Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta "will always be grateful" to Pep Guardiola for the time they spent together at Manchester City.

Arteta was Guardiola's assistant for three years before taking the top job at Arsenal in 2019.

The duo now find themselves going head-to-head at the top of the Premier League, with the Gunners leading the way, one place ahead of chasing champions City.

Arsenal travel to Southampton on Sunday looking to restore their four-point advantage following City's 3-1 win against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

Speaking ahead of the game at St Mary's, Arteta expressed his gratitude for his time at City and the things he learned working under Guardiola.

"I learned a lot about being at the top from Pep," he said. "The standards that are set at the club are not only to win, but to win in a certain way every three days, and be extremely demanding and critical, and at the same time supportive, so it's a good mixture.

"It was incredible to be part of that team and the evolution and how that team was built. I will always be grateful."

The Spanish pair still speak regularly, but Arteta revealed: "Obviously we are not going to be talking about things related to our teams but of course we can speak about football as we did in the past and that's not going to change."

Arsenal have surprised many with their impressive start to the campaign, following up throwing away Champions League qualification at the end of last season to start this one with nine wins from 10 Premier League games.

They head to the south coast having won their last eight in all competitions, and Arteta explained how he manages to stay relaxed about everything.

"First of all, I try to sleep well. Rest is really important," he said. "I try to look after my diet as much as I can. I don't exercise as much as I should do, I have to be very critical of myself in that sense.

"And then I have to keep a clear mind and to do that, spending time with my loved ones is something that really helps me, my wife, my children. And really thinking, meditation, something like that helps you."

It is too early to declare the Premier League a two-horse race for the title, but the blows Manchester City and Arsenal continue to trade are making for increasingly compelling viewing.

Arsenal will have to respond on Sunday after City's latest majestic showing against sorry Southampton.

Chelsea look re-energised under Graham Potter, while Eddie Howe continues to weave his magic at Newcastle United, who scored more goals than even City on Saturday.

Antonio Conte's Tottenham only needed one goal to round off the day by maintaining their impressive start to the campaign at Brighton and Hove Albion.

Before attention turns to events at Emirates Stadium, Stats Perform picks out the best data from Saturday's matches.

Chelsea 3-0 Wolves: Manager-less visitors far from cloud nine

The sacking of Bruno Lage did nothing to improve Wolves' fortunes, as their run of winless away Premier League games was stretched to nine (D2 L7).

That is their longest such run since going 10 games (D4 L6) without a win on the road in January 2012.

On top of that, Wolves remain winless in nine league away games with Chelsea (D3 L6)

Kai Havertz opened the scoring for the Blues and has now found the net twice in his last three league games, more than in his previous 12 matches in the competition. The German has netted in consecutive home league games for the Blues for the first time.

Mason Mount laid on two of the goals for Potter's men, marking the first time he has recorded two assists in a single Premier League games since a meeting Leicester City in February 2020.

Manchester City 4-0 Southampton: KDB the assist king for rampant champions

Pep Guardiola's men will be in the rare position of hoping Liverpool deliver a result against Arsenal on Sunday, after the champions leapfrogged the Gunners back to the top of the table.

Erling Haaland was on the scoresheet again, to the surprise of absolutely nobody, though he did only register one goal in this one-sided affair.

The Norway star is just the second player to score in seven consecutive Premier League games for Manchester City, after Sergio Aguero (May-September 2019).

Kevin De Bruyne provided the assist for Phil Foden to double City's lead after Joao Cancelo opened the scoring. De Bruyne's 94 assists mean he now has the outright most for City in the Premier League, overtaking David Silva (93).

City's incredible prowess in front of goal saw them become the first team to score at least four goals in five consecutive top-flight home games since Tottenham in September 1963 (a run of six).

Newcastle United 5-1 Brentford: Bruno the talk of the Toon

The Magpies are fifth after a dominant performance at St James' Park, and their fans can perhaps afford to hope of challenging at the top consistently for the first time since the days of Bobby Robson.

Newcastle's five-goal effort followed a 4-1 win at Fulham, making it the first time they have scored four-plus goals in successive Premier League games since September 2001, when Robson was in charge and oversaw wins over Middlesbrough and Manchester United. This was also the first time Newcastle have scored five in a Premier League game since May 2016 (5-1 vs Tottenham), a game that came after their relegation to the Championship was already confirmed.

Worries about the second tier look to be a distant memory now. Newcastle have lost just one of their last 11 Premier League games (W5 D5), while only City (66), Liverpool (61), Tottenham (61) and Arsenal (55) have won more points than the Magpies (52) in the competition this calendar year.

Newcastle's remarkable form under Howe is down in no small part to Bruno Guimaraes. The Brazil midfielder scored a fine double in this one and now has more goals (7) than any other Newcastle player since making his Premier League debut in February.

Brighton and Hove Albion 0-1 Tottenham: Conte defeats another compatriot

Conte is one of four Italian managers to lift the Premier League trophy and enjoyed success against another trying to make his way in England as Spurs saw off Roberto De Zerbi's Brighton side.

Conte is now unbeaten in all seven of his Premier League matches against fellow Italian managers (W6 D1) and has seen his sides keep clean sheets in four of their last five such games.

Son Heung-min teed up Harry Kane for the game's only goal, making it the 43rd time they have combined for a Premier League goal, extending their own record.

Kane has scored 12 goals in his last 12 league games, and has found the net in each of his last four, his joint-longest scoring streak in the competition and the seventh time he has achieved that feat.

Riyad Mahrez declared Erling Haaland is "on fire" and Pep Guardiola labelled the new Manchester City talisman "an incredible weapon" after the striker scored once more against Southampton.

Joao Cancelo, Phil Foden and Mahrez all struck past former City goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu on Saturday, before Haaland coolly converted in the 65th minute to cap a 4-0 victory.

That marked his 15th Premier League goal in just nine games this season, as many strikes as Kevin De Bruyne managed in the entire last campaign when he finished as City's top league scorer in a championship-winning team.

Mahrez hailed his Norwegian team-mate after Haaland became just the second City player to score in seven successive Premier League appearances, after Sergio Aguero.

"It was a difficult game, we made it easy by scoring early and then we controlled," the Algeria international told BBC Sport.

"We had a lot of chances to score more, but we didn't. We didn't concede much, it was a controlled game.

"Haaland is part of our team, he is our striker. Like any other striker, if we can find him it's perfect because he is on fire. If not, there are a lot of players and everyone can make a difference."

City have now won their last nine home league games, scoring at least three goals each time, and moved to the top-flight summit by overtaking Arsenal, who play Liverpool on Sunday.

Manager Guardiola echoed the sentiments of Mahrez as he credited the exploits of free-scoring Haaland, while he pinpointed the early stages of the title race as significant heading towards the World Cup break in November.

"Last season we suffered a lot against them, but today we were much better," Guardiola told BBC Sport, referring to two league draws last term against Southampton.

"Some players were not at their best, but we create a lot of chances. We were solid.

"For a long time Phil Foden is playing really good. The impact from him is great. Erling Haaland had the chances again. He scored a brilliant goal. It's an incredible weapon for us, a big threat.

"We will see the result from Arsenal and Liverpool, always in Premier League there are good games. Being close to the top of the league is important going into the World Cup."

By contrast, Southampton have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 19 Premier League away games – the longest current league run and the worst such streak in Saints' history in the competition.

Southampton sit just a point above the relegation zone, leading to increasing speculation that Ralph Hasenhuttl will be dismissed.

"I will not be here next week, because next week we play at home," manager Hasenhuttl said when asked about his future. "It is not my decision to make.

"Since I've come here, and it's been nearly four years now, we have been fighting for results. The problem is not here today, it's from other weeks where we did not get enough points."

Erling Haaland continued his remarkable scoring run as Manchester City climbed above Arsenal at the Premier League summit after a commanding 4-0 victory over Southampton.

City soon eased into the ascendancy at Etihad Stadium as Joao Cancelo and Manchester derby hat-trick hero Phil Foden struck in a first half where a tepid Southampton offered little.

Riyad Mahrez stretched the advantage after the break before Haaland collected his 15th league goal, as many as Kevin De Bruyne managed when finishing as City's top scorer in the competition last term.

Pep Guardiola's team moved two points clear of Arsenal, who play Liverpool on Sunday, after their ninth straight home win in the league, scoring at least three goals in each of those games.

 

Former City goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu parried away a fizzing Mahrez half-volley, while Haaland struck the left post after a Foden throughball in a frantic start.

Cancelo broke the deadlock in the 20th minute as he twisted past James Ward-Prowse before drilling a left-footed strike past Bazunu, who then denied Foden on the half-hour mark.

However, there was no stopping Foden shortly after as the England international delicately chipped over the onrushing Bazunu following De Bruyne's pass.

Mahrez volleyed in a third goal from Rodri's lofted cross shortly after half-time, before City had a penalty appeal turned down for what they thought was a Mohammed Salisu pull on Haaland.

Southampton could not keep Haaland quiet for much longer, with their new talisman converting into the bottom-left corner in the 65th minute after Cancelo's cutback.

What does it mean? City dominant as Saints away woes continue

A 6-3 humbling of Manchester United and a 5-0 victory in Europe over Copenhagen were backed up in dominant fashion by City against Southampton, with Guardiola's side showing no signs of relenting.

While a tougher task will follow at Anfield against Liverpool next week, City continue to sweep aside opponents at will as they search for a fifth top-flight crown in the last six seasons.

Meanwhile, Southampton's away struggles persist, and boss Ralph Hasenhuttl is under serious pressure now. They are without a clean sheet in their last 19 Premier League away games – both the longest current run in the league and their worst such streak in the competition.

De Bruyne makes history

De Bruyne has been in incredible form throughout the start of this season and picked up yet another assist after teeing up Foden – the ninth goal the Belgium international has set up in as many Premier League games this season.

The simple throughball for Foden also marked De Bruyne's 94th assist in the Premier League for City, surpassing David Silva for the most goals created for the club in the competition.

Haaland is human

Haaland has taken to life in England with ridiculous ease, scoring 20 goals in 13 games across all competitions and breaking numerous records along the way.

After just nine Premier League games, the striker needs just one more goal to surpass City's top scorer last season, De Bruyne, which is frankly astonishing.

He missed a few chances here, though, and looked on in disbelief when his shot that rattled the left post did not bounce into the net off the upright.

What's next?

City head to Copenhagen to play in the Champions League on Tuesday, before the crunch clash at Liverpool arrives next Sunday, when Southampton host West Ham.

Erling Haaland could hit 50 Premier League goals this season if he can stay fit, according to Manchester City team-mate Manuel Akanji.

The Norway international has demolished numerous records amid an incredible start to life in England, scoring 19 goals across 12 games in all competitions this term.

Haaland netted a brace in a 5-0 midweek thrashing of Copenhagen, taking him to 28 strikes in 22 appearances in the Champions League, a goals-per-game record of 1.27.

The 22-year-old next faces Southampton on Saturday after becoming the first player in Premier League history to score hat-tricks in three straight games following his last treble against Manchester United.

With 12 goals in eight league games, Haaland will eye the single-season top-flight records of Alan Shearer and Andy Cole, who both got 34 in a single campaign, and Akanji backed his colleague to keep firing.

Asked if Haaland could hit a half-century, Akanji responded: “If he stays healthy then I think there is nothing that can stop him, yes."

City have won their past eight Premier League home games, managing at least three goals each time, and could at least temporarily leapfrog leaders Arsenal with victory over Southampton.

Pep Guardiola's side have scored 29 goals after eight games, which is the joint-most at this stage of a Premier League campaign, and will be hoping Haaland can fire again to take them to the summit.

Kyle Walker-Peters will be one Saints defender aiming to stop the free-scoring Norwegian, though he thinks it is too early to draw comparisons between the City striker and Tottenham talisman Harry Kane.

"Come on," he told talkSPORT. "Harry Kane has done it for how many years in the Premier League?

“I think Haaland has had an absolutely unbelievable start. Some of the stats I’m seeing, it’s just ridiculous.

"But Kane has proven it for God knows how many years now. I don't think we can compare them just yet. Haaland is definitely hungry to prove to people he's better than him [Kane].

"And Kane will want to stay at the top. So they'll have a good battle for top goalscorer."

Real Madrid are keen on Jude Bellingham, and so too are Premier League giants Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool.

Given the hot pursuit, some are said to be considering alternative targets, particularly Liverpool who had a quiet off-season in the transfer market.

Jurgen Klopp's Reds added Darwin Nunez, with Sadio Mane exiting, but they did not make a major midfield signing in the off-season.

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL EYE MUSIALA AS BELLINGHAM ALTERNATIVE

Liverpool are among the clubs circling for Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham. Should they miss out, they will turn to Bayern Munich's Jamal Musiala, according to the Mirror.

Germany international Musiala spent time with Southampton and Chelsea in his youth and was capped by England at age-group level.

Sky Germany reports Liverpool are among several top clubs keeping tabs on the 19-year-old, although it is believed he has no plans to exit the Allianz Arena anytime soon.

ROUND-UP

– Tottenham are the latest club to join the race to sign Milan's Portuguese forward Rafael Leao, reports Calciomercato. Chelsea and Manchester City have been linked with Leao who is set to receive a fresh contract offer from Milan.

– Calciomercato claims Real Madrid will rival Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain, who are both keen on Inter defender Milan Skriniar. The Slovakian's contract ends in mid-2023, prompting interest, although Inter are trying to renew his deal.

– Marca claims Barcelona have reached an agreement to permanently sell Antoine Griezmann to Atletico Madrid for half of the €40m asking price. Griezmann is in the second season of a two-year loan deal, but Atletico have been playing him in on reduced minutes to avoid triggering a clause in his contract.

– Football Insider reports Arsenal are monitoring Marcus Rashford's situation at Manchester United, with the forward's contract to expire at the end of this season.

– Southampton are on the brink of sacking manager Ralph Hasenhuttl after managing only seven points from eight games to start this Premier League, according to the Telegraph. Hasenhuttl has been at the Saints helm since 2018.

– There is a manager merry-go-around with Nottingham Forest's under-pressure boss Steve Cooper in contention to replace Hasenhuttl at Southampton, claims the Daily Mail.

Erling Haaland has enjoyed a remarkably prolific start to life in England with Manchester City.

Ahead of Sunday's derby with Manchester United, Haaland has netted 14 goals in 10 appearances in all competitions for City since his off-season move.

The Norwegian joined City from Borussia Dortmund in June on a five-year contract, following interest from several top clubs.

TOP STORY – MAN CITY CONSIDERING IMPROVED HAALAND DEAL

It is only a few months into Erling Haaland's first Manchester City contract, but the English champions are ready to offer him a new and improved deal, reports the Daily Star.

City have gone early on revised contracts in the past to shore up key players before they become transfer targets for rivals and they will do the same with their star striker if he can keep up his goalscoring prowess.

Haaland is already one of City's top earners alongside Kevin De Bruyne, pocketing around £375,000 per week.

City may opt to bump that up with an improved extension in May, with reports that Real Madrid are planning to chase him in 2024, when they can trigger his termination clause.

ROUND-UP

– PSV's hot property winger Cody Gakpo is attracting interest from Milan, claims Calciomercato. The 23-year-old Dutchman was pursued by Manchester United and Leeds United during the last transfer window, and has also been linked with Southampton and Everton.

– The Sun reports that French Ligue 1 outfit Nice are in the lead in the race to sign Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk. The Ukrainian club are demanding £50million (€56.86m) for him.

Arsenal are in the race for Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves, claims the Express, and are hoping to win him over amid rival interest from Barcelona, Liverpool and Manchester United.

West Ham United are the latest club to be interested in Club Brugge winger Noa Lang, reports Calciomercato. Milan are also credited with an interest in the 23-year-old.

Arsenal are weighing up a move for Bayer Leverkusen's Ecuadorian defender Piero Hincapie, according to Teamtalk.

– Marca claims Sevilla could bring back former boss Jorge Sampaoli, who led the club from 2016 to 2017, if they dispense with current head coach Julen Lopetegui after their poor start to the campaign.

Real Madrid were among the contenders chasing Erling Haaland's signature over the off-season.

Los Blancos, along with Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea, Manchester United, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, were keen on the former Borussia Dortmund forward.

Ultimately, the Norwegian decided to join Manchester City, starting on fire with 14 goals in 10 games in all competitions, but Madrid are keeping an eye on him.

TOP STORY – MADRID PLANNING LONG-TERM MOVES FOR CITY DUO

Spanish giants Real Madrid are plotting moves to sign Manchester City pair Joao Cancelo and Erling Haaland, reports AS.

Madrid will attempt to sign the 28-year-old Portuguese full-back in mid-2023, with Cancelo contracted until 2027, although the report claims he will cost around €40-50million (£35-44m).

The Spanish champions are planning a swoop for Haaland but not until 2024, with Karim Benzema in the twilight of his career.

Haaland reportedly has a termination clause in his City contract worth €180m (£158m) up until 2024.

ROUND-UP

– The Daily Star reports that Manchester United and David De Gea are set for key talks on his future, with the goalkeeper's contract expiring in mid-2023. United hold an option to extend his stay.

Manchester United may struggle in their bid to sign Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, with the Villans to turn down any offer for him in January, claims Football Insider.

Barcelona are keen to sign Wolves 25-year-old midfielder Ruben Neves as a long-term replacement for 34-year-old Sergio Busquets, reports Sport. Neves will be the Blaugrana's top target at the end of this season.

Gerard Pique is not interested in joining Atletico Madrid in January, claims Sport. The defender has fallen out of favour at Barcelona, but he is determined to fight for his spot.

– Calciomercato claims that Chelsea are interested in Inter wing-back Denzel Dumfries. The Italian club may be willing to part with the Dutchman for approximately £44m.

– Colombian forward Luis Muriel is ready to leave Atalanta, with a move to Fiorentina on the cards, according to Calciomercato.

– PSV striker Cody Gakpo is likely to have more offers in January with Manchester United, Southampton and Everton all still interested, claims Football Transfers.

Thomas Tuchel is Real Madrid 's preferred replacement for Carlo Ancelotti, according to El Nacional. The Italian has told the club he does not intend to manage Madrid beyond this season.

Aston Villa received a pre-match message from Prince William before their much-needed 1-0 win over Southampton in the Premier League.

Jacob Ramsey's first-half strike was enough to give Villa the home victory on Friday, and manager Steven Gerrard said his players had received a royal message.

Former Liverpool midfielder Gerrard revealed the Prince, who is a fan of the Midlands clubs, had said he would have liked to have been present at Villa Park, but was understandably busy following the recent passing of his grandmother, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Speaking at his post-match press conference, Gerrard said: "He messaged in the week, to the club, and that shows everything about what he thinks of this club. For us to reward that with a result and clean sheet, I'm sure he will be proud.

"It was along the lines of 'would love to be there'. He is consistently in touch. He is very supportive of the boys individually, he loves them. It's really impressive, his knowledge, and how much he is in to it.

"It certainly took me back. He is very much involved in Villa. For him to message in the situation he is in is really impressive."

The win in the largely forgettable contest was just Villa's second of the season, moving them up to 13th in the Premier League table.

"Where we were before the game, in terms of our league position, it was about the result," Gerrard added. "It wasn't pretty or stylish, but was all about resilience, guts, character and owning the pitch."

Todd Boehly's suggestion for the creation of a Premier League 'All-Star' game attracted plenty of ridicule, but he certainly can't be accused of a lack of vision or creativity.

The new Chelsea co-owner – and chairman and interim sporting director – was speaking at a conference on Tuesday when he proposed the Premier League 'Americanised' (or should that be 'Americanized'?) itself a bit.

A relegation play-off tournament between the bottom four teams was one idea; but the other, which attracted most of the headlines, was for a North v South 'All-Star' game, pointing out Major League Baseball (MLB) in his native United States made $200million from such an event this year.

A potential Premier League 'All-Stars' game was the talk of football media on Tuesday, so at Stats Perform we decided to have a look at who might line up for the North and South.

It was decided the north-south cut-off point would see Nottingham Forest qualify for the North, ensuring each All-Stars team had 10 clubs to select from.

First up, we have unrestricted squads, so essentially the very best teams possible; then, we have squads that are limited to three players from each club and every single Premier League must have at least a single player selected. So, without any further ado, let's see who made the cut…

NORTH ALL-STARS (unrestricted)

4-3-3: Ederson (Manchester City); Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Ruben Dias (Manchester City), Andrew Robertson (Liverpool); Rodri (Manchester City), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Phil Foden (Manchester City); Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Erling Haaland (Manchester City), Luis Diaz (Liverpool).

SUBS: Alisson (Liverpool), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Joao Cancelo (Manchester City), Raphael Varane (Manchester United), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Fabinho (Liverpool), Casemiro (Manchester United), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United).

You knew the starting XI was going to look like that even before reading, didn't you? Manchester City and Liverpool obviously dominated the first team here, but it feels difficult to argue with almost any selection here.

The goalkeeper choice was probably the toughest, but only because Ederson and Alisson are both so strong and simultaneously significantly better than any other eligible shot stoppers in terms of their all-round game – Ederson ultimately got the nod owing to 13 more clean sheets over the past three-and-a-bit years, but either could've got the gig.

Similarly in defence, many of the North's options pick themselves. The centre-backs, Van Dijk and Dias, have each won the Premier League Player of the Season award in the past four years, while Alexander-Arnold and Robertson have at least 12 most assists than any other defender since the start of the 2019-20 season.

While the defence had a distinctively Liverpool look to it, City dominate the midfield because… well, they tend to dominate the midfield. Rodri provides the control and defensive protection, while Foden and De Bruyne can wreak havoc going forward and towards the flanks.

Salah and Haaland were obvious picks in attack. The Egyptian has been involved in 96 goals (66 scored, 30 assisted) since the start of the 2019-20 season, more than anyone else, while Haaland is arguably the most in-form striker in world football, having already netted 12 times in seven games for City.

Luis Diaz was perhaps the most uncertain one, but he's quickly become a key figure at Liverpool. His ability to cut inside or head for the byline makes him an unpredictable asset, and he's something of a double threat in terms of goals and creativity.

Cristiano Ronaldo's appearance on the bench owes much to his solid goal-scoring form last season.

SOUTHERN ALL-STARS (unrestricted)

4-2-3-1: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham); Reece James (Chelsea), Cristian Romero (Tottenham), Kalidou Koulibaly (Chelsea), Oleksandr Zinchenko (Arsenal); Declan Rice (West Ham), N'Golo Kante (Chelsea); Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Son Heung-min (Tottenham); Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal).

SUBS: Edouard Mendy (Chelsea), Thiago Silva (Chelsea), Marc Cucurella (Chelsea), Jorginho (Chelsea), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Martin Odegaard (Arsenal), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace), Ivan Toney (Brentford).

This team has it all. A World Cup-winning goalkeeper, a defence with an ideal blend of youth and experience, a combative midfield and four world-class attackers.

Lloris gets the nod in net. He's been one of the most consistent goalkeepers in the league since his arrival from Lyon 10 years ago, and based on Opta's expected goals on target (xGOT) conceded metric, Lloris has prevented 3.8 goals since the start of the 2020-21 season, significantly better than his South All-Stars back-up, Chelsea's Edouard Mendy (-3.8).

Chelsea star James is the right-back, with his 16 goal contributions (six goals, 10 assists) since the start of last season topping the charts for a defender. Koulibaly and Romero are a formidable centre-back pairing, while Zinchenko has four Premier League titles to his name from his time at Manchester City.

James and Zinchenko are brilliant attacking full-backs, but the defence will need screening, and that is where Kante and Rice come into their own. Both super ball-winners, Kante's relentless energy will be complemented by Rice's ability on the ball, as he has demonstrated at West Ham.

That midfield protection will be needed, with a four-pronged attack ready to lay waste to the North's defence.

Sterling might not have made a flying start at Chelsea but is the best pick on the right wing, with Son – who shared the league's golden boot award last season – on the opposite wing. Kane will play a slightly deeper role, behind Jesus, who has had more touches in the opposition box (66), attempted more dribbles (34), more dribbles in the box (8) and won more fouls (21) than any other player in the Premier League this season.

NORTHERN ALL-STARS (restricted)

4-2-3-1: Jordan Pickford (Jordan Pickford); Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United), Vigil van Dijk (Liverpool), Ruben Dias (Manchester City), Andrew Robertson (Liverpool); Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle United), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City); Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Pedro Neto (Wolves); Erling Haaland (Manchester City).

SUBS: Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa), Diego Carlos (Aston Villa), Lisandro Martinez (Manchester United), Renan Lodi (Nottingham Forest), James Maddison (Leicester City), Youri Tielemans (Leicester City), Jack Harrison (Leeds United), Antony Gordon (Everton), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United).

Our self-imposed restrictions of no more than three players from a given team gives the North All-Stars a distinctly different feel – nevertheless, Van Dijk, Dias, Robertson, De Bruyne, Salah and Haaland retain their places, for obvious reasons.

Probably the biggest casualty is Alexander-Arnold, but the North benefits from having another excellent forward-thinking option at right-back in Trippier, while Jordan Pickford starts between the posts – David de Gea was another option here, but the England international is better with his feet.

Bruno Guimaraes comes into the midfield, offering a valuable combination of bite and craft, while Fernandes will take up the number 10 position with De Bruyne dropping a little deeper – this shouldn't stifle the team's creativity too much given the Belgian is the only player with more chances created (239) than Fernandes (224) since the latter's Premier League debut.

The other new face in attack is Pedro Neto. Perhaps a wildcard choice, but the Portugal international is an exciting winger with lots of pace and trickery. While Salah will cut in off the opposite flank, Neto looks to get crosses into the box, and that could be an effective route to goal knowing the predatory instincts Haaland has.

Again, Ronaldo is held back in reserve.

SOUTHERN ALL-STARS (restricted)

4-3-3: Robert Sanchez (Brighton and Hove Albion); Reece James (Chelsea), Cristian Romero (Tottenham), Joachim Andersen (Crystal Palace), Oleksandr Zinchenko (Arsenal); James Ward-Prowse (Southampton), Declan Rice (West Ham), Mason Mount (Chelsea); Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Son Heung-min (Tottenham).

SUBS: Neto (Bournemouth), Ben Mee (Brentford), Tariq Lamptey (Brighton and Hove Albion), Joao Palhinha (Fulham), Lucas Paqueta (West Ham), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace), Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal), Ivan Toney (Brentford).

Robert Sanchez has been a standout performer for Brighton under the now Chelsea boss Graham Potter, and he replaces Lloris now the restrictions have come into play. He has kept 24 league clean sheets since making his debut in November 2020, which trails only four other goalkeepers.

James, Romero and Zinchenko all keep their places in defence, though Koulibaly does not. He makes way for Joachim Andersen, who has been excellent since signing for Crystal Palace in 2021.

We have switched to a midfield three for this side, with Rice staying in the team but playing a deeper, anchoring role. Alongside him are two new faces in the form of England team-mates Ward-Prowse and Mount. Both provide energy and creativity in abundance.

Ward-Prowse's set-piece quality – no midfielder has scored more goals or created more chances from set plays since the start of last season as the Southampton captain – is a huge threat, while Mount has contributed to 21 league goals since the beginning of 2021-22.

Jesus is the unlucky striker to drop out of the starting XI, though he is on the bench, with Sterling, Kane and Son leading the line.

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has warned Graham Potter he can expect a "different pressure" at Chelsea but believes it is a "fantastic move".

Potter has been named as Thomas Tuchel's successor at Stamford Bridge, following the axing of the Champions League-winning boss on Wednesday.

New Blues owner Todd Boehly has been extremely active since taking over from Roman Abramovich, splashing vast amounts of money in the transfer market, and has now made his first managerial appointment.

Chelsea received permission from Brighton and Hove Albion to speak to Potter on Wednesday and confirmation of his appointment followed on Thursday.

Rodgers, who has experience in high-pressure clubs following his time with Liverpool, has told Potter he will encounter different challenges than his time at Brighton but feels it is the right move.

"It's a different pressure," Rodgers said in the press conference ahead of Saturday's clash with Aston Villa.

"He's done fantastic at Brighton, they've really developed. They're strategically well run behind the scenes. 

"It's that next step and it will be a fantastic move for him."

Premier League champions Manchester City may be willing to do more business in January.

Pep Guardiola's side added Erling Haaland, Kalvin Phillips, Sergio Gomez and Manuel Akanji in the last transfer window.

But City may be looking to further strengthen their squad amid a chaotic schedule in 2022-23.

TOP STORY – CITY CONSIDERING KROOS MOVE IN JANUARY

Manchester City are plotting a January move for Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos, according to El Nacional.

The 32-year-old is out of contract at the end of this season and he has rejected Madrid's offer of an extension.

As a result, Los Blancos may consider selling Kroos in January and Pep Guardiola is a long-time admirer.

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Galatasaray are set to clinch a loan deal to sign Paris Saint-Germain forward Mauro Icardi, reports Fabrizio Romano. The final details of the move are being discussed, with Icardi set to undergo a medical in Turkey soon. The Turkish transfer window closes on Thursday.

– After being heavily pursued prior to the transfer window closing, Aston Villa's Brazilian midfielder Douglas Luiz is planning to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of this season, according to UOL.

– The Telegraph reports that Wolves will consider signing ex-Newcastle United forward Andy Carroll should their move for Diego Costa collapse. Carroll is a free agent after leaving West Bromwich Albion.

– Southampton's Nathan Redmond will fly to Turkey to complete a move to Besiktas on a one-year deal, claims Fabrizio Romano.

Athletic Bilbao forward Inaki Williams has been called up by Ghana for the first time, as the Black Stars look to finalise plans for the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

The Spain-born attacker is eligible through his parents, who hail from the nation's capital Accra, and his inclusion comes after he made himself available in July for this month's friendlies with Brazil and Nicaragua.

Williams is a former Spain international, but with just one friendly cap to his name, against Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2016, the 28-year-old was able to switch his allegiance.

Ghana qualified for their fourth World Cup appearance earlier this year after edging Nigeria on away goals in the CAF play-offs.

Other inclusions include Southampton's Mohammed Salisu, who reportedly refused previous call-ups, and Brighton and Hove Albion's Tariq Lamptey, a former England youth international.

The Black Stars will feature in Group H at Qatar 2022, and will face Portugal, South Korea and Uruguay.

The upcoming friendies see them play Brazil in Le Havre, France, on September 23, before the Nicaragua game follows in Larca, Spain, four days later.

Chelsea were one of the big spenders during the transfer window with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang headlining their deadline-day business.

The Blues also signed Wesley Fofana and Denis Zakaria over the past week after losing several key players.

Chelsea have started the new Premier League season with mixed results, with Saturday's 2-1 win over West Ham improving their record to 10 points from six games.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA LODGED AUDACIOUS DEADLINE DAY LAVIA BID

Chelsea tried to sign Belgium youth international Romeo Lavia from Southampton on deadline day less than two months after he joined the Saints from Manchester City, reports the Daily Echo.

The Blues were one of the big spenders late in the transfer window, and submitted a £50million proposal for the 18-year-old midfielder.

Southampton rejected the proposal having signed Lavia from City for £12m in July. City retain a buy-back clause for Lavia who has played five times for Southampton this season.

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– El Nacional reports Arsenal attempted to sign Barcelona's Ferran Torres with an audacious €30m bid before the close of the transfer window on Thursday. The Spaniard joined Barca from Manchester City in January but has not been a regular starter and the Gunners tried to convince the Catalans to let him go.

Tottenham tried to sign Ukrainian midfielder Ruslan Malinovskyi from Atalanta but the Serie A club refused to sell him, claims Fabrizio Romano. Spurs may re-open the situation in January.

Besiktas are in discussions with Sassuolo's Turkey international centre-back Kaan Ayhan about a move to Turkey according to Ajansspor. The Turkish transfer window is open until September 8.

– L'Equipe claims that former Everton and Lille full-back Djibril Sidibe will join Greek club AEK Athens , having left Monaco when his contract expired at the end of last season.

 

The transfer window has been gently eased shut, and there were plenty of last-minute deals to keep fans across Europe captivated.

Southampton were busy, adding Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Duje Caleta-Car to their ranks, among others, while Barcelona allowed Martin Braithwaite to join Espanyol on a free transfer and sold Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Chelsea.

As the seconds ticked down, clubs dotted their i's, crossed their t's and blew the dust off their fax machines, and here is just some of what took place in the closing hours.

Busy Saints bring in four, lose one

As far as the Premier League goes, it was Southampton who got up to the most activity in the final moments, signing Maitland-Niles on loan from Arsenal and Caleta-Car permanently from Marseille on a four-year deal, as well as adding two Manchester City youngsters in Juan Larios and Sam Edozie. They let defender Yan Valery to Ligue 1 side Angers.

Brighton and Hove Albion completed the signing of Billy Gilmour from Chelsea and released Romanian striker Florin Andone, while Chelsea let Ethan Ampadu join Serie A side Spezia on loan and finally allowed Kenedy to depart Stamford Bridge after seven years to join Real Valladolid in LaLiga.

Carlos Vinicius returned to the Premier League after a loan spell with Tottenham in 2020-21, having joined Fulham from Benfica on a permanent deal. The Cottagers also completed a loan deal for Leeds United winger Daniel James.

The Whites were frustrated in their attempts to sign Bamba Dieng from Marseille, but instead clinched a deal for Italian youngster Wilfried Gnonto from FC Zurich for an undisclosed fee.

Nottingham Forest added signings number 20 and 21 of the window in Josh Bowler from Blackpool and Loic Bade from Rennes, with free agent Serge Aurier potentially making it 22, though a reported late move for Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi failed to materialise.

Jan Bednarek had been linked with a move to West Ham earlier in the day but ended up leaving Southampton on loan to another team in claret and blue as Aston Villa brought in the Polish defender.

Brooks was here, now he's in Lisbon

On the continent, Benfica completed the signing of American defender John Brooks from Wolfsburg, while Maxi Gomez left Valencia for Turkish side Trabzonspor.

Los Che brought in a replacement for Gomez in Justin Kluivert on loan from Roma after his move to Fulham fell through due to work permit issues.

In France, highly rated forward Amine Gouiri swapped Nice for Rennes in a reported club-record fee apparently worth €28million, while Lille secured a loan deal for Everton midfielder Andre Gomes.

As well as signing Aubameyang and Hector Bellerin and losing Braithwaite, Barcelona also said goodbye on a temporary basis to Ez Abde, who joined Osasuna on loan.

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