London: Manchester City will look to shake off the defensive vulnerability they showed in losing to promoted Cardiff City last weekend when they host Hull City on Saturday.
Having splashed around £90 million on bolstering their attack, they need to demonstrate that they have not missed a trick by penny-pinching at the other end, following their embarrassing 2-3 loss to Cardiff.
With first-choice centre-backs Vincent Kompany and Matija Nastasic out injured, City could be forced to call on midfielder Javi Garcia as a stand-in defender once again.
Arsenal will be eager to show the north London balance of power has not shifted to Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool face a test of their top-four credentials against Manchester United as traditional local rivals clash in the Premier League on Sunday.
Arsenal pipped their neighbours to a Champions League qualifying spot last season, but while Arsene Wenger’s team have been thwarted in their efforts to strengthen their squad, Tottenham have liberally splashed the cash.
Two wins from their opening two matches have added to the positive vibe emanating from White Hart Lane, which has not been dampened by the impending world-record transfer of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid.
In Arsenal, although they reached the Champions League group stage with a comfortable win over Fenerbahce and beat Fulham in the Premier League last weekend following the shock opening home loss to Aston Villa, there is still frustration among supporters.
Liverpool are also bathing in optimism after winning their opening two Premier League matches but are set for a rigorous examination when they host champions and bitter rivals United.
United manager David Moyes, used to a heated Anfield atmosphere after 11 years at Everton, will be satisfied with his opening two competitive games at his new club.