Manchester United’s post-Alex Ferguson dip has opened the door for a number of challengers in the Premier League this season, with Arsenal and Liverpool the first teams to capitalise.
The Premier League resumes after a two-week international break with Arsenal, rejuvenated by the signing of Germany playmaker Mesut Ozil, top of the standings on goal difference from Liverpool after seven matches.
It’s early days but United is languishing in mid-table after three losses and the champions could encounter more problems on Saturday when fourth-place Southampton, one of the surprises of the season so far, visits Old Trafford.
OZIL boost FOR ARSENAL
Arsenal will be hoping a hamstring injury picked up by Ozil on international duty on Tuesday doesn’t stop him playing against Norwich on Saturday. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he was expected to be fit and could line up alongside Santi Cazorla, for the first time.
Any fears that Luis Suarez would take time to get back into his stride after serving a 10-game ban for biting an opponent have been well and truly cast aside. The Liverpool striker has scored three goals in two matches since his return to the team from suspension and has struck up a brilliant partnership with Daniel Sturridge. The league’s most feared strike combination will fancy their chances of adding to their haul on Saturday when Liverpool travels to Newcastle, whose defense has been ripped apart by Manchester City, Hull and Everton already this season.
POYET’S first MATCH
By firing Paolo Di Canio after seven months in charge, Sunderland’s gamble on hiring an outspoken coach with no top-flight managerial experience backfired spectacularly. So what did the struggling club do next? Hire another coach with similar credentials. Gus Poyet’s only previous job was at second-tier English club Brighton. Poyet’s first game in charge is at Swansea on Saturday.
Save for Man U, all the usual big teams are already occupying the top positions in the league after just two months. And then there’s Southampton. Southampton has already won at Liverpool. Next up for the Saints is a trip to United
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