Juergen Klopp’s first game in charge of Liverpool will dominate the headlines as the Premier League resumes after the international break but Sam Allardyce has the toughest task as he takes the reins at Sunderland.
Former Borussia Dortmund boss Klopp kicks off his reign at the former English champions, who fired Brendan Rodgers on Oct. 4, with a trip to the capital to play Tottenham Hotspur in the Saturday lunchtime kickoff (1145 GMT).
Spurs are unbeaten since the first day of the season, yet Liverpool’s recent record at White Hart Lane is impressive, having won 3-0 and 5-0 on their last two visits.
Klopp takes over a team in 10th place and has promised “full-throttle football” at Anfield, although he has asked for patience and warned he is not a “miracle worker” as he looks to replicate his success in turning Dortmund into Bundesliga title winners and Champions League finalists.
The German appears already to have made an impact in the short time he has had to work since being appointed on Friday, with Brazilian midfielder Lucas noting his “passion”.
“He seems to be a very open manager and someone that likes to be close to the players, but very straight as well. That’s what I’ve learned from the last couple of days and I think it was a positive way to start,” he said.
Allardyce takes over a Sunderland side he briefly played for in the early 1980s, currently propping up the standings with north-east rivals Newcastle United, the only teams without a league win this season.
The man known as “Big Sam” has been out of management since leaving West Ham United at the end of last season and begins his latest stint in the hot seat with a trip to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday (1400).
“We have to try and install a little bit more confidence in the team,” he said of a side who have amassed just three points from eight games.
Last season’s champions Chelsea find themselves just three places above Sunderland in 16th and owner Roman Abramovich was moved to publicly back manager Jose Mourinho after their fourth league loss of the season against Southampton.
Chelsea host fellow strugglers Aston Villa on Saturday (1400) in desperate need of three points after their horror start which has yielded only two wins.
Leaders Manchester City host Bournemouth on Saturday (1400), the first meeting between the clubs in 16 years.
City are two points ahead of Arsenal, who are away at Watford (1630) while Manchester United, level with the Londoners on 16 points, make the trip to Goodison Park to play seventh-placed Everton (1400).