There’s a bumper weekend of action in the Premier League this week focused arounf Manchester City facing Tottenham and Liverpool facing Chelsea wnd while those are the big ones, there are a few other things to look out for this weekend.
Everton to really let loose…
It’s been a fantastic start to the season for David Moyes and Everton with just one defeat in ten games leaving them sitting pretty among other early season flyers, Tottenham and West Brom. The opening day win over Manchester United set the scene with their mix of hard working footballers like Leon Osman, called into the England squad this week, and Seamus Coleman alongside talented players like Marouane Fellaini, Kevin Mirallas and Nikica Jelavic. The combination of grit and class has made them one of the hardest side to beat in recent memory, and they’ve yet to be turned over this season.
Despite all this there is the feeling that Moyes’ team have more in store and the Scot will feel that had they played to their potential they would have got more than two points from their recent 2-2 draws with Liverpool and Fulham. There are goals aplenty in this side and Saturday’s opponents Sunderland could be lambs to the slaughter.
Martin’s O’Neill’s side are currently in the middle of a dreadful run of form that has yielded just one win in 17 games and they managed just one shot on target in last weekend’s loss to Aston Villa. Sunderland last won in the league back in September at home to Wigan and they would happily settle for the 1-1 result they achieved at Goodison last season. That’s unlikely however.
Fernando Torres’ Liverpool jinx to continue
Fernando Torres, it’s fair to say, has not enjoyed the best of times since moving from Anfield to Stamford Bridge and he’s yet to taste victory against his former employers. In the three meetings since he has yet to taste victory with Chelsea’s sole success in that time coming in the FA Cup final when Torres was benched for the full 90 minutes.
Chelsea looked unsteady in their 1-1 with Swansea last week as the fallout from the Mark Clattenburg saga continued and Brendan Rodgers will be keen to inflict more pain on his former club when he takes his Liverpool side, with only one defeat on the road to Stamford Bridge.
Stoke City finally put the sword into Mark Hughes
To say he is hanging by a thread is putting it lightly but Mark Hughes’ reign as QPR manager could finally come to an end this weekend. With four months of the season gone and just 45 days to Christmas the expensive project built on Champions League and title winners have yet to taste victory. Only the defensive frailties of Southampton are keeping the club off the bottom and another defeat at the Britannia will surely spell the end for the former Manchester United star.
City to leave it late… again
You may not think it but despite Roberto Mancini being a man under pressure, Manchester City are very much in the title race. The tactics might not be to everyone’s liking while the European results certainly aren’t to their fans but with just two points separating third place City from their neighbours United a second successive title is very much still on. Much of that has been down to the never-say-die attitude of the squad, goals in the final ten minutes of their clashes with Fulham and West Brom have turned zero points into three and it would be no surprise once again if they managed the same feat against AVB’s inconsistent Spurs who have mad a habit of late goals.
After winning over the White Hart Lane faithful following a stuttering start to the season with that famous result against Manchester United, AVB is a man under pressure once again after last weekend’s loss to Wigan. Spurs have struggled in front of their home fans but have been impressive on the road losing just once so far. Their clashes with City always make for good viewing however in keeping with their season so far Mancini’s Blue’s will once again concede and will once again leave it late to secure the points.
Olivier Giroud in a six yard box near you…
It’s been a tough start to life in England for the former Montpellier strike, and the man Arsene Wenger deemed to be the perfect replacement for Robin van Persie has only served to make the Dutchman look irreplaceable. Just one goal in his opening ten Premier League games has left fans questioning the £12 million outlay.
That goal came against West Ham, and this weekend he will get another chance to double his Premier League tally when another London side Fulham make their way to the Emirates. The Cottagers have conceded 12 goals on the road to date the second most in the league and in five games they have won just once.
Giroud will hope to win over the home faithful by exposing those defensive frailties. The 26 year old has shown signs over the last couple of weeks that he is finally settling into life in London, scoring in the thrilling 7-5 League Cup win over Reading and the midweek draw with Schalke in the Champions league.