Premier League Week 4 Fixtures: Teams with the Most to Lose This Weekend
The Premier League’s imminent return means drama.
With the international break now a distant memory (especially for England fans), focus sharply turns to a handful of sides who have plenty to lose during the fourth round of fixtures.
Starting with a full schedule and list of predictions, let's wade through the teams that need an emphatic result across the coming weekend.
|Home Team:||vs.||Away Team:||Date, K/O Time and Location:||Prediction:|
|Manchester United||vs.||Crystal Palace||Sept. 14, 12:45 p.m BST, Old Trafford, Manchester.||3-0|
|Aston Villa||vs.||Newcastle United||Sept. 14, 3 p.m BST, Villa Park, Birmingham.||2-1|
|Fulham||vs.||West Bromwich Albion||Sept. 14, 3 p.m BST, Craven Cottage, West London.||1-1|
|Hull City||vs.||Cardiff City||Sept. 14, 3 p.m BST, KC Stadium, Hull.||1-0|
|Stoke City||vs.||Manchester City||Sept. 14, 3 p.m BST, Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent.||0-2|
|Sunderland||vs.||Arsenal||Sept. 14, 3 p.m BST, Stadium of Light, Sunderland.||1-3|
|Tottenham Hotspur||vs.||Norwich City||Sept. 14, 3 p.m BST, White Hart Lane, North London.||1-1|
|Everton||vs.||Chelsea||Sept. 14, 5.30 p.m BST, Goodison Park, Liverpool.||1-2|
|Southampton||vs.||West Ham United||Sept. 15, 4 p.m BST, St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton.||2-0|
|Swansea City||vs.||Liverpool||Sept. 16, 8 p.m BST, The Liberty Stadium, Swansea.||1-2|
Schedule via BBC Sport.
Teams with Most to Lose This Weekend
Putting it bluntly, Manchester United cannot afford to lose against Crystal Palace.
David Moyes’ men suffered a disappointing 1-0 loss to Liverpool in their last fixture and face Manchester City on Sept. 22, meaning a victory versus Palace is the only acceptable result.
The Premier League champions have looked short of ideas in their last two matches and failed to score against both Chelsea and their Merseyside rivals.
Old Trafford expects Palace to succumb fairly easily in the weekend’s early kick-off, but Ian Holloway will have other ideas. A confidence-boosting win last time out against Sunderland gave the Londoners their first three points of the season and a rejuvenated sense that they can do damage against established Premier League sides.
Whatever the result, Holloway’s team have absolutely nothing to lose. On the contrary, United need a convincing win to ease any pressure Moyes may be feeling right now. If he loses against newly-promoted Palace and things go wrong at the Etihad, you can bet #MoyesOut becomes a mainstay of the Twitter world.
Despite Arsenal being heavy favourites against Sunderland, the Black Cats have far more to lose than the Gunners, who are strengthened with the signing of Mesut Ozil.
Sunderland’s losses to Fulham and Palace sandwich a draw with Southampton this season. Paolo Di Canio brought in talent including Jozy Altidore and Emanuele Giaccherini, but the team have yet to gel with any sort of fluidity.
As reported by Alan Nixon of the Mirror, Di Canio’s first team were even undone by their U21 side in a 3-1 loss behind closed doors. The fact this is now public knowledge only heightens pressure on a manager whose methods continue to be questioned, as reported by Sky Sports.
Failing to beat or at least draw with Arsenal represents an opportunity missed for Sunderland. An excellent performance has the power to boost everyone’s confidence at the club, but another hiding will ensure their next outing away to West Brom becomes a highly-scrutinised tie.
Norwich have a habit of stifling Spurs at White Hart Lane, having beaten and drawn with the North London club across the last two seasons. While Andre Villas-Boas will be confident of notching a decent win in front of local supporters, a number of niggling questions need to be answered with haste.
Can Spurs cope without Gareth Bale? Will the plethora of new signings fill the void left by his departure? Can AVB quickly mould his big-money transfers into an effective unit?
Onlookers will be searching for an answer straight away. Unfair as it may be, just like Manchester United and Sunderland’s need for a positive result, Spurs have plenty to lose if a misfiring performance arrives this weekend.
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