With a new year comes new challenges, new faces and more fixtures, so lets get cracking.
Saturday sees Queens Park Rangers host fellow league strugglers Wigan Athletic. New QPR manager Mark Hughes will be hoping to see his side build on their midweek FA Cup win and also their impressive display against Newcastle United last weekend; despite the loss. Shaun Wright-Phillips and Jay Bothroyd looked more involved at the Sports Direct Arena whilst a couple of new faces could build the already increasing motivation. Meanwhile, Wigan showed a brave performance at home to Manchester City, but they also lost by the one goal. They’ve held the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool – all be it at home – so what can they do conjure up against Rangers?
Saturday’s other matches include: Chelsea v Norwich, Everton v Blackburn, Fulham v Newcastle, Stoke v West Brom, Sunderland v Swansea, Wolves v Aston Villa and Bolton against Liverpool.
Sunday’s early kick-off features Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur. Both these teams are arguably exceeding their expectations in the league, with City sitting first and Spurs in a very impressive third. After losing their two previous games in all competitions, City bounced back with a win at the DW Stadium against Wigan Athletic on Monday and hope Edin Dzeko can start to get a taste for goals again. However, Vincent Kompany is a huge loss for them at the back, but Mario Balotelli is back and can upset any team – including his own sometimes. Spurs are on a terrific run and they just can’t stop winning at the moment. Although, will last weekend’s draw hamper their performance against the leaders?
The last match of the weekend is an old school classic including Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium. Man.Utd thrashed Arsenal 8-2 earlier in the season, so the Gunners, who have lost their last two league games, will be hoping Thierry Henry can haunt United again. On the other hand, United have their own legend back in Paul Scholes, and his goal last weekend was followed by a handful more as the Red Devils thrashed Bolton Wanderers. Three points are vitally important for both teams; Arsenal to improve their chance at Champions League football next year or Man.Utd to increase their chances of leapfrogging Man.City in the league. On this occasion, I’m going for a home win.