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1. Pardew’s hello hoodoo to strike again

Despite Newcastle going a fifth successive game without a win on Sunday, few would have expected what was to come on Monday.

Chris Hughton was given his marching orders despite winning the Championship last season and sitting 12th in the Premier League after 16 games.

If the sacking was a surprise, the replacement was an even bigger one. Alan Pardew was handed the reins on Thursday and immediately made staying in the top flight his main aim for this season.

New managers bring with them a new start, new transfer targets and new ideas, but along with Pardew comes a worrying statistic. At each of his four previous clubs he has got off to a horrible start, winning only two of his first eight league games at Reading and Charlton Athletic, and winning just one of his first eight league games at West Ham and Southampton.

And if there's one team Pardew didn’t want to face in his first game in charge, it's Liverpool. The Reds have had something of a mini-revival recently and it looks likely that Newcastle’s latest manager will have a tough task ahead of him to break his trend of needing time to settle at a new club.

2. Rooney to get back among the goals

On Monday, when Manchester United face Arsenal, it will have been 258 days since Wayne Rooney’s last goal from open play for his club. Two strikes from the spot this season is all he has to show, having contributed 34 goals last season.

Throw in the infidelities and contract wrangles off the pitch, and it's been a regrettable few months for Rooney.

But now he has a chance to silence the doubters against a side he has fared well against in the past. The England international has an impressive record against Arsenal, scoring a memorable first ever league goal back in his Everton days with a long-range cracker that beat David Seaman.

He’s also grabbed six goals in a United shirt against Arsenal, including one in the famous 2-0 win which ended the Gunners’ 49-game unbeaten run in 2004, and he’s scored in each of the last two meetings between the sides.

But it’s not just Rooney who has a decent record against Arsene Wenger’s men - it’s United in general. Arsenal have won just once in their last nine games against them, which bodes well for Rooney's hopes of getting back to scoring ways at Old Trafford on Monday.

3. Guaranteed goals between Tottenham and Chelsea

Chelsea began the season in sparkling form, scoring goals left, right and center. They’ve dried up recently, though, with the Blues netting a pitiful three goals in their last six league games.

Tottenham, meanwhile, can’t stop scoring. Harry Redknapp has his side playing attractive, attacking football and they netted the most goals out of all 32 teams in the Champions League group stage, although they have failed to recreate that form on the domestic front on occasions.

Nevertheless, in a fixture which has seen a total of 42 goals scored in the last 14 games between the two sides, expect both attacks to be on top and center-backs to look shaky - and both should do a good job of the latter given their defensive records of late.

Spurs have kept just one clean sheet in their last 24 games, while Chelsea have missed a commanding figure at the back - although the return of John Terry in midweek will have been a major boost for Carlo Ancelotti - so expect goals when these two meet on Sunday.

4. Beckford to prove worth in Premier League

Jermaine Beckford didn’t have the best of starts to life in the top flight. He began four out of Everton’s first five games of the season, despite having no experience in the first tier of English football, and earned criticism from some quarters for his below-par displays.

David Moyes has even admitted in the past week that he mismanaged the 26-year-old - who had played his best football in League One up until his summer move to Goodison, at the beginning of the campaign - claiming he should have allowed time for the former Leeds United man to settle before throwing him in at the deep end.

It seems that settling-in period is now over. And with the Toffees lacking a prolific striker this season - apart from makeshift front man Tim Cahill, who will miss six matches in the New Year due to Asian Cup duty with Australia - a spot leading the line is up for grabs.

Beckford, who has been described by Phil Neville as a “born goalscorer”, grabbed a late equalizer last weekend against Chelsea to further stake his claim for a starting spot and showed the kind of poacher's instinct that earned him his two-division leap in the first place. Wigan have been warned.

5. Same old Sam, different Bolton

Bolton host Blackburn on Sunday in a game of two very differing philosophies. One team will be looking to get the ball down and play free-flowing, attacking football and the other will be getting as many players behind the ball as possible and look to cause problems from set-pieces and the odd counter-attack.

Coyle’s ideas about the game have seen a sharp turnaround at the Reebok Stadium. Gone are the days of smashing the ball up to Kevin Davies at every opportunity, now it’s being said “it’s just like watching Brazil” at Bolton, thanks to the Scot’s eagerness to stamp his own mark on the team following Allardyce and Gary Megson’s less attractive styles of play.

Big Sam’s philosophy has been questioned in the past, during his spell at Sunday’s opponents Bolton and his ultimately short-lived stint at Newcastle, with some people branding it anti-football. He doesn’t see it that way, though, and there is no chance he will change his style any time soon.

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