker Danny Welbeck to build on the midweek penalty he scored and get off the mark in the Premier League.

England midfielders James Maddison and Declan Rice, who is almost certain to start against Iran on November 21, go head-to-head when an improving Leicester City visits West Ham United.

Finally, Nottingham Forrest will look to climb off the bottom of the table when they entertain mid-table Crystal Palace, who visit the City Ground after morale-boosting consecutive wins.




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