London — Newcastle face an early test of their Premier League aspirations this season when they take on Manchester City, while Chelsea’s £115 million ($146 million) midfielder Moises Caicedo is set to make his debut at West Ham.
Tottenham are looking for the scalp of Manchester United on Saturday in their first home game since the departure of Harry Kane.
AFP Sport looks at the best of the action on the second weekend of the Premier League season:
Can Newcastle dream?
The Magpies head to the Etihad top of the table after a 5-1 demolition of highly-fancied Aston Villa last weekend.
Sandro Tonali and Harvey Barnes scored on their debuts, while Alexander Isak’s classy double was further evidence of the Swede’s rise to becoming one of the Premier League’s top marksmen.
After qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in 20 years, there have been doubts over how Eddie Howe’s men will balance the demands of domestic and European football.
But they could be facing City at the perfect time.
Pep Guardiola sarcastically thanked the Premier League for scheduling his side to play just three days after a draining UEFA Super Cup win over Sevilla in the baking heat of Athens.
City will be without Kevin De Bruyne, while Bernardo Silva, Ruben Dias and John Stones are doubts after playing no part in the Greek capital in midweek.
Newcastle have not won away to City in the Premier League in 23 years.
But their rise since a takeover from the Saudi sovereign wealth fund less than two years ago has been rapid.
Beat the champions on Saturday and talk on Tyneside may turn to dethroning City come the end of the season.
Spurs seek consolation for Kane pain
Tottenham began a new era last weekend without Kane up front and with Ange Postecoglou in charge in at 2-2 draw at Brentford.
The heat will be turned up on chairman Daniel Levy as Spurs return home for the first time this season.
Protests are planned by fans unhappy at Kane’s departure despite a hike of up to 20 percent in ticket prices.
“We are charged amongst the most expensive prices in the Premier League and Europe by one of the richest clubs in Europe. It is an exploitation of fan loyalty,” said the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust.
United began their campaign with a 1-0 win over Wolves, but the scoreline did not tell the true story.
The visitors had the most shots by any visiting side at Old Trafford since 2005 in a dominant performance and were denied a clear penalty in stoppage time when United goalkeeper Andre Onana punched Sasa Kalajdzic as he attempted to clear a cross.
United will again have to cope without new striker Rasmus Hojlund due to a back injury and Erik ten Hag faces the conundrum of whether to persist with new signing Mason Mount alongside captain Bruno Fernandes in midfield.
Caicedo’s Chelsea bow
Chelsea won the race to land Caicedo despite competition for Liverpool, but had to pay Brighton a British record price that could rise to £115 million.
It is the second time in seven months that Chelsea have smashed the Premier League transfer fee record after spending £107 million on Enzo Fernandez in January.
Caicedo and Fernandez are set to become the cornerstone of Mauricio Pochettino’s new-look side, which got off to a promising start in a 1-1 draw against Liverpool last weekend.
But scoring goals remains Chelsea’s problem with new signing Christopher Nkunku set for months on the sidelines.
West Ham are still coming to terms with losing their own £100 million midfielder after captain Declan Rice departed for Arsenal.
James Ward-Prowse has been brought in to deputise for Rice and the England international is expected to make his Hammers debut on Sunday.
Fixtures (all times GMT)
Nottingham Forest v Sheffield United (18:45)
Fulham v Brentford, Liverpool v Bournemouth, Wolves v Brighton (all 14:00), Tottenham v Manchester United (16:30), Manchester City v Newcastle (19:00)
Aston Villa v Everton (13:00), West Ham v Chelsea (15:30)
Crystal Palace v Arsenal (19:00)
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