Kieran Davies steps back from a week of Premier League insanity that includes major coups and defensive frailties.
So, Brendan Rodgers thought that his time at Liverpool had led to him having a heart attack at one stage. Fortunately for Brendan he wasn’t a fan watching his tenure at the club as most Liverpool fans can testify to chest pains having to endure their defending week in, week out. Even more so, this is still going on to this day. Last weekend saw a heavy defeat at the hands of Pochettino’s Spurs much to the delight of the North London faithful. What have Dejan Lovren, Ronald Koeman and the Titanic got in common? They should never have left Southampton! It must inspire people up and down the country that anything is possible if you wish hard enough seeing Lovren making a career as a professional footballer on £100k per week. While the scoreline shows that Tottenham won this game comfortably, the reality is the biggest player assisting all of their goals was wearing the red of Liverpool. Simon Mignolet could no doubt swim up and down the Ebola river and catch nothing more than a chill from the water. All of these defensive frailties were evident during Rodgers’ reign and last weekend’s defeat saw a starting eleven where of the selected back five, four of them were part of Brendan’s infamous leaky fortification. This weekend sees Klopp’s Liverpool take on fellow German David Wagner’s Huddersfield. The home faithful will demand no less than three points in this faltering season.
The early kick off pits Jose Bore-inho’s National Express side against in-form Tottenham. Apparently, Harry Kane is suffering from a hamstring injury that has prevented him from training this week which will mean Spurs having to cope without their prolific striker. Part of me wonders whether this is just a rouse to outplay a team renowned for their mind games under Alex Ferguson. Don’t be surprised to see Kane leading the line at Old Trafford tomorrow. This game is important for United as they need to rectify their poor record against ‘the top six’ which will no doubt require them to steer clear of their negative attitude to these games historically. Across Manchester, Pep’s City are going from strength to strength having already built themselves a five-point gap at the top of the table. Travelling to West Brom this weekend, City will feel confident that they have enough firepower in their ranks to blow the Midlands side away. They have won their last eleven meetings with West Brom and nothing suggests that this trend will change this time out. Arsenal on the back of a big win at Everton, that cost Ronald Koeman his job, entertain Swansea at The Emirates this weekend. Swansea have actually won more games than they have lost in this fixture but considering they tend to try and shut up shop away from home this season, I can’t see them keeping Arsenal out all afternoon.
Slaven Bilic may have earnt himself some more time in the position at West Ham with a league cup win away against Tottenham but this league match, despite it being so early on in the season, is a must win for The Hammers. Crystal Palace will be hoping to show some of the form that saw them beat Chelsea at Selhurst Park as they need to change their fortunes sooner rather than later if they plan to lift themselves from the bottom of the table. Another manager under pressure is Stoke City’s Mark Hughes. Just outside of the drop zone, a tricky trip to Watford is not what the doctor ordered and he will need a big performance from his faltering team if he has any hope of turning things around. Maybe if his players could show some of the form of Peter Crouch’s tweets, they would find themselves climbing up the table rapidly. Having dropped valuable points at Crystal Palace, Conte’s Chelsea will need to ensure that their trip to Bournemouth is no potential banana skin. Howe’s side find themselves in the bottom three and would take any points they can from this game. They could do with Jermain Defoe not only fully fit but showing some of the goal scoring form that nearly managed to keep Sunderland up.
After a huge 3-0 win at West Ham last time out, Brighton will be hoping to impress in front of their own fans as in a South coast derby against Southampton. A victory would see them leapfrog their neighbours and move them a step closer to defying a lot of people’s predictions of them going straight back down this season. Having brought manager Ronald Koeman’s tenure to an abrupt end, Everton travel to Leicester with a side bang out of form, a new interim manager in David Unsworth and a desperate need for three points. Leicester will be playing their first game under new manager Claude Puel and he will be desperate to impress the home fans, most of whom have questioned his appointment. Despite his love for the club he plied his trade at for most of his playing career, could we see Unsworth do an Alan Shearer and take his side down to the Championship? Only time will tell. Burnley and Newcastle have had fantastic starts to the season and find themselves in 8th and 7th place respectively. As they look to entertain the masses in their first Monday Night Football game, whoever is able to win this one will find themselves at the heady heights of the top end of the table challenging for European qualification. Benitez would regard this as a major coup and underline why the Newcastle board should invest heavily in his transfer plans for the club to grow under his stewardship.