Two of the ‘Super League Six’ meet at Wembley, West Ham face a major top-four test and Brighton seek an elusive cutting edge

Whether we’ll be able suspend our disbelief remains to be seen, but let’s assume and assess this first Super League derby like it’s a football match. Whenever late-career José Mourinho leaves a club, there’s a period during which we discover which players he was right about and which players he’d simply taken against; which players are better with his yoke removed, and which players are objectively good. The team Ryan Mason picked for the Southampton game gave us clues as to his preferences, with the starting roles handed to Toby Alderweireld and Gareth Bale particularly. Though both have seen better days, Alderweireld’s experience, leadership and nous will surely help a doddering defence – especially given Manchester City’s relative lack of pace in the middle of the pitch – while Bale combines a big-game record with the rare ability to score goals which cannot be prevented. Spurs may lose at Wembley nevertheless, but already there’s a sense that they’re back moving in a sensible direction. DH

Carabao Cup final: Manchester City v Tottenham (Sunday 4.30pm BST)

Related: After the Super League fiasco: five reforms that could save the game | David Conn

Premier League: Arsenal v Everton (Friday, 8pm)

Liverpool v Newcastle United (Saturday, 12.30pm)

Related: Josh Kroenke insists his family won’t sell Arsenal despite ESL backlash

Manchester United v Leeds (Sunday, 2pm)

West Ham v Chelsea (Saturday, 5.30pm)

Aston Villa v West Brom (Sunday, 7pm)

Sheffield United v Brighton (Saturday, 8pm)

Related: Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho fire impressive Leicester past West Brom

Wolves v Burnley (Sunday, 12pm)

Leicester v Crystal Palace (Monday, 8pm)

Continue reading...