Premier League, Week 2 preview: 'Club in crisis' meme lurks, waiting to strike

Clive Brunskill

Arsenal and Newcastle are going to descend into oblivion as their fans burn down their grounds. Unless, you know, they win this week and sign some players. Entirely possible!

Fulham vs. Arsenal

Craven Cottage; Saturday, 12:45 GMT/7:45 AM ET

Arsenal is a M*A*S*H unit, and the suspension/kick to the face earned by Laurent Koscielny isn't likely to help matters. But this is a team that just stomped a solid Fenerbache side in mid-week, and though they have some clear bigger-picture problems, they're still pretty good. Fulham is a decent side and it's far from a guaranteed three points. But let's hold judgment on Arsenal's worth until after this one's done. (Also even after that. It's August.)

Everton vs. West Bromwich Albion

Goodison Park; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Last year, these two teams overachieved and comfortably finished in the top half. One week into the season, both are looking considerably less impressive. It's almost like Romelu Lukaku is good and Roberto Martinez teams are fun but bad at defending. Or something.

Hill City Tigers vs. Norwich City

KC Stadium; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Hull City wins in terms of names that annoy most of England as well as the US. Very nice multi-faceted trolling. Norwich will probably win, though. Because they're actually good at footballing.

Newcastle United vs. West Ham United

St. James' Park; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Until Alan Pardew goes away, I am choosing to ignore Alan Pardew's existence. So, Newcastle has a ton of talent, right? Yep. Tens of millions spent raiding Ligue 1 last winter. No idea why they're still in the relegation conversation. I mean, it's almost like they have a terrible manager.

(Alan Pardew really sucks.)

Southampton vs. Sunderland

St. Mary's Stadium; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Southampton has some really good players. So does Sunderland; Jozy is great. This should be fun, right? Nope. This will be bad. Why? I dunno, good games typically seem to turn out bad in the Premier League. It's almost like quality of play matters.

Stoke City vs; Crystal Palace

Britannia Stadium; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Good holy heavens, please no. The managers involved here are Mark Hughes and Ian Holloway. There's not one single positive that can come of this. Look away, dear child. Just look away.

Aston Villa vs. Liverpool

Villas Park; Saturday, 17:30 GMT/12:30 PM ET

Guys. Aston Villa might be pretty good! Which means yet another team that's going to annoy the hell out of you with their homegrow-ness and their overachievement at the hands of a singular player they were lucky enough to lock up for some manner of time. Also, Liverpool is actually pretty good. This might be a really good game, which just sets my cynical teeth on edge. There's no narrative here! Do better!

Cardiff City vs. Manchester City

Cardiff City Stadium; Sunday, 16:00 GMT/11:00 AM ET

This game is going to be very, very unpleasant. Cardiff is the very definition of relegation fodder-at least for now, because teams can clearly surprise us-and City is really quite good. It's tempting to think that the Dragons or Bluebirds or whatever can keep up, but damn is City ever good. I mean they are really good. This one could hurt

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Swansea City

White Hart Lane; Sunday, 16:00 GMT/11:00 AM

Daniel Levy may very well derail the transfer of a player that resides in the excellent-but-just-below-elite tier despite being offered nearly $150 million, because an unaffiliated team has joined the bidding for the replacement of said insanely overpriced player. No, this doesn't make any sense. But we should probably all acknowledge that Levy is plaing an entirely different game, and just enjoy it for what it is.

Manchester United vs. Chelsea

Old Trafford; Monday, 20:00 GMT/3:00 PM ET

Well, this is certainly going to be a game. Because United and Chelsea will both fund a sufficient number of players, any they will contest 90 minutes of football. No danger of a forfeit in this one!

But in all seriousness, Chelsea's just too big and too strong and too tricky for United. If David Moyes can figure things out, it just might be that he really is the heir apparent to Alex Feguson. Which, to be honest, wouldn't be all that surprising.

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