With both Arsenal and Man City having Derbies away from home, this could be big weekend in the title race ….
Aston Villa 2-2 Leeds
Under Unai Emery, Villa have beaten Man United and Spurs, yet failed to win at Villa Park against Wolves and Stevenage.
It leaves the impression that where Villa are currently at is a team that cope better as underdogs and are not comfortable being the favourites.
Fans will rock up Friday Night expecting their team to take the initiative against Leeds.
The visitors have drawn their last three fixtures although need to play better than they did at Cardiff.
Man United 1-3 Man City
If the Champions win the Manchester Derby, they send us to the Lane with our lead at the top down to 2 points.
Or if City lose and suddenly United are only a point behind them.
Ten Hag has demonstrated he’s capable in big games of setting up with individual tactics to win matches.
I still maintain there is a different level between these two sides and that Man City are still capable of going to Old Trafford and dominating.
Brighton 3-1 Liverpool
Over Xmas it seemed that Liverpool had mastered the art of winning without playing well, yet it caught up with them at Brentford while they are lucky to still be in the FA Cup.
They are conceding too many chances and I don’t actually consider them losing at the Amex an upset?
Jurgen Klopp reminds me of how Jose Mourinho used to be. Charming to the media when things are going well, passive aggressive when things are not.
His latest complaint against the fixture scheduling is an attack on Cup replays.
That’s despite the majority of his squad having a month off during the World Cup at which point he was so worried about his players having a rest, he sent them to Dubai!
Here’s an idea. If your worried about playing a cup replay, win the original tie!
Everton 0-1 Saints
I was never convinced Frank Lampard was ever doing a good job at Everton like some were suggesting.
This is a nightmare fixture, playing against a team bottom of the table, meaning fans will show up with expectations and will grow restless quickly.
Boosted by two cup wins, Nathan Jone’s can snatch his first League win here.
Forest 1-0 Leicester
Forest have been one of the teams to benefit from the mid-season break, losing one in 9, out of the bottom three and in the last 4 of the League Cup.
Will go above their opponents with a win
Wolves 2-0 West Ham
As predicted, Julen Lopetegui has benefitted from the advantage of having a month on the training pitch to implement his ethos.
Any other season he wouldn’t have had that time to teach his players his ideas.
Already you can see how clinical they are in the final third.
West Ham need that one result which can freshen up their campaign.
It won’t happen here.
Brentford 3-1 Cherries
The Cherries spent the World Cup selling the club but equally should have used the time to bring in a proper manager and plan for investment in January (something they didn’t do in the last window).
They need to do something to freshen things up as they seem to be going through the motions at the moment
Chelsea 2-1 Palace
It’s hard to know which side shows up this weekend (if either).
It’s won’t take a lot for home fans to get restless.
Fans are already debating if Potter is up for managing a club their size. That’s a fanbase educated on seeing managers sacked the moment there is adversity.
Todd Boehly sacked Tuchel for only winning 3 of the campaign’s first 7 fixtures, a coach who got them to two Finals and the top 4 last season.
So, it wouldn’t be a shock if he didn’t give Potter time.
Newcastle 1-1 Fulham
Newcastle are beating the Saints over two legs away from a first Cup Final since 1999.
The club last won a major trophy in 1955 so try telling the Toon Army it’s only the League Cup.
The Geordies have been playing every few days with a small squad, so the odd shock result is to be expected.
Spurs 2-2 Arsenal
Most know the recent history of the NLD is that the away team rarely win.
I actually think it’s a good time for us to go to the Lane, and there is nothing for us to fear given how the two teams are playing.
It might come down to what happens in the Manchester Derby the day before.
If United win, there is less pressure on us, and I can see us winning.
Yet going to Spurs with our lead down to 2 points might prove too much pressure?
Not that a draw at Spurs is a bad result?
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