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Spotlight: The Bottom Three

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Crystal Palace proved last year that a disastrous start can be overcome. Can these three turn it around?

Marko Arnautovic - West Ham United - Premier League
Hard Times
Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” — J.K. Rowling

The first four game-weeks of the season have not gone to plan for several teams. Today we take a look at the current bottom three; let’s assess the prospects for the upcoming weeks that can help turn things around.

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West Ham United

Spending over £100 million and hiring a Premier League winning manager have not led to the results many Hammers fans expected. No wins, ten goals conceded, and only two scored is a horror story for Manuel Pellegrini.

The good news is that Liverpool and Arsenal have been faced already. The bad news for those at the London stadium is that the next two home games are Chelsea and Manchester United.

Marko Arnautovic has both goals for his team so far and is probably the only safe Hammer to own an this point. Felipe Anderson is the only other player who can feel good about his performances in the opening month, although it has only translated to one fantasy assist. With fixtures not improving until week ten I’m not sure if the manager will still be in his position, so stay away from anyone not named Arnautovic for now.

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Burnley

Last season was amazing for the Clarets, resulting in a place in Europa League qualifying. That looks to have been a blessing and a curse, Thursday night football in August meant two games per week for a squad that did not add much (arrgh Joe Hart arrgh) in the transfer window.

September may be a better month: The European adventure is over, keeper Tom Heaton is healthy again, and the upcoming Premier League schedule includes two newly promoted teams. The time is now for Sean Dyche, he may have more job security than Pellegrini, but chairmen and boards begin to panic if a bad start lingers.

James Tarkowski has scored two goals already, and if the team improves, results could soon include some clean sheets. At the other end of the pitch, Chris Wood will have to start scoring to help drive the team up the table.

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Newcastle

The Magpies avoided relegation last season despite the internal turmoil at St James’ Park. We are led to believe Rafa Benitez was not happy with the support he received from the club in the transfer market again. Many still expect the club to avoid relegation trouble because he is an exceptional manager.

The opening schedule did the Toon Army no favors with games against Tottenham, Chelsea, and Manchester City. Things don’t get better after the international break with Arsenal up next.

Jamaal Lascelles and Joselu are the only players currently with more than 5% ownership, Kenedy and Ayoze Perez are others who may come to the fore in September.

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Do you believe these teams are too good to be in the bottom three? Or are they where they belong? What should these teams do differently? Will you include players from these teams in your fantasy squads? Do you routinely look for players who are going to face any of these sides? Please let us know in the comments below!

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