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Fantasy Football: Let's get ready to rumble

The Special One v The Professor could be a warm-up to a Floyd Mayweather fight.

It would probably feature more punches, although there was nothing “money” about José Mourinho and Arsène Wenger's shoving match in their teams' corresponding fixture last season.

Wenger's double-armed push lacked technique and the less said about Mourinho's predictable finger-jab move the better. Still, both displayed a turn of pace out of their technical area Cesc Fàbregas can only dream of.

Obviously, the two managers are unlikely to be cosily watching a sunset together any time soon but both have reason to be feeling the strain this weekend.

Chelsea — despite beating Maccabi Tel Aviv in midweek — have made a horrible start to the season, while Arsenal's preseason title optimism evaporated quicker than you can say Mikel Arteta.

Let's see if Mourinho and Wenger can keep their hands to themselves this time around.

11am kick-off unless stated

Tomorrow's games

Chelsea v Arsenal

8.45am

If Arsenal's attacking talent turns up, then Chelsea's sluggish play so far this season could be exploited. The home side, though, are unlikely to get much worse.

A great chance for Wenger's side to get one over their rivals — but then we've been here before.

Prediction: 1-1

Aston Villa v West Bromwich Albion

Villa showed signs they are getting their act together but they remain lightweight even with the heavyweight talent of Jack Grealish.

The home side's defence has been leaky recently but WBA are not exactly firing despite striker Salomon Rondon looking a useful addition.

Prediction: 1-1

Bournemouth v Sunderland

Big chance for both teams and Eddie Howe's team should be licking their lips at the prospect of taking on the basement dwellers.

However, Sunderland have done OK in the transfer market and looked more solid against Tottenham. Plus, Jermain Defoe scoring against his old club is a given, right?

Prediction: 2-2

Newcastle United v Watford

If Newcastle are unable to muster a reaction after their limp display at West Ham, there is little hope for the season.

Manager Steve McClaren will have been livid. Expect some overdue attacking intent from his side.

Prediction: 1-0

Stoke City v Leicester City

Claudio Ranieri has promised his defence pizza if they keep a clean sheet, although Robert Huth and Wes Morgan do not look like they shy away from a meat feast or two.

Leicester are the entertainers right now and are undefeated in nine league games. In Riyad Mahrez they have the standout player of the season so far.

Prediction: 1-2

Swansea City v Everton

A game that could tell us a lot about these two teams. Can Swansea bounce back from the poor defeat to Watford? And can Everton maintain the sort of form they showed while beating Chelsea?

Prediction: 1-1

Manchester City v West Ham United

1.30pm

West Ham's record against the so-called bigger teams this season has been excellent but the smart money is on City to maintain their 100-per cent start despite familiar failings in the Europe.

Prediction: 3-0

Sunday's games

Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace

9.30am

Tottenham needed a Ryan Mason strike to get their first win of the season — and they need to help Harry Kane rediscover his shooting boots.

Palace are a top side away from home and their pace could be decisive.

Prediction: 0-1

Liverpool v Norwich City

Noon

When the manager admits his team has lost their identity, things are not rosy. Liverpool have to improve pronto and they surely will here.

Norwich are quietly adapting to the top flight but this has the makings of a thoroughly unconvincing home win.

Prediction: 2-1

Southampton v Manchester United

Noon

United need to regroup after the horrendous injury to Luke Shaw away to PSV. Liverpool were abject last weekend so it's difficult to gauge the progress of Louis van Gaal's side, especially after being outplayed by Swansea.

With new faces still getting to grips with life in a United shirt, an away point may not be the worst result. More Anthony Martial magic, however, would be welcome.

Prediction: 2-2

Moody blue: Mourinho and Wenger have never had the best relationship (Photograph by Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)

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Published September 18, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated September 18, 2015 at 2:02 am)

Fantasy Football: Let's get ready to rumble

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