Premier League: 5 Players with a Point to Prove in Week 8
Let Premier League football commence once more!
We're finally back to domestic matters after another international break.
Two weeks away has provided many players with the opportunity to improve their form, regain fitness or take time to think about poor displays.
I've picked five individuals who needs to show an extra spark this weekend. From bombing wingers to second-choice goalkeepers, we've got a diverse group to wade through.
Luis Suarez, Liverpool
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Luis Suarez has performed well this season.
He has scored five Premier League goals so far—equal with the likes of Robin van Persie and Steven Fletcher. Only Demba Ba is ahead of him on six strikes this campaign.
The Uruguayan's performances aren't the problem.
His attitude and readiness to hit the deck has caused quite a debate over the international break.
Suarez needs to learn from his mistakes.
Clashes with Robert Huth in the recent fixture against Stoke didn't go the forward's way. Huth deserved a red card early in the game.
The punishment didn't come and Suarez was visibly agitated for the rest of the game.
After darting into the box with an excellent run, it was awful to see him drop to the floor like a religious man spotting his saviour.
Suarez must lead his team to victory without any silliness.
Nani, Manchester United
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Nani's future remains unsettled.
This week the Portuguese international has been linked with a move to AC Milan. Such reports are becoming commonplace in a season that hasn't started well for the winger.
He began the Premier League campaign with an nonexistent work ethic against Everton. This mentality has continued across recent weeks and even seeped into the Champions League.
On the domestic front, Nani's performance against Liverpool stands out as a particular low point. I believe he took a huge step towards an Old Trafford exit at Anfield. His lack of effort in an encounter of such importance was embarrassing to witness.
Stoke make the trip to Manchester this weekend. Nani is likely to feature—especially with Ashley Young out injured.
How many more sloppy displays can he churn out?
Yaya Toure, Manchester City
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While these comments are true, Platt's timing isn't particularly well placed.
After an excellent campaign last year, Yaya hasn't quite been the same this season. He's shown glimpses of brilliance, particularly in the first couple of fixtures.
His ceaseless energy and ability to bring the ball forward has since been stunted.
Alongside Javi Garcia or Jack Rodwell, the Ivorian midfielder hasn't found the same level of intensity as he did with Nigel de Jong.
Roberto Mancini's men face a tough trip to The Hawthorns. Steve Clarke's side are only one point behind the Premier League champions.
Yaya needs to regain his composure and take control against a Baggies side that will be ready to hustle.
Steve Harper, Newcastle United
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Steve Harper is on this list through no fault of his own.
The Toon expect a result. Unfortunately for Harper, he's about to do battle with one of the Premier League's hottest strikers.
Steven Fletcher is the kind of player that can score from any opportunity. He has the natural ability to stick the ball into the net, especially when a cross is sent towards the box.
Harper needs to be reactive. He was caught out by a Tom Cleverley cross in his last appearance, resulting in an embarrassing trip to pick the ball out of the next.
When danger looms in the Newcastle area he must attack before Fletcher has time to unleash a strike.
Tim Krul's injury is undoubtedly a huge blow for the Magpies. If Harper helps Pardew's side to a decent result, the loss of the Dutch goalkeeper will be easier to take.
Andy Carroll, West Ham United
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Andy Carroll's debut in a West Ham shirt was superb.
He battered the Fulham defence all over the pitch. Unfortunately, his game was cut short through injury.
The Englishman has made two recent appearances for Sam Allardyce's side. Fitness is obviously still an issue.
Now he's back from an international break with England; the lumbering striker is sure to be in better shape.
West Ham face a physical Southampton side. Nigel Adkins' men will be confident of getting a result and are likely to work extremely hard as they stare at the relegation zone.
Carroll will need to be at his best. Just like Rickie Lambert at the other end, he has the power to secure all three points.