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5 Premier League clubs who needed the international break

Another international break disrupting the domestic season so early in the campaign is rarely welcomed by football fans. But a handful of clubs will be glad of two weeks without a game to reset, rebuild and recharge. Here are five Premier League teams for whom the international break has arrived at a useful time.

 

5 Premier League clubs who needed the international break

 

Manchester United

Fourth in the Premier League and only two points behind the leaders – on the face of it United are not doing badly but they go into the international break on a run of two wins and three losses in six games.

Questions are again being asked of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with a Champions League defeat away to Young Boys placing their qualification hopes at risk. Losing at home to West Ham in the EFL Cup took away one of Solskjaer’s best opportunities to secure that first trophy for the club.

The return of Cristiano Ronaldo – who has already scored five goals in his second spell at Old Trafford – is papering over the cracks for the Red Devils. Big summer signing Jadon Sancho is struggling to make an impact and the lack of quality in defensive midfield remains a concern.

Solskjaer was tactically outclassed again at the weekend with Rafael Benitez’s Everton unfortunate not to beat United. Solskjaer has been backed heavily in the transfer market and he needs to deliver an upturn in both results and performances once the league action resumes.

With so many top-class managers out of work right now, time is not on Solskjaer’s side at all.

 

Tottenham

All is not well at Tottenham despite a 2-1 home win over Aston Villa at the weekend ending a run of three consecutive heavy league losses, including a humiliation away to Arsenal in the North London Derby, for Nuno Espirito Santo’s men.

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Stories are already starting to appear about Spurs players not enjoying Nuno’s style of leadership and it is becoming clear why he was far from their first choice to take charge. Balancing Thursday night commitments in Europe with domestic duties is never easy and, with Nuno appointed shortly before pre-season, he has not had a lot of time to work with his team.

While many Spurs players will be away on international duty, the break gives Nuno some breathing space to come up with a new plan. If he is to prove he is the right man for the club and can lift Spurs up the Premier League, this international break will be vital.

 

Burnley

One of four Premier League teams still yet to win this season, Burnley will hope to get players back to full fitness during the break. Club captain Ben Mee missed the 0-0 draw at home to rock bottom Norwich City at the weekend, with star summer signing Maxwel Cornet also absent.

Cornet scored away to Leicester on his first league start for the club but then limped off with a hamstring injury. He provides the pace and spark Burnley’s stale attack needs and Sean Dyche could also have another fresh face, Wales full-back Connor Roberts, available soon as well.

Dyche’s Burnley usually find enough to avoid Premier League relegation but, with only three points on the board and key striker Chris Wood out of form going into the international break, they need to improve rapidly.

 

Leicester City

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After two straight seasons of narrowly missing out on Champions League football, Leicester suddenly seem a long way from breaking into the top four. Of their last seven games in all competitions, Leicester have only won one of them: a 2-0 success away to Millwall in the EFL Cup.

Defensive injuries have hit hard for the Foxes and the loss of talented young centre-back Wesley Fofana to a broken leg in a pre-season friendly was particularly costly. Jamie Vardy remains a reliable source of goals but the supporting cast for him must step up.

 

Southampton

Selling star striker Danny Ings to Villa and losing key central defender Jannik Vestergaard to Leicester meant this was always likely to be a tough year for the Saints. But even their most pessimistic fans would probably have expected them to have won a game in the league by now.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side have scored just one goal in their last four league games, so it is clear to see where their main issues are. Stuart Armstrong looked to be a smart successor for Ings but the former Blackburn Rovers striker is taking plenty of time to adapt to the higher league.

It is not that long ago Hasenhuttl was being linked with a string of bigger jobs. He has a lot of work to do over the international break if he is to turn things around for the winless Saints and avoid relegation from the Premier League.

 


 

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