Matchday Twelve of the English Premier League once again decided to pull out the best in a few players, and the worst in a few teams. While there were no incredibly surprising results from this weekend, there are definitely plenty of issues that came out from this weekend. In fact, there have already been one or two issues that have been resolved, so let’s not waste anymore time glossing over the chances. Here are the major takeaways from matchday twelve of the English Premier League.
Zlatan is Back, But at What Cost?
Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his return over the weekend in a 4-1 win over Newcastle United. With the game well in the bag, manager Jose Mourinho gave the Sweden star his first taste of football action since his knee injury in April to a standing ovation at Old Trafford. However, it posed the huge question as to how Jose Mourinho fits Lukaku, Rashford, Martial and Ibrahimovic all in his line-up? Lukaku has been on fire up front, with Rashford playing a great support role. Martial has been a fantastic impact player, either starting or coming in as a super-sub. That leaves the highest goalscorer for the Red Devils last year to slot in somewhere, but where? Does he start, or does he come on as a super-sub? Where does that leave two very promising youngsters in Rashford and Martial? Have fun with that dilemma Jose; it is a good one to have.
Palace Still Cannot Win
Apparently Palace have found out that scoring is not as hard as it seems, but once again, Crystal Palace couldn’t secure the three points at home. This time, it was Everton who stood in their way as Baines and Niasse cancelled out the goals by McArthur and Zaha. With only five points from the first twelve games for Palace, it seems that maybe it isn’t the manager who is the issue for the club. Both teams are in some pretty bad situations at the moment, but Palace need a positive result next week against Stoke to make sure they have a shot of staying in contention this season.
Bournemouth Hit Huddersfield for Four
Bournemouth, despite being down to ten men for the second half, put Huddersfield “to the sword” as they sunk four goals past the Terriers. Fantasy players would be pounding the air if they captained Charlie Wilson, as he took the match ball home, while Harry Arter knocked home the fourth goal. A few fans are already calling for the head of manager David Wagner, despite the fact that Huddersfield are still in the top half of the table. The international break always seems to throw a wrench into the system for Huddersfield, so the Terriers will want to sink a few next week. However, their next two games are Manchester City and Arsenal. Good luck Huddersfield, you’re going to need it.
The cap on the head of Tony Pulis has finally come off, as West Bromwich Albion finally sent him on his way after the 4-0 home loss to Chelsea over the weekend. Hazard, Morata, and Cesc Fabregas tore up the West Bromwich defense as Pulis was sacked with the Baggies just one point away from the relegation zone. In theory, this means that West Bromwich will win next weekend, but with Tottenham up next, they will have their work cut out for them.
How Underrated is Pascal Gross?
The Brighton midfielder has been one of the most underrated players in the Premier League this season, and he once again showed his class against Stoke City. He scored Brighton’s first goal as the Stoke defense was mesmerized by Davy Propper to make it 1-1, to add onto his five assists and two goals for the season. He has been Brighton’s best player this season in the midfield, and is one of the reasons why Brighton are in the top ten with a quarter of the season gone. The only issue holding him back from international duty is the fact that Germany have one of the best midfield set-ups in the world. Could Gross be the best signing of the season?
Burnley for Europe?
I said this in the last article and I will say it again: Burnley might be in Europe next year. A few years back, we were stunned that European football was being played at the King Power Stadium, and we could see even more football at Turf Moor after Burnley beat Swansea 2-0. A slip-up from any of Liverpool, Arsenal, or Chelsea could see Burnley moving into the European qualification spots. This week, Jack Cork and Ashley Barnes sunk the ball into the back of the net, as Swansea are left two points from safety. Burnley have a chance to leap up ahead of Arsenal if they are able to knock off the Gunners at home next week, while Swansea will face a Bournemouth team hot off a smashing win against Huddersfield. It’s a small chance, but a chance nonetheless. Burnley could very well see European football this season.
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