Premier League Week 2 Picks: Managers with Biggest Uphill Struggles This Weekend
The Premier League season is a long, old slog and one that needs to be taken on a week-by-week, game-by-game basis.
Of course, the ones who feel these effects most are the managers, who will ultimately take a majority of the blame for all that inevitably goes wrong.
Whether they hit the ground running or found their feet in the mud during the first week of the campaign’s action, some managers will face a tougher task than others this weekend.
It may be as a result of the opposition’s quality or a result of the fact that they’re not performing to specification right now, but there are those helmsmen who will be preparing for their Week 2 encounters with some sleepless nights.
Here's the full schedule followed by a few highlighted managers facing tough tests this weekend.
|Saturday, August 24||Time||Prediction|
|Fulham vs. Arsenal||12:45 a.m. BST/7:45 a.m. ET||2-1|
|Everton vs. West Brom||3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET||2-0|
|Hull City vs. Norwich City||3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET||1-1|
|Newcastle United vs. West Ham||3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET||2-2|
|Southampton vs. Sunderland||3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET||1-0|
|Stoke City vs. Crystal Palace||3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET||2-1|
|Aston Villa vs. Liverpool||5:30 p.m. BST/12:30 p.m. ET||2-2|
|Sunday, August 25|
|Cardiff City vs. Manchester City||4 p.m. BST/11 a.m. ET||1-3|
|Tottenham vs. Swansea City||4 p.m. BST/11 a.m. ET||2-1|
|Monday, August 26|
|Manchester United vs. Chelsea||8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ET||3-2|
Malky Mackay, Cardiff City vs. Manchester City
Given how badly things went at Upton Park in their maiden Premier League game, Cardiff City can’t hope for too much better against the 2011-12 champions.
Even if they are at the Cardiff City Stadium for the first time in a Premier League environment, the Bluebirds were quite dismal in their 2-0 defeat against West Ham, getting just one shot on target over the course of 90 minutes.
That’s not to say the South Wales outfit didn’t have their share of possession. In fact, Malky Mackay’s men had a majority with 52 percent, the trouble was knowing what to do with it.
Playing in their capital for the first time this season, Cardiff’s lack of talent throughout the squad should prove useless against a Citizens lineup that’s just handed Newcastle United a 4-0 demolition.
Brendan Rodgers, Aston Villa vs. Liverpool
As both sides won their opening encounters of the season, Aston Villa and Liverpool will meet in Birmingham this weekend on quite an even keel.
Do Cardiff have any chance of causing an upset against City?
However, where the Reds could only muster a 1-0 win at home to Stoke City, Villa’s 3-1 win away at Arsenal came off as far more impressive.
That’s not to say that Paul Lambert’s side completely deserved such a margin, as the outcome relied heavily on some debatable officiating, but his side did stitch together some impressive play nonetheless.
Against the Potters, Brendan Rodgers was lucky that it was only Peter Crouch, Jonathan Walters and Cameron Jerome coming at his side instead of Christian Benteke, Andreas Weimann and Gabriel Agbonlahor.
Villa’s encouraging attacking trio are looking good lately and will put a great deal of pressure on the Merseyside outfit’s back line.
The Football Front highlighted this threat on Twitter following the weekend results:
Of course Liverpool have a promising offensive unit of their own emerging and are almost sure to score goals in mass this term, but defence is where doubts currently lie.
David Moyes, Manchester United vs. Chelsea
Facing the first true test of his pedigree as the manager of one of the big boys, David Moyes will look to replicate the feat he accomplished during his Everton career and make his new home, Old Trafford, as much of a fortress as his last.
That Liverpool game frightened me. But it's a decent win, can't get carried away, Villa away will be tough.— The Football Front (@ReviewFootball) August 17, 2013
However, Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea are being looked at as title favourites for a reason, and The Special One hopes to return to the Theatre of Dreams by starting a nightmare journey for his Manchester United counterpart.
Last weekend against Swansea, the Red Devils were highly impressive in the final third but still allowed the Welsh hosts a heap of chances, struggling in the middle of the park at times.
Unfortunately enough, it’s in that area, creative midfield, that the Blues just so happen to be stronger than anywhere else, which presents Moyes with a bit of a quandary.
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