This Saturday sees the return to Premier League action, following a break for international fixtures last weekend. After three games, the Manchester clubs are the only two teams in the whole of the English League system to still have a 100% record, as both City and United have won all three of their games thus far.
Unfortunately, at least for us Spurs fans, that has left Tottenham Hotspur languishing at the bottom of the table having played just two games, but both of those were losses against the Mancunian teams. Up next for Spurs is a trip to Wolves, who are unbeaten thus far having taken 7 points from their first 3 games. With Van der Vaart injured and Peter Crouch now
sold (despite this plea to Modric less than a month ago), the forward line will take on a new look, with on-loan, former Arsenal man, Emmanuel Adebayor set to partner Jermain Defoe. Luka Modric (who’s desire to leave this summer I covered here) remains in the squad and manager Harry Redknapp will be hoping that the Croatian’s head is in the right place for this game – interest from Chelsea having been given as the reason for his no-show against United and his insipid performance against City.
In the other fixtures, Arsenal have a great opportunity to register their first league win of the season as they host Premiership newcomers Swansea City. The Gunners boast new signings Mikel Arteta from Everton and Yossi Benayoun on loan from Chelsea, bolstering their team from the side that lost 8-2 at Old Trafford in their last outing. Manchester City have a local derby of sorts as they take on Wigan at Maine Road…oops, make that the City of Manchester Stadium…wait, what? The Etihad Stadium? Okay, fair enough, sounds all above board and not like they’re just trying to get around the FIFA Financial Fair Play rulings coming into effect next year.
Another Lancashire derby sees top-of-the-table-by-a-goal Manchester United travel to Bolton, Wanderers having been indifferent at the start of this season and likely to offer their traditional capitulation against the Red Devils. Chelsea have a long away trip to Sunderland; while Stoke, with their new signings Crouch, Palacios and Cameron Jerome, host Liverpool. The other Saturday game sees Arteta-less Everton take on an Aston Villa team who look a lot less dangerous now that Ashley Young is plying his trade with Manchester United.
Sunday’s games are not exactly marquee fixtures, with Martin Jol’s Fulham taking on a struggling Blackburn Rovers; and Norwich City playing West Brom, a match that sounds like a Championship game, but is actually a Premier League one.
Arsenal vs Swansea – Home Win
Everton vs Aston Villa – Draw
Man City vs Wigan – Home win
Stoke vs Liverpool – Draw
Sunderland vs Chelsea – Away win
Wolves vs Tottenham – Away win
Bolton vs Manchester United – Away win
Norwich vs West Brom – Draw
Fulham vs Blackburn – Home win