The Premier League is back after a two-week hiatus, much to the delight of fantasy football managers everywhere.

Picking the right team has been difficult so far due to a disrupted fixture list and shock results, not least in the last round of games.

Liverpool and Manchester United were on the end of heavy defeats and will be looking to hit back against Everton and Newcastle United respectively this weekend.

There is also the small matter of Manchester City against Arsenal, plus a London derby between Tottenham and West Ham.

Whether you need to build on a strong start to the season or make up points on the sides in front, our Opta-powered picks will give you the advantage you need.

EMILIANO MARTINEZ

Martinez has made a good start to life at Aston Villa since joining last month, very much picking up from where he left off at Arsenal.

The 28-year-old can argue his case as being the Premier League's best goalkeeper since the competition resumed post-lockdown in June.

Four keepers have faced more shots on target since then, but Martinez has made the most saves (43) and has the best save percentage (79.3).

Only Man City's Ederson and Rui Patricio of Wolves (both seven) have kept more clean sheets across the same timeframe than Martinez's seven.

 

CESAR AZPILICUETA

Many felt that Azpilicueta's days at Chelsea may be numbered following the emergence of Reece James at right-back.

However, the 31-year-old is proving that he remains a great option for any fantasy side, having created more chances (16) from open play than any defender since June.

He has four assists in that time, which is bettered only by Liverpool's Andy Robertson (six), most recently setting up Mason Mount in Chelsea's 3-3 draw with West Brom.

 

EZRI KONSA 

Even taking Everton's perfect start to the season into consideration, Villa have been the Premier League's surprise package so far

Konsa has played a big part in his side's impressive run in the top flight, which stretches back to last season, by helping to keep three clean sheets in his last five games.

The young defender has helped out in an attacking sense, too, scoring twice from four shots since the Premier League restart four months ago.

 

JACK GREALISH

After an international break that only strengthened his claim to be a starter for England, Grealish will be looking to pick up from where he left off for his club side.

Villa have played a game fewer than 16 other sides but only one player, Tottenham's Son Heung-min (seven), has been involved in more goals than Grealish in the 2020-21 season.

The playmaker has scored three goals of his own and laid on three more for team-mates, while his 10 chances created from open play is only bettered by Kevin De Bruyne (12).

On the basis of his five goal involvements in the thrashing of Liverpool, the Villa skipper seems an ideal pick for this trip to Leicester City.

 

KEVIN DE BRUYNE

If you are one of the rare fantasy managers without De Bruyne in your side, this may well be the time to finally take the plunge.

The Belgium international has scored five goals against Arsenal, making the Gunners his favourite opponents in that regard, and he has also bagged a couple of assists in this fixture.

That includes a goal when the sides last met in June, although it is worth pointing out that he is carrying a knock ahead of Saturday's contest.

 

MICHAIL ANTONIO

Taking the tail end of last season into account, versatile West Ham attacker Antonio is one of the most in-form players around right now.

The 30-year-old continues to be overlooked for England selection, despite scoring 10 goals in his last 11 top-flight outings.

Antonio also loves playing against Tottenham, finding the net against his side's London rivals four times in seven previous games, making them his favourite opponents.

 

JAMIE VARDY

On the subject of players who tend to do well against certain sides, Leicester talisman Vardy has scored five goals in his last four league games against Villa.

The striker, fully rested after two weeks off between games, scored braces home and away against Dean Smith's side last season.

He already has five goals from four matches this season, placing him behind Son and Dominic Calvert Lewin (six each) in the scoring charts.

Borussia Dortmund held onto Jadon Sancho during the previous transfer window – and they have no plans to sell the star in January.

Sancho was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United, but the England international ended up staying at the Bundesliga club.

If United are planning another move in January, it seems it is destined to fail again.

 

TOP STORY – DORTMUND WON'T SELL MAN UTD TARGET SANCHO IN JANUARY

Borussia Dortmund will not sell Sancho in January, according to Bild.

Sancho, 20, has continued to be linked to Manchester United, while Liverpool and Bayern Munich have also been credited with an interest.

The attacker has scored one goal and provided two assists in three games in all competitions this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- As he recovers from another serious knee injury, Nicolo Zaniolo is set to stay at Roma. Corriere della Sera reports Roma will extend the Italy international's contract – which expires in 2024 – until 2025.

- Staying in the Italian capital and Corriere dello Sport says Arsenal defender Sead Kolasinac has been offered to Roma, who are preparing for the January transfer window.

- West Ham appear set to land Brentford forward Said Benrahma. BBC reports the Premier League club are set to sign Benrahma for £30million, with £25m of that being paid up front.

- As Harry Wilson prepares for another loan move from Liverpool, the Premier League champions want a £1m fee as part of a deal, according to The Sun. Swansea City reportedly lead the race for Wilson.

- Brighton and Hove Albion are apparently looking at Swansea City attacker Andre Ayew. However, The Sun reports Ayew's high wages could see him miss out on a move to the Premier League club.

- West Brom appear set to strengthen. Sky Sports reports they have agreed a fee worth around £15m for Huddersfield Town striker Karlan Grant. Grant scored 19 Championship goals last season.

Sergio Ramos could reportedly leave Real Madrid for Juventus or Paris Saint-Germain, while Paul Pogba is being linked to Barcelona.

Madrid captain Ramos, 34, has been at the LaLiga giants since 2005, but his contract is expiring at the end of the season.

And his situation is catching the eye of two European giants.

 

TOP STORY – JUVENTUS, PSG EYEING RAMOS

Juventus and PSG have tabled contract offers for Madrid star Ramos, according to El Chiringuito.

Ramos is out of contract in June next year, leading to fresh speculation over his future.

The Spain international has won five LaLiga titles and four Champions Leagues among numerous other trophies with Madrid.

 

ROUND-UP

- Amid a difficult financial position, Barcelona could also be looking at players coming out of contract. Mundo Deportivo reports Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba and Bayern Munich defender David Alaba may become targets.

- Inter reportedly offered Bayern Munich and intriguing exchange during the transfer window. Sky Germany says Christian Eriksen was offered to Bayern by Inter, who wanted Jerome Boateng, but the Bundesliga champions turned down the deal.

- Sergio Romero wants out of Manchester United. The Sun reports the goalkeeper has begged the Premier League giants to let him leave amid apparent interest from MLS.

- Harry Wilson could be set for another loan spell away from Liverpool. After spending last season at Bournemouth, Wilson is being offered to Swansea City, according to The Sun.

- Danny Welbeck may stay in the Premier League. The Daily Mail reports the forward, who was released by Watford earlier this month, is attracting interest from Brighton and Hove Albion.

- West Ham's move for Brentford forward Said Benrahma has stalled, according to The Telegraph, and Aston Villa may make a move for the 25-year-old.

Craig Dawson has joined West Ham on a season-long loan with an option to buy from Championship side Watford.

West Ham were heavily linked with Burnley's James Tarkowski throughout the transfer window, with the Hammers reportedly having multiple bids turned down.

With their pursuit of Tarkowski proving fruitless, David Moyes' side turned to Fikayo Tomori last week but failed to complete a loan move for the Chelsea youngster.

With the window for Premier League and EFL clubs to trade still open, however, the Hammers have managed to bolster their defensive ranks – centre-back Dawson joining from Watford.

Though not a first-choice target, Dawson brings plenty of experience to West Ham, with the 30-year-old having made 29 top-flight appearances as Watford were relegated last season.

Watford conceded 49 goals with the former West Brom man in the side, though he averaged a tackle success rate of 62.1 per cent and did not make any errors that led directly to a goal.

After losing their opening two league matches of the campaign, West Ham claimed victories over Wolves and Leicester City respectively before the international break.

Mauricio Pochettino could find himself back in management sooner rather than later.

Pochettino was sacked by Tottenham in November, having led Spurs to the 2018-19 Champions League final.

Now, Manchester United and Manchester City are reportedly considering moves for Pochettino.

 

TOP STORY – POCH A MAN IN DEMAND IN MANCHESTER

Manchester United and neighbours Manchester City are both eyeing Mauricio Pochettino, according to the Mirror.

Pochettino has been out of work since his Tottenham sacking last year, and the former Spurs boss has emerged as the favourite to replace struggling United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

United vice-chairman Ed Woodward is reportedly ready to sack Solskjaer if results do not improve, while City are considering Pochettino, with Pep Guardiola yet to sign a contract extension.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport claims Barcelona are already planning for the next transfer window. The LaLiga powerhouse are keen to sign two players, with City defender Eric Garcia and Lyon captain Memphis Depay at the top of the list. Barca are also looking to offload Ousmane Dembele who failed to join United on deadline day.

Liverpool are in talks to sign Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland, claims the Mirror. It comes after Adrian struggles to deputise in the absence of injured number one Alisson.

- Tuttosport reports Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain are interested in signing Bayern Munich star David Alaba. The two clubs are eyeing Alaba on a free transfer, with the Austria international's contract expiring at season's end. Alaba has also been linked to the likes of City and Real Madrid.

West Ham are trying to sign Brentford star Said Benrahma in a £17million deal, according to the Telegraph.

The 2020-21 season has only just started but Lionel Messi's future is dominating headlines once again.

Messi wanted to leave Barcelona, but he decided to remain at the embattled LaLiga giants.

Manchester City, who were reportedly tipped to lure Messi to England, are still dreaming of his arrival.

 

TOP STORY – CITY NOT GIVING UP ON MESSI

Manchester City are lining up a move for Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at the end of the season, reports the Manchester Evening News.

Messi handed in a transfer request prior to the 2020-21 season getting underway and Premier League giants City were favourites to sign the six-time Ballon d'Or winner before he opted to stay.

Pep Guardiola and City, however, remain interested in Messi and will be in a position to land the Barca captain should the opportunity arise next year.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester United have identified a list of potential defensive reinforcements that includes RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano and Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, according to The Athletic.

- Fabrizio Romano says goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen's new Barcelona contract until 2025 will be confirmed soon. The 28-year-old's current deal is due to expire in 2022.

- Le10sport claims Paris Saint-Germain are considering a loan move for Inter midfielder Christian Eriksen, who has struggled to establish himself since joining from Tottenham in January.

West Ham are prepared to double Declan Rice's wages to fend off interest from London rivals Chelsea, reports The Sun.

- Tuttosport says Serie A champions Juventus are hoping to rival Madrid for Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga next year. Madrid have identified teenage midfielder Camavinga as a prime target, but Juve feel that by loaning Daniele Rugani to Rennes, it will help build a relationship with the Ligue 1 side.

- Calciomercato reports Lazio and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic are facing a decisive season. The Serbia international has been previously linked to the likes of PSG, United, Inter, Juve and Madrid.

Eduardo Camavinga is one of Europe's hottest talents.

The 17-year-old's stock continues to rise following his exploits for Rennes and France.

Will Real Madrid be able to land him?

 

TOP STORY – MADRID CHASING CAMAVINGA

Rennes star Eduardo Camavinga remains Real Madrid's transfer objective, according to AS.

Madrid were desperate to sign Camavinga during the off-season but the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic prevented the LaLiga champions from doing so.

As Camavinga continues to star following his France debut and first international goal, Madrid remain determined to prise the teenager from Rennes before someone else does in 2021, when in which they plan to target Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe.

 

ROUND-UP

Milan have opened contract negotiations with star goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and in-form midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu, reports Calciomercato. Donnarumma has previously been linked to the likes of PSG, Chelsea and Juventus.

- Radio Radio claims former Juve head coach Massimiliano Allegri has met with Roma's owners amid doubts over Paulo Fonseca's future in the Italian capital. Ralf Rangnick also been linked to Roma. Ex-Juve boss Maurizio Sarri has also reportedly emerged as a target for Roma and Fiorentina.

Manchester City have made progress with Kevin De Bruyne regarding contract talks, says The Times. City want to offer the Belgian star a new five-year deal.

Tottenham are confident of signing Swansea City centre-back Joe Rodon before the October 16 domestic deadline, reports the Evening Standard. Spurs were heavily linked with Inter star Milan Skriniar. Wales international Rodon has also caught the attention of Manchester United.

- Sky Sports says West Ham are interested in signing Bournemouth forward Joshua King. The Norway international was close to joining United in January.

- El Chiringuito TV claims Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has no intention of bringing in Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund

Porto have signed Felipe Anderson from West Ham on loan for the rest of the season.

The Brazil international became the Hammers' record signing in 2018 when he joined from Lazio for a reported £36million fee.

However, the 27-year-old has played only one minute of their Premier League campaign in 2020-21.

Porto, who earlier signed Chelsea's Malang Sarr for the rest of the season, have also secured a loan deal for Liverpool midfielder Marko Grujic.

The 24-year-old midfielder has spent the past two years on loan at Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin.

Manchester United had a busy transfer deadline day but it is reported their most significant arrival could be to come.

United completed deals for Edinson Cavani, Alex Telles, Facundo Pellistri and Amad Diallo before the window closed on Monday.

There is now talk a new manager could be heading for Old Trafford, with Mauricio Pochettino lined up to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED TARGET POCH AFTER SPURS BATTERING

Former Tottenham boss Pochettino is a strong favourite to take over as United boss.

The Mirror report that United have made contact with the Argentinian following United's 6-1 home Premier League drubbing at the hands of Spurs on Sunday.

Pochettino was strongly linked with United after Jose Mourinho was sacked in December 2018 but he remained in London.

The 48-year-old has been waiting for the right opportunity to resume his managerial career following his dismissal last November, and that could be at United if Solskjaer loses his job.

ROUND-UP

- John Stones reportedly snubbed a loan move to Tottenham before the window shut. The Daily Star claim Mourinho wanted to take the Manchester City centre-back to the capital on loan for the rest of the season, but he opted to stay put.

- Another defender who rejected a switch to Spurs is Antonio Rudiger, according to The Athletic. Rudiger was said to be concerned about incurring the wrath of Chelsea fans by joining their rivals. Paris Saint-Germain and Roma were also reported to be keen on Rudiger, who ultimately stayed at Stamford Bridge.

- The Manchester Evening News say Eric Garcia missed out on a move to Barcelona because a deal with City could not be reached. Garcia may still get his move at the end of the season, when his contract expires.

- West Ham midfielder Felipe Anderson is set for a loan move to Porto on Tuesday. TalkSPORT say the former Lazio man is on the verge of a switch to Portugal for the remainder of the season.

- Fikayo Tomori pulled out of a loan deal with West Ham just 10 minutes before the window closed, according to Sky Sports. The centre-back will instead try and win his place back at Chelsea.

Jack Wilshere is "desperate" to play football and remains hungry for success after confirming his contract with West Ham has been terminated. 

The former Arsenal midfielder - capped 34 times by England - had not featured for the Hammers at the start of the 2020-21 season after making just 10 appearances in all competitions last term. 

In a statement posted on his social media accounts, the 28-year-old revealed his disappointment at the move to his boyhood club failing to work out, having signed a three-year deal in July 2018. 

Wilshere also made clear that there are no concerns over his fitness, having been troubled by injuries during his career, and he is excited about what the future holds. 

"I can confirm that I have today agreed the termination of my contract with West Ham United," Wilshere wrote. 

"When I joined the club in the summer of 2018, I joined with great hopes and expectations and was excited to join the club I'd supported as a young boy. 

"Unfortunately, despite all of my best efforts and intentions, it has not worked out as I'd expected. I have been fully fit for a large period of time at the club, including over the course of the last eight months - training hard every day - but unfortunately have not been given the opportunity to play. 

"Although I am of course frustrated that I was not able to fully showcase what I am capable of at West Ham, I remain convinced that I can still contribute at the very top of the game. 

"I am still incredibly hungry, ambitious and desperate to play football and achieve success. I'm still only 28 and feel fit, strong and ready to play. 

"I'm now looking forward to the future and hope to be able to make an announcement about the next stage of my career in due course."

There have been few days in Premier League history quite as remarkable as October 4, 2020. 

Manchester United's 6-1 home defeat to Tottenham raised eyebrows, but Liverpool's 7-2 thrashing at Aston Villa a few hours later dropped jaws. Did that really happen? 

Those results at Old Trafford and Villa Park means there have been 144 goals in 38 Premier League games so far this season – making for an average of 3.79 per fixture - the highest in the top flight since 1930-31. 

Here, using Opta data, take a look at the key stats from Sunday's six games.

Aston Villa 7-2 Liverpool: Watkins-inspired Villains demolish champions

The reigning champions were humbled as ex-Brentford striker Ollie Watkins became the 10th player to score a Premier League hat-trick against Liverpool, taking his tally in league outings to 29 since the start of last season - more than any player in England's top four tiers. 

Jack Grealish, who also scored twice, became the second Villa player to provide three assists in a single game, following in the footsteps of current Reds midfielder James Milner, who did so in 2010. 

Ross Barkley netted a debut goal for Villa, while John McGinn was also on target, meaning Mohamed Salah's brace came in vain as Liverpool became the first reigning champions to ship seven goals since Arsenal did so against Sunderland in 1953.

Manchester United 1-6 Tottenham: Spurs smash Solskjaer's sorry side

There was little indication of what was to come when Bruno Fernandes tucked away a second-minute penalty at Old Trafford to give United the lead. 

Spurs hit back in style - Tanguy Ndombele, Son Heung-min and Harry Kane all on target before Son's second ensured United - who lost Anthony Martial to a first-half red card - conceded four in the opening half of a league fixture for the first time since 1957, which also happened to be against Tottenham. 

Serge Aurier added a fifth after the break and Kane then converted a late spot-kick as United suffered their joint-heaviest Premier League defeat, equalling their 6-1 home loss to Manchester City in 2011. 

As for ex-United boss Jose Mourinho, the Portuguese equalled his biggest ever Premier League win on the road, his team winning by five goals for the first time since Chelsea beat Swansea City 5-0 in 2015. It is also his first away league triumph against a team he has previously managed in the Premier League.

Arsenal 2-1 Sheffield United: More home comforts for Arteta's Gunners

Mikel Arteta's Arsenal claimed a ninth win from their past 11 home Premier League matches, with only Liverpool (34) having won more home points than the Gunners (29) since their manager's first game in charge at Emirates Stadium last December.

Bukayo Saka opened the scoring before Nicolas Pepe finished off a 19-pass move, which was the longest sequence before a goal in the top flight this term.

Sheffield United pulled one back late on through David McGoldrick but Chris Wilder's side have now lost seven league matches in a row for the first time since 1975. It is the worst run for the Blades boss in his managerial career since 10 defeats on the spin when in charge of Halifax Town (February-April 2004).

Leicester City 0-3 West Ham United: Another amazing away day for Antonio

West Ham were the happy Hammers again at the King Power Stadium after making it back-to-back Premier League victories while keeping clean sheets for the first time since May 2019. 

Aaron Cresswell, playing his 192nd Premier League game, assisted two goals in a game for the first time in his top-flight career, Michail Antonio and Pablo Fornals both profiting prior to half-time before Jarrod Bowen added a third. 

Antonio's header saw him become the first Hammers player to score in five successive away games, with the in-form forward netting eight times in that run.

Wolves 1-0 Fulham: More defensive solidity from Nuno's men

Having conceded four against West Ham last time out, Wolves were back to their stubborn best in a 1-0 win over Fulham that came courtesy of Pedro Neto's second-half strike.

It was Wolves' seventh clean sheet of the calendar year, more than any other Premier League club in 2020, with Nuno Espirito Santos' side not conceding in seven of their past nine games at home.

As for Fulham, they have conceded 11 goals from their opening four league games, the most they have shipped at this stage in a campaign since the 1960-61 campaign (14).

Southampton 2-0 West Brom: Baggies' slow start continues

A 2-0 defeat for West Brom left Slaven Bilic's men with one point from four games, their fewest at that stage of a top-flight campaign since 1985-86.

Moussa Djenepo and Oriol Romeu scored past Sam Johnstone either side of the interval, with the Baggies goalkeeper only the second in Premier League history to concede at least 13 times in his first four games after Swindon Town's Fraser Digby in 1993-94.

The result sees the Saints march into the international break off the back of successive wins, while they have only lost two of their last 11 in the league (W6 D3).

Borussia Dortmund are reportedly maintaining a firm stance over Jadon Sancho, while Barcelona still want Memphis Depay.

The Sancho transfer saga continues to dominate talk as Manchester United chase the Dortmund star.

But the Bundesliga club are seemingly unmoved.

 

TOP STORY – DORTMUND ADAMANT SANCHO WILL STAY

Dortmund are adamant Sancho will not be sold this transfer window, according to Sky Sports.

United have continued to be linked with the England international, who scored 17 goals and provided 16 assists in 32 Bundesliga games last season.

However, Dortmund's asking price of £108million (€120m) has reportedly proven to be a stumbling block.

 

ROUND-UP

- Late in the transfer window, there may still be movement at Barcelona. Sport reports Ronald Koeman still wants Lyon star Depay. It also says Ajax full-back Sergino Dest is close to signing, while Porto are trying to loan midfielder Riqui Puig. Meanwhile, Mundo Deportivo says Barca will make a new offer for Eric Garcia after Manchester City signed Benfica defender Ruben Dias.

- Amid uncertainty over Luka Jovic's future at Real Madrid, AS reports LaLiga's champions want the forward to make a loan move. Jovic struggled in his first season at Madrid in 2019-20.

- There could be more movement at Chelsea. Fabrizio Romano says the Premier League club are still looking at West Ham midfielder Declan Rice as their main target, but will first try to sell players.

- Antonio Rudiger could be among the exits at Chelsea. Sky Sports reports Tottenham are interested in signing the defender.

- Talk about Rhian Brewster's Liverpool future continues. The Sun says Sheffield United are offering £17m for the forward and are prepared to agree to a buy-back clause of around £40m. The Blades have failed to score in their first three Premier League games and are second bottom.

- Lyon are reportedly chasing Milan midfielder Lucas Paqueta. L'Equipe claims the Ligue 1 club offered to take the 23-year-old on a one-year loan with an €18m purchase option, a deal which was rejected. However, it reports Lyon will return with an improved offer.

Premier League clubs recorded 10 positive cases of coronavirus in the latest round of testing.

The confirmed cases came from a total of 1,595 players and staff tested between September 21 and September 27.

It is the highest number of positive results for a single week within the 2020-21 season and an increase of seven from the last week's tests.

The previous highest figure for the season was four, which were recorded between September 7 and 13.

"Players or club staff who have tested positive will self-isolate for a period of 10 days," the Premier League said in a statement.

The latest figures include three at West Ham, which were confirmed by the club last Tuesday.

Manager David Moyes and players Issa Diop and Josh Cullen have all been quarantining following positive tests.

Manchester City shipped five goals in a home league match for the first time in 17 years as they were shocked by Leicester City on Sunday.

Brendan Rodgers' men were in rampant form at the Etihad Stadium and were inspired by Jamie Vardy, who is proving quite the scourge of Pep Guardiola defences.

Tottenham were denied a win over Newcastle United by another late, late penalty in a Premier League match in 2020-21, while Leeds United enjoyed Yorkshire bragging rights over Sheffield United.

West Ham, meanwhile, put Wolves to the sword as manager David Moyes watched on television while in self-isolation.

Here are some of Opta's top numbers from a scintillating day of play...

 

Manchester City 2-5 Leicester City: Guardiola in uncharted territory

Guardiola had gone 685 games in all competitions in charge of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City without his team conceding five goals. Over to you, Jamie Vardy.

The striker scored three times, two of them from the penalty spot, to take his tally to eight league goals against City since Guardiola took charge – the most of any player against a team managed by the Catalan – and inspire Leicester to a 5-2 win.

City had never conceded five in a game at the Etihad Stadium before and last let in that many in a home Premier League match against Arsenal in February 2003.

As for Vardy, he is the only player to convert two hat-tricks against a Guardiola team. The only other man to score even one such treble is Lionel Messi.

Tottenham 1-1 Newcastle United: Kane assists not enough

Harry Kane is fashioning a new name for himself as Tottenham's assist king.

He teed up Lucas Moura to open the scoring against Newcastle, thereby reaching five Premier League assists already for 2020-21 – that's only two short of his record for a single season in 2016-17 and as many as in his previous 54 league appearances.

In fact, only Ruel Fox for Newcastle in 1994-95 and Henrikh Mkhitaryan for Manchester United in 2017-18 have ever managed five assists in the opening three matchdays of a Premier League season.

Of course, it was Newcastle who got the real helping hand here, Eric Dier's unfortunate handball allowing Callum Wilson to equalise with a penalty after 96 minutes and 20 seconds, the latest any team has ever scored with their first shot on target in a Premier League match since at least 2006.

Sheffield United 0-1 Leeds United: Bamford loves the big time

Patrick Bamford only scored four Championship goals between February and late July last season. In the Premier League, he has three in three games. Some people just flourish on the biggest stages.

The striker is the first Leeds player ever to score in his first three top-flight games for the club and only the third person to net on the each of the first three matchdays for a promoted side in the Premier League. The others were Teemu Pukki for Norwich City last season and Michael Ricketts for Bolton Wanderers in 2001-02.

His header against Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United also saw Bamford become the first Leeds player to score in the first three matches of a top-flight campaign since Mick Jones back in 1968-69. They went on to win the title that season...

West Ham 4-0 Wolves: Bowen finds his feet

Jarrod Bowen scored twice against Wolves as West Ham romped to a mightily impressive win over Nuno Espirito Santo's Wolves, while boss Moyes was unable to attend after testing positive for coronavirus.

Bowen got his first brace in league football since December 2019, converting two impressive finishes to put the Hammers 2-0 ahead. He had only scored once in his first 22 Premier League outings.

With a relative dry spell in the past year apparently behind him, don't bet against the 23-year-old to build on this performance. Since the start of 2017-18, only Liverpool star Mohamed Salah (50) and Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero (38) have scored more league goals at home across England's top four divisions than Bowen (36).

Ruben Dias is on the verge of leaving Benfica.

The Portugal international is wanted by Pep Guardiola's Manchester City.

Could he help City dethrone Premier League champions Liverpool?

 

TOP STORY – DIAS SET FOR CITY

Benfica defender Ruben Dias will join Manchester City, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.

Pep Guardiola has been eyeing defensive reinforcements following Nathan Ake's arrival from Bournemouth, and now Dias is set to swap Benfica for City.

As part of the deal, veteran centre-back Nicolas Otamendi will move in the opposite direction.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marca says Barcelona rejected a €150million offer for teenage sensation Ansu Fati from an unnamed club. Manchester United have been linked previously.

Sergino Dest will travel to Camp Nou to complete his move to Barca, reports RAC1. The Ajax full-back is also wanted by Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

Milan and Roma are both interested in signing Norwich City right-back Max Aarons, says Sky Sports. The Englishman has previously been linked to Barca and Bayern.

- According to Sportitalia, West Ham are in talks with Serie A holders Juventus for defender Daniele Rugani.

- Lyon want €50million (£46m) for in-demand star Houssem Aouar amid interest from Arsenal, claims RMC Sport. Paris Saint-Germain, City and Chelsea have also been linked.

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