Premier League: What to Watch For in Week Seven


With six weeks of Premier League soccer in the rear view, one thing we know is that we know nothing.

And don’t expect to know any more after week seven.  But having said that, here are a few things to look forward to this weekend.

Is Southampton really this good? Is Tottenham really this average?

For the second season in a row, Southampton has started hot and rocketed up the table.  Most would assume that as the season progresses, The Saints will start to slide lower down the table and will settle comfortably as a mid-table team.  This is exactly what happened last season and one would presume that even though they have a new group of players and a new manager, at some point Southampton will come back down to reality and start playing like the team they really are.  But are they really a mid-table team or could they be better than we all thought they would be.

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Although The Saints beat Arsenal in the Capital One Cup, they have yet to defeat one of the top seven teams from last season in Premier League play.  They lost to Liverpool the first week of the season, but since then have been undefeated.  This match against Tottenham may be their toughest test since week one.

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Tottenham on the other hand has consistently left us scratching our heads.  One week they look great the next week they look horrendous.  Then last weekend at the Emirates against their North London rivals, Spurs had a chance to win and give Arsenal their first defeat of the season.  It was not a brilliant match by the Lillywhites, but for large chunks of the match, Spurs looked like the better team.

Another interesting twist in this match will be the return of Mauricio Pochettino to St. Marys.   He left the south of England and headed 90 minutes northeast on the M3 highway to London.  After this match, will Pochettino still believe that the grass is greener at White Heart Lane that it was at St. Marys?

Is Southampton truly a top four contender and is Tottenham actually quite average?  This match may explain a lot to us.

Who needs a win more, Everton or Manchester United?

For as poor as Manchester United has played at times his season, they surprisingly sit in only seventh in the table.  They are only two points away from a top four position.  But ManU fans will tell you, their goal is not a Champions League spot, they still have their eye set on winning the league.  And for as bad as they have been and as much as the media has criticized them, they still have hope of returning the EPL trophy to their side of Manchester.  Do I personally think it is going to happen? No, not a chance.  But look at the talent on their team.  Manchester United is like a sleeping giant waiting to knock over any team that stands in their way.

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  • The Red Devils will be without Wayne Rooney for the next few matches and my person opinion is that his absence may benefit United.  I in no way am saying that Rooney is not a world-class player, because he truly is, but I think Juan Mata fits better into the Louis van Gaal system than Rooney does.  And if United can get on a roll while Rooney is out, he may find it difficult to get back into the regular rotation.

    On the other side of this match, we have Everton. A team many thought would be contending for a top four spot this season as well.  I was not one of those people, but I certainly did not pick them as a relegation candidate either.

    Clearly, like United, there is too much talent on this team for them to continue on their losing ways.  And maybe that wonder-strike by Phil Jagielka was just the kick in the pants the Toffees needed to get things going in the right direction.  Both teams need a win to start down the path they want to be on, but if you were to ask me, Everton needs it more.  So do I think Everton will walk out of Old Trafford with a victory?  Well, Old Trafford is no longer the fortress it once was, but to answer my own question, no, I don’t think Everton wins this match.

    Will we be left with only one undefeated team?

    The two remaining undefeated teams face off this weekend.  Of course I am talking about Chelsea, but if you have only paid attention to the play on the field and have not looked at the table recently, the other team might surprise you.  Arsenal, who has looked quite average at times, has still yet to suffer a loss in this young EPL season.  They do have more draws (4), than they do wins (2), but they still have a big zero in the loss column.

    This does kinda surprise me.  But when I stop to think about it, it also kinda doesn’t.  I know that makes no sense, but I keep thinking back to their match against Manchester City.  They were head and shoulders above City in that match and deserved all three points.  They looked incredible in the attack and for large stretches of the match, looked quite good at the back as well.  Although they left this game with a draw, I left this game as a believer in Arsenal.

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  • For some reason, mostly due to injury, Arsenal has yet to replicate that performance week in and week out.  Yet I know they are good enough to play with the best teams in the league, something they were not capable of last season.

    But Chelsea is a different beast.  They have shown to be the clear front-runners up to this point in the season.  So I ask, has Arsenal’s recent play given me any reason to believe that they could be the first team to knock off the mighty Chelsea?  If Danny Welbeck is gonna score a hat trick in every one of their matches, then yeah, I think Arsenal can win.  But since we all know that won’t happen every match and I’m 99% sure it won’t happen against Chelsea, no I don’t think Arsenal ends Chelsea’s unbeaten streak.  I expect it to be the other way down as the Gunners suffer their first loss of the season.