Three people in the spotlight this weekend

Sports Mole takes a look at three people who need to enjoy success in the Premier League this weekend.

The pressure of being an important figure in the Premier League is never-ending, and this weekend will be no different as managers and players return to action.

Below, Sports Mole takes a look at three people who are searching for a successful weekend for very different reasons.

1. Alan Pardew

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew gives instructions during his side's friendly with Real Sociedad on August 10, 2014© Getty Images

If reports this week are accurate, Pardew has just two games to save his job at Newcastle United. To call his stay in the North-East a roller-coaster ride would be an understatement. We've seen him go from the brink of qualifying for the Champions League to watching as his own supporters booing him from the stands. In truth, Pardew has always seemed to be just one bad result away from being unemployed.

All of that means one thing for the Magpies boss - Newcastle simply have to beat Southampton at St Mary's Stadium on Saturday afternoon. They've started the season with two points from three matches, a total which has seen Newcastle fans voice their concerns once again. Is the squad good enough to achieve a top-half finish? Is that enough for the fans, who are desperate to see the club challenge with the bigger teams? Pardew needs a result to buy some time, and he needs it on Saturday.

2. Danny Welbeck

Compared to Pardew, Welbeck is enjoying the time of his life right now. A £16m deadline-day move to Arsenal from Manchester United appeared to send his stock rising as onlookers suggested that the Gunners would see the best of the forward as a central striker. It's probably fair to say that we've seen overreactions from a small number of supporters on both sides, but there's no doubt that Welbeck has the potential to be a success, a certain Sir Alex Ferguson knew that much.

 England captain Wayne Rooney tries to tackles Danny Welbeck during a England training session before the international friendly match against Norway at London Colney on September 1, 2014© Getty Images

Why will the pressure be on Welbeck this weekend then? Well, the 23-year-old is now in a position he has never experienced before. Having left a squad including Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Falcao, Welbeck is now looking to become the main man for a team aiming to win the Premier League title. His confidence was clear on Monday night as he scored twice in England's victory over Switzerland, but can he do the same against Manchester City on Saturday afternoon? With Olivier Giroud set for an extended spell on the treatment table, Welbeck has to hit the ground running.

3. Louis van Gaal

Manchester United's Dutch manager Louis van Gaal (C) poses for photographs along with the club's latest signings Colombian striker Radamel Falcao (L) and Dutch midfielder Daley Blind on September 11, 2014© Getty Images

The Dutchman is the manager of Manchester United, so of course he will always be in the spotlight. However, this weekend could potentially be a turning point for Van Gaal and his squad. Even their harshest critics would not expect them to struggle all season, but their start to the new campaign is a huge concern for everyone at Old Trafford. Still looking for his first victory, Van Gaal will meet Harry Redknapp and Queens Park Rangers on Sunday.

It won't be a surprise if United pick up all three points against QPR, but how they approach the game could be very interesting. The arrivals of Marcos Rojo, Angel di Maria, Daley Blind and Falcao have seen questions asked about which system Van Gaal would use, and whether he would abandon the 3-5-2 formation. All four players are tipped to be in the running to start the game, but who will be missing out? The likes of Juan Mata and Adnan Januzaj could slip down the pecking order as a result of the summer spending, while there is even greater pressure on Rooney and Van Persie. Victory is all that matters for Van Gaal, but can he fit in all of his stars to make it happen?

Monaco's Colombian forward Radamel Falcao celebrates after scoring a goal from the penalty spot during the French L1 football match between AS Monaco and FC Lorient at the Louis II Stadium in Monaco on September 15, 2013
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City54101621413
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd54101621413
3Chelsea531185310
4Newcastle UnitedNewcastle53026429
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs52217348
6Huddersfield TownHuddersfield52215328
7Burnley52216518
8Liverpool52219908
9Southampton52214408
10West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom52214408
11Watford522179-28
12Arsenal521278-17
13Stoke CityStoke512256-15
14Swansea CitySwansea512225-35
15Leicester CityLeicester511379-24
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton511347-34
17West Ham UnitedWest Ham5113410-64
18Everton5113210-84
19Bournemouth510439-63
20Crystal Palace500508-80
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