Leeds United & Patrick Bamford. Leeds are quietly & confidently looking like a promoted team that will stay in the Premier League for a while. A young squad, an aggressive & bold manager backed by a astute club management team & owner Andrea Radrizanni. Playing away to unbeaten Aston Villa, Leeds were resolute in defence & in the space of 20 minutes of the second half, Patrick Bamford had announced his arrival to the premier league with a clever hat-trick. Leeds are 6th on the ladder and unbeaten in 5 games since their week 1 loss to Liverpool.
Southampton & Ralph Hasenhüttl. Last season Southampton lost to Leicester 9-0 but recovered their form under the Austrian manager to finish 11th. This season, after a dismal 5-2 drubbing at the hands of Spurs, the Saints are now unbeaten & beat the high-flying Toffees who were top of the table. The Southampton manager has some incredible motivational powers as seen by Southampton's turn around & the board have rightly backed him to lead the team to even greater heights this season. With Danny Ings upfront scoring goals, ably assisted by James Ward-Prowse, Nathan Redmond & Chè Adams & with Alex McCarthy behind goals backed by a committed defence led by Jannik Vestergaard, Kyle Walker-Peters & Ryan Bertrand, the Saints truly looking like a dark horse contender to be best improved this season to make a run for European qualification.
Liverpool. With the horror of last week still fresh in people's memories, Liverpool sent out a timely reminder to the rest of the league that they are still defending champions and determined to win the premier league again this season. While the victory was not accompanied by the usual swashbuckling performance we have come to expect of Liverpool, this was nevertheless, a gutsy win by a team that under Jurgen Klopp refuses to give up even after losing their captain & best player of the past few seasons. While the likes of Everton, Villa, ManUnited, ManCity, Chelsea, Arsenal etc. all lost or drew on the weekend, the Reds quietly went about their business and are now 2nd on the table just below Everton on goal difference. Immense character from a team that has dealt with highs and lows this season.
Aston Villa & Dean Smith. The loss against Leeds at home would have particularly stung. The Villains were lacklustre and capitulated under some strong pressure from the Leeds midfield & the dangerous Patrick Bamford. The Villains barely escaped relegation last season with a draw in their last game enough to see them scrape through. Dean Smith will want to refocus his team as they take on the dangerous & equally as good Southampton team this coming weekend.
Arsenal. Inconsistency continues to plague the Gunners as they lost at home to Leicester. With losses to Liverpool & Man City as well, the Gunners cannot afford to lose games against top 6 sides if they are to snag one of the European qualification places up for grabs. With the likes of Thomas Partey, Willian & Bukayo Saka in midfield and the dangerous Aubameyang & Lacazette in attack, the Gunners need to find a way to start winning close games against top sides.
Chris Wilder & Sean Dyche. Both Sheffield United & Burnley are yet to win a match this season. After 6 weeks of the new season, both are firmly stuck at the bottom of the ladder. Last season was a revelation for both teams as they finished 9th & 10th on the ladder respectively on the back of some resolute defending and winning at all costs. While losses can be turned around, the lack of motivation for players from the managers seems to be something in common. Both teams need to win desperately if their managers are to survive being the first to be given the boot.