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10 key questions for the Premier League weekend

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The Premier League returns after the international break and there are a lot of very interesting questions to be answered.

 1. Will Danny Welbeck prove himself to be the best thing since sliced bread?

Manchester City v Arsenal

There's been plenty of column inches and web space dedicated to Arsenal's transfer deadline day signing from Manchester United and even before the striker has kicked a ball for Arsene Wenger's side he's been touted as the 'summer signing of the season'. Scoring twice on England duty when handed the central striker's role against Switzerland has already raised expectation levels at the Emirates with fans desperate for a proven goalscorer and even more so now in the absence of Olivier Giroud.

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Danny Welbeck

Danny Welbeck

AFP/Getty Images

Danny Welbeck

 

2. Can ‘New Wizard’ Garry Monk outwit the ‘Special One’?

Chelsea v Swansea

The Swansea manager is in the running for manager of the month for August after guiding the Swans to three wins out of three and their stunning start has not gone unnoticed outside of England and Wales with Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport going as far as to name Monk as one of the 'New Wizards' of Europe. Monk puts his new-found wizardry skills to the test at Stamford Bridge when he goes up against a master tactician in Jose Mourinho in the first of the season's top-of-the table clash.

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Swansea City's Ki Sung-yueng celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with teammate Jonjo Shelvey (right) and manager Gary Monk (left) during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford

Swansea City's Ki Sung-yueng celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with teammate Jonjo Shelvey (right) and manager Gary Monk (left) during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford

PA

Swansea City's Ki Sung-yueng celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with teammate Jonjo Shelvey (right) and manager Gary Monk (left) during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford

 

3. Will Andrew Johnson dispel the myth players should never go back?

Crystal Palace v Burnley

The former England international won't as much be a new face in the Premier League but one that puts an end to the 'whatever happened to...' question. The 33-year-old (yes, I thought he was older too), makes his Selhurt Park return after an eight-year absence to assist new manager Neil Warnock on the sidelines and bolster his striking options. Johnson scored 85 goals in 160 appearances during his first spell with the club but couldn't prevent them from the drop and will be desperate not to suffer the same fate again.

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Striker Andrew Johnson is back at Crystal Palace

Striker Andrew Johnson is back at Crystal Palace

Striker Andrew Johnson is back at Crystal Palace

 

4. Will Alan Pardew be collecting his P45 by the end of the weekend?

Southampton v Newcastle

A recent poll saw 85 per cent of Newcastle fans calling for Pardew to be kicked out. Anonymous supporters have established a website, sackpardew.com and unsurprisingly the former West Ham manager heads the Premier League sack race. It seems the only fan in Pardew's corner remains Mike Ashley...but for how much longer?

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Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew wants his side to be more clinical in front of goal

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew wants his side to be more clinical in front of goal

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew wants his side to be more clinical in front of goal

 

5. Will Leonardo Ulloa prove the steal of the season?

Stoke v Leicester

Leicester's punt on raiding the Championship for a leading man could turn out to be a masterstroke by Nigel Pearson. The Argentine has already chipped in with two goals since his £8m move from Derby - against Everton and Arsenal no less - and his work-rate, hunger and desire has made him an instant hero among the King Power faithful.

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Leonardo Ulloa was on target against Arsenal

Leonardo Ulloa was on target against Arsenal

Leonardo Ulloa was on target against Arsenal

 

6. Will Erik Lamela break his Premier League duck?

Sunderland v Tottenham

Spurs' attacking midfielder scored his first goal for Argentina in a friendly against World Cup winners Germany during the international break and hopes are high the 22-year-old could now break his duck for Mauricio Pochettino's men at the Stadium of Light. Lamela has put an injury-hit campaign behind him to set up two goals in three starts this season but that elusive first league goal still awaits him.

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Erik Lamela had a disappointing first season at Tottenham

Erik Lamela had a disappointing first season at Tottenham

Erik Lamela had a disappointing first season at Tottenham

 

7. Will Everton’s leaky defence hold out against the Baggies?

West Brom v Everton

Ten goals shipped in the opening three rounds is the last thing you'd expect from Everton's usually water-tight defence. Here is a team who had the third-best back line last season and comprise three of the four defenders used by Roy Hodgson for England against Switzerland in Stones, Baines and Jagielka (who was a second-half sub). Luckily for Roberto Martinez the goals have also been flying in at the other end which is great for the neutrals and Match of the Day producers.

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Roberto Martinez's Everton will play seven matches in 23 days

Roberto Martinez's Everton will play seven matches in 23 days

Roberto Martinez's Everton will play seven matches in 23 days

 

8. What chance does Adam Lallana get of stealing limelight from Mario Balotelli?

Liverpool v Aston Villa

The cameras will all be focused on one player as Liverpool and Aston Villa head out of the tunnel at Anfield and it's unlikely to be £23m recruit Adam Lallana who is set to making his eagerly-awaited debut. While Brendan Rodgers can't wait to see his No 1 summer signing get his first piece of Premier League action, super Mario will be the main centre of attention as he makes his bow infront of the Kop as we wait to see what that cheeky chappy will get up to next.

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Adam Lallana and Mario Balotelli are in line to make their Anfield bows against Aston Villa Photo: REUTERS

Adam Lallana and Mario Balotelli are in line to make their Anfield bows against Aston Villa Photo: REUTERS

Adam Lallana and Mario Balotelli are in line to make their Anfield bows against Aston Villa Photo: REUTERS

 

9. What role for Wayne Rooney now?

Manchester United v QPR

Paul Scholes can't see how Rooney, Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie can play in the same team - squeeze big-money signing Angel di Maria into the equation and Louis van Gaal has an intriguing decision to make. The Dutchman could opt for a 4-3-3 with Di Maria and Rooney inter-changing, however, on current form Van Persie might drop to the bench. Much could depend on Falcao's fitness, however. The Colombian might find himself used as a sub until he gets up to speed.

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Wayne Rooney shows his frustration during Manchester United's opening day defeat to Swansea City at Old Trafford. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Wayne Rooney shows his frustration during Manchester United's opening day defeat to Swansea City at Old Trafford. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

PA

Wayne Rooney shows his frustration during Manchester United's opening day defeat to Swansea City at Old Trafford. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

 

10. Will Hull become the league's biggest entertainers?

Hull v West Ham

Steve Bruce has one thing in common with Louis van Gaal, he equally has an array of exciting attackers and is ready to unleash his new trio against West Ham. Gastón Ramírez and Hatem Ben Arfa, are two extremely talented but also inconsistent attacking midfielders and could both play off fellow deadline day signing and Uruguayan striker Abel Hernández. Time will tell whether all three will combine but it's exciting times at the KC Stadium, the kind of excitement West Ham owners David Gold and David Sullivan will no doubt for envious of.

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Steve Bruce has quickly turned his attention to league matters

Steve Bruce has quickly turned his attention to league matters

Steve Bruce has quickly turned his attention to league matters

 

Online Editors