Premier League talking points

Premier League talking points

RE-EXPLORE FIVE-SUB RULE FOR PLAYER WELFARE

1. Both Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and his Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp chose to highlight the Premier League’s refusal to accept the temporary use of five substitutes following Sunday’s 1-1 draw at the Etihad.

That was probably not a coincidence and it is likely that there will now be a push from the bigger clubs to persuade smaller teams who had originally opposed extra subs to relent.

Klopp argued that there is no advantage to teams who have a larger squad, and City striker Gabriel Jesus agreed, citing the prospect of more injuries for players, as long as the number of substitutes is not increased to cope with the workload of compressed schedules.

CAN POGBA FIND A ROLE AT MANCHESTER UNITED?

2. Paul Pogba remains a square peg in a round hole at Manchester United despite occasional flashes of brilliance. In Saturday’s must-win game against Everton, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer chose to leave him on the bench, opting to start Scott McTominay and Fred in the centre of his midfield, with Bruno Fernandes higher up the pitch.

Pogba was again reduced to a bit-part role, making a late cameo for the second successive game, and while Solskjaer backed the French World Cup winner, saying he was still not 100 per cent fit, it is difficult to know whether either party believes in a long-term relationship.

REALITY CHECK FOR SWASHBUCKLING LEEDS

3. After an impressive start to their first top-flight campaign for 16 years, Leeds have received something of a reality check after successive heavy beatings.

On Saturday they went down 4-1 to Crystal Palace, having also been beaten by that score against Leicester last Monday, and most worrying for manager Marcelo Bielsa will be his side’s defensive frailties.

They have now leaked a joint-worst 17 goals in eight games and having dropped to 15th spot. Some tightening up at the back will be required if they are not to get sucked into a relegation battle.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS