It is a pity that the international break came when it did, certainly for Arsenal fans, as Arsene Wenger’s side looked to have really turned a corner judged on the 2-0 defeat of Liverpool at Anfield. There was none of the pre season apprehension displayed in the first two games of the season, as the ball was sprayed about with speed and direction, and in truth the scoreline could have been bigger.
Now the Gunners will look to continue the good work against newly promoted Southampton who have unfortunately got nothing out of their matches against the two Manchester clubs, despite scoring twice against both. Indeed, they were very unlucky against United, and will be desperate to secure their first points of the season to prove that they can live with the big boys.
With that in mind, we can expect to see the Saints try and attack as much as possible to test a defence that has been busy on the international scene. Indeed no less than 11 Arsenal players in all were involved for their respective countries, and now could be the best time to hit them. Of course if Southampton do go for it, they themselves will be susceptible to swift counter attacks, and of course they will know all about St Mary’s old boys Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlaine, should Arsene Wenger be able to call on their services.
One thing that has not happened yet is a goal scoring celebration from the former Montpellier hit-man Olivier Giroud, and this is just the type of game that will afford him the opportunity to open his account, so a first and anytime goal wager may be the way to go.
QPR and Chelsea square up at Loftus Road, and hopefully the after-match reports will focus on the football as the visitors bid to maintain their place at the top of the table. They will also be hoping at the same time that Michael Owen can mark his debut for Stoke by inflicting some misery on Manchester City.
Manchester United will perhaps not have things all their own way against Wigan but should still emerge triumphant, while the games at Norwich (v West Ham), Aston Villa (v Swansea), and Fulham (v West Brom), have draw written all over them.
Not so Sunderland v Liverpool-the Reds cannot buy a victory at present, and until the defence stops getting the jitters and Brendan Rogers finds a goal scorer, more woe is on the way.
Spurs likewise are enduring a torrid time of things and are no certainties at Reading on Sunday, while the Monday night live televised game between Everton and Newcastle looks a cracker between two sides that have shown enough to be considered contenders for a Champions League spot come the end of the season. The Toffees have looked a different proposition since securing the services of Nikica Jelavic from Rangers. He looks an outstanding candidate to score the first goal.