The Weekend Return Of The Premier League With “Easy” Games For Four Of The Top Six

Posted: February 4, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
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EPL

Following a midweek round of fixtures which saw Arsenal and Chelsea beaten convincingly by teams who made it obvious by the way they played and fought that they had a lot more to lose than London’s finest, questions, unsurprisingly, were asked of the two managers.

Regardless of his midweek failure, Chelsea fans will have been ecstatic to hear that Antonio Conte intends to see out his current contract which still has eighteen months to run.

This means that he will be there next season to oversee the club’s Europa League campaign, unless Roman Abramovich thinks differently, which he probably does!

Arsenal fans are already over the moon that Stubborn Old Man will be there next season and, with an upturn in form and his new signings, are also hoping that they will now be good enough to join Chelsea in the Europa League next term.

José Mourinho really has pleased United fans by signing his contract extension although he may have lost some brownie points when admitting that he had advised Marouane Fellaini to do the same.

And so to this weekend…..

Danilo – Scored City’s goal in their 1-1 draw with Burnley

Saturday’s early kick-off saw Burnley and Manchester City meet at Turf Moor.

Pep Guardiola wants more “protection” for his players from the referees although Sean Dyche wonders what he means.

We see his point because how does a referee actually protect a player? All he can do after a bad tackle is either book or send off the aggressor, he can’t throw himself in front of the player just before the moment of impact, that would be real protection but may not be considered to be within the laws of the game!

So City players will have to continue trying to do what George Best successfully managed to do for years. They will just have to be good enough to avoid tackles by riding them or jumping over them. Best was rarely, if ever, injured and he put up with a heck of a lot more than the current crop do!

After all the talking had been done the game wasn’t quite as easy as our headlines suggest, in fact Burnley managed to take a deserved point from the leaders.

At Old Trafford…..

Alexis Sánchez – Scored his first goal for United in their 2-0 win over Huddersfield

The only game involving one of the top six to kick off at the normal time on the normal day featured Manchester United who took on Huddersfield Town.

Having beaten United at home at the beginning of the season, Huddersfield fans may have been forgiven for thinking that their team would remain in the top flight with relative ease this season.

That is not the case and they are in a relegation fight along with a few others.

United needed to return to form after a woeful display against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday when they even managed to out-headline the current champions who lost AT HOME to BOURNEMOUTH. The world’s gone mad!

This was an easy-ish win for Mourinho’s men and should have been by more than the two goals margin.

Down in the Smoke…..

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Scored his first goal for Arsenal in his first appearance

In the late game, Arsenal took on Theo Walcott who remembered to bring the rest of his new Everton teammates with him.

Having lost spectacularly to Swansea in midweek Arséne Wenger was yet another manager looking for a response from his team.

This time though, he had the added advantage of being able to field a team including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who, despite probably having flu, probably didn’t have it badly enough to prevent him playing!

3-0 up before the clock had even reached 20 minutes meant there was never any danger of Arsenal losing this one.

The only real surprise was that it ended up just 5-1 to Arsenal!

Sunday at Anfield…..

CE

Christian Eriksen – Scored in the recent win over Manchester United

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp, fresh from deciding that Loris Karius wasn’t quite as useless as Simon Mignolet, has another decision to make. Does he recall Virgil van Dijk to a defence which managed to keep a clean sheet against Huddersfield or does he break the unwritten rule by changing a winning team?

Either way, he will find it a lot more difficult preventing Tottenham from scoring.

As for the Londoners, despite only managing a draw against lowly Newport County, they should still be euphoric after beating United at White Hart Wembley but this euphoria won’t last because they won’t beat Liverpool.

This game has draw written all over it.

Monday night football…..

Chelsea’s precarious form means that this game is a lot closer than anyone would have thought a few short weeks ago.

Their hammering at home in midweek should make Watford the favourites to win this one so it all depends on how good a manager Antonio Conte really is.

Winning the Premier League with no European distractions was a decent achievement. Winning something this year now that his team seem to have hit rock bottom would eclipse that feat.

Even winning this game would be a step in the right direction but that outcome is now in doubt.

The probable result here is a draw.

 

 

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