Southampton failed to capitalise on several opportunities during their last clash with Man United. EMPICS Sport

5 things to watch out for in this weekend's Premier League matches

Can Southampton pull off a first league victory at Old Trafford since 1988 and more talking points.

Updated at 08.43

1. Can Spurs build on recent momentum?

TOTTENHAM HAVE WON four of their last five league games and have not lost in their last six.

Their form and confidence was highlighted by a spectacular 5-3 win over Chelsea on New Year’s Day, in which Harry Kane caused Chelsea’s normally solid defence countless problems.

This sudden consistent run is in contrast with much of Tottenham’s season, in which they have flattered to deceive on more than a few occasions.

Beating Chelsea at home and then losing on Saturday against Palace would be ‘typical Tottenham,’ however there has been a discernible level of steel about Mauricio Pochettino’s of late that suggests they may avoid such a fate this time around.

2. Will Liverpool build on recent promise?

Soccer - Steven Gerrard Filer Joe Giddens Joe Giddens

(The soon-to-be-departing Steven Gerrard has  scored four goals in his last two matches for Liverpool)

There has been a renewed level of excitement about Liverpool of late.

The Reds’ attack — while not reaching the dizzy heights of last season — has been showing plenty of zip, with Raheem Sterling in particular starting to look more comfortable in a central attacking role.

That said, some familiar weaknesses were on display in their most recent encounter, as they let a two-goal lead slip thanks to quick-fire Leicester goals from David Nugent and Jeff Schlupp in 100 seconds of madness at Anfield.

In Sunderland, they face one of the Premier League’s more unpredictable sides this weekend. They drew 0-0 with Liverpool just last month at Anfield, but have also won only one of their last 10 league matches, and have triumphed just once all season at the Stadium of Light.

3. Saints better equipped than ever to pull off Old Trafford victory

It’s not often that Southampton come away from a match against Man United feeling they deserved at least a point, but that was certainly the case when the teams met at St Marys last month.

Southampton dominated possession but passed up a series of good chances, as they were punished by a Robin van Persie brace.

Nevertheless, the Saints didn’t let that setback demoralise them unduly, and currently still sit in the Champions League places, despite many critics maintaining that their top-four challenge will collapse eventually.

They have not beaten United at Old Trafford in the league since 1988 and will likely find it hard going again — the Red Devils have only lost once, on the opening day, at home this season.

That said, if Ronald Koeman’s side replicate their performance and improve their finishing from the last time the sides met, they have every chance of causing an upset.

4. Could this be the game that kick-starts Everton’s season?

Soccer - FA Cup - Third Round - Everton v West Ham United - Goodison Park PA Archive / Press Association Images PA Archive / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

Everton are in desperate need of some inspiration, but are unlikely to get it on Saturday.

The Toffees have failed to emulate last season’s form, and are currently languishing in 13th place in the table.

In contrast, after a hesitant start, City are beginning to look like the team that won the league so impressively last season.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are unbeaten in their last 11 league fixtures, winning nine and could go top if they get a better result than Chelsea manage against Newcastle.

With Everton attaining only four points from a possible 24 in their last eight matches, all signs point to a win for the visitors, though a shock Toffees triumph would be just what Roberto Martinez’s side need to galvanise their season.

5. Can Chelsea avenge St James’ Park defeat?

Chelsea have shown signs recently that their title win may not be quite the foregone conclusion that many onlookers suspected it to be.

They have picked up just one point from their last two games, including a dramatic 5-3 loss to Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

They also face a Newcastle team who handed Jose Mourinho’s men their first loss of the season when the sides met in St James’ Park back at the start of December.

Yet the Londoners still boast a 100% record at home in the league, scoring 22 and conceding only three.

Consequently, for manager-less Newcastle to prevail would be an even bigger surprise than their previous victory over the Londoners.

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