Merseyside rivals Everton and Liverpool will be looking to Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Sadio Mane respectively to maintain their excellent starts to the Premier League campaign this weekend. 

The Toffees, who are ahead of Jurgen Klopp's side at the Premier League summit on goal difference, travel to Newcastle United, while their city rivals host West Ham – sides that Calvert-Lewin and Mane have excellent recent records against.

Chelsea, meanwhile, will be confident of picking up three points at struggling Burnley, given Frank Lampard can call on a couple of the Premier League's most in-form players in Edouard Mendy and Ben Chilwell. 

Finally, Crystal Palace and Southampton will hope Wilfried Zaha and Che Adams can continue their hot streaks when they face Wolves and Aston Villa respectively.

EDOUARD MENDY

Edouard Mendy has impressed for Chelsea since taking over the gloves from the error-prone Kepa Arrizabalaga.

The former Rennes man travels to Burnley at the weekend looking to become the first Chelsea goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet in each of his first three Premier League appearances for the Blues since Petr Cech in August 2004.

Given Sean Dyche's side have scored just three goals in their opening five games this season, do not bet against him achieving it.

 

BEN CHILWELL

Ben Chilwell has played in just three of Chelsea's six Premier League games this season but he has already created more chances (nine) than any other Blues players. 

The former Leicester City left-back has been directly involved in three goals in those three appearances, with one goal and two assists, and has contributed to two clean sheets.

Burnley look like they will have their work cut out trying to stop the marauding England international at the weekend.

 

MICHAEL KEANE

Everton's forwards have received most of the plaudits for the Toffees' superb start to the season, but there is a man at the back who has certainly contributed to their success. 

Since the Premier League resumed in June, centre-back Michael Keane is the competition's top-scoring defender with three goals.

Two of those have come this season and he heads to Newcastle United this weekend looking to add to that tally. 

 

WILFRIED ZAHA

Wilfried Zaha has brushed aside any disappointment at not getting a move to a Champions League club, starting the 2020-21 season in electrifying form. 

The Ivorian – who faces Wolves on Friday – has scored five goals already this season, which is one more than he managed in 38 appearances last term. 

With five goals and one assist to his name, he is also just one goal or assist away from matching his goal involvement total from last season.

 

SADIO MANE

Sadio Mane will be licking his lips at the prospect of facing West Ham this weekend. 

The Liverpool forward has scored in his last four games against the Hammers and boasts eight goal involvements (five goals, three assists) in eight meetings with them.

He has also been directly involved in five goals in his last four Premier League fixtures (four goals, one assist), which is more than in his previous 10 outings, when he scored just four goals.

 

CHE ADAMS

Southampton visit high-flying Aston Villa and former Birmingham City striker Che Adams will be hoping to get one over on his former arch rivals. 

After failing to score in his first 24 Premier League games, Adams has now scored six in his last 12, including goals in each of his last two appearances. 

He has not found the net in three successive games since he did for the Blues in early 2019. Villa have been warned.

 

DOMINIC CALVERT-LEWIN

Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been in red-hot form this season and sits second in the Premier League's scoring charts with seven goals from six appearances. 

Expect him to add to that tally when Everton visit Newcastle, given his recent form against Steve Bruce's side. 

The England international has scored against the Magpies more than any other opponent in the top flight, with all four of his goals coming in his last three games against them.

A goalscoring milestone, a red card (and maybe another that should have been), a key player off through injury and four goals. Oh, plus a late and controversial VAR call, too. 

Yes, the 237th Merseyside derby pretty much had it all. 

An early kick-off following an international break may have raised concerns of a sluggish return in the Premier League, yet it soon became apparent that there would be no easing back into domestic duties at Goodison Park. 

Liverpool scored early through Sadio Mane but lost both Virgil van Dijk and their advantage not long after. Mohamed Salah did put the champions back ahead with a notable strike in the second half, but Everton once again responded to grab a draw. 

Dominic Calvert-Lewin's towering 81st-minute header was far from the end of the drama, though. 

The hosts had Richarlison sent off before Jordan Henderson appeared to have won it for the Reds, albeit with a helping hand from Jordan Pickford, whose earlier challenge on Van Dijk had ended the Dutchman's involvement, with the goalkeeper not punished due to an offside call. 

Yet, by the barest of margins, Mane was adjudged offside in the build-up when the play was checked at Stockley Park. No goal, then, meaning a point apiece and plenty of talking points and a host of interesting Opta facts. 

 

MANE STRIKES BUT HOSTS KEANE TO RESPOND 

Liverpool showed no signs of a delayed hangover from the stunning 7-2 loss to Aston Villa last time out, Mane - who had missed that game - getting the opener after two minutes and 15 seconds. 

It was the Reds' fastest ever goal in a Premier League derby, though Everton have done it quicker in the fixture - Olivier Dacourt scored after just one minute in April 1999 (though they went on to lose 3-2 at Anfield). 

Andrew Robertson provided the assist, the full-back's 14th since the start of the 2018-19 season; only Kevin De Bruyne (21) has managed more in the English top flight.

Yet the lead did not last for too long, Michael Keane heading in James Rodriguez's delivery for his third goal of the season in the 19th minute, making it the earliest both teams had scored in a derby clash since November 2013. 

SALAH REACHES CENTURY IN STYLE 

Salah scored in the 72nd minute, the 100th goal of his Liverpool career in his 159th appearance - only Roger Hunt and Jack Parkinson have made it to the century in fewer appearances for the club. 

The Egyptian's instinctive finish when a loose ball fell into his path had Jurgen Klopp's side on course for all three points but, while they are unbeaten in their last 23 meetings against Everton in all competitions - their longest run against a single opponent in history, they were unable to hold on in their neighbours' backyard. 

Calvert-Lewin climbed high to nod in Lucas Digne's deep cross, his 12th headed goal in the Premier League since the start of the 2018-19 season. No other player has managed more than that total. 

Having also struck on his England debut, the forward continued his fine start to the campaign, becoming the first Everton player to score in the first five league games of a season since Tommy Lawton, way back in 1938-39. 

Everton have now scored 322 headed goals in the Premier League, more than any other club. If Calvert-Lewin is on target again next time out, with Everton up against Southampton, he will match Sergio Aguero's scoring streak of six matches, which the Manchester City striker managed at the start of 2019-20. 

RICHARLISON SEES RED IN EVENTFUL FINISH 

If Pickford was saved from being sent off by a technicality, there was no sparing Richarlison after he lunged in on Thiago Alcantara. 

The Brazilian stayed down injured for a short while after the tackle, but treatment only delayed the inevitable. His red card is the 22nd in Premier League meetings between the Merseyside clubs, unsurprisingly the most in the competition. Everton, by the way, have accounted for 15 of those dismissals. 

Liverpool appeared to have capitalised on the advantage of having an extra man when Henderson's rather weak first-time finish was only palmed beyond the line by Pickford, only for the use of technology to wipe out what appeared to be a last-gasp winner. 

The VAR call denied the visitors, though Klopp will also be aware this was a fourth league game in five without a clean sheet. They have conceded 13 goals at the start of their title defence – they did not leak that many in the previous campaign until 15 games in. 

The potential absence of Van Dijk will not help in the quest to tighten up at the back, particularly with goalkeeper Alisson also sidelined through injury. 

As for Everton, they remain unbeaten and while their 100 per cent record is no more, there are positive signs for boss Carlo Ancelotti and the fans for the months ahead. They still have not led in any of their last 14 Premier League matches against their rivals, but are now unbeaten in four derbies at home, all of which have finished as draws. 

With all 20 Premier League teams now back in action, fantasy football managers around the world are tinkering and tweaking as they look to find that perfect balance of solid but deadly.

It's fair to say that we've already had a few surprises (for the fantasy football world, at least) this season, with Manchester United players barely making a splash at home to Crystal Palace (looking at you, Bruno Fernandes), Liverpool shipping three to promoted Leeds United on day one and Dominic Calvert-Lewin leading the scoring chart.

Everything's been all over the place – you need as much help as you can get, and hopefully that's where we can help.

Using Opta data, here are a few tips that might enable you get back on track, or even – for those of you lucky enough – build on an emphatic start…

RUI PATRICIO

Despite the disappointing 3-1 defeat to Manchester City, Wolves appear set for another encouraging season, having seemingly recruited well and retained most of their key players.

Among those is Rui Patricio, who is second only to Ederson (0.45) in terms of goals conceded per game (0.82) since the Premier League resumed in June, while the Portugal international's six clean sheets in that time is also the second best in the division.

Up next for Wolves is a trip to West Ham, who have lost both of their first two games of the season, scoring just one goal in the process.

MICHAEL KEANE

Goal-scoring perhaps isn't a key factor for many when considering which defenders to choose in their fantasy team, but picking one who has a habit of finding the net can give you the edge.

Michael Keane heads into the weekend having scored twice since the June resumption, a record beaten by no other defender, while he also boasts the best shot conversion rate (40 per cent) among defenders to have attempted at least five in that time period.

Everton are looking impressive at the moment, and with quality deliveries from James Rodriguez and Lucas Digne floating in regularly, who's to say Keane won't find the net again at Crystal Palace?

SADIO MANE

This one's quite simple – Sadio Mane loves playing against Arsenal.

In 12 matches against the Gunners, he has scored six times. He has only managed more in meetings with Palace (nine in 11), and he goes into the game on the back of a match-winning brace at Chelsea last time out.

Matches between two of the big guns can prove a little risky in terms of captain selection, and Mane's certainly not cheap – but few have his record in such games.

MATHEUS PEREIRA

It's been a difficult readjustment to the Premier League for West Brom, who host Chelsea next having conceded eight times in two matches and scored just twice.

But those two goals should pique the interest of fantasy fans, given Matheus Pereira was involved in both (one goal, one assist) and won't break the bank.

The Brazilian will surely be key if the Baggies are to avoid the drop this term, having had a hand in 11 more goals (nine scored, 17 set up) than any other player for the club since the start of 2019-20.

RAUL JIMENEZ

Two games, two goals – Jimenez has picked up right where he left off last season, the Mexican continuing to be the go-to man in attack for Wolves.

There's every chance that will continue at West Ham as well, given his penchant for scoring against the Hammers.

Jimenez has three goals in his past three Premier League clashes with West Ham, including a brace in January.

He also has four in six domestically, though a word of caution – Jimenez hasn't netted in three successive games since November last year.

GABRIEL JESUS

With Sergio Aguero out for the time being, Gabriel Jesus has the chance to find some form and enjoy a run of regular starts – he'll likely be encouraged by what's to come as well.

Leicester City are the visitors to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, and in five previous league outings against the Foxes, Jesus has four goals.

Only against Everton (seven) has Jesus netted more frequently, and given City's impressive season-starting 3-1 win at Wolves, they will be favourites when Brendan Rodgers' table-toppers (on goal difference) come to town.

On the face of it, Jesus looks a strong choice for the captaincy this week.

 

DANNY INGS

Under Ralph Hasenhuttl, Danny Ings really is in the form of his life.

Since the start of last season, his haul of 24 goals is second only to Jamie Vardy in the Premier League, while he has scored 45 per cent of Saints' league goals in that time.

Up next is former club Burnley, and although notoriously difficult to play against, they conceded four to Leicester last time out.

Michael Keane has signed a new five-year contract with Everton.

The England centre-back, who has made 94 Premier League appearances since joining from Burnley in 2017, became a mainstay under Carlo Ancelotti last season.

The 27-year-old's form saw him rewarded with a recall by England boss Gareth Southgate last week ahead of September's Nations League matches against Iceland and Denmark.

"I have loved my three years at Everton and am looking forward to seeing what the future holds," Keane told Evertontv.

"I am learning every day on the training pitch with the manager and all his staff. They have been brilliant and really got across the way they want us to play. The manager is one of the best there has been.

"I am hoping we can kick on this season and make the fans proud again. Before lockdown I had a good run of form and, hopefully, I can keep that going into this season and keep improving.

"I am not happy just staying where I am at the minute. I want to keep improving and keep learning. My best years are definitely ahead of me.

"I am working on things every day… striving to get better in every part of my game and, hopefully, I can show that."

The Toffees finished 12th last season and kick off the new campaign at Tottenham on September 13.

Michael Keane has revealed he hit "rock bottom" while attempting to cope with form and fitness issues following his big-money transfer to Everton. 

The England international moved to Goodison Park from Burnley prior to the 2017-18 season in a deal worth an initial £25million.

However, Keane soon encountered problems at his new club, suffering a gash during an EFL Cup tie against Sunderland that ended up becoming infected, leading to a spell in hospital.

Performances for Everton led to him hiding away due to embarrassment too, and he eventually broke down to his family. However, the centre-back has found help through speaking to a sports psychologist, allowing him to "keep on top of it".

"I didn't want to go out, didn't want to see anyone," Keane said in an interview with BBC Sport.

"I felt a bit embarrassed with how things were going on the pitch so I didn't want to be seen anywhere, didn't want to do anything.

"I was keeping it in for a long time, working hard, turning things around on the football pitch but in the end it sort of got on top of me.

"I ended up not having a full breakdown but I was basically in tears telling my family how I felt.

"That was a big breakthrough moment where I sort of got to my 'rock bottom'. From there on I've got better and better with the help of my family and my friends and I started speaking to a sports psychologist which I still do now regularly to just keep on top of it."

Along with the rest of the Everton squad, Keane is waiting to find out when the 2019-20 season will resume.

The Premier League campaign was halted in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, though clubs have returned to training in small groups as part of 'Project Restart' with the target of playing games again in June.

Keane found it "difficult" to be away from his team-mates so has relished getting back to work in the last week.

He said: "It's just great to be back around them and see how they're getting on."

Everton manager Marco Silva has defended VAR after two decisions went against the Toffees in their 3-2 defeat at Brighton on Saturday.

The Merseyside club took a 2-1 lead at the weekend when Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored, but the visitors were denied a penalty as Richarlison seemed to be held by his marker at a set-piece.

Brighton went on to score a controversial penalty as Michael Keane was adjudged to have fouled Aaron Connolly, before Lucas Digne put through his own net in stoppage time.

Former Watford and Hull City manager Silva is under pressure at Everton having won just one of his last five Premier League games with the club in 16th place, but defended the technology and was keen to support the referees.

"VAR is in football to stay. Of course, now it is the first season in the Premier League and in some other countries, when they have the first season they have some issues as well," he told reporters.

"Of course we have to support and give big respect to all the referees and the VAR. Unfortunately for us as a football club, the last decisions were really tough against us.

"In the right moment we are here to give our feedback and feelings as manager, not just mine but also those of other managers, our expectations and ways we think it can improve.

"It’s up to us to keep supporting even if in some moments it is difficult to understand, and for us at Everton at the beginning of the season, it has been really tough to understand some of the things.

"It’s here. Unfortunately it hasn’t been good to us so far, but we hope it will be in the future."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.