The return of domestic football is always welcome following an international break. Regular, competitive action stretched across the entire weekend is what we all love to see, and no doubt there will be plenty of headlines to discuss after next weekend’s games.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some players who look set to make a major impression in Week 8 of the Premier League season:
The 18-year-old is the man on everyone’s lips at the minute, having sparked a wide-ranging debate regarding nationality. Januzaj, of course, is eligible to play for a host of different countries and has yet to choose anyone to play for on the international stage.
What stemmed this debate, and something that seems to have been somewhat overlooked, was Januzaj’s sensational showing in United’s last Premier League encounter at Sunderland. The youngster put in a superb showing—inspiring his team to a 2-1 win—and he looked like his team’s most pertinent attacking throughout the contest, upstaging senior men like Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie.
Next up for Januzaj and United is Mauricio Pochettino’s Southampton. The Saints are flying high in the table, but their unique pressing style could see them leave plenty of space on the huge Old Trafford pitch. If United can work the ball out of defense, then their more creative players will have plenty of space to work in.
That includes Januzaj, and he will continue to impress here with another strong showing.
The Everton youngster’s seriously impressive early season form has already earned him comparisons with Paul Gascoigne and Michael Ballack, and he has been key to Everton’s excellent start under Roberto Martinez.
Barkley has already netted twice in the opening seven games and looks to be developing an excellent understanding with on-loan Romelu Lukaku.
In Everton’s last encounter against Manchester City, Barkley did look a bit jaded in the latter stages. But the international break will give him the opportunity to recharge and come into Everton’s next game, at home to Hull, in fine fettle.
Hull have begun the season well under Steve Bruce, but the combination of Barkley and Lukaku will be too much for them to handle, especially in front of the Goodison Park crowd.
After finding himself on the bench in the infancy of his Manchester City career, Alvaro Negredo is beginning to show what he can do in the Premier League.
His powerful, aggressive style of forward play looked tailor-made to the English game, and in his past few games, he has really started to showcase that.
Negredo has scored two in two for City, with his man-of-the-match performance against Everton a particular highlight. He also netted for the national team earlier in the week, as Spain beat Belarus 2-0 in their World Cup qualifying group.
City travel to West Ham on Saturday evening in what promises to be a physical contest that the Spaniard should relish. His hold-up play will be key here against a Hammers side that buoyed after their stunning 3-0 win at White Hart Lane in week 7.
Negredo certainly has the physicality to compete with West Ham defenders Winston Reid and James Tomkins, but his intelligent movement and quality on the ball will see him emerge as a key figure for City if they are to bag a win at the Boleyn Ground.