Memphis Depay, Chelsea and more: Five things to look out for this weekend
Ross Cannon takes a look at five potential talking points this Premier League weekend, including Chelsea and Memphis Depay
Manchester United’s new no.7 officially announced himself to the Old Trafford faithful on Tuesday night. The 21-year-old put on a glittering display against fellow Champions League hopefuls Club Brugge and it was a performance of quality and excitement. The tricks and flicks were backed-up by real substance, as the £25m man picked-up an assist and found the back of the net twice, one of which was a spectacular cut inside and rasping right-footed shot into the corner of the net. All eyes will now be on the Dutch international this weekend, as United host Newcastle Saturday lunchtime. Depay’s two previous Premier League outings have been lacklustre, with the winger trying to do too much. Consistency, not complacency are what make for a Premier League great and it will be interesting to see if Depay can back-up his mid-week performance with a five star display against The Magpies on Saturday.
Chelsea and Jose Mourinho
It is zero wins from two for Jose Mourinho and his men, and the pressure is palpable. A 3-0 drubbing to an effervescent Manchester City side last time out sufficed as a dose of firm reality for the fans, but not Mourinho as he labelled the loss a ‘fake result’ and a figment of the imagination. While the pressure builds for the players on the pitch, the tension engulfs the Chelsea boss off it. From ‘Handshakegate’ with Arsene Wenger to Eva Carneiro’s dismissal, to John Terry’s hauling off at half-time at City, Mourinho is one more incident away from sending Chelsea’s season irreversibly pear-shaped. While the addition of Pedro may see Chelsea sparkle momentarily, all that glitters is not gold. There are bigger issues that need to be rectified if Chelsea are to clench genuine gold at the end of the season. A win away to West Brom this Sunday, might be the most important result of Chelsea and Mourinho’s season.
Back-to-Back 3-0 wins have seen City labelled as front-runners for this year’s Premier League title, as Manuel Pellegrini has his team in fantastic form. Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany have managed to reverse their dismal form from last year and with it, the pair have scored three goals between them, having put in commanding performances against both West Brom and Chelsea. While all eyes had been on ex-Liverpool striker Raheem Sterling it has been the more senior players who have stepped-up to put City in fine form. Sergio Aguero and David Silva look to be impervious form and set to torment Premier League defences. This City team have a rekindled fire and desire to dominate teams and look to have set-up camp at the top of the table. They face a buoyant Everton side on Sunday who secured a 3-0 win of their own last weekend against Southampton.
The Black Cats face a tough challenge, not least in the form of Swansea at home on Saturday, but to avoid relegation come the end of the season. Dick Advocaat may very well be rueing his decision to stay another season as head coach of Sunderland, as he has seen his team lose their opening two games and ship seven goals in the process. The results leave the Wearside team planted firmly to the bottom of the Premier League table and their own shirt sponsor, Dafabet, has made them odds-on favourites to drop-out of the Premier League. Swansea City are in good form after a draw with Chelsea on the opening day and a 2-0 win over Newcastle last week. One eye will be cocked on The Stadium of Light, to see if Sunderland will fight or take flight.
Premier League newcomers
The transfer window is still wide open and will remain open until Tuesday 1 September. Nicolas Otamendi, Pedro, Florian Thauvin are the latest recruits to join the Premier League and it will be interesting to see if they will be fired into the limelight by their respective managers and given their first starts. Pellegrini may opt to remove the cumbersome and indecisive Eliaquim Mangala and give £34m signing and Argentina international, Otamendi his first taste of English. Pedro joins the slew of wide-men at the disposal of Mourinho and he might be required to help Chelsea garner their first three points of the season. Replacement for Remy Cabella at Newcastle, Thauvin is an exciting French winger who will be required to provide the firepower for fellow newcomer Georginio Wijnaldum to continue his goal scoring.