Another week, another set of fixtures as the players return from international duty.
It’s the battle of the unbeaten teams on Saturday as Manchester City host Newcastle United. City has scored 20 goals in their last five matches in all competitions (av. five per game for the mathematicians out there) and as long as David Silva, Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli are starting they can easily add some more. However, they’ll face a tough challenge against the sternest defence in the league; conceding only eight goals all season. Tim Krul’s playing a blinder for United in goal, whilst Ryan Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini look solid at the back. It’s going to be a very close match but I think the home team will sneak the advantage because of their support.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the table its Wigan Athletic v Blackburn Rovers at the DW Stadium. Both managers have come under pressure and players are not performing this year, with fans becoming frustrated by the lack of points won. So, it’s all to play for: Wigan haven’t won since August whilst Rovers’ last win was at home to Arsenal mid-September, and Blackburn slightly edge the highest scorer but Wigan have conceded less goals. Hmm… overall, I fancy a draw.
Saturday’s other matches include: Norwich v Arsenal, Everton v Wolves, Stoke v QPR, Sunderland v Fulham, West Brom v Bolton and Swansea v Man.Utd.
On Sunday, it’s the annual highly anticipated match at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea entertain Liverpool. Chelsea’s clean sheet a fortnight ago would have certainly helped their defensive motivation and it will be interesting to see the back four Andre Villas-Boas produces; especially with the John Terry saga. This game will also be a chance for Fernando Torres to score against his former club and hush the critics. Liverpool haven’t had the best of run in the league so far, and their two home performances against Norwich City and Swansea – both ending in a draw – shows evidence of that. But Andy Carroll is starting to show some goal spirit and the always hungry Luis Suarez may just cause Chelsea some problems.
Monday’s match features Tottenham and Aston Villa.