So the games are coming thick and fast and now Arsenal have crawled their way back into the Top Four, we now have a chance to consolidate our position with a home game against Bournemouth, while our rivals also have potential banana skins. I must admit I really hope that all Dan’s predictions come true this week!
So here we go….
Cardiff 1- 1 Everton
Neil Warnock has done a great job in getting till late February for his side to take a hammering for the first time. It shows how consistently he gets the maximum out of them and what happens when he can’t. This is all about man management. Can Warnock within a few days, lift the morale of a team who have just conceded 5? Can Silva get the visitors to cope with the expectation of an away win, followed by a Merseyside Derby? I say no.
Huddersfield 0-3 Wolves
Wolves have already equalled their best ever points tally in the top flight, that’s the level they are at.
Now it’s a case of simply dealing with expectations. Their fans now go on trips like this expecting 3 points.
Leicester 3- 1 Brighton
It was a case of when, not if, Puel was going to be sacked. He was never going to win his falling out with the likes of Vardy, Morgan, Simpson, etc. Foxes fans are always going to side with those who won them their title. I admire Puel for falling on his sword, not going against his principles to keep his job. Can we see Vardy wanting to make a point here?
Newcastle 1-1 Burnley
Almiron had a great first start, he’s the type of flair player Geordies will fall in love with. Only problem is Ashley won’t think twice about making a profit on him. The visitors have contrasting strikers, two hard working bullies who defend from the front.
Arsenal 3-2 Cherries
I like that Unai Emery is using his whole squad to deal with a game every few days. If injuries mean that we must put Mustafi at right back, that could be a blessing. Again, it comes down to us having the right attitude and being professional in their approach, that’s what impressed me about Sunday. The Cherries will make more chances then Southampton.
Southampton 2-0 Fulham
Southampton will be boosted by Fulham’s body language on Friday, being a team who look like they know they are relegated. If you’re the Saints, just keep crossing the ball into the box. The visitor’s keeper looks scared of the ball being in the air. The only problem is, if you take him out of the firing line, your other options are two other keepers you have dropped this season
Chelsea 1-1 Spurs
Chelsea played so well on Sunday they could have used it as a building block for the rest of their season. Suddenly their keeper refuses to come off and I don’t fancy them as much to beat Spurs, that’s how big a moment this was. Could you imagine a player undermining Arsene Wenger or Sir Alex like that? The fact this was a younger member of your squad tells you the culture of that club, they clearly don’t see their manager as important? I was so happy they lost on pens. What message would it have given the keeper if he ended up a hero? He didn’t deserve a winner’s medal after disrespecting his boss. How many first-choice keepers over the years are forced to sit out of finals for their under studies being promised to be a ‘cup keeper’?
Palace 2- 2 Man United
The irony with Man United’s performance on Sunday was if that was Jose in charge, we would call it a classic Jose game, where he intentionally played for a 0-0 draw. Their interim manager again showed he can tactically out-think his peers, although it’s not many times he will be that negative at Old Trafford. A lot is being made of them being the walking wounded but it’s worth remembering they had a front three of Lukaku, Rashford and Sanchez, so you’re hardly that stretched. After a physically and mentally tough day, the last thing you want is a trip to Selhurst Park.
Liverpool 2-2 Watford
A draw at Old Trafford is never a bad result, especially one that puts you too of the table. The only problem is it comes after you drew 3 out of your 4 previous matches and it’s looking like the pressure is affecting them in the final third. You can’t keep hiding behind the fact you would have accepted this position at the start of the season. The fact is a 7-point lead has become just 1. They again have to deal with a nervous Kop, while coping with score updates from the Etihad.
City 2-1 West Ham
The test for City is again people are talking them up making them a threat in terms of complacency. At Xmas, they were finding life too easy so couldn’t respond when things went against them. That could happen again, especially when you face a team with nothing to play for like West Ham. Fernandinho injury is a big blow.