It’s with nice unhappiness that I carry to you, pricey reader, the ultimate version of Premier League storylines to be careful for earlier than that bloody World Cup in Qatar that completely no one – no one – is happy for. Besides, after all, for the Brewdog advertising and marketing crew, who proceed to reinforce their model’s already glowing status as successfully as Sideshow Bob managed to keep away from stepping on rakes.
With out additional ado, listed here are seven storylines for this weekend’s fixtures, together with not one however two new managerial additions to the Barclays, neither of that are Sean Dyche. I do know. I am as pissed off as you’re.
After almost 4 years in cost, Ralph Hasenhuttl was lastly put out of his distress like a drained, previous racehorse in a baseball cap at Southampton, the place Luton City s***housery-conductor Nathan Jones now takes cost.
Provided that he managed simply six wins in 38 video games after making the quite vital step as much as, er, Stoke Metropolis supervisor earlier than returning to the Hatters along with his tail between his legs, solely to then go away them once more on the very first alternative, it is tough to envisage this appointment going notably effectively.
Good factor, then, that his very first recreation in cost is away at Anfield, with Liverpool having rested their complete first crew through the penalty-shootout victory over Derby County in midweek within the Carabao. Cue the Ralph Wiggum chuckling ‘I am in peril’ meme.
Sure, you’re, Nathan. You actually are.
Talking of recent managers, welcome to the great metropolis of Wolverhampton, Julen Lopetegui. It is not fairly Seville, however you will get used to it. Could I like to recommend Lupo Lounge on Dudley Road, the place you may sit in one thing akin to a cavernous Victorian lounge, stare at odd work clumped collectively on the wall and play Scrabble. They even do Estrella on faucet, Julen.
Anyway, it was a smart move to make your first recreation in cost the one towards League Two aspect Gillingham within the Carabao Cup and never, actually, Premier League-league main Arsenal at Molineux. With one win (1-0 towards Nottingham Forest) of their final eight video games, Wolves have all of it to do to show the tide and keep within the division. Can they put up a struggle with their new possession-based overlord watching on from the stands?
Really, Wolves do know he isn’t Portuguese, do not they? Do not they? They’ve checked that data?
One crew is bang in kind. One crew is not. Eddie Howe’s tough Magpies have received 4 on the trot within the Premier League in spectacular trend, whereas Graham Potter’s confused pensioners have not tasted victory in as many video games, drawing twice and dropping the opposite two.
Ought to Newcastle maintain their scorching streak going with a win on the floor previously often known as the Sports activities Direct Area, they’re going to put a nine-point cushion between themselves and Chelsea within the race for Champions League, though the Blues may have a recreation in hand. Everybody anticipated them to get there finally with the limitless wealth of a sovereign desert nation propping them up, however Newcastle look approach forward of schedule to this point. They have not even splurged £30m on Robinho but.
Facet-note: Miguel Almiron someway absorbing the powers of prime Lionel Messi just like the little aliens in House Jam is that this season’s most surprising (and enjoyable) plot twist. After the title parade slander and with solely a single league aim to his identify this season, DJ Grealo is at the moment squarely within the mud. You hate to see it, you actually do.
Credit score the place credit score’s due, Leicester seemed useless and buried just a few weeks in the past. Three large wins towards Leeds United, Wolves and Everton later, nevertheless, and all of the sudden all the pieces appears to be like fantastic once more for Brendan Rodgers, a person the membership fairly actually can not afford to sack.
That is largely all the way down to the transcendent type of James Maddison, who’s an imposing footballer when he is enjoying like this, all liquid confidence and braggadocio that belies each his hairline and the very fact he is needed to work his method to the England squad after enjoying for the likes of Coventry, Aberdeen and Norwich.
The unhappy information is he doubtless will not see a minute of motion in Qatar such is Gareth Southgate’s private resistance to pleasure, however Leicester supporters will not care so long as he retains the present going within the Premier League. West Ham away isn’t a straightforward recreation however with David Moyes’ crew barely out of types, it may imply one other very important three factors for the Foxes.
After a scintillating 3-1 victory over Manchester United in his debut as Aston Villa supervisor, Unai Emery has already eradicated the dreary reminiscence of Steven Gerrard lingering round Villa Park.
Whereas his aspect misplaced to the identical opponent on Thursday night time within the Carabao Cup – principally because of the continuous goalkeeping catastrophe that’s Robin Olsen – there was sufficient attacking risk within the second half to counsel the Villans have made one hell of an appointment.
Emery’s credentials will probably be put to the take a look at away at Brighton this weekend, who’ve now received three video games in a row beneath Roberto De Zerbi. In Kaoru Mitoma in addition they look to have unearthed a severe participant. Count on loads of objectives on this one as each side look to push additional up the desk.
Tottenham Hotspur by no means really feel distant from a mini-crisis at the very best of instances and it is no shock to see them firmly embracing one now simply earlier than the World Cup. A 2-1 house loss to Liverpool was adopted by a 2-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest within the Carabao Cup on Wednesday. Positive, they seemed completely horrible and bought bossed by the worst crew within the league however at the least Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski would possibly begin towards Leeds on Saturday!
And fairly frankly, after two dramatic late wins within the Premier League in a row, it is about time somebody put a cease to Jesse Marsch and Jesse Marsch’s common enthusiasm for all times. There is not any man higher to do this than Antonio Conte, who I need to watch scowl throughout the dugout at his American counterpart for the whole lot of the 90 minutes as his crew scrapes an undeserved 1-0 (Harry Kane pen, 79′) win.
For his or her Carabao Cup tie on Tuesday, Bournemouth interim supervisor Gary O’Neil rested his complete beginning lineup apart from Mark Travers and Chris Mepham, whereas Everton boss Frank Lampard fielded what seemed like a reasonably robust crew, regardless of making 11 modifications. It’ll due to this fact come as no shock to study that the ultimate rating was 4-1 in Bournemouth’s favour, because the likes of, er, Jamal Lowe and Junior Stanislas ran riot.
Lampard has the prospect to enact revenge on Saturday towards a crew which have misplaced 4 video games on the bounce within the Premier League, though his aspect’s efficiency towards their second string is hardly a trigger for optimism going into the fixture.
Key gamers equivalent to Alex Iwobi, Idrissa Gueye and James Tarkowski will all return and also you’d hope to see a much-improved efficiency from the Toffees who, apart from a shock 3-0 win over Crystal Palace, have been stinking out the joint for the previous month or so. Each groups desperately want a win so do not count on a basic on the Vitality Stadium, however the end result ought to give us a clearer indication in the direction of who will probably be struggling to beat the drop this season.