The pick of this weekend’s action
So many games, so little time. Choosing what game to watch at the weekend can be a bit of a hard one, especially if your team isn’t involved. Liverpool have produced absolute crackers in their last two games but this weekend they travel to Hull (not so affectionately nick-named ‘dull’ by rival supporters) so personally I’m tempted to give that one a miss and concentrate on the other Premier League games.
On Saturday West Ham take on Chelsea at Upton Park in what should be an interesting encounter. Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola is now manager at the Hammers so that should add a bit of spice to the occasion. The ‘magic box’ is still very highly regarded at Stamford Bridge to the point where some sections of their supporters actually wanted Zola as their manager when Scolari left, despite his lack of experience. As far as London derbies go West Ham V Chelsea is usually a good game and I’m hoping this Saturday’s match doesn’t disappoint.
Manchester United take on Tottenham Hotspur in the late kick-off on Saturday and again this should be an interesting tie. United need to win to keep their title bid on track but Spurs are still in with a shout of European football so they’re not on their holidays just yet. This is also a repeat of the Carling Cup final which United won so I’m sure Tottenham would like to level the score and derail United’s title bid. With the game being at Old Trafford you would expect a United win but Spurs have some good players, who are also playing to impress with boss Harry Redknapp looking to rebuild in the summer, and Spurs usually do quite well against the bigger teams.
On Sunday Arsenal face Middlesbrough at the Emirates and it is really getting down to make or break time for Southgate’s Boro. On paper you would expect Arsenal to walk this one but Boro have picked up over the last two games and they’re playing to survive, which can throw up some shock results. Arsenal also have a Champions League tie next week so they might rest a few players and I expect this to be a lively encounter.
On Monday night Newcastle take on Portsmouth at St James’ Park in a real relegation battle. Pompey aren’t out of it yet and Newcastle are in deep so they need to win, it is as simple as that. Stand-in Newcastle boss Alan Shearer is yet to get the best out of his players but this could be the match where we finally see his impact. It seems a safe football prediction that this won't be a classic, these two haven’t produced particularly enthralling games this season, but there will be plenty of passion from both sides and it should be a close tie.
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