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Premier League: Manchester City is fueled by the hot Erling Haaland while Liverpool faces a test against Arsenal.


If league leaders Arsenal win Sunday’s featured matchup at the Emirates Stadium, Liverpool’s waning Premier League title challenge could be fatally wounded. Manchester City will look to continue its goal scoring streak against Southampton, buoyed by Erling Haaland’s outstanding play, while Manchester United may turn to Casemiro after their derby defeat.

A look at some of the major talking themes before this weekend’s action is provided by AFP Sport.

Liverpool is in a pivotal era.

Liverpool has been urged by Virgil van Dijk to accept the pressure of what may be a turning point in their inconsistent season.

Jurgen Klopp’s team is now 11 points behind Arsenal and cannot afford to go farther behind after an unusually slow start.

Liverpool, who have won just two of their opening seven league games, travels to Rangers in the Champions League on Wednesday before hosting Manchester City at Anfield on October 16.

Liverpool regained their composure by defeating Rangers 2-0 in midweek after a bruising 3-3 draw with Brighton the previous weekend, and Van Dijk wants his team to carry that momentum into the game against Arsenal.

“It’s something to anticipate. Given our Premier League performance, I don’t believe anyone would give us a chance there, even though they (Arsenal) are in an incredible moment “Van Dijk, a defender, remarked.

“However, we are aware of our abilities and what is expected of us. They are confident, having the time of their life, and it’s a big game.”

Haaland’s winning streak is fueled by lasagne

Erling Haaland, a striker for Manchester City, has shared his secret to success as defenders throughout Europe battle to quench his thirst for goals.

In the first half of City’s 5-0 defeat of Copenhagen in the Champions League on Wednesday, during which he scored twice, Haaland was only necessary because to his current hot streak.

The 22-year-old has had an incredible first season with City after joining for $51 million ($61 million) from Borussia Dortmund, scoring 19 goals in 11 games against rivals.

The Norwegian star also claims that his father Alfie’s homemade lasagne was a major factor in his impressive performance.

Every home game I’ve had it before has gone very well, so there must be something special he brings to it, said Haaland.

“I hardly ever lend a hand. I generally watch him while lying on the couch. That is how it operates.”

The champions have started the season with 29 goals in their first eight league games after Haaland gave them the attacking fulcrum they had been missing since Sergio Aguero left.

It makes sense that City manager Pep Guardiola was eager to refute claims this week that Haaland’s contract with City included a clause allowing Real Madrid to sign him starting in 2024.

Ten Hag struggles with the Casemiro conundrum.

After their “reality check” against Manchester City, Erik ten Hag may eventually play Brazilian midfielder Casemiro for Manchester United in the Premier League.

When City humiliated United 6-3 last Saturday, their four-match winning streak in the league came to an agonizing end.

Ten Hag feels that the humiliating loss should serve to refocus his players ahead of Sunday’s trip to Everton, but he must first resolve a big selection conundrum.

Ten Hag has used Casemiro rarely after acquiring him from Real Madrid for an initial £60 million in August as a result of Scott McTominay’s impressive displays.

The derby collapse may be the catalyst for a consistent elevation to the starting lineup for Casemiro, who has only started once in the Europa League and has made four substitute appearances in the Premier League.

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