Ten Hag Plots Pep’s Downfall, Conte set to stop the Gunners: Apex Football EPL Preview

The International break is over and we can enjoy the most exciting league in the world. It is going to be a weekend of mouth-watering derbies and Apex Football will be here to bring you all the action as it breaks!

The Manchester Derby!

Pep Guardiola and Erik ten Hag have always been effusive in their praise of one another. The Dutchman described the two years he worked alongside Guardiola at Bayern Munich as ‘like winning the lottery’.

When it was rumoured Ten Hag was going to take the Manchester United job back in April, Guardiola joked his old colleague should come to City instead and has even suggested Ten Hag could replace him at the Etihad.

What is clear is that the Ten Hag vision of playing the game that is slowly unfurling at Old Trafford, and the meticulous attention to detail required to realise it, are influenced by those formative years watching Guardiola hard at work on the next training pitch. What is clear is that the Ten Hag vision of playing the game that is slowly unfurling at Old Trafford, and the meticulous attention to detail required to realise it, are influenced by those formative years watching Guardiola hard at work on the next training pitch.

Given Ten Hag is 52 and Guardiola is 51, it’s hardly master taking on an apprentice but it could well feel that way in the latest examination of the Dutchman’s Old Trafford revolution.

Manchester United are currently in fifth place in the Premier League standings and have improved after a poor start to their campaign. The Red Devils eased past Sheriff by a 2-0 scoreline in their previous game and will look to achieve a similar result this weekend.

Manchester City, on the other hand, are in second place in the league table at the moment and have been impressive so far this season. The home side thrashed Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-0 before the international break and will be confident ahead of this fixture.

Manchester City will hope to welcome Aymeric Laporte back into the fold this weekend after missing the opening weeks of the season with a knee injury.

The defender’s possible return comes after fellow centre-back John Stones suffered an injury scare while on international duty with England. Speaking after Monday’s draw with England, Gareth Southgate said: “John is feeling something with his hamstring.”

Manchester United will hope Marcus Rashford is fit after struggling with a thigh injury, though Cristiano Ronaldo and Anthony Elanga would be ready to deputise if the derby comes too soon. Anthony Martial remains sidelined.

Summer signing Antony will hope to start again after scoring on his debut against Arsenal, having kept his fitness up with two cameos for Brazil over the past week. Elsewhere, Harry Maguire (hamstring), Donny van de Beek, Brandon Williams (both knock) and Martin Dubravka (muscle) are all doubts.

North London Derby

Taking after his namesake Patrick, Arsenal new boy Fabio Vieira scored the pick of the bunch as Arsenal ran out 3-0 winners over Brentford on September 18, during which William Saliba and Gabriel Jesus headed home for the dominant Gunners in the first half.

Having successfully avenged their 2-0 loss at the Brentford Community Stadium last year – irking some with their ‘Nice kick about with the boys’ comments – Arsenal ensured that they would head into the international break one point clear of Spurs and Manchester City in first place.

Ending a four-game run without a clean sheet was also a sight for Mikel Arteta’s sore eyes, as his Arsenal side continue to demonstrate a ruthless streak notably absent in teams gone by, even if their only Big Six clash so far this season ended in a 3-1 defeat to Manchester United.

The hosts have also prevailed in each of their last six Premier League matches at their Emirates headquarters, although they have conceded at least one goal in all of them, and Tottenham’s famed attacking line have more than one incentive to silence the home crowd.

After facing countless calls from Tottenham fans to drop the goalless Son Heung-min to the bench due, Antonio Conte’s bold move paid dividends against Leicester City, as the South Korea international ended his profligate streak in some style.

Son was introduced into the match in the 59th minute, and by the 86th minute he was confirmed to be walking home with the match ball, as his 13-minute hat-trick complemented strikes from Harry Kane, Eric Dier and Rodrigo Bentancur in a 6-2 romping.

A 3-1 Arsenal triumph in this fixture last season means that Spurs have failed to win any of their last 11 North London derbies away from home in the league, but they served their capital counterparts a slice of humble pie with a 3-0 win in May, and Conte’s crop are not the same side that Nuno Espirito Santo led to their demise at the Emirates last term.

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