Premier League Table 2013 Week 5: Struggling Teams on the Rise
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It's still early in the Premier League season, but a few good results can turn the fortunes of a campaign for teams that traditionally struggle in the English top flight.
Slow starts can drag teams down into a survival battle and result in constant pressure, but this weekend's results showed that a few teams are getting themselves together at the right time.
|West Bromwich Albion||5||5|
Since their win at Arsenal in the opening week, Aston Villa have been on the wrong end of every fixture. Last week's home defeat to Newcastle was disastrous, so playing Norwich couldn't have come at a better time.
Paul Lambert's side have now beaten Norwich three times in the last 12 months, despite Norwich creating some good chances and having the majority of possession.
Lambert's tactic to hit them on the break was the right one, although they got lucky when Robert Snodgrass missed a penalty for the home side.
Villa should take a lot of heart from this result, especially with difficult home fixtures against Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton coming up.
Christian Benteke might be injured, but Libor Kozak instantly opened his account and Brad Guzan defied the Canaries with a string of heroic saves. They've got the talent to make a run up the table, so now would be a great time to start.
Watch these extraordinary scenes as Paolo Di Canio goes onto the pitch after Sunderland’s 3-0 defeat to West Brom http://t.co/3HbsTXL6Yo— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) September 21, 2013
West Bromwich Albion
West Brom had only managed one Premier League goal before finding the net three times against Sunderland in Week 5.
Much like Aston Villa, they've got some tough games in the coming weeks, but their dominant performance this weekend should build some confidence.
Sunderland needed the win even more than the Baggies, yet they looked as toothless as they have all season. Paulo Di Canio looks set to be the first manager shown the door this year.
Stephane Sessegnon—sold by Di Canio last month—got his first goal for his new club, and Sunderland were handed their fourth defeat of the year.
Nicolas Anelka, Scott Sinclair and Morgan Amalfitano looked bright in attack, which bodes well for the coming weeks. West Brom are in need of some goals in the run up to Christmas, as the fixture list during this period is daunting.
Hull made the jump from 16th place to 10th with a vital away victory at Newcastle.
That could be the motivation the Tigers need, and their upcoming fixtures are much kinder than those of their rivals. Their next two matches are home games against West Ham and Aston Villa, both eminently winnable.
Scoring three goals away from home is a good achievement for any team, and the way they twice fought back from behind also shows promise.
Steve Bruce has a good crop of players who look up for the fight, and Sone Aluko's wonderful volleyed winner was a real highlight.
Sometimes that's all it takes to spark a revival.
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