EPL Week 3 Predictions: Struggling Clubs That Will Continue to Suffer
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Every football fan can take comfort in the fact that the season is still very young. If their beloved team is looking worse than last season, there's still plenty of time to turn things around.
However, there are a few slow-starting teams that will put their supporters through some agony for at least another week. Three of those clubs are listed below.
The 2011-12 season must seem a very long time ago for the Toon Army. With Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse both banging in goals for Newcastle, Alan Pardew must have thought he could do no wrong as his team fought their way to a fifth-placed finish. Pardew was named Manager of the Year, and morale was high among the Geordie faithful.
Now, however, they are coming off a dismal 2012-13 and an offseason that has seen no real signings except Joe Kinnear.
Of these three teams, who is most likely to register a win this weekend?
The team has started this year by looking disorganised and unsure of their individual roles. Yohan Cabaye has a "50/50" chance of leaving, according to Alan Pardew and The Daily Telgraph, while Cisse has struggled to remain onside while receiving minimal support from his midfield.
A home game against Fulham should be a game in which the Magpies dominate, yet they struggled to overcome League Two Morecambe in a midweek Capital One Cup tie.
This fixture last year saw Newcastle scrape a 1-0 win, but there's a distinct possibility the roles will be reversed this time. No goals scored in the first three league games would be a very worrying statistic on Tyneside.
A total of zero points from their first two games—along with a midweek Capital One Cup exit to Bristol City— supports the theory that Crystal Palace will drop straight back down to the Championship. They next play Sunderland at Selhurst Park and will need to overcome their defensive vulnerability in order to get something from this game.
Sunderland are also without a win, yet Paulo Di Canio has named Scotland striker Steven Fletcher in his squad. It's unlikely that he'll start the game, but Fletcher could make an appearance to provide support for Jozy Altidore.
The American scored his first goal for his new club in the Capital One Cup victory over MK Dons, so he will be full of confidence going into this match.
These are ominous signs for the Eagles.
West Bromwich Albion
West Brom face Swansea in their Week 3 fixture, with the Swans finding themselves bottom of the league after tough games against Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. Nevertheless, they are a team whose eyes remain fixed on retaining their place in European competition, so West Brom will struggle to emerge with a win here.
Neither team have been prolific in finding the net, but West Brom are yet to register a single goal in this year's campaign. Look for Swansea to rediscover their scoring touch first and leave The Hawthorns with a much-needed three points.
West Brom fans will have to wait a bit longer before they taste victory, however, with their next two fixtures seeing them play Fulham and Sunderland before a trip to face Manchester United at Old Trafford.
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