"United si? Non'

“United si? Non’

Kieran Davies reviews the week while looking ahead to cheesy smiles, Jekyll and Hyde performances, and Stoke City’s FM 2012 line-up.

While Chelsea and Man City look to spend like Donald Trump’s campaign trail for the US presidency, Stoke try to assemble a dream team from Football Manager 2012, and Liverpool try to give away Balotelli to anyone stupid enough to take him on, another weekend of frenetic Premier League action awaits. Pellegrini’s side have made a fantastic start to their campaign after giving Chelsea a hiding at the Etihad last weekend yet their owners still feel the need to invest heavily in the Chilean. After seeing the way they dealt with the champions last week and the re-emergence of Vincent Kompany no one will fancy facing them at the moment but a tricky away tie against Everton looms this weekend. The question does beg whether Mourinho’s ego has led to him thinking his Chelsea squad is better than it actually is as they seem to struggle when Hazard is not on form and Fabregas looked a real chink in their armour when having to defend and get back. Costa seems as though he should be involved in MMA and not professional football and judging by his face he looks like he’s taken a few heavy MMA defeats. They travel to West Brom this weekend sits a couple of places above the relegation places, now there’s something I didn’t think I’d get to say about them but nobody is bulletproof in this league.

Obvious runners aside, we must give credit to a certain manager who’s known for liking to tinker with his teams with the start his side has made. Leicester City sit in second place with a 100% record in this early stage of the campaign but no doubt there will be no delusions of grandeur at the club and they will see this as 6 down, 34 for to go to guarantee survival. The way they are going this could be achieved by Christmas. They face Tottenham at home this weekend in a game giving Gary Lineker issues as to where his cheesy smile rests as his ‘old club’ and they may have filled the void left by the departure of Cambiasso with the signing of Gokhan Inler a player linked with many big clubs during his career. What will be more worrying for Spurs fans is how devoid they look of strikers when Harry Kane isn’t on the pitch for them. The fixture of the weekend has to be Arsenal v Liverpool which will be a stern test for Brendan Rodgers if he hopes to still have their 100% start come Tuesday morning. Their performances to date have by no means set the world alight but 6 points out of a possible 6 is all that matters when you it comes to looking at the league table. Bournemouth were narrowly beaten at Anfield last Monday and could count themselves slightly hard done by with the nature of Liverpool’s winner but it is sad to see them clutching at a disallowed goal, claiming it should have been allowed when the person who headed the ball home was all over Dejan Lovren like a cheap suit to get to the ball. Have a bit more decorum lads, this is the big time now, it just seems like sour grapes! This weekend sees them travel to Jekyll and Hyde team West Ham who managed to undo all their good work at the Emirates with a home defeat to Leicester City.

The early kick off this weekend sees Man Utd face Newcastle at the no sign of Pedro arena, I mean Old Trafford. LVG’s side have made the perfect start points wise and I cannot see this changing with Newcastle’s horrendous record against United in the Premier League. It’s a brave betting man who puts an away win down on this one. Like Spurs, United look seriously lacking up front so they will need their midfield to chip in with Rooney looking like he’s forgotten how to play the lone striker role up top. No doubt over the next fortnight we will hear them linked to every big name you can think of but none of them seem to signing. LVG’s treatment of De Gea and Valdes will not be selling the project to anyone if we are bluntly honest on the subject. Pardew’s Palace will be looking to pick up a first win of the season at home against Villa after last week’s defeat to Arsenal. You would expect them to do just that with a still weakened Villa side from last season despite picking up points on the road against one of the Premier League new boys. Norwich face Hughes’ Stoke side with a certain Shaqiri included, music to Potters fans ears no doubt. Despite their impressive squad they have yet to pick up a first win of the season.

Swansea will fancy their chances of building on their impressive start to the season with an away day at the Stadium of Light. Sunderland have looked already like this will be a long arduous season for the North East faithful. Watford will hope to give their home fans something to shout about with Koeman’s Southampton visiting although they will be keen to bounce back from a humbling 3-0 defeat to Everton at home last week. It’s a big weekend for a lot of teams to right some wrongs this weekend as although it is early in the season no side can afford to give teams head starts on their ambitions for the season. Chelsea find themselves 5 points behind the pace setters for example and this needs to be addressed. There are some big names at the wrong end of the table something none of their fans want to see after all the build up over the summer and hope for big things this season. No doubt we will see goals, action, drama, let’s just hope no officials try to make a name for themselves for all the wrong reasons.