English Premier League

Premier League Weekend: Arsenal host Chelsea while Leicester go to a stuttering United

Teams will look to make changes after mid–week League Cup fixtures.

With as many as 10 Premier League sides winning their League Cup matches, it promises to be a long season for some of those sides. Bournemouth and Everton were the only two top–tier sides to lose to lower league opposition as the problem of fixture congestion starts to get real for some of the other teams.

Heading into Gameweek 6, Manchester City still lead the way with 15 points in the bag, and six ahead of their neighbours and title rivals whom they have already beaten in the league this season. Life is currently rosy if you're Pep Guardiola, with the revolution at the Etihad showing no signs of slowing down.

The big match of the weekend sees fourth-placed Arsenal play fifth-placed Chelsea at home. Antonio Conte's men lost to Liverpool last time around and the Italian will not like that one bit, as Chelsea's record of having lost only one out of their 11 meetings with the Gunners will inspire confidence in the Blues.

Elsewhere, Jose Mourinho finally stopped his losing streak at three as Manchester United gained a much-needed victory and some respite at League One side Northampton Town. The Red Devils looked patchy against an opponent 48 places below them in the football league, and Marcus Rashford had to be introduced in the second half to save United the blushes as he scored two goals to give his side 3-1. One of the outfield players who completed 90 minutes put in a poor performance again, so the magic question is...

Will Jose finally be Roo-de?

What will it take for Jose Mourinho to pull the trigger over Wayne Rooney? The ex–Chelsea boss has been known to target fan favourites in the past, with Iker Casillas at Real Madrid the prime example of Mou alienating a locker room leader and losing his job in the process. So will Mou finally have the cojones to drop United's leader, or will he wait for another loss to make his mind up?

Rooney lumbering around like a drunk middle-aged man on skates should make the decision very easy for the manager. The real problem lies in finding United's best combination with or without their erstwhile captain, as creativity in the final third has become a bone of contention.

Ander Herrera and Michael Carrick did enough on Wednesday night to suggest that they could be in line for starts as Leicester come to town. The champions are not in the best of shape themselves and lost 2-4 at home in the cup to Chelsea after being 2-0 up. The arrival of record signing Islam Slimani has bolstered them, and the Algerian could replace Shinji Okazaki, who grabbed a brace in their defeat to the Blues.

Manchester United vs Leicester City:Saturday, September 24, 5 pm IST

Simon says it's time to go

With Liverpool's summer signing Loris Karius finally starting between the posts in the League Cup win over Derby, Jurgen Klopp could drop Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. But he might opt to wait for Karius to completely heal from a broken hand suffered in the summer.

Mignolet has never completely convinced with his displays since making a switch from Sunderland, and all eyes will be on Klopp to see who he picks in goal this weekend. Roberto Firmino should return to the line–up as Daniel Sturridge is one again doubtful this weekend, necessitating a change up-front.

Their opponents on Saturday, Hull, had their steady start to the season slowly evaporate as they have gone three matches without a win. They did beat a poor Stoke side in the League Cup and will hope to contain the rampant Reds on Saturday.

Liverpool vs Hull City: Saturday, September 24, 7.30 pm IST

Spurs to play without Kane

Tottenham have had an unbeaten start to the season as they thrashed Gillingham 5-0 in the League Cup. Three wins and two draws see them in third place, but Harry Kane's absence could prove to be costly for the London side, who may start Vicent Janssen in the forward's role.

Middlesborough who haven't won a match in their last four outings, had a longer break with the absence of League Cup football. They welcome Spurs to the Riverside stadium, having lost one out of their last 10 home games.

For Tottenham, Mousa Dembele and Eric Dier may also miss out through injury.

Middlesbrough vs Tottenham: Saturday, September 24, 7.30 pm IST

Sergio Aguero returns

Kun Aguero returns to the Manchester City squad after a three-month ban. He has watched his team score eight goals in those three matches as City have looked comfortable with Kelechi Iheanacho leading the line.

Nolito is suspended following a red card in the 4-0 win over Bournemouth, and Yaya Toure is also unavailable after a public fall-out with manager Guardiola, which resulted in the club suspending him.

Kevin De Bruyne is in red-hot form as the Citizens travel to Wales to face a Swansea side who look short on ideas currently. This will be a tough ask of Swansea, who haven't won since opening day – the Swans lost their League Cup match against City at the Liberty Stadium and will look to avoid a repeat.

Swansea City vs Manchester City: Saturday, September 24, 7.30 pm IST

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As India turns 70, London School of Economics asks some provocative questions

Is India ready to become a global superpower?

Meaningful changes have always been driven by the right, but inconvenient questions. As India completes 70 years of its sovereign journey, we could do two things – celebrate, pay our token tributes and move on, or take the time to reflect and assess if our course needs correction. The ‘India @ 70: LSE India Summit’, the annual flagship summit of the LSE (London School of Economics) South Asia Centre, is posing some fundamental but complex questions that define our future direction as a nation. Through an honest debate – built on new research, applied knowledge and ground realities – with an eclectic mix of thought leaders and industry stalwarts, this summit hopes to create a thought-provoking discourse.

From how relevant (or irrelevant) is our constitutional framework, to how we can beat the global one-upmanship games, from how sincere are business houses in their social responsibility endeavours to why water is so crucial to our very existence as a strong nation, these are some crucial questions that the event will throw up and face head-on, even as it commemorates the 70th anniversary of India’s independence.

Is it time to re-look at constitution and citizenship in India?

The Constitution of India is fundamental to the country’s identity as a democratic power. But notwithstanding its historical authority, is it perhaps time to examine its relevance? The Constitution was drafted at a time when independent India was still a young entity. So granting overwhelming powers to the government may have helped during the early years. But in the current times, they may prove to be more discriminatory than egalitarian. Our constitution borrowed laws from other countries and continues to retain them, while the origin countries have updated them since then. So, do we need a complete overhaul of the constitution? An expert panel led by Dr Mukulika Banerjee of LSE, including political and economic commentator S Gurumurthy, Madhav Khosla of Columbia University, Niraja Gopal Jayal of JNU, Chintan Chandrachud the author of the book Balanced Constitutionalism and sociologist, legal researcher and Director of Council for Social Development Kalpana Kannabiran will seek answers to this.

Is CSR simply forced philanthropy?

While India pioneered the mandatory minimum CSR spend, has it succeeded in driving impact? Corporate social responsibility has many dynamics at play. Are CSR initiatives mere tokenism for compliance? Despite government guidelines and directives, are CSR activities well-thought out initiatives, which are monitored and measured for impact? The CSR stipulations have also spawned the proliferation of ambiguous NGOs. The session, ‘Does forced philanthropy work – CSR in India?” will raise these questions of intent, ethics and integrity. It will be moderated by Professor Harry Barkema and have industry veterans such as Mukund Rajan (Chairman, Tata Council for Community Initiatives), Onkar S Kanwar (Chairman and CEO, Apollo Tyres), Anu Aga (former Chairman, Thermax) and Rahul Bajaj (Chairman, Bajaj Group) on the panel.

Can India punch above its weight to be considered on par with other super-powers?

At 70, can India mobilize its strengths and galvanize into the role of a serious power player on the global stage? The question is related to the whole new perception of India as a dominant power in South Asia rather than as a Third World country, enabled by our foreign policies, defense strategies and a buoyant economy. The country’s status abroad is key in its emergence as a heavyweight but the foreign service officers’ cadre no longer draws top talent. Is India equipped right for its aspirations? The ‘India Abroad: From Third World to Regional Power’ panel will explore India’s foreign policy with Ashley Tellis, Meera Shankar (Former Foreign Secretary), Kanwal Sibal (Former Foreign Secretary), Jayant Prasad and Rakesh Sood.

Are we under-estimating how critical water is in India’s race ahead?

At no other time has water as a natural resource assumed such a big significance. Studies estimate that by 2025 the country will become ‘water–stressed’. While water has been the bone of contention between states and controlling access to water, a source for political power, has water security received the due attention in economic policies and development plans? Relevant to the central issue of water security is also the issue of ‘virtual water’. Virtual water corresponds to the water content (used) in goods and services, bulk of which is in food grains. Through food grain exports, India is a large virtual net exporter of water. In 2014-15, just through export of rice, India exported 10 trillion litres of virtual water. With India’s water security looking grim, are we making the right economic choices? Acclaimed author and academic from the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, Amita Bavisar will moderate the session ‘Does India need virtual water?’

Delve into this rich confluence of ideas and more at the ‘India @ 70: LSE India Summit’, presented by Apollo Tyres in association with the British Council and organized by Teamworks Arts during March 29-31, 2017 at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. To catch ‘India @ 70’ live online, register here.

At the venue, you could also visit the Partition Museum. Dedicated to the memory of one of the most conflict-ridden chapters in our country’s history, the museum will exhibit a unique archive of rare photographs, letters, press reports and audio recordings from The Partition Museum, Amritsar.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Teamwork Arts and not by the Scroll editorial team.