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What to Watch For – Premier League Matchweek 4

Undefeated clubs, last gasp penalties, and sullied expectations highlight what to watch for in week 4 of the Premier League.

Jose-Mourinho by In Mou We Trust is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

What to Watch For – Premier League Matchweek 4

Estimated Reading Time: 5 Minutes

The Premier League is starting to take shape. Well, roughly. There are three teams who have taken all the points, some long-standing traditions for better or worse, and results that could prove to show where teams may lie in the table at the end of the year.

The Undefeated

Liverpool, Everton, Leicester City, and Aston Villa have all not dropped points. Villa has played one fewer game, but they still haven’t tasted defeat.

Liverpool travel to Villa Park in a battle that will ensure at least one of the two clubs drop points.

The Reds will be without star Sadio Mane and most recent signing Thiago Alcantara, as both have tested positive for Coronavirus and are in self-isolation. We wish them both a safe and speedy recovery.

Depth shouldn’t be a probably for Jurgen Klopp’s side. They were already teeming with options before adding Thiago, Diogo Jota, and Kostas Tsimikas in this transfer window. Meanwhile Aston Villa will be hoping Jack Grealish continues his sparkling form following his new 5-year contract, and that new loanee Ross Barkley can pair with him in the midfield to give the Champions some fits.

Everton will host a Brighton club that has already punched above their weight this season.

After being hard done against United last week, the south coast club will be looking to pull The Toffees down off their pedestal. However Everton has been absolutely rolling. Allan is settling in nicely, James Rodriguez looks to have no issues adapting to the Premier League, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin can’t seem to miss.

If anything has been proven this season it’s that just about anything can happen. The play of Tariq Lamptey and Neal Maupay has been stellar for the Seagulls. The real question is whether that will be enough against a surging Everton team. The international break is coming, and the first match after it could be a Merseyside Derby featuring two teams that have taken all 12 points to date…

Leicester rounds out the undefeated lads as they host a West Ham club that thoroughly and unexpectedly trounced Wolves last weekend.

In theory, lighting shouldn’t be able to strike twice, but maybe this is a turning point for the Hammers. The Foxes however are looking to continue to prove they’re a mainstay in the heavyweight division after dispatching City 5-2 last week.

Jamie Vardy somehow doesn’t seem to be losing a step, and as long as they play balls to him over the top he’s likely to continue finding the back of the net. And let’s be real. Whether you like it or not, this team is FUN to watch. Brendan Rodgers is still looking to add to his squad before the end of the window, so they could continue to get better.

Fergie Time is alive and well

Arguably the best match of the weekend sees Tottenham traveling to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United. This will be interesting for a number of reasons. United has managed to miss out on every supposed transfer target while Spurs have brought in Gareth Bale, Sergio Reguilón, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Matt Doherty, Joe Hart, and Carlos Vinicius. And they look to still be trying to bolster their central defense before Monday’s deadline.

Aside from transfer talk, both clubs are fresh off last minute controversy from last weekend. United were given a precarious penalty, which became the very last play of the game and awarded them victory once Bruno Fernandes slotted home. Meanwhile Spurs were hard done by a handball decision given against Eric Dier, who had his back turned to the play, also in added time. While Sir Alex and Howard Webb no longer have control at Old Trafford, Tottenham will be hoping to put the game beyond doubt so as not to face the potential of a last ditch heartache yet again. I think these comments from Jose Mourinho really say it all…

“It’s difficult to play against Manchester united. Am not saying they are a difficult team to play against, but it’s difficult because even after 90 minutes the Ref can call you from your dressing room and tell you that he has decided to give Manchester united a penalty so your Goalkeeper must dress again and go face Bruno Fernandes. You can only celebrate when you get home, because if you still around the stadium it’s possible they might get a penalty even at full time.”

Falling short of expectations

Manchester City got scorched last weekend. Sure, they still have a game in hand, but this is a bit early for them to be losing ground in the table. While three of their goals against came from the penalty spot, they still counted. City will be keen to walk into Elland Road and take their frustration out on Leeds, however the hosts have had an excellent start to their first campaign in the Premier League in over a decade and won’t go quietly. This should be an absolute cracker. Patrick Bamford seems to have finally woken to be the player he can be, and The Whites can run.

Fulham has been expected to hover near the bottom of the table, but to be winless with a -7 GD after 3 matches is a lot less than they could have hoped for. They’ll need to right the ship, and fast, if they want to start competing for a multi-year stay in England’s top flight. However traveling to Molineux Stadium a week after Wolves were smashed by the Hammers will leave the hosts hungry. Very few situations could be worse for The Cottagers, and the fate of their season could hang on how they respond to this match. Even a single point could be key. But can they manage?

Kevin is an actor, director, playwright, and musician who works in tech. He is die hard New England sports and an avid Tottenham supporter. His qualifications include scoring 1 point in his elementary school basketball career, 4 years of mixed little league results, and breaking his arm with a skip-it days before pre-season workouts started for Freshman football.

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