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Friday Hoddle of Coffee: Weekend Preview, September 16, 2016

Let’s get ready for Sunderland.

Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images

One of the biggest challenges with playing in Europe is the weekend after. Teams often enter their league play following a European tie with a bit of a hangover and it’s not unusual for them to drop points in matches they should be winning. Here’s the schedule for the six European teams in the Premier League this weekend:

  • Hull City v Arsenal
  • Manchester City v Bournemouth
  • Leicester City v Burnley
  • Watford v Manchester United
  • Southampton v Swansea City
  • Tottenham v Sunderland

The other big match of the weekend is actually later today as Liverpool travel to Stamford Bridge.

Of the lot, none are what you’d call a difficult game. In fact, all six teams are facing teams that may find themselves in relegation fights come April. What this means is that dropped points this weekend could prove especially costly since the other European teams are unlikely to drop points. This makes the home tie with Sunderland a significant fixture for Spurs as we begin the difficult task of balancing the league campaign with the Champions League.

My guess is we see last season’s normal XI with Davies in for Rose. But don’t be surprised if Eric Dier, Dele Alli, or Harry Kane are given a rest. (And how great is it to now have four solid backups for them that we can trust off the bench?)

On to the links:

UEFA confirmed the decision to hold the Champions League final in Kyiv in 2018 despite ongoing unrest in the region.

Stats Bomb compared Andros Townsend and Neymar. Because LOL

Futbolgrad uses Football Manager to help imagine what might have been in world football if the Soviet Union did not dissolve. For starters: an attacking three of Yarmolenko, Konoplyanka, and Mkhitaryan.