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Barclays Premier League

 By James Dall

Flawed opponents Liverpool, Arsenal yearning for statement of intent

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno, Craig Burley and Stuart Holden are in agreement the pressure is piled on Liverpool ahead of their Capital One Cup match against Bournemouth, with a clash against Arsenal looming.

Premier League Spotlight previews the weekend's top-flight fixtures, highlighting the key points to keep an eye on as the action unfolds.

Weekend fixtures

Saturday
Man City vs. Crystal Palace
Aston Villa vs. Man Utd
Hull vs. Swansea
QPR vs. West Brom
Southampton vs. Everton
Tottenham vs. Burnley
West Ham vs. Leicester

Sunday
Newcastle vs. Sunderland
Liverpool vs. Arsenal

Monday
Stoke vs. Chelsea

Weekend battle: Liverpool vs. Arsenal

Liverpool face Arsenal on Sunday, the team they have been doing a very convincing imitation of this season: bark without the bite, an at-times invisible goalkeeper, lots of itty-bitty passing, injuries to key players, profligacy in front of goal, slapstick defending, style over substance and a manager who talks a good game...

Liverpool and Arsenal shun defensive midfielders; creativity over destruction

ESPN FC's Stewart Robson asseses Arsenal's defensive woes given all the injuries and the suspension to Calum Chambers.

The defensive midfielder is not a footballing dinosaur or dodo, a species consigned to extinction by the changing of the times. How could it be when Chelsea's Nemanja Matic is perhaps the most influential player of the season?

Yet it has no counterpart at two of the supposed elite: The defensive midfielder seems a dying breed at Liverpool and Arsenal. Matic highlights a philosophical divide in football. This summer Chelsea paid 21 million pounds to re-sign the man they sold for a sixth of that...

Manchester City are the oldest team in the Premier League, study shows

Manchester City may need to think about a pension scheme.

Manchester City have the oldest squad of any major team in Europe, new research from the CIES Football Observatory has shown. 

City's owners have spent over one billion on the club since taking over in 2008 have won the Premier League title twice, and the FA Cup once. However, they are also top of a league that suggests their recent power has been built on experience, rather than youth.

MAJOR CLUBS' AVERAGE AGES

Manchester City (28.8) - Juventus (28.77)
Chelsea (27.08) - Bayern Munich (26.79)

PSG (26.66) - Real Madrid (26.26)
Arsenal (26.00) - Barcelona (25.89)
Dortmund (25.75) - Liverpool (25.68)
Manchester United (25.44) - Marseille (24.23)

The likes of Frank Lampard (36), Martin Demichelis (33), Yaya Toure (31), Bacary Sagna (31), Gael Clichy...

Manchester United's Michael Carrick: I will always class myself as a midfielder

Our experts weigh in on Manchester United's potential move to sign AS Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman.

Michael Carrick insists he will always regard himself as a midfielder despite his successful reinvention as a centre-back in recent games for Manchester United.

Carrick, 33, made his first appearance of the season in defence during the Manchester derby and was moved into the back three by manager Louis van Gaal during the 2-1 win at Southampton.

The England international was occasionally used in defence during injury crises by Sir Alex Ferguson, and earned praise for his composed performance as...

United's Marouane Fellaini: Criticism of me last season affected my family

Our experts weigh in on Manchester United's potential move to sign AS Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman.

Marouane Fellaini has revealed that his family were hurt by the criticism he received during his difficult first year at Manchester United.

Fellaini, 27, became one of the most expensive players in United's history when he joined for 27.5 million pounds from Everton in September 2013.

However, the Belgium international failed to score a goal in his first season at Old Trafford as the defending Premier League champions only finished seventh.

And Fellaini became a target in a year when he struggled...