After the unwanted fortnight’s interruption for international fixtures, we’re now in the home straight and edging ever closer to Gameweek4. So lets take a look at the upcoming Gameweek’s.
David Moyes’ side will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing defeat at the Hawthorns last time round and, with a strong run of fixtures to come, the foreseeable future looks positive. The Toffees welcome (NEW, SOT, LIV) to Goodison in the next six and bearing in mind they returned a clean sheet in their only home game thus far against United, Moyes will be far from apprehensive.
With trips to Wigan, QPR and Swansea also on the agenda, faith in Everton’s assets is likely to take a turn for the good. Leighton Baines is the obvious candidate, his set-pieces and spot-kicks, allied with the possibility of clean sheet returns, will see him earmarked as a Captain candidate. Steven Pienaar and Marouane Fellaini offer the threat from midfield, while Nikica Jelavic is likely to be afforded plenty of chances as the lone forward in the 4-5-1 formation.
It’s not been the easiest of starts under Andre Villas-Boas but Spurs still have reasons to be optimistic. Despite harvesting just two points and no clean sheets from their first three Gameweeks, the London outfit continue to be handed opportunities to get their season up and running, with (rdg, QPR, AVL) in the next four.
Emmanuel Adebayor could be set to start at Reading and could be a real differential if he comes good. At the back, Jan Vertonghen highlighted his attacking capabilities with a stunning free-kick for Belgium against Wales last Friday – the summer signing from Ajax has now settled at the Lane after being left out of the opener at Newcastle and has the offensive edge over his fellow defenders.
Top scorers in the Premier League with 10 goals in their opening three, Michael Laudrup’s men are handed further opportunity to plunder points and goals over the next few Gameweeks. Swansea have three home games in the next five, with (EVE, RDG, WIG) all rolling up to the Liberty, while trips to Villa and Stoke hold little fear, with neither side producing a clean sheet so far.
With Michu having netted in each of his first three matches – those latter two home clashes will tempt his fantasy manager to hand the Spaniard the armband. While Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge have both returned attacking points in their first trio of fixtures, the arrival of Pablo Hernandez raises doubts over their game time, with Routledge perhaps the most at threat.
The fixture list continues to be cruel and unrelenting towards the Potters. Tony Pulis’ side are still without a clean sheet this term and now face a schedule that sees them square up to City, Chelsea, Swansea, Liverpool and United over the next five Gameweeks. Defensive returns may become hard to come by, though Peter Crouch and Jon Walters still carry a goal threat.
Having picked themselves up after the Gameweek 1 mauling at Fulham, Norwich have registered a couple of draws but the next six fixtures look a real test for the Canaries. While the visit of West Ham may offer a little respite, Chris Hughton’s side then face (new, LIV, che, ARS) from Gameweeks 5-8; it’s fair to say that little investment is likely here until the schedule takes a turn for the better. With only two goals and no clean sheets under Hughton yet, it’s an easy decision for many.
A point from their first three matches is indicative of a team in transition right now. Mark Hughes’ influx of summer signings have clearly yet to gel and will need to get their act together quickly if they’re to climb up the table. Chelsea, West Ham and Everton all make their way to Loftus Road in the next six, while trips to Spurs, West Brom and Arsenal will offer real tests to the out-of-sorts side – Julio Cesar looks set for a busy introduction between the posts over the new few matches.