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5 things we can’t wait to see this weekend in the Premier League

| 29.08.2014

Just because the Premier League is a few games in doesn’t mean our anticipation for the weekend’s action is on the wane by any means.

With incomings, outgoings, new managers and midweek embarrassments to avenge, there are plenty of talking points to consider ahead of the next round of top flight games.

Is Di Maria the answer at Manchester United?

With just one point from their opening two matches, things were going pretty poorly for Louis van Gaal’s side. The last thing they needed was to then go and be taken apart by League 1 opposition in the Capital One Cup.

But with a few tinkerings here and there, oh and the small sum of £59.7m spent on Angel Di Maria, LvG is ready to go again.

The Argentine is set to make his debut at Burnley in Saturday’s early kick-off, in what should, on paper, be the perfect opportunity for United to open their account for the season and are 8/13 for success. But as the old cliché goes, this game isn’t played on paper.

Can Neil Warnock let bygones be bygones at Palace?

A return to Selhurst Park didn’t look on the cards until the last minute for Neil Warnock, but in taking the hot-seat for a second time, the pressure is on to keep the south London side up, especially if he is to avoid his derogatory nickname, ‘Colin’, to reappear (we’ll let you look it up).

It won’t just be the fans Warnock needs to win over though. With his falling out with Jason Puncheon ignited by a comment made about the midfielder’s penalty taking skills, the pair will need to bury the hatchet if they are to get off to a good start.

Still, we think Warnock may have a point…

Does Esteban Cambiasso retain his class?

It’s probably fair to assume that Leicester have never had a Champions League and five times Serie A winner on their books before.

The Argentine midfielder was still a mainstay in the Inter Milan line-up last season, so to bring him to the King Power Stadium was somewhat of a coup for Nigel Pearson.

The hard-tackling 34-year-old could be that bit of top level experience the Foxes need if they are to remain in the Premier League.

Now it’s just up to his Leicester team-mates to provide him with similar ammunition to this…

Is Sanchez the man to lead the Arsenal line this season?

When questioned as to who he would be signing to replace Olivier Giroud, after the striker broke his leg last week, Arsene Wegner seemed pretty adamant that no new faces were necessary.

He instead insisted that Alexis Sanchez was capable of being the main man up top at the Emirates, but time will tell as to whether he is able to work through the middle as well as he does from out wide.

With 39 goals in 88 appearances during his time at Barcelona, the stats hint that he might be alright playing as an out-and-out striker in north London.

Will Mario Balotelli replace Luis Suarez as the controversial yet quality star at Anfield?

It’s hard to deny that there have been few better bits of business done over the summer than the signing of Mario Balotelli by Brendan Rodgers, relatively speaking.

For a fee just a few million more than certain Championship sides have been splashing out in the close season, the former AC Milan man could well fill the void by Luis Suarez.

And not just in terms of top play on the pitch. Whether he’s setting off fireworks in his house, or driving round Manchester handing out money to homeless people, Mario is never far from the headlines.

He’s 6/1 to grab the headlines for his antics on the field by netting the first goal in Liverpool’s visit to White Hart Lane on Sunday.

All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.