This super Sunday is one so superstar it deserves a duper in there. There is a London derby in the shape of Tottenham v QPR, Chris Hughton returns to Newcastle with his Canaries, Manchester United travel to Liverpool and Arsenal take on the champions at the Ethihad Stadium.
We will start off by talking about the London derby between Tottenham and QPR. Tottenham will host Mark Hughes’s QPR and after a disappointing result against Lazio in the Europa League, where they scored at least two goals but were given none, will be looking to avenge that wrong, with QPR being the sacrificial goat so to speak. I can only imagine that AVB will continue with Friedel in goal and Defoe upfront. Personally I have been impressed with Andres Townsend when he has come on, so I would expect him to play some part in the game, and if I am fully honest, I would expect him to be getting more start if he keeps showing up Lennon, which for me he has done the last few times.
Hughes will be hoping that his QPR team can register their first win of the season, as slow far they have only managed to draws, one against Chelsea and the
other against Norwich. Scores goals seems to be a problem for QPR so far this season only managing two goals. They have the fire power and enough creative players, andwhen they begin to gel I can see them being a good side, but at the moment they look like a bunch of nobody’s playing together, while at least AVB has started getting his Spurs team to play a little more cohesively. I can see Bobby Z grabbing a goal but ultimately I see Tottenham winning this one with Defoe adding to his tally, so I guess I’ll go with 3-1 Spurs.
So let’s move on to Newcastle v Norwich. Newcastle have yet to reachthe form they had last season, and with their midweek Martimo adventure ending in a drab 0-0 they will be looking to this game home to ignite the fires and set them on their way this season. It would be a shame that it would be against a much liked former manager’s team, but in the world of football sentiment is something for before and after, bug during the ninety plus minutes all that will matter is the performance on the pitch and those loving Newcastle fans will be vying for their club to score as many as possible.
Although Pardew rested key players in the Europa League, the travelling of the players along wigh the mental tiredness of both the players and management paired with the teime to prepare for Norwich will have an effect on the whole team, so if Norwich exploit that then they may well steal a victory away from the Toon Army. Hughton’s Canary side need a win sooner much rather than later, and like the Newcastle fans, as much as sentimental feelings may come out Hughton will be calling for penalties, cards and goals just like it was any other game. Norwich, like Newcastle, have not carried on last seasons good form over to this season, but players have to look themselves just as much as the manager does. On his day Grant Holt can cause any defence in the league trouble. Newcastle know this and will looked suppress the influence he will make as well as the delivery he gets. Newcastle can be dangerous and I can see them getting goal scoring opportunities, but I also can see them conceding, so for that reason I am going to say it will be a draw with it being 1-1 or even maybe 2-2.
Now it is time for the heavweights.
We start with the early kick-off of the day, Liverpool v Manchester United. There is always a big build up to this game, but this years fixture has history behind it. With the anniversary of the Hillsborough tradegy along with the truth finally coming out added to the the rivalry and history of sick chants by some United fans with the Evra/Suarez situation hopefully the day can go ahead with a high level of dignity and respect. There is no doubting in my mind that the clubs have expressed their thoughts to the players, and I am meaning Evra and Suarez that this occasion is bigger than either them and that they dont need to be stupid and mar this occasion with their own personal ill feelings towards each other.
In the past when games have been played with a lot over ceremony behind them the game itself hex been a little flat, and this game could well go that way, bug I believe that Liverpool sill go out there with the likes of Carraghr and Gerrard and give United a game to United. If I were a Liverpool fan I would want to see every player that was representing Liverpool football club give 100% and if they didn’t I would hope that they are looked at. If they cant get motivated to play in not just a big game in football terms but one that is about pride and honour then they shouldn’t represent the club for much h longer, but that is me. So let’s talk footballonthe football pitch. Liverpool didn’t have the best night in Europe, having to come back, after leading the game, to win it. I felt that again Liverpool’s arrogance when it comes to European competition came to bite them on the arse. I don’t know if it is because of their history in Europe, but when they play the lesser” sides they seem to think they can wknd just by showing up. I think this a deep rooted issue, but one that won’t last long if they don’t start going well in Europe, or qualify for the completions for that matter.
Liverpool can not afford to play like they did againstYoung Boy because if they do, United will tear them apart, unless of course United win a penalty, in that came Liverpool can breathe easy. I have been impressed with some of the youngr players that Rodgers has put faith in. Jonjo Shelvey has spent a lot time on loan, but now is getting playing time at Anfield and has shown the fans what he is about. For mere strikes a ball from distance like Gerrard used to, and he showed that against Young Boys. Sterling is another player I like. His fearless attitude to run at players was one that I am sure Rodgers liked most. To beat any side you need to score goals, but against United Liverpool may suffer. Borrini is a good player, but I wouldn’t say an out-and-out goal scorer, and the same goes fro Suarez. When Rodgers has them gelled they will be a dangerous team. I don’t think his side will ever have a 30 goal a season man, but sill have 3 players that will grab 10 to 15 each at least.
United might not be able to score a penalty at the moment but Thayer are still finding the net. With the new signings settling in well, United look to be stronger than last season, and they will be boosted by Fletcher’s midweek return. United have more fire power than rivals Liverpool and more creativity and can match them for pace. Defensively I feel both teams are able to leak some goals. Since Vidic’s return everybody expected United to suddenly become their old selves, but the non shaved Vidic is a different beast, intact he isn’t much of a beast and that is the problem.
With Kagawa, Valencia, Nano, Scholes and RvP it is clear why they would be favorites, but I think with the occasion Liverpool will rally round and push united more than they normally would. I know I have said earlier in this that there is no room for sentiment, this is slightly different. This is more than sentiment and if the Liverpool players can rise to it for their fans then I can see Liverpool getting the win, but United being United you can’t right them of so a draw or win could be on the cards. I want to say Liverpool win, but I think it is more likely going to be a draw, 2-2 with a late goal from Liverpool.
Now onto the late kick-off. Manchester City host a new an improved Arsenal and if both teams go all out for the win we could be in for a great game. Both teams where involved in the Champions League with mixed results. Arsenal beat Montpellier coming back from a goal down, where as Manchester City lost to Real Madrid 3-2 after leading twice. This could either make City more motivated to win or motivated them after coming so close to beating Madrid.
City could have Aguero back today and Balotelli may also feature but Arsenal will have to do their best to stop the likes of Silva and Yaya Toure, who Wenger knows all about. This season thought they have seemed a little flat and that could be becuase Mancini has tried to implement a new 3-4-3 formation and they players are still trying to adjust.
If he decideds to plays with that formation against Arsenal then I can see Arsenal winning today. On the attack City would be very dangerous, but when having to defend Arsenal could really do some damage. Arsenal look more defensively astute and that could go in their favour. Since Steve Bould has come into the fold Arsenal have been much much stringers defensively. Back up ‘keeper Vito Mannone has cone a great job, and when Szczesny comes back he will given the Wenger a little bit of a selection problem.
Losing RvP and Song most football fans felt that Arsenal were going to be a shell of a team that they were last season. But that has been the thought process for the last few years and Wenger has shown people wrong. With the addition of Santi Cazorla, Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud Arsenal seem to be a much more balanced team. Giroud may not be firing in goals but he is helping set them up. Cazorla has been the real highlight for Arsenal this season and when Wilshere comes back then Arsenals midfield will be a very strong one. They have also been boosted by the return of Diaby.
There are going to be a lot of key battles across the pitch. City have the better ‘keeper but at the moment I would say Arsenal have a better defence. The midfield battle is going to be an interesting one. Will Wenger try and nullify Yaya by using Diaby or will he just go all out and attack?
I can see Arsenal getting something out of this game and I am going to be daring and say they will win, and I think it could be a thrilling encounter….3-2 Arsenal.