Premier League Week 4 Picks: 6 Teams Heading for Defeat
The resumption of the Premier League sees a full calendar of 10 matches taking place over the weekend, with a bumper selection of eight fixtures spread across Saturday afternoon.
Over the past two weeks managers will have had time to plan for the coming onslaught of games, with new signings also set to be integrated across the board following a busy end to the transfer window.
|Manchester United||4-0||Crystal Palace||Saturday||12.45|
|Aston Villa||3-0||Newcastle United||Saturday||15.00|
|Hull City||2-2||Cardiff City||Saturday||15.00|
|Stoke City||1-1||Manchester City||Saturday||15.00|
BBC Sport—all times BST
For sides like Manchester United and Tottenham, the international break will have afforded a chance to regroup after a disappointing defeat in their last outing.
High-flyers Liverpool, meanwhile, will hope that the time off does not break up the momentum they had built with three consecutive wins to open the season.
With intriguing fixtures across the board, we predict six sides who will taste defeat this weekend.
Ian Holloway's Crystal Palace enjoyed a first win of the season last time out, beating Sunderland 3-1 at Selhurst Park. However, the odds will be stacked against his hastily assembled outfit this weekend.
The Eagles were victorious on their last visit to Old Trafford for a League Cup fixture in 2011, per BBC Sport. However, they will not encounter such a generous Manchester United lineup on this occasion.
Following defeat to Liverpool, David Moyes will be determined to see his side make amends at the first opportunity. Given the vast differences in budgets available to the two managers, as seen by the Red Devils' £27.5 million deadline day capture of Marouane Fellaini, per BBC Sport, his side should have more than enough strength to see off their newly-promoted opponents.
Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway receives two-match touchline and misses Manchester United trip http://t.co/9qtprhBPTA— MirrorFootball (@MirrorFootball) September 4, 2013
Palace have actually averaged slightly more shots per game than their opponents so far this season, per Whoscored, but they will find chances harder to come by against United than they did against Sunderland.
Having conceded 14 per game thus far this season, though, they will find life very difficult indeed if they cannot improve on that record.
Paolo Di Canio's Sunderland revolution would appear to have gone flat after just three games, having shown some promise in preseason, per ESPNFC.
Defeat to Palace was unacceptable to Di Canio, who was critical of his players post-match for the errors which saw them comprehensively beaten in South London, per the Sunderland Echo.
A Di Canio side isn't playing well, what is his answer? More fitness, of course! http://t.co/8JFrRyGpbX— Lee (@LHfutebol) September 11, 2013
It will not get any easier for Sunderland this weekend, with the visit of Arsenal to the Stadium of Light. The Gunners are on a four-match winning streak in all competitions and will be newly reinforced with £42.4 million signing Mesut Ozil now among their ranks.
With John O'Shea suspended at centre-back and a possible debutant in Andrea Dossena at left-back, the Black Cats will need to be supremely well-prepared this week if they are to resist the inevitable Arsenal onslaught on Saturday.
Aston Villa have played three of their toughest games this season already, in Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea, and they will be delighted to head into this weekend's fixture with Newcastle with three points in the bag.
The Magpies, meanwhile, have recovered from an opening weekend hammering at the hands of Manchester City to pick up four points, but were fortunate to avoid defeat against West Ham.
The two sides conceded more goals than all Premier League teams other than Reading and Wigan last season and, while Aston Villa are a much stronger outfit this year, Newcastle failed to sign any defensive or midfield reinforcements over the summer.
Villa striker Christian Benteke is already on three league goals for the season and with supporting players Gabby Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann also having impressed, the Villans would appear to have too much attacking power for Newcastle to handle this weekend.
Steve Clarke's WBA side have started the season in disappointing fashion, propping up the bottom of the league table with just one point from their opening three fixtures.
The Baggies head to Craven Cottage where they will face a Fulham side with similar issues. Per Whoscored, both clubs are struggling to score goals and retain possession at present and, to add to that, have conceded 106 shooting opportunities thus far.
It may well be, then, that the game will come down to who can take their chances in front of goal and, in that department, it is Fulham who hold the advantage.
It's quite funny listening to the phone in on BBC west midlands! Full of moaning West Brom fans saying they're worried about relegation lol!— Lucy Adams (@maizy4) September 4, 2013
In three games, West Brom have managed just four shots on target. Fulham, meanwhile, have two strikers who have consistently proven their goal-scoring ability in Darren Bent and Dimitar Berbatov.
Given both sides' woes, it may not be a game for the neutrals, but West Brom look in big trouble once more.
Sorry but this is why I hate the international break and don't really care if we qualify or not. What dross! Bring on Spurs v Norwich #coys— Grant Baker (@G_Man_Baker) September 10, 2013
Chris Hughton's Norwich side have started the Premier League season well, beating Southampton before the international break to sit ninth in the league standings.
However, with their visit to Tottenham this weekend, they will face their toughest test of the season so far. Spurs, who can now call upon the likes of Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen, look set to be among the leading candidates for a top-four place this season.
Given the incredible array of talent now at Andre Villas-Boas' disposal, it is hard to see Norwich being able to resist their opponents' formidable midfield power—especially at White Hart Lane.
In the same fixture last season, Norwich claimed a very credible 1-1 draw. A repeat performance this time around would be a major success given Spurs' expenditure this summer.
A visit to Southampton on Sunday afternoon will be a far from easy task for Sam Allardyce's side, coming up against a Saints team who average almost 60 percent of possession this season, per Whoscored.
While Southampton have struggled to convert that dominance into goals, they will starve an already possession-shy West Ham of the ball at St Mary's.
West Ham are strong in the air—having won more aerial battles than any other side this season—but will meet a Southampton side who have added real aerial strength at both ends of the pitch this summer in Dejan Lovren, Victor Wanyama and Daniel Osvaldo.
Southampton should be capable of nullifying West Ham's attack in Andy Carroll's continued absence and, with ample preparation time, will hope to be a more potent attacking threat this time around.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?