Five things to expect from the Premier League weekend

After what it feels like an eternity, Premier League football is back this weekend as we leave England, Roy Hodgson and the World Cup qualifiers behind us as the league enters its fourth weekend.

Crucially, tomorrow marks the first Premier League weekend since transfer deadline day, which means some fans across the country are feeling like kids on Christmas Eve.

Here’s five things we can expect from this weekend…

1) Gunners’ German efficiency

It’s been 11 days since Arsene Wenger broke Arsenal’s transfer record to secure the mercurial German playmaker from Real Madrid and, after the initial excitement, Arsenal fans have been counting down the days to the moment when they finally get to catch their new hero in action.

Ozil is set to make his debut tomorrow as Arsenal travel to Wearside to face a Sunderland side that has picked up only one point in their first three league outings, as the Di Canio revolution has got off to a stuttering start.

Granted, Arsenal could do with another centre-back and, maybe, a clinical striker – even though Olivier Giroud has started the season in fine form – but Ozil’s arrival has galvanised the club and the fans in a way the red and white corner of North London seemed to have forgotten.

2) Post Bale Spurs

Spurs welcome Norwich on Saturday as the post Gareth Bale era officially kicks off at White Hart Lane, as Spurs look to bounce back from their North London derby defeat and to open their account from open play.

Spurs have undoubtedly added much quality to their squad over the summer and they’re arguably much better equipped than they were 12 months ago, but the void left by Gareth Bale’s departure won’t be filled in a heartbeat.

New arrivals Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen could make their full debut, but the impression is that Andre Villas Boas is still trying to figure his best XI and it could take another couple of games to see Spurs playing the free-flowing football their manager craves.

3) The hair apparent arrives at Old Trafford

David Moyes’ career at Manchester United has got off to a somewhat stuttering start. Success in the Community Shield and in the opening fixture away at Swansea were followed by a drab 0-0 draw against Chelsea, before United collapsed to a 1-0 defeat at Anfield two weeks ago.

Things haven’t gone much better in the transfer window either, where United displayed remarkable ineptitude and missed out on several targets and only managed to secure Marouane Fellaini minutes before the deadline.

After United were linked with the likes of Thiago, Fabregas and Ozil, many supporters feel the Belgian is a nothing more than a contingency plan, but United’s midfield was desperate for a quality addition.

Fellaini might not be on the same level of some of his more illustrious colleagues, but offers Moyes different options, as he can play alongside Michael Carrick or in a more advanced role.

4) Pardew under pressure

Newcastle picked up a much needed win against Fulham two weeks ago, but the Tyneside club remains a cauldron ready to explode.

Joe Kinnear’s talked the talk in customary fashion but, unfortunately for Alan Pardew and Newcastle fans, forgot to walk the walk and the Newcastle manager finds himself with a threadbare squad likely to be flirting with relegation again this season.

In contrast, Villa, Newcastle’s opponents at the weekend, impressed even in their defeats against Chelsea and Liverpool and Paul Lambert’s men will be looking for their first home win of the campaign.

Newcastle’s dismal away record – only two wins in the last 21 attempts – doesn’t bode well ahead of their trip to Villa Park and expect Pardew to come under even more pressure, should his team fail to avoid defeat.

5) Who will feel the Blues at Goodison?

Roberto Martinez was rather busy on deadline day and his Everton side look a lot different than they did two weeks ago. Out have gone Marouane Fellaini and Victor Anichebe, in have come James McCarthy, Gareth Barry and Romelu Lukaku.

The Belgian won’t be available to face his parent club, Chelsea, when Jose Mourinho’s men travel to Goodison Park late tomorrow afternoon, but McCarthy and Barry are likely to be given their debut.

The former Wigan midfielder could be a pivotal figure as Martinez strives to instill his passing game into the Merseyside club, while Barry’s solid approach should soften the blow of Marouane Fellaini’s departure.

Everton, who have kept a clean sheet in their last six league games at Goodison Park, have proved to be a tricky customer for Chelsea in recent years, even though the West Londoners have lost only three of the last 34 meetings between the two sides in all competitions.

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