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English Premier League: 5 Players with a Point to Prove in Week 6

Nick AkermanFeatured Columnist IVDecember 21, 2016

English Premier League: 5 Players with a Point to Prove in Week 6

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    Five games into the Premier League season and we're starting to see certain players come under pressure.

    This might be due to an injury, individual mistake or awful team performance. As we head into week six, many players will feel they have a point to prove.

    I've listed the main five who must up their game.

     

    Do you agree? Let me know in the comments section below, or hit me up on Twitter.

    All statistics provided in this article are courtesy of Whoscored.

Wayne Rooney, Manchester United

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    Manchester United hardly missed Wayne Rooney.

    The Red Devils have scored nine goals in three Premier League games since the Englishman suffered a gashed leg at the end of August.

    Robin van Persie has played as the lone striker in Rooney's absence. Many questioned how the two would work together, and so far, the pair haven't played together long enough to provide an answer.

    Rooney is likely to make an appearance against Tottenham. Sir Alex Ferguson has often sacrificed van Persie towards the end of matches, bringing on Danny Welbeck or Javier Hernandez in his place.

    Although Rooney isn't guaranteed to start, he must make an impact when he takes to the field.

    He had a decent showing against Newcastle in the Capital One Cup. That appearance will have helped boost his fitness for the clash against Spurs.

    If the former Everton player gets a chance to play alongside United's new Dutchman, the answers about their compatibility will soon arise.

Papiss Cisse, Newcastle United

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    Papiss Cisse is another player who is being overshadowed by his strike partner.

    The Senegalese forward is yet to score in the Premier League this season. He's looked out of sorts for the most part and skied a penalty in Newcastle's 1-0 victory over Norwich.

    Newcastle fans have witnessed four Demba Ba goals in as many matches this campaign. It's strange to see two countrymen, who are both natural finishers, fail to score alongside each other. When one grabs the headlines for a stunning goal, the other seems to suffer.

    Cisse was a late substitute in Newcastle's recent Capital One Cup match against Manchester United.

    While his pass-success rate remained a sloppy 62 percent, he was a physical presence in the area. Bursting into the box, he managed to nab a much-needed goal from Shane Ferguson's cross.

    Minutes later he slammed a spectacular bicycle kick off the bar.

    This is the kind of progress Cisse has to make. If he works hard in Newcastle's next Premier League outing against Reading, expect more brilliance.

Ashley Williams, Swansea City

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    Swansea City are in a dangerous position.

    After securing seven points from their first three games, Michael Laudrup's side received plaudits for some fine work. Unfortunately, the Swans remain stuck on seven points after five games.

    Ashley Williams has had a difficult time lately. He promised not to dwell on the mistake made against Sunderland at the start of September (via This is South Wales).

    Unfortunately, a misplaced pass in the next match against Aston Villa saw him become a repeat offender.

    Swansea need their talisman to regain his confidence quickly. They face a tough trip to Stoke in their next Premier League outing. The defender will be under extreme scrutiny in a match that is sure to be physical.

    With Peter Crouch and Jonathan Walters lurking around his every move, Williams has a difficult examination ahead of him.

Olivier Giroud, Arsenal

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    Olivier Giroud has had a slow start to life at Arsenal.

    Brought in to replace Robin van Persie, it's almost inevitable the Frenchman is struggling to make an impression.

    He's shown plenty of desire in the Premier League so far. Unfortunately, this hasn't been rewarded with goals.

    The Capital One Cup is often outlined as a burden for the elite clubs; not for Giroud and Arsenal. The 25-year-old scored his first goal for the Gunners in the recent 6-1 demolition of Coventry City.

    Arsene Wenger's side now face a difficult fixture against Chelsea.

    Has Giroud done enough to earn a place in the starting 11? I doubt it. Consider the fact Arsenal drew 1-1 with Manchester City in their previous Premier League outing and it's pretty obvious Giroud will start on the bench.

    Even so, he must come on and impose himself. Linking with the wingers will be key, as Giroud needs to learn how to bring others into the game.

    With his first goal scored, hopefully, the new signing will play under less pressure (via The Daily Mail).

Pepe Reina, Liverpool

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    Liverpool remain without a win in the Premier League.

    Brendan Rodgers' side were desperately unlucky to lose 2-1 against Manchester United. Even with 10 men, the Merseyside club outplayed their bitter rivals.

    Pepe Reina hasn't helped his team this season.

    He isn't proving to be the relentless shot-stopper of previous campaigns and is prone to mistakes. Reina has always had this in his game but now it's more apparent than ever.

    Against United, he was unfortunate not to save Robin van Persie's penalty. In the weeks prior to this, his inability to grip the ball has dropped points.

    An away trip to Norwich is next in line. The Canaries are also struggling and will be looking to dampen Liverpool's credentials even further.

    Reina needs to have a sense of authority about himself. Grant Holt is likely to barge Liverpool's defenders every way he can, creating panic in the box with his weight. If the goalkeeper isn't responsive enough, this could lengthen an already unsatisfactory run.

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