Premiership not likely jersey to yield and give Lions

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If ever you’ve wanted to gain an insight into the fabled West Ham Way – Sam Allardyce and Authentic Andre Branch Youth Jersey Sir Alex Ferguson have both loudly wondered if such a thing even exists – St Mary’s was the place to be last weekend. A farcical afternoon began with Winston Reid, Slaven Bilic’s best centre-back, pulling up with a muscle injury in the warm-up a day after signing a new six-year contract (two years after the 29-year-old signed a six-and-a-half-year deal). The laughs kept coming when West Ham took 11 minutes to fall behind to Southampton, who had not scored a home goal since 5 April, before they lost Marko Arnautovic to a red card when the club’s new record signing decided to elbow Jack Stephens. Then José Fonte, a 33-year-old centre-back signed for £8m from Southampton in January, conceded his fifth penalty since the start of last season. West Ham fought back to 2-2 thanks to Javier Hernández’s poaching instincts, only for wily 32-year-old Pablo Zabaleta to concede a last-minute penalty with a nudge on the lethal Maya Yoshida. Charlie Austin stepped up to convert the spot-kick. Mark Noble had told Austin that Joe Hart knew where he was going to put it, so he changed sides and sent the goalkeeper in the wrong direction. In other news Newcastle United have have lost their opening two games without scoring a goal, Rafael Benítez feels that Mike Ashley has not backed him enough this summer, the Spaniard has been linked with West Ham this week and St James’s Park regulars doubt that Dwight Gayle, Ayoze Pérez, Joselu and Aleksandar Mitrovic will be potent enough in a relegation battle. Guess who’s coming to town on Saturday afternoon, though … Jacob Steinberg
2) Kane and Tottenham look to end talk of curses
It is easy to see why Tottenham are becoming a little irritated about being portrayed as frightened little lambs every time they play at Wembley. Sure, they have lost eight of their last 10 matches there, but their performance in last Sunday’s narrow defeat to Chelsea would have beaten most Premier League teams. The margins were fine: Harry Kane came within a whisker of obliterating that statistic about him never scoring a Premier League goal in August, hitting the inside of the post with one fabulous effort and forcing Thibaut Courtois to save bravely with another after a bustling run past two defenders, and there did not seem to be anything wrong with the forward’s state of mind or his physical condition. For all the talk of mental blocks, a Kane winner against Burnley on Sunday afternoon would be the perfect way for Tottenham to change the conversation.
Tottenham complete club-record signing of Sánchez from Ajax
3) Can Koscielny and Kolasinac stop Arsenal being blown away?
Arsène Wenger dropped Authentic Aaron Ripkowski Youth Jersey Alexis Sánchez for Arsenal’s last trip to Anfield and he soon regretted it, as Liverpool raced into an insurmountable lead. After missing all of Arsenal’s matches so far this season, the Chilean could be thrust back into action at Anfield this weekend as Arsenal strive to avenge that defeat and, more pertinently, atone for last weekend’s one at Stoke. But the return of Laurent Koscielny could prove even more significant. The Frenchman should bolster the centre of Arsenal’s defence and allow Sead Kolasinac to shift out to the left, which is his natural habitat. How Kolasinac copes with Mohamed Salah and/or Sadio Mané will give us the truest indiction so far of the value of Arsenal’s free signing. Paul Doyle
4) Palace and Swansea in search of improvement
When these teams last met at Selhurst Park, in January, both were in a state of transition, Sam Allardyce having only recently taken over at Palace while the Welsh team were playing their last game under the caretaker stewardship of Alan Curtis. Nearly nine months on both teams remain in gestation and both sets of supporters are understandably concerned. Anxieties were quelled only slightly by midweek victories over lower league opposition in the Carabao Cup and both could do with claiming a first league win of the season this weekend, or even a first goal. With Wilfried Zaha unavailable, this would be a fine time for Andros Townsend to given a reminder of the threat he can pose, especially as that might strengthen Palace’s resolve not to rush Zaha back – or perhaps help them sell Townsend in this window to fund a transfer for an attacker in whom Frank de Boer has more belief.
5) Fàbregas central to ruining Everton’s week
An exceptionally challenging week for the new-look Everton, who have already faced trips to Manchester City and Hajduk Split, concludes with another daunting assignment, a visit to Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea will be keen to atone for their chaotic defeat to Burnley on the opening day. Cesc Fàbregas has more to make up for than most and, following his suspension, should be reintroduced to the starting lineup immediately despite David Luiz’s fine display in midfield against Tottenham. Chelsea are likely to need his creativity to prise Everton open.


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