Weekend treble: Hornets lack sting, Chelsea fall flat and Spurs to humble Newcastle

As the Premier League returns, we set our sights on a trio of games including Ranieri's first game at Watford, Chelsea's visit to Brentford and Newcastle's clash with Tottenham.

With the international break now wrapped up - for another few weeks at least - we turn to the Premier League where value can be found in three particular fixtures.

Liverpool to handle Hornets bounce-back

Claudio Ranieri, Watford, manager, Premier League

So often it seems that a change of manager is enough to reinspire a struggling side, and Watford are likely to look lively in their first game under Claudio Ranieri.

The Hornets enjoyed a relatively strong start to life back in the top-flight with Xisco Munoz, and currently sit 15th, but the boost of a former Premier League winner at the helm will spur them on even further.

An advocate of pragmatic, counter-attacking football, Ranieri's system will suit Watford duo Ismaila Sarr and Emmanuel Dennis who have already grown in confidence this season.

However Liverpool are no easy nut to crack, and Jurgen Klopp's side looks as though they're back to their brilliant best after last season's injury woes.

The return of Trent Alexander-Arnold will boost an already strong squad that will be looking to go top of the table in Saturday's early kickoff.

So while Ranieri can find success long-term at Vicarage Road, a visit from Liverpool will prove too much for him in his dugout debut on Saturday.

Brentford can frustrate the Blues

Chelsea currently occupy the top spot in the Premier League, but the Blues have looked flat at times and Thomas Tuchel's system has started to show flaws.

Famed for his ability to make mid-game changes and react to situations when they arise, Tuchel has enjoyed success throughout his career, but has looked less versatile at Chelsea.

At Mainz, Borussia Dortmund and even Paris Saint-Germain, Tuchel would often make weekly changes to formations and tactics to set up his side according to the opposition.

Therefore, it's unusual to see the German boss stick stubbornly to his 3-4-3 system at Stamford Bridge - a system that has started to look tired in recent weeks.

Consecutive losses to Manchester City and Juventus are forgivable, but Chelsea continued to look slow and fatigued in their win against Southampton.

Timo Werner, Chelsea, Southampton, Premier League

Before James Ward-Prowse's dismissal, Chelsea looked lost for creativity despite the plethora of attacking talent, and left it late to snatch all three points.

Despite their label as a newly-promoted side, Chelsea may find it even harder to breakdown Brentford, who have been superb so far this season.

Thomas Frank's side have already shown their ability to cause an upset, and will fancy their chances with the duo of Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbeumo up front.

While a win over the league leaders may be too much of a stretch, the Bees are no pushovers and can be confident of taking a point from their derby clash on Saturday afternoon.

Newcastle to be reminded of short-term struggles

Newcastle United's recent takeover has flooded the headlines, and it's easy to see why. Whether it's the understandable concern over the Saudi Arabian investors' human rights, or being frankly astonished by their new masses of wealth.

But while Newcastle fans continue to come to terms with the exit of Mike Ashley and the extremely controversial introduction of new owners, they first have to deal with a visit from Tottenham.

In what will be Steve Bruce's 1000th game - and possibly his last at St James Park - Newcastle are in desperate need of points after falling to 19th in the table.

All dreams and fairytales of bringing in the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland will come to a bitter and abrupt end if they aren't able to turn around their fortunes this season and exit the relegation zone.

As for now, they're stuck with the same old squad that has so far failed to impress in the Premier League, and they'll find it difficult against a Tottenham side also in dire need of points.

Nuno Espirito Santo managed to steady the Spurs ship with a win over Aston Villa last time out, but they'll need to build on that performance in the north-east this weekend if they are to truly put some woeful weeks behind them.

Talisman striker, Harry Kane, has been a shadow of his former self since the Manchester City rumours in the summer, but he boasts a strong record against Newcastle after scoring four in their last four meetings.

Keen to rediscover his form in front of goal, Kane will be eager to impress on Sunday afternoon and could find some success against a Newcastle side that may be as happy to see Bruce leave as the fans in the ground.

READ MORE: Weekend longshots: Harry Kane to return with a bang and signal the end for Steve Bruce

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