Norwich- After Daniel Farke’s pre-match press conference, it would have been fair to say that everyone on the planet was sensing Man City were going to turn up at Norwich and win around 5-0. This was because the international break was cruel to Farke and his side suffered a large amount of injuries. You had people triple captaining Sterling, De Bruyne etc because the prospect of a huge haul looked on the cards. As football often proves though it is never as straight forward as it seems. Norwich were brave and played out from the back and got at City, exposing the frailties of John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi. Everyone’s favourite striker this season Teemu Pukki yet again showed he is no fluke by scoring and assisting another early FPL favourite Todd Cantwell to score. Norwich’s performance for me just showed that the best way to get anything out of Man City is to get at them and be brave, yes Norwich lived on the edge at times but fortune favours the brave. This was one of the biggest surprise results in the Premier League for sometime.
Tammy Abraham- The curse of the number nine shirt at Chelsea seems to be over, and it isn’t an expensive signing that has ended it but one of their own. Tammy Abraham came into this season desperate to prove he is good enough for this level after winning with promotion with Aston Villa last season scoring 25 league goals. His loan with Swansea in the 2017-18 season proved unfruitful and ended in relegation so Abraham had a point to prove at the top level. Lampard has given him the chance and so far it has massively paid off. Chelsea defeated Wolves 5-2 on Saturday (more on them later) and Abraham was terrific in his general play and scored himself a hat-trick. This now puts the 21-year-old on seven goals already this season after scoring two braces in the previous two gameweeks. His price is very nice too currently at 7.3M. He proved how clinical he is in the Championship if he gets a chance in the box he is very likely to find the back of the net, and now he is making the step up it should not be long until Gareth Southgate gives him a call.
Roberto Firmino- After the internationals and a long time spent travelling it probably was not that big of a surprise to the Brazilian on the bench for Newcastle’s visit to Anfield. Without Firmino, Liverpool always look a bit less sharp in attack but you would have thought that they would get the job done without him. Fast forward to kick off and Liverpool go 1-0 down early on thanks to a Jetro Willems strike and all of a sudden they are struggling to break down a stubborn Newcastle side. Divock Origi picked up an injury which forced Klopp’s hand earlier to bring on Firmino but it ultimately ended up getting Liverpool the win. Firmino dropped deeper connecting midfield to attack, pulled the defenders out of position and showed his fantastic vision to set up Saido Mane and Mo Salah to score the decisive goals. Whilst Mane and Salah are formidable without Firmino they would certainly be less of a force as he is the glue that links everything together and creates the space for them to run into.
Wolves- No wins in the league so far this season, sadly my team seems to be in a bit of a rough patch at the moment. Saturday however, was a shambles and one of the most un Nuno like performances I have seen. With Willy Boly suspended and Ryan Bennett surprisingly left out of the squad, we saw the Premier League debut of on loan Real Madrid defender Jesus Vallejo. Safe to say it did not go well…… The Spaniard was very poor and physically was not up to scratch I would go as far to say he was powder puff. Conor Coady also had his worse game time for sometime as Abraham who I mentioned earlier really did have him on toast. His third goal in particular he may as well have pulled his shorts down as he knocked the ball past him to score. There was no organisation in the slightest and hardly any build up play so Chelsea could pretty much get at us almost instantly when we lost the ball.
There was no ‘tired because of Europa’ excuse here and not many of our players this time around played full games whilst on international duty. That should never be an excuse anyway. I am not worried just yet as any challenge Nuno has faced whilst at Wolves he has found the solution. Our next two league games are against Crystal Palace and Watford we need a minimum of four points in my opinion to just get confidence back. If we don’t then I will start to be concerned that something is not right.
Nicolas Otamendi- With the excellent Aymeric Laporte out until the new year, Manchester City will have to play Nicolas Otamendi and hope he and John Stones who is now also injured himself will be enough to keep them solid at the back. Yeah not a great start…. The Argentina international has always been seen as a bit rash and sloppy so it was no shock to see him being dispossessed and costing City a goal in their loss to Norwich. With a lack of options at centre back now too Guardiola will have no choice but to keep playing him and we may see Fernandinho or even Kyle Walker now partner him which would not fill you with confidence either. These are going to be testing times for City as now there is a vulnerability about them which as Norwich proved can be exploited if you are brave enough.
Anyone who captained Sterling- The signs were all there despite blanking against Brighton, Sterling was excellent in both games for England and is bang in form right now so an injury ravaged Norwich side was easy pickings right? Wrong. Many captained the England forward myself included expecting big things and all we got as a lovely four points, or if you triple captained him then you lucky guys got an immense six points! To make it worse there was so many nearly moments like him hitting the post and Sergio Aguero of all people failing to convert one of his crosses. It is Watford up next at home for City and I would imagine Sterling will be a popular captain pick again but I would be lying if I said I am was not worried of being stung again.