BPL: Week Two Preview
The second match week of the new Barclay’s Premier League season kicks off as Arsenal make the short trip across London to face Martin Jol’s Fulham. Arsenal will be looking to redeem themselves after a disappointing opening day defeat to Aston Villa. Fulham, on the other hand, will be buoyed after a 1-0 away win at Sunderland. Arsenal fans have been left frustrated by their side’s lack of activity in the transfer window. Three points are crucial for the Gunners to alleviate the building pressure on manager Arsene Wenger.
Liverpool manager Brenden Rodgers admits his side faces a tough test against an impressive Aston Villa team. Villa’s Christian Benteke is the Premier League’s current top goal scorer, bagging three in two games. The Belgian powerhouse will be a constant thorn in the side of the Liverpool defense.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Everton host West Brom as Roberto Martinez looks for his first win in charge of the Toffees. New boys Hull City, who were defeated 2-0 in their opening match against Chelsea, will play Norwich City at the KC Stadium. Alan Pardew will face his former team, West Ham United, as they travel to the North East to play his current team, Newcastle United. Southampton will be looking to build on last week’s notable win at West Brom as they host Sunderland. And Stoke City will be hoping for their first points of the new season, as newly promoted Crystal Palace comes to town.
Sunday will see last season’s runner up, Manchester City, travel to Wales to face Cardiff City. Manuel Pellegrini’s men impressed with their high tempo passing game in their 4-0 win against Newcastle last week. However, they will be without captain Vincent Kompany, who picked up a groin injury. Cardiff will need to show vast improvement in attacking areas, which could be aided by the debut of Andreas Cornelius.
The other Sunday game, Tottenham v Swansea, could prove to be one of the most entertaining of the weekend. Both teams are coming off big midweek victories in the Europa League. Tottenham will again be without Gareth Bale, as he looks to complete his mega money move to Real Madrid.
Monday brings the first major clash of the fledging season, though, as Manchester United host London giants, Chelsea. With both teams having new managers at the helm, David Moyes and Jose Mourinho will look to gain a physiological advantage over their title rivals. The Wayne Rooney transfer saga will be a major talking point, as well. The England forward has been the subject of two bids from Chelsea during the summer. Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata’s future is also in doubt as Manchester United are rumored to be interested in the Spanish international.
Source: Premier League, BBC SportBPL: Week Two Preview by Craig Smith