THE debut of Radamel Falcao, Danny Welbeck’s Arsenal bow, the battle of the top two and managers needing a win to avoid the chop. It’s going to be quite a weekend in the EPL. While Falcao’s first game for Manchester United has dominated headlines, the undoubted feature match is Manchester City’s visit to Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal.Danny Welbeck is expected to make his Gunners debut as the main striker and he will likely have plenty of attacking back-up as Arsene Wenger looks to make the most of home advantage and City’s surprising last-start loss to Stoke City.
You can usually expect three things when Arsenal and City at Emirates Stadium - that there won’t be many goals, a draw is the most likely result and that yellow and red cards will be in plentiful supply. All of which doesn’t auger well for Danny Welbeck’s prospective debut. The new Arsenal striker, fresh off his midweek heroics for England, is likely to lead the line, with Alexis Sanchez tucked in on the right just behind him, and is sure to be present a tempting target for Vincent Kompany and co. Yellow cards have been issued frequently over the past five seasons - 25 in all - and the fixture has also seen its fair share of dismissals, including, most famously, Mario Balotelli back in 2011-2012. City will have welcomed the two-week break after the diabolical display against Stoke but they do look a bit light up front with StevanJovetic injured and EdinDzeko struggling.
Overflowing with confidence and looking strong all over the pitch, Swansea bring their perfect record to Stamford Bridge for an early-season pacesetter battle. It hasn’t been a happy hunting ground though - three games, three defeats - and matching wits with the inimitable Jose Mourinho will certainly need to bring the best out of manager Garry Monk. But an upset is not totally far-fetched. The rebirth of Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer has given them extra width and drive from midfield, Gylfi Sigurdsson was simply outstanding in August while the defensive line has only conceded once. Of course, things can change very quickly, especially against free-scoring Chelsea who embarrassed Everton with their quick movement and one-touch passing. Mystery surrounds whether Diego Costa will play but at least Mourinho won’t have to fall back on Fernando Torres if the Spaniard is unavailable; he has one of the finest strikers, Remy, in his pocket.
Louis Van Gaal is ready to unleash a super strike force and couldn’t have wished for a more accommodating opponent. With Radamel Falcao set to debut, Robin van Persie likely beside him, Angel Di Maria tucked in behind and Wayne Rooney also manning a forward position, United could hold the prospect of scoring every time they go forward. After a tough opening two games, QPR tightened up against Sunderland and did well to ground out a 1-0 win. But this is something completely different. They won’t be without chances to score themselves but former United favorite Rio Ferdinand and Steven Caulker can expect a torrid time.
Last year runner-ups host Aston villa at Anfield. This fixture has certainly thrown up a surprise or two in recent times. Villa, for all their struggles, have been unfathomably excellent on their travels to Anfield. Three seasons ago Chris Herd scored in a 1-1 draw before Christian Benteke announced himself to the EPL with a brace in a 3-1 win in season 2012-2013. Then last season Beneke again and Andreas Weimann grabbed the goals in a 2-2 draw. Thankfully for Liverpool this time Benteke is out injured, although the pacey Weimann has been in great form and looms as a real threat. Mario Balotelli is expected to lead the line for Brendan Rodgers’s men in place of the injured Daniel Sturridge and big-money signing Adam Lallana is set to make his debut in midfield. Liverpool will miss the predatory instincts of Sturridge but it’s great opportunity for Balotelli to prove his worth against a quality defense.
Have a nice football feast Witten by: Yisifalem Alemayehu