London: Liverpool and Manchester City are again threatening to streak clear in the Premier League title race with their main challengers looking ill-equipped to keep up.
Both teams were irresistible last season, with runners-up Liverpool finishing 25 points ahead of third-placed Chelsea, and they look a class apart again in this campaign.
The two front-runners will each expect to pick up another three points this weekend despite being on their travels as Liverpool go to Sheffield United and City visit Everton.
Leicester, Arsenal and West Ham are their closest challengers and early leaders in the fight for the final two Champions League places despite just three wins apiece after six rounds of matches. Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United, all of whom have struggled badly, are under pressure to get back on track on home soil this weekend.
City showed no mercy against Watford last weekend, hammering the Hornets 8-0 in a staggering display of dominance that even visiting goalkeeper Ben Foster admitted could have resulted in an even more damaging scoreline.
Liverpool have not lost in the league to a side outside the traditional "Big Six" since January 2018. But Blades boss Chris Wilder is demanding his players are not star-struck by the European champions.
Tottenham fluffed another chance to land a first trophy under Mauricio Pochettino in midweek, with an embarrassing third-round League Cup defeat by fourth-tier Colchester on penalties.
Spurs have won just two of their opening eight games in all competitions. With Bayern Munich to visit on Tuesday in the Champions League, that record threatens to get even worse unless Pochettino can get a response from his stale-looking side against Southampton on Saturday.