Gameweek 5 Preview - Reds Reds Go Away

How many times have we seen an international break having a huge impact on the following Gameweek in the Premier League? Gameweek 4 wasn’t an exception either.

Suspected injuries to RVP and Kagawa, along with the existing Rooney injury, meant Sir Alex might have been worried. But RVP and Kagawa made the bench and Wigan were seen off without risking them.

Although the same thing can’t be said about Manchester City and Chelsea. Both were expected to win their games and didn’t have any big injuries from the international break, but they somehow managed to show some fatigue and eventually were held to draws.

Manchester City did have more than an eye over the Champions League clash with Real Madrid, which reflected through the game time for Tevez and Silva. The gamble nearly paid off for Mancini as they were leading Real Madrid 2-1 in 86th minute but the rest, as they say, is history.

Arsenal (yes Arsenal) comprehensively swept aside Southampton which took them to 3rd spot in the league table. FPL-wise, people were frustrated with Gervinho who stole the show with Cazorla getting just an assist.

With the all-important Champions League kicking off, and the less important Europa League kicking off, do we expect Premier League sides to show the European fatigue in Gameweek 5? Will there be any sustained injuries from Europe? Will there be any last minute team changes by managers? Let’s look at Gameweek 5!

Swansea v Everton

After more than a decent start to their season, Swansea were finally beaten by Villa who ironically got their first victory of the season. Aaron and company will certainly be hoping for more wins for Villa in the near future.

Swansea will be hoping to carry on the home form in the game against Everton who must be annoyed by the controversial 2-2 draw with Newcastle on Monday night. The game seems nicely balanced on paper and will be an important game for FPL managers as well with the likes of Michu, Williams, Pienaar, Fellaini, and Baines being most bought players in recent weeks.

Men to Watch

Swansea: Pablo Hernandez
Everton: Leighton Baines

Prediction: Swansea 2-1 Everton

Chelsea v Stoke City

Chelsea clearly missed an easy opportunity to maintain their 100% record in the Premier League against QPR but a win against Stoke can certainly guarantee their possession of the top spot after Gameweek 5.

Stoke City must be more than happy after they got a point against the defending champions but will know that the visit to the Bridge is not easy either and will look to maintain their decent start to the season.

Chelsea will be relying on Belgian Beauty Hazard after Torres has started to disappoint again since a couple of weeks. For Stoke, the Crouch-Walters combo is all they have to get goals apart from the heads of Shawcross and Huth.

Men to Watch

Chelsea: Fernando Torres
Stoke: Charlie Adam (Can his feet and Crouch’s head cause some damage to the vulnerable Chelsea defence?)

Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Stoke

Southampton v Aston Villa

Southampton have really played some good football this season but hardly got any result. They are yet to open their account after losing all 4 matches so far. They will be hopeful of getting a good result from this weekend’s clash against Villa who have hit some form.

Men to Watch

Southampton: Rickie Lambert (who else?)
Aston Villa: Christian Benteke

Prediction: Southampton 1-1 Aston Villa

WBA v Reading

Against the odds, WBA got off to a flyer but were obstructed by Fulham after going down to 10 men last week. They will be hoping to continue their good start to the season with a fixture that can easily offer 3 points.

Reading have looked arguably the most poor side this season and there are hardly any reasons why they should stay up this season. Though it is too early to say that, they need to work hard in all departments to stay in the top flight.

Men to Watch

WBA: Shane Long
Reading: None

Prediction: WBA 2-1 Reading

Wigan v Fulham

When you look at this fixture in perspective of FPL, one name certainly comes to your mind: Dimitar Berbatov. After his debut brace for Fulham last week, many FPL managers would have been tempted to buy him. But with Wigan being one of the most unpredictable teams the Premier league has ever seen, you really can’t be sure who will come on top after 90 minutes at the DW.

Men to Watch

Wigan: Aruna Kone
Fulham: Dimitar Berbatov

Prediction: Wigan 2-2 Fulham

West Ham v Sunderland

You would think West Ham have started off the season quite well looking at the table but they really need to improve on some areas to sustain that start. They were really lucky not to have conceded last week so certainly that kind of defence won’t work against the top 8 teams.

Sunderland, on the other hand, are settling into this season and certainly have the quality to beat the Hammers with the likes of Fletcher, Sessegnon and McClean leading the attack.

Men to Watch

West Ham: Kevin Nolan
Sunderland: Steven Fletcher

Prediction: West Ham 1-2 Sunderland

Liverpool v Man United

It doesn’t matter whether they had a midweek game, doesn’t matter if they had an international break, doesn’t matter if they have injury woes, this game will hold nothing back. It’s the game of the weekend without a doubt.

When Brendon Rogers accepted the job, many of us saw Liverpool playing the Swansea style, but have been disappointed so far. Having said that, Liverpool have always performed well at Anfield in big games and this game won’t be an exception.

Manchester United will be without Rooney but won’t be weak in the presence of RVP. They haven’t had too many happy visits at Anfield of late but if they avoid any other injuries, on paper will certainly look stronger than Liverpool.

Men to Watch

Liverpool: Steven Gerrard
Manchester United: Shinji Kagawa

Prediction: Liverpool 1-2 Man United

Newcastle v Norwich

Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse were left out of the squad to face Maritimo in the Europa League match in midweek. Though this news is likely to cause worry to Newcastle supporters, there are less chances that their injuries are serious enough to keep them out against Norwich. Considering how Norwich are playing, Newcastle should manage to beat them even without the strike pair.

Norwich City will need their star captain Grant Holt back in form to compete against Newcastle. If Norwich continue to defend as they are at the moment, I can see them being thrashed at St James’ Park.

Men to Watch

Newcastle: Hatem Ben Arfa
Norwich: None

Prediction: Newcastle 3-0 Norwich

Man City v Arsenal

After the heart breaking loss in the Bernabeu in midweek, Man city have no time to digest the defeat as in-form Arsenal are visiting the Etihad Stadium in the second of the 2 big clashes this weekend. They will have their prolific scorer of last season, Aguero, available for this clash, who is likely to start upfront alongside Tevez. Yaya continues to be a beast for the Champions, and they will certainly be expecting another master class performance from the Ivorian.

Arsenal, on the other hand, will try to continue their good form but will know that the trip to the Etihad will be the toughest of the season so far.

Men to Watch

Man City: Yaya Toure (Arguably the best player in the Premier League this season)
Arsenal: Lucas Podolski

Prediction: Man City 2-1 Arsenal

Tottenham v QPR

Tottenham are one of the teams who don’t really start the season with a bang and they haven’t let this quality fade. They got their first win in the last game against Reading and will certainly be in confident mood ahead of the home game against QPR.

QPR will know they escaped with 1 point against Chelsea. But with the amount of money spent, they know that they are expected to cause some trouble to good teams and will certainly look to challenge struggling Spurs.

Men to Watch

Tottenham: Gareth Bale
QPR: Bobby Zamora

Prediction: Tottenham 2-1 QPR