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Morning Mix: Villa must break West Ham hoodoo, Arsenal game is crucial for Chelsea

It’s the Friday after the international break which means ‘Morning Mix’ is back – our weekly football column with a bit of music thrown in for good measure.

We look at two major talking points for the weekend ahead and point you in the direction of some of the best football stories elsewhere on the internet.

We also offer a top tune recommendation to get you in the mood for the weekend and what to watch out for over the coming days. Let’s get this show on the road!

Villa must break West Ham hoodoo

We have previously highlighted the excellent job Unai Emery has done at Aston Villa since he replaced Steven Gerrard as manager.

His team have made a solid start to the current campaign, winning five and drawing one of their eight games to climb up to fifth in the standings.

Sunday’s home game against West Ham United gives Villa the ideal opportunity to prove they can challenge for the top four this season.

Villa have not beaten West Ham in their last ten meetings in the Premier League. Snapping that streak would be a big statement of intent.

Arsenal game is crucial for Chelsea

Chelsea have become a ‘banter club’ in the Premier League, with their failure to deliver results after spending lavishly on players causing much merriment among rival fans.

Successive victories over Fulham and Burnley before the international break steadied the ship and sparked hope that the Blues may finally be heading in the right direction.

Their home game against Arsenal on Saturday will be a useful yardstick in determining whether Chelsea fans can start looking forward to a brighter future.

With Arsenal supporters working themselves into a frenzy following their victory over Manchester City, Chelsea have a golden opportunity to give them a reality check.

The week that was

Are you looking for the best football stories from the past week? Check these out:

Today’s top tune

It’s been a while since we gave Sheffield songwriter Ed Cosens a shout-out, so now seems like a good time to rectify matters.

His latest song ‘Blackdog’ is a wondrous tune with a powerful message. Pin back your ears and drink in the magnificence!

What to watch this week

The Merseyside derby on Saturday. Sean Dyche has got under Jurgen Klopp’s skin in the past. It’ll be fun to watch if he can do it again.

A final Morning Mix thought

‘Proper England fans don’t boo players.’ Harry Maguire there, proving that having an extremely sizeable head does not necessarily equate to having a large brain.

Maguire’s defence of Jordan ‘I haven’t moved to Saudi Arabia for the money and am still an LGBT+ advocate’ Henderson highlighted why some footballers should avoid speaking to the media.

Let’s be clear about this – England supporters are perfectly entitled to express their distaste towards a player who has displayed questionable ethics in recent months.

Perhaps if Maguire focused on his own performances rather than criticising fans, he’d spend less time warming his backside on the bench at Manchester United.

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