Norwich enjoyed a great victory over Sunderland, to make it four straight wins at home, leaving them sitting nicely at twelth. However, for Sunderland, it was their fourth loss in their last six games, leaving them only one point clear of the relegation zone. Following the game, there were several talking points, here are the main ones:
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Both Arsenal and Swansea have had inconsistent starts to the season, with neither really putting together a great win streak, however, both sides are great footballing clubs and regularly entertaining – striving to play attacking football every game – which makes you think this should be a great game for the neutrals.
Arsenal were handed a huge blow in mid-week as defender Laurent Koscielny was forced to go off in the game against Everton, with a muscle injury, which means Kieran Gibbs will probably be pushed back into the first team and Thomas Vermaelen will be moved back to his natural position of center-back.
Swansea don’t have any fresh injury concerns, but the absences of key-players Neil Taylor and Michel Vorm will be big misses, despite young Ben Davies filling in brilliantly at left-back for Taylor.
Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez, better known as Isco, has started the 2012/13 season with a bang, and has really announced himself on the world stage, after some exemplary Champions League performances.
He came through the famous Valencia academy, which has produced players like David Silva, but only played four games for them in the 2010/11 season, before moving to Andalusian rivals; Malaga, for six million euros, signing a five-year-contract. In his first season at Malaga he had a very solid season, even more so for a teenager, contributing to five goals and five assists in his thirty-two games played, however, after the financial problems which saw star Santi Cazorla move to Arsenal, Isco has really come into his own, and shown the world what he is capable of.
One of the most high-profile manager moves this summer was when Brendan Rodgers took the vacant Liverpool job, leaving Swansea, to replace sacked legend Kenny Dalglish. The game at the weekend will be the first time Rodgers returns to Swanseas Liberty Stadium, and it should definitely be an interesting encounter, especially as both teams strive to play good football and since ex-Barcelona ‘Dream Team’ star Michael Laudrup arrived at the Liberty, this hasn’t changed at all.
Q.P.R. were one of the most exciting teams this summer in the transfer window, linked with almost every player out there and in the end, were the most active team in the Premier League, strengthening their squad with multiple players from big clubs - with marquee signings like Esteban Granero from Real Madrid and Stephane M'Bia from Marseille - lots was expected from them, but little was delivered. Without a win in their opening twelve games, the pressure is mounting on boss Mark Hughes, and it seems Tony Fernandes may be supporting him in public, but, after a summer of heavy investment he may expect more, meaning Mark Hughes could ‘win’ the Premier League sack race, which leaves Q.P.R.s 'project' back at square one. So, what next? Where do they turn from here, if they want to live up to the long-term vision of owner, Tony Fernandes?