Match of the weekend: Burnley v
The way both teams have started the new season leads me
to believe Burnley have a great chance of
making it two wins out of three in their first season back in the top flight.
The Clarets were excellent in their midweek victory over
Manchester United, showing resilience at the back and playing some nice
football, while Everton were simply awful against Arsenal last
The Toffees may well have hit back with a win in the
Europa League, but Sigma Olomouc are a million miles away from Premier League
opposition, and playing at Turf Moor is an entirely different proposition to
With fervent local support, Burnley have made their home
ground a bit of a fortress - they were unbeaten there against top-flight opposition in cup
competitions last season - and Everton could well struggle on Sunday.
Upset of the weekend: Manchester City v
Wolves bounced back well from their opening-day defeat to West Ham -
when they didn't even play that badly - with victory at Wigan. They will head to Eastlands
on a high, with nothing to lose.
Mick McCarthy's side will be well up for Saturday, as
most teams will be when they visit City this season - that is the inevitable
consequence of having spent so much this summer - and with the absence of any
pressure, they will be able to express themselves on the
Conversely, City will be under huge pressure in their
first home game of the season and have a great deal more to lose. After a good
start to the new season, which has seen them beat Blackburn and then Barcelona in a friendly,
their fans will expect nothing less than a convincing win over newly-promoted
That could work against Mark Hughes's men and I think
there is potential for a real upset at the City of Manchester
One to watch: Jermain
The Tottenham striker is on fire this season and it
would not be a surprise to see him on the scoresheet again at West Ham in the
early kick-off on Sunday.
If Defoe gets a good run in a team, more often than not he scores. And
since Harry Redknapp is such a big fan of his, I'm sure he will get plenty of
chances to play this season.
Even Fabio Capello has given him a chance to shine for
England, and he has not disappointed.
Indeed, he has timed his run of form to perfection, with a place alongside Wayne
Rooney in the national set-up there for the taking.
Centre-backs hate playing against Defoe - he never stops
moving and his pace is devastating. And West Ham's defence know that if they
give him a sniff at the weekend, he will punish them.
Under pressure: Phil
It was great seeing Hull stay up last season - but their end-of-season form was anything but great. And after
two defeats from two games this season, Brown needs to see his side get some
points on the board if their chances of survival are not to be seriously
The Tigers' home game against Bolton gives them a great chance to do that, but they will have to put
memories of a terrible performance in the 5-1 defeat to Spurs well out of mind
if they are to get their campaign up and running this
Brown will be feeling the pressure after failing to attract any big names
to the KC Stadium over the summer - Alvaro Negredo has become the latest to snub
Hull - and he
now needs to show that he can guide his team to safety with the players he
already has at his disposal.
That may not be so easy. Brown needs to turn things
around quickly - one or two points from the first five or so games of the season
is simply not good enough - and already these are worrying times on Humberside.