Kurt Zouma continued his impressive start to the season, starting in Stoke’s back three and helping hold high-flying Manchester United to a 2-2 draw.
Kurt Zouma's game by numbers vs. Man Utd:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 9, 2017
100% aerial duels won
0 fouls committed
Big performance. pic.twitter.com/PVCzJ8cwfX
Kurt Zouma’s impressively casual slide tackle the highlight of this game so far pic.twitter.com/uU5r9vXkV2— B/R Football (@brfootball) September 9, 2017
Upcoming fixtures: Newcastle (A, September 16)
Tammy Abraham lasted the whole 90 minutes as Swansea fell to a disappointing 1-0 loss to Newcastle United. Abraham toiled up front on his own throughout and kept up his high work-rate but was largely starved of service from his teammates. A good passage of play that began with Abraham resulted in Swansea’s best chance of the game; the youngster rounded goalkeeper Rob Elliot but failed to score, as an onrushing Jamaal Lascelles cleared the ball off the line.
Wilfried Bony, who signed for the Swans on deadline day to replace Fernando Llorente, was brought on as a substitute in the second-half, but not for Abraham. Bony replaced Renato Sanches and enabled Swansea to switch to a two-striker system, indicating that Abraham will see plenty of minutes on the pitch if he works hard enough for them; Bony being at the club is not necessarily a roadblock for the 19-year-old.
Abraham was also named Swansea’s Player of the Month for August!
Kasey Palmer suffered his second hamstring injury this year while with the England Under-21 side and was initially deemed to be out of action for “some months” by his manager, David Wagner. However, Kasey’s most recent tweet has brought some excellent news!
Great news from today's scan, not as bad as first thought God Is Good Looking forward to be being back training in the next few weeks!— #KP45 (@kaseypalmer45) September 15, 2017
Hopefully he’ll be back much sooner than expected.
Izzy Brown missed Brighton’s first win of the season against West Bromwich Albion and their subsequent loss to Bournemouth, but is back in full training and should be back in the thick of things by next week.
Upcoming fixtures: Bournemouth (A, September 19), Newcastle (H, September 24)
Ruben Loftus-Cheek was mysteriously not involved for Crystal Palace against Burnley despite being declared as fit by (since-sacked) Frank de Boer in his pre-match presser, although he most likely suffered some sort of minor set-back and is fit to play today, against Southampton. Loftus-Cheek’s new manager is none other than former England head coaching embarrassment Roy Hodgson.
Upcoming fixtures: Southampton (H, September 16)
Ola Aina and Michael Hector started Hull City’s losses against Derby County (5-0) and Fulham (2-1) respectively. After their dismal collapse against Derby, Leonid Slutsky chose to adopt a more conservative formation with three at the back against Fulham, meaning Fikayo Tomori made his debut for the Tigers on the right side of central defence. After their most recent wave of new signings and departures, Hull’s early-season momentum has been stopped dead, but hopefully their newly-assembled squad will come good sooner rather than later.
Upcoming fixtures: Sunderland (H, September 16)
Lewis Baker played 68 minutes of Middlesbrough’s 0-3 win against Bolton and the whole 90 as a 10-man Boro side held Aston Villa to a goalless draw at Villa Park. So far, Baker has been most commonly deployed as a central attacking midfielder, playing behind the striker and has yet to fully find his rhythm but is gradually improving by the game.
Upcoming fixtures: QPR (H, September 16), Aston Villa (A, September 19)
Tomas Kalas played the entirety of Fulham’s 1-1 draw against high-flying Cardiff City, and their 2-1 win against Hull.
Upcoming fixtures: Burton (A, September 16)
Jeremie Boga played 90 minutes for Birmingham City in their two losses last week, against Norwich City (1-0) and Leeds United (2-0). Boga was visibly adapting to a disjointed Birmingham side in his first appearance but was one of their best players against Leeds, always looking to make things happen and completing 9 (out of 14 attempted) dribbles. Expect to see similar numbers from Boga all season long; of course, we’ve seen human take-on machine, Adama Traore register similar figures for Middlesbrough but the lack of end product renders it all useless. Hopefully Boga will add consistent end product to his play over the course of the season.
Upcoming fixtures: Preston North End (H, September 16)
Ike Ugbo played 90 minutes in Barnsley’s 1-1 draw against Preston North End, and was an unused substitute in their 3-2 loss to Derby County.
Upcoming fixtures: Aston Villa (H, September 16), Tottenham (A, September 20)
Jamal Blackman started for Sheffield United in their 1-2 win against Sunderland and faced only one shot on target. He then kept his third clean sheet of the season in a 0-1 win against Bolton Wanderers, saving both of their attempts on goal.
Upcoming fixtures: Norwich City (H, September 16)
Jordan Houghton was a 60th minute substitute for Doncaster Rovers in their 1-0 loss against Northampton Town, and then made his first League One start for the club, playing 72 minutes in a 2-1 loss to Rochdale.
In what might make for interesting viewing, Houghton could be lining up against Arsenal in the EFL Cup, as Rovers travel to the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday!
Jay Dasilva played the whole of Charlton Athletic’s 2-1 win against Southend United, and their 0-3 loss to Wigan Athletic.
Bradley Collins endured a couple of tough outings between the posts for Forest Green Rovers, as they lost 1-3 to Exeter City and Lincoln. Some unsavoury allegations were thrown at Collins after the Lincoln game, with Lincoln’s Sean Raggett claiming that Collins spat at him during the game. Thankfully, the young goalkeeper was eventually cleared by the FA.
Nathan Baxter started for Woking in their 3-1 loss to Maidstone, and 2-1 win over his former loan club, Solihull Moors, as did Jared Thompson for Chippenham Town in losses against Dartford (3-0) and Truro City (1-0).
Fankaty Dabo and Matt Miazga started for Vitesse, as they easily beat Excelsior 0-3. Charlie Colkett and Mason Mount were unused substitutes, but both came on in the last minutes of Vitesse’s 2-3 loss to Lazio in the Europa League, with Miazga and Dabo starting yet again. Both turned in solid shifts for the Arnhem club, with Dabo putting in his best performance in a Vitesse shirt yet. Vitesse were very impressive against the Serie A side and could’ve easily taken 3 points from the game, which is an encouraging sign for their European fixtures to come against OGC Nice and Zulte Waregem.
Upcoming fixtures: VVV Venlo (H, September 17), AVV Swift (A, September 20)
Marco van Ginkel started as PSV lost 2-0 to SC Heerenveen.
Upcoming fixtures: Feyenoord (H, September 17)
Todd Kane played the whole 90 minutes of Groningen’s 1-1 draw against VVV-Venlo, and Cristian Cuevas was not involved for FC Twente.
Mario Pasalic was a 75th minute substitute for Spartak Moscow against Rubin Kazan last weekend, but played the whole of their disappointing 1-1 draw against Slovenian opponents, NK Maribor, in the Champions League.
Josimar Quintero still hasn’t made his debut for FC Rostov, he was not involved for them against Arsenal Tula.
Danilo Pantic played 77 minutes for Partizan Beograd in their 3-0 win against Mladost Lucani, and scored his second goal of the season with a finish from close range.
He was also a late substitute in their 1-1 draw against Young Boys in the Europa League.
Victorien Angban played 90 minutes in a midfield pivot for Waasland-Beveren as they beat KAS Eupen 5-1.
Nathan was not involved for SC Amiens, who prevailed 1-0 over Strasbourg thanks to a goal from a former Blue, Gael Kakuta.
Kenneth Omeruo warmed the bench during Kasimpasa’s 3-2 win against Yeni Malatyaspor.
Legendary loan warrior Joao Rodriguez has recently turned up in the Mexican second(!) division, joining Tampico Madero on loan until the end of the season. He was not involved for them last weekend.