EPL Week 6: 3 Away Game Locks This Weekend
Of course, none of these things are going to happen, not for a few years anyways, but there are certainly plenty of managers under pressure to get wins sooner rather than later.
The unpredictability of the EPL is a huge reason why it's the most watched league in the world. Everyone has the ability to beat the very best on any given day.
This weekend, some of the big boys have difficult away trips, with plenty of pundits predicting upsets across the board.
However, sometimes form is temporary, while class is permanent. Here are three away locks this weekend...
3) Newcastle to Win at Reading
Some people are predicting Reading to get their first Premier League win of the season against Newcastle—I'm not one of them.
Newcastle did have a difficult Capital One Cup trip in midweek to Manchester United, but on closer inspection, only goal scorer Papiss Cisse was involved from Alan Pardew's regular starting eleven—and he was a 61st-minute substitute.
The likes of Demba Ba, Hatem Ben Arfa and Jonas Gutierrez will be fully rested for the trip to London. They were too much for Norwich last week, despite being on short rest after the Monday night game at Everton and Thursday's Europa Cup game with Maritimo—that speaks volumes.
The Magpies have only tasted defeat once in the league this season, and I expect them to have too much firepower for a Reading side who fielded virtually a full strength team in their 3-2 win over QPR in the same competition.
Tiredness will be a factor, especially with the pace Newcastle possess down the flanks. If they concede early, it could be a long afternoon for Brian McDermott's men.
Prediction - Reading 1, Newcastle 3
2) Manchester City to Win at Fulham
On the face of it, City have a lot more problems at the start of the season than they would have anticipated.
A lack of signings, frustration from the manager, injuries aplenty and disappointing results, both domestically and in Europe—the latest being a disastrous Capital Cup exit to Aston Villa at the Eastlands.
Is it time to panic?
Roberto Mancini has yet again proclaimed Manchester United as title favourites—we all know how that played out last year.
City did have to endure extra time against Villa, with the likes of Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez surprisingly playing all 120 minutes, but the amount of squad depth the Italian has at his disposal means he can select almost a brand new side to face Fulham.
Look for Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko to start at Craven Cottage, while Ya Ya Toure and David Silva will be welcomed back with open arms.
Fulham are very Jekyll and Hyde; you never know what you are going to get from them, but on this occasion their best won't be good enough.
Prediction - Fulham 0, Manchester City 2
1) Liverpool to Win at Norwich
Brendan Rodgers knew it was going to be a baptism of fire when he agreed to take over the reigns at Anfield.
But nothing will have prepared him from the nightmare start his side have endured in the league. There has been no consistency from a team that is still recovering from the mistakes made by the previous regime.
Liverpool still have undoubted quality, but they are no longer amongst the leagues elite teams.
Many will argue that Everton have taken over the mantle as Merseyside's top club—although I wouldn't go that far just yet.
Norwich defeated Doncaster in midweek, with talisman-like striker Grant Holt playing the full 90 minutes in the hard fought 1-0 win.
Liverpool, on the other hand, have had the week to rest, train and prepare for what is a huge game for the club.
Defeat would be disastrous, while a draw would do little to appease the critics, but with the likes of Luis Suarez and a fully fit Steven Gerrard, I expect their first win of the season to come at Carrow Road.
Prediction - Norwich City 0, Liverpool 2
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