Lose two in a row? Who will stay rooted on zero points?

Southampton Football Club

Manchester United, QPR, Norwich City, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Wigan Athletic, Aston Villa and Southampton all suffered defeats. Who will make it two in a row?

Here is a look at the eight 'losers' from the first week of Premier League action, and their prospects going into the weekend's fixtures.

Manchester United

United were surprise losers in their opening game, the first time they had done so in eight years, when they were toppled at Goodison Park by an excellent Everton side. Everton were deserving winners and United's defensive issues were one of the root causes of them. Jonny Evans is tipped to return for the visit of Fulham, which will allow Michael Carrick to take his place in the centre of midfield. Robin van Persie making his home debut will be hungry for a goal, but United have to figure out how to get the best out of him. Fulham will not roll over easily, and only lost 1-0 at Old Trafford last season. They will be full of confidence after their 5-0 victory over Fulham, and could spring an upset by claiming a draw. Even so a win is a long shot, and the chances of United losing their first two are slim, but at the same time still possible. 

QPR

QPR had visions of easily dispatching Swansea in their opener, especially after beating them comfortably at the end of last season. They had a huge shock when Michael Laudrup's side cruised to a 5-0 win, and the confidence seemed to sap out of their players. They have been busy ever since trying to recruit new signings, and Jose Bosingwa could make his debut at right-back. They face Norwich, who are a tough team to beat at Carrow Road, but are coming off the back of their own heavy defeat. QPR will not want to lose two in a row but it is very possible, especially if the Canaries score first and get the crowd behind them.

Norwich City

Norwich turned in a limp showing away to Fulham, and Chris Hughton's side will be hoping to simply write it off as 'one of those days'. A home fixture against QPR gives them a chance to draw a line under it, but avoiding defeat is essential. They have a tough run of fixtures after this, beginning with Spurs away the following week, and they do not want to go into that on zero points at the bottom of the table. A draw here might suit both sides, but neither can afford to play for one.

Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs gave it their all against Newcastle last weekend, but did not have enough to claim a draw, conceding a penalty shortly after equalising. There were good signs, they were unfortunate to hit the woodwork in the first half and could have taken the lead. Jermain Defoe looked bright, and he will hope to keep his place against West Brom. Spurs beat the Baggies last season home and away, and Emmanuel Adebayor played a key part in that. He could feature after sealing a permanent move. Steve Clarke's side will be full of confidence after beating Liverpool, and will fancy their chances of coming away with a draw or springing an upset, but we expect Spurs to put some points on the board. 

Liverpool

Liverpool rested their key players for last night's Europa League trip top Hearts, ensuring Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard are fit for Sunday's visit of Manchester City. Brendan Rodgers side were criticised after their 3-0 defeat to West Brom, but they suffered their share of misfortune with the sending off and did create chances. City though are another proposition, and are a slick well-oiled machine at the moment full of confidence. Even without Sergio Aguero, they will be confident of taking three points. Rodgers first Premier League game at Anfield will be a testing one, and it could be an unhappy one, but his side are a work in progress, and if they put up a good performance there will be no shame in losing the champions even if it means two defeats out of two.

Wigan Athletic

Wigan did not give themselves much of a chance against Chelsea, going 1-0 down after two minutes and 2-0 down after 10. That is how the game finished, and Roberto Martinez' side will be looking to keep it tight especially early on against Southampton. The Saints will be a tough proposition at home, and looked bright last weekend. However last season the Latics traveled to newly promoted Swansea in their second game and came away with a goalless draw, and Wigan might just take that result here.

Southampton

Southampton showed real promise against Manchester City, and at one stage looked good for a sensational win. So it would be a real step backwards if they were to suffer a home defeat to Wigan. There was plenty for the Saints to be positive about after their opening game, and Rickie Lambert will be pushing for a start after his goal coming off the bench. Southampton should be good for a victory, meaning it will be Wigan instead who end up rooted on zero points after their opening two matches.

Aston Villa

Villa fans had been positive all summer, so to suffer a 1-0 loss to West Ham was particularly disappointing. They could have taken a 4-3 defeat, but their side was particularly goal shy last year and supporters want to see evidence of a new attacking approach. Against Everton they face a tricky task. The Toffees showed just how mean their own defence can be against Manchester United, and Villa will find it tough to break them down. The positives are Villa Park should be packed and supporters will be aiming to create a good atmosphere to get behind the players and new manager. Villa will not be transformed overnight and supporters are realistic about this, but they will also expect to have points on the board after this weekend, whether it be one or three.

Which of these eight will remain on zero points after this weekend?

image: © ingythewingy

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