5 things to know about the English Premier League

Aug 22 2014, 14:13 IST
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Things aren't looking so promising for Manchester United and its new manager Louis van Gaal, who are looking to avoid a second straight defeat in an away match at Sunderland. Things aren't looking so promising for Manchester United and its new manager Louis van Gaal, who are looking to avoid a second straight defeat in an away match at Sunderland.
SummaryOne round of Premier League games has already backed up many pundits' pre-season predictions, notably that Chelsea and Manchester City are title favorites and Manchester United needed more than just a change of manager to arrest its slump.

One round of Premier League games has already backed up many pundits' pre-season predictions, notably that Chelsea and Manchester City are title favorites and Manchester United needed more than just a change of manager to arrest its slump.

Strengthened by new attacking signings Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas, Chelsea delivered the best display of the opening weekend in beating Burnley 3-1 away and meets another promoted side, Leicester, in its second match Saturday.

City was less eye-catching in its 2-0 win at Newcastle but the result served notice that the defending champions won't be giving up its title easily. Next up for City is Liverpool - the team it pipped to the championship in May - at home on Monday.

Things aren't looking so promising for United and its new manager Louis van Gaal, who are looking to avoid a second straight defeat in an away match at Sunderland.

Here are five things to know about the upcoming Premier League matches:

SCHOLES FEARS FOR UNITED

Perhaps the most damning assessment of United following its 2-1 opening-day loss to Swansea came from its former midfield maestro, Paul Scholes.

''I am scared for United,'' Scholes wrote in Thursday's Independent newspaper. ''Genuinely scared that they could go into the wilderness in the same way that Liverpool did in the 1990s.''

After finishing seventh last season in the turbulent reign of David Moyes, there was renewed hope at Old Trafford following the hiring of the experienced Louis van Gaal and an unbeaten record in preseason.

But the home loss to Swansea punctured that optimism, highlighting the deficiencies that still exist in the team - a lack of pace and dynamism in its attack and a lack of experience in defense.

The signing on Wednesday of left-sided defender Marcos Rojo from Sporting Lisbon will help but there's a general feeling that a superstar needs to arrive at United before the summer transfer window closes if the team is to finish in the top four.

Sunderland started with a 2-2 draw at West Bromwich Albion.

FIRST BLOCKBUSTER

City and Liverpool meet at Etihad Stadium in the first blockbuster match of the new season, featuring the teams who occupied the top two positions in May.

Both teams started off this season with victories, although Liverpool's 2-1 win over Southampton was less convincing and showed the reliance the Reds will have on Daniel Sturridge in the absence of

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