Friday, October 25, 2013
Chelsea look to exploit missing Kompany
With our La Liga preview here (ok, so it's an El Clasico preview), we're going to focus on the Premier League matchups, while I continue to ask Tio Pelotas for his MLS preview - he's doing it apparently, but is hungover and needs something greasy in his stomach.
Arsenal and Liverpool will be looking to pick up 3 more points against Crystal Palace and West Brom respectively, and if either are to seriously challenge for the title, then they have to win games like these. I think both have good chances of making the top 4, but that's not good enough for Arsenal, although it may be for Liverpool this year.
The huge game of the weekend is Chelsea against Manchester City. Both are coming off good wins in the Champions League, but City may be a little more fatigues after a trip to Russia, and playing on a pitch that looked like it was from the 1980s.
City are a different team without Vincent Kompany, and I'd expect Chelsea to try and expose Javi Garcia or Joleon Lescott. Pace is huge, and Samuel Eto'o still has plenty of that, even if he is trying to steal the ball off the goalkeeper just to open his account. Fernando Torres may start after his two goals in the week, but reports of him being back are stupid - yes, he's judged on how many goals he scores, but he (and Eto'o) needs a run in the team as the main man. Strikers need confidence, and neither has it in abundance at the moment - maybe they should stand next to Sergio Aguero at the kick-off in teh hope of catching some.
The teams returning from European action need wins too. Spurs will be hoping not to repeat what happened to them last time they played after some Thursday night action, while West Ham will hope Swansea are as generous as Tottenham were.
If Sunderland lose to Newcastle, Poyet will be out. I'm just kidding, but Gus needs a win (or at least not to lose), and a local derby changes everything. Form goes out of the window and passion comes through - I don't care how many 'johnny foreigners' are playing, the crowd will inspire whoever is out there.