Football returns to the Premier League this weekend after the international hiatus. We have some cracking games coming up, the pick of the bunch being Manchester City’s away trip to Arsenal.
Can Manchester United register their first win?
Still without a victory in their first three matches, an opening day defeat to Swansea at Old Trafford, only two points on board, 14th in the league table and so many injury problems – possibly not even the worst possible start Manchester United and Louis van Gaal had expected.
This has been a ground-breaking summer for Manchester United. The club has broken the British transfer record to sign Angel di Maria from Real Madrid and has signed seven new players for nearly £150m including a certain world class striker Radamel Falcao on the transfer deadline day. It’s time they deliver on the pitch.
Ashley Young has made a strong statement by saying that it would be foolish to write United off so early this season. He feels that a change is around the corner but for that to happen Manchester United need to win games. They need to put points on board. Quickly.
On paper Manchester United should win comfortably against QPR on Sunday. These are the games United can hardly afford to drop points if they are serious about challenging for top four.
How Liverpool will line-up without Daniel Sturridge?
Sturridge will miss Liverpool’s home game against Aston Villa this weekend through an ankle injury. His absence could force Rodgers to tweak his tactical plans.
In the last match against Tottenham, Rodgers used a diamond system with Sturridge and Balotelli upfront. In absence of the England striker, he can put Fabio Borini or Ricky Lambert to partner Balotelli, should he continue with the same formation. Otherwise, Balotelli can operate as a lone striker in either 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 system.
Can Chelsea maintain their perfect start?
Chelsea will face joint league-leader Swansea, who like their opponent have made a perfect start to the season, on Saturday afternoon at Stamford Bridge.
Diego Costa, who already has four goals to his name this season, could miss out through injury. In his absence, new signing Loic Remy is expected to lead the line. At home, Chelsea should win, but Swansea, who have conceded only one goal so far, should put up a strong fight.
New journey for Ben Arfa
Hatem Ben Arfa’s loan move to Hull City wasn’t greeted well by the Newcastle United fans. His relationship with Alan Pardew had completely broken down and probably it was right for him to move elsewhere to reignite his career.
Ben Arfa is capable of producing moments of genius but his inconsistency is well documented at the same time. He may be a temperamental genius, but a genius nevertheless.
He is like a poet with a disruptive burst of art. And most of the time it appalls more than it appeases. May be a change of environment could bring the best out of him again.
The big match: Arsenal v Man City
After scoring two goals for England on Monday night against Switzerland, much of the pre-match hype is now being centered on Arsenal’s new striker Danny Welbeck, who joined for a reported fee of £16m on transfer deadline day from Manchester United.
The 23-year-old will be given the central striker role he has been desperately craving. He is tactically one of the smartest forwards England have at the moment and likewise there is no better manager in the Premier League who can unlock his true potential than Arsene Wenger. He can only improve from here on.
Arsenal’s recent record against Manchester City is poor, with the Gunners having won only twice in their last 10 Premier League meetings. City on the other hand are coming to this match on the back of a shock 1-0 defeat at home against Stoke City. The champions can hardly afford another defeat here on Saturday.