Premier League Week 2 Preview – 21st/22nd August
The Premier League campaign began as expected with plenty of shocks, goals and talking points over the course of the weekend. Chelsea put some torrid pre-season results firmly behind them with a 6-0 annihilation of newly promoted West Bromwich Albion. Remarkably it was Blackpool who stole the headlines, a performance beyond their wildest dreams helped to record a 4-0 victory over Wigan.
Iain Holloway’s side will be out to prove last Saturday was no fluke when they make the trip to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is desperate to recruit a few more players before the transfer window closes in a few weeks as his side again look vulnerable at the back. Eradicating such problems may be the difference between a season of unfulfilled promise and vindication.
Chelsea, on whose coattails Arsenal trailed for the majority of last season, travel to the DW stadium to take on a Wigan side who have been licking their wounds after an embarrassing opening day defeat at the hands of Blackpool. One must not forget that there is a vulnerability to this Chelsea vintage. Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti knows his side could be on the end of a backlash from last weekend and will be keen to avoid a similar result to last season when the Latics ran out 3-1 winners over the champions last September.
Avram Grant will take charge of West Ham United at Upton Park for the very first time on Saturday when they face Bolton Wanderers. His first competitive game in charge of the Hammers certainly didn’t go to plan as they were manoeuvred 3-0 by Aston Villa. Bolton opened their campaign with a goalless draw with Fulham at the Reebok last Saturday and manager Owen Coyle is likely to be satisfied with a similar result at Upton Park on Saturday afternoon – a result which is certainly within their grasp.
Other games on Saturday see Birmingham entertain Blackburn at St Andrews while Mick McCarthy’s Wolverhampton Wanderers side travel to Merseyside to take on Everton at Goodison Park.
Tottenham return from their European travels to face Stoke City at the Britannia stadium and West Bromwich Albion will be looking to put last weekend’s 6-0 defeat behind them when they welcome Steve Bruce’s Sunderland side to the Hawthorns for their first home game back in the Premier League.
Sunday afternoon sees Newcastle United taking on Aston Villa at St James Park with Newcastle looking to settle back into the top flight while Aston Villa look to build on a comfortable victory over West Ham United.
Manchester United successfully put three points on the board with a 3-0 win over Newcastle on Monday night. Their first away task this Sunday looks a tougher assignment as they face Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Monday night football returned with a bang last week and another mouth-watering clash awaits this week when top four challengers Manchester City and Liverpool lock horns at the City of Manchester stadium.
Game of the weekend: Arsenal vs. Blackpool
There’s no doubt the opening weekend in the Premier League belonged to Blackpool, after they produced a remarkable performance to comfortably defeat Wigan Athletic. Manager Iain Holloway knows tougher tests lie ahead though, starting this Saturday when they travel down to the Emirates to take on Arsenal.
Blast from the past: 19th December 2009 – Fulham 3-0 Manchester United
Manchester United’s hopes of retaining the Premier League trophy come May were dealt a severe blow as they were comprehensively beaten 3-0 by a rampant Fulham side at Craven Cottage. Bobby Zamora continued his fine form, notching his 10th goal of the season and troubling a weakened Manchester United back four throughout the 90 minutes.
On this day : 10 years ago – 2000/2001
Paulo Wanchope notched a hat-trick as Manchester City claimed their first points since returning to the top flight with a 4-2 win over Sunderland at Maine Road. Elsewhere, Bradford sprung a surprise defeating Chelsea 2-0 thanks to goals from Dean Windass and Benito Carbone.
Five years ago - 2005/06
Didier Drogba struck a 73rd minute winner to narrowly defeat arch rivals Arsenal and maintain their unbeaten start to the season. Tottenham moved to the top of the Premier League table with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough at White Hart Lane.
One year ago - 2009/2010
Jermaine Defoe stole the headlines, notching a spectacular hat-trick as Tottenham thumped Hull City 5-1 at the KC stadium. Elsewhere, Robbie Blake’s stunning first half volley secured a narrow 1-0 win over defending champions Manchester United as Burnley began to find their feet in the Premier League.
Week 2 fixtures
Saturday 21th August
Arsenal vs. Blackpool – 15.00
Birmingham vs. Blackburn- 15.00
Everton vs. Wolverhampton - 15.00
Stoke City vs. Tottenham – 15.00
West Brom vs. Sunderland – 15.00
West Ham United vs. Bolton – 15.00
Wigan vs. Chelsea - 17.15 - Live on Sky Sports
Sunday 22nd August
Newcastle United vs. Aston Villa – 13.30
Fulham vs. Manchester United – 16.00 - Live on Sky Sports
Monday 23rd August
Manchester City vs. Liverpool – 20.00 - Live on Sky Sports