BPL This Weekend: Manchester City still improving, More confidence for Jozy, more

Frank Lampard Scores Manchester City

By MATTHEW LEVINE
Staff Writer

Manchester City and Tottenham will look to continue good starts to the season, but will have to do so at the expense of the other.

Manchester City have been playing much better since their shock loss to Stoke City. Frank Lampard has given City more than anyone might have expected either as a starter or substitute. However, City are only getting stronger.

Yaya Toure may be finding his form that makes him such a dominant force in midfield. He scored a sparkling goal before the international break against Aston Villa. Sergio Aguero is a constant threat and scored in City’s Villa win as well.

Spurs have played better over the last two Premier League weekends. After a 1-1 draw with Arsenal, they defeated a Southampton side that’s been very good this season. City have scored the second most goals this season and the Tottenham backline will need to be alert to keep them out.

Both sides have conceded the same amount of goals so far and there could very well be a few to come when they meet this weekend.

What To Look For

1. Sunderland role for Jozy– Unlike on the United States Men’s National Team, Jozy Altidore is not a guaranteed start for club. In fact, he’s yet to start for Sunderland this season.

The 24-year-old American striker will need to start getting more game minutes or, as he mentioned in the build-up to the two most recent international friendlies, look to move elsewhere.  Altidore scored on Tuesday against Honduras to boost his confidence. Hopefully Black Cats manager Gus Poyet was watching and starts to get confidence in Altidore.

It’s still early enough in this season to turn things around at Sunderland. That starts this weekend — whether from the bench or as a starter. He needs a goal in the Barclays Premier League and soon.

Getting one against a strong Southampton side would be a great place to start.

2. FA Cup Final rematch– Arsenal won a trophy last season in a game that proved less straightforward than it should have been. Hull City took the lead early, but couldn’t keep it falling to the Gunners 3-2.

The two sides will meet for the first time since the FA Cup Final.

For the Tigers, Arsenal could be ripe for the picking. The Gunners continue to be hit with injury woes with Laurent KoscielnyMesut Ozil and FA Cup Final hero Aaron Ramsey all out due to injury.

The Gunners should have enough quality in the team to get a result, but they have yet to really hit their stride even with first team regulars on the pitch. Through seven games, Arsenal has four draws. A home win in the rematch could start to get the Gunners on a better track.

3. West Ham attacking flair?– The utterance of a Sam Allardyce team having any attacking flair is not one you’d  have heard before. Big Sam’s tactics are seeped and dripping with old-school English style. Tackle hard, use the long ball and defend with men behind the ball.

However, there are some elements to the Hammers that are not in a usual Allardyce team. Currently there is a bit more flair and skill among the usual suspects of hard workers.

Morgan Amalfitano adds more ability on the ball, as Diafra Sakho has done — while showing an eye for goal. He has four in five games so far. Not to mention, Enner Valencia is always lurking up top.

So far it has born results for West Ham, who are currently seventh in the table with 10 points.  However, enjoy the extra attacking pieces while you can. If West Ham starts to slip in the table, expect Allardyce to remove some of the skill players for more workmen-like grinders.

4. Fun Foxes– Leicester City has been one of the surprise teams so far in the season. They are currently at mid-table and at the moment looking like a side that could stay there.  They’ve gotten a fantastic start from Leonardo Ulloa, who has scored five times in seven games.  

Next up for the Foxes is Newcastle United. The Magpies will be looking to climb out of the bottom three and some semblance of job security to manager Alan Pardew.

Leicester has played Manchester City tough in a loss, played to a 1-1 draw with Arsenal and defeated Manchester United 5-3. They certainly have enough talent to take points off a Newcastle side still looking to find their way.

The Magpies may have a slight advantage though. Leicester has struggled away from home this season and this weekend they travel to St. James’ Park.