As the transfer market is coming to a close today, the hit hungry media is busy hosting live 24 hour blogs for the ‘frantic Friday’. At the time of the writing, it seems that Bendtner has gone on loan to Juventus, and Park has also gone on loan, while we might sign Essien on loan.
Keeping the transfers aside, let’s focus on the matches this weekend,we will be visiting Anfield to take on Liverpool whereas Chelsea won’t be in action as they have already played their game in the midweek. Let’s see what we have got this weekend:
1. Tottenham v Norwich(Saturday – 15:00)
Tottenham look for a win after Luka Modrić finally departed for Real Madrid. Though they have signed Dembélé, it will be very difficult for him to follow in the footsteps of Modrić. Both teams have lost 1 and drawn 1 so far in the league.
Norwich has failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 34 Premier League away games. Norwich’s visit to Tottenham last season was a surprise one as they came out as 2-1 winners. During that time, Tottenham was struggling amid the aftermath of 5-2 defeat at Arsenal. Even this time around, with a new manager, it all doesn’t look rosy for them, especially since they lost Modrić. Six of the last 8 matches between these two have ended in away wins.
Though Tottenham are highly favoured for this tie, they might find it difficult to beat Norwich.
2. Man C v QPR (Saturday – 17:30)
Man C takes on QPR after a poor performance at Liverpool last weekend. Man C might feel that they were lucky to get away with a point last Sunday. QPR were hammered by the high flying Swansea in their opening match but since then they have been busy in the transfer market. Their signing of Júlio César is beyond my understanding as is the question why would he move to QPR from Inter.
This same fixture last season was drama at its best and QPR conceded twice in the injury time but survived due to Bolton losing. Man C’s defence has struggled this season and they have already conceded 4 goals in 2 matches. Man C has scored in their last 32 games at home and QPR has failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 17 travels. The only good looking stat for QPR coming into this game is that Cisse has scored in last 6 premier league away games.
It looks like an easy victory for Man C.
3. Liverpool v Arsenal (Sunday – 13:30)
Arsenal play their last game before the international break. It’s surprising that we have failed to score for the first two games and our longest run without scoring, at the start of the premier league season, is 224 minutes which was set last season. Though, defensively we are looking a lot better. Liverpool played a good game against Man C but their defensive problems let them down and they had to settle for a draw.
Arsenal hasn’t lost at Anfield in their last 5 league visits winning 2 after going behind in all the five matches. The three draws also include the 4-4 draw. Liverpool had won only 1 game against Arsenal in last 10 matches losing 3. The only victory came at the beginning of last season. This fixture has also seen an own goal in 3 matches in the last 2 seasons with Koscielny, Reina and Ramsey sharing the honours. This tie also has a history of late goals with 7 goals in the 90th minute and later in the last 7 matches and 5 such goals in the last 4 matches.
The main threat for Arsenal in this match is Suarez who has scored 2 goals in his last 2 matches including a beautiful free kick against Man C. He just always manages to turn in the box and doesn’t bother about diving (last season comes to mind). Nuri Sahin may also prove to be another big threat but I don’t see him starting against us. It’s Liverpool’s defence which gives me confidence about this game. They have conceded 5 in 2 league matches so far. A Reina howler in the Europa league is yet another indicator that their defence is capable of big mistakes. If Koscielny and Szczęsny are fit, then we should be able to deal with their attack and I don’t see us not scoring against them. It’s going to be very vital for us not to concede first as it will only invite more pressure on us and leaving us open for counter attacks.
As there are no matches in the next week, it’s important for us to win this game as it will keep the media silent for 2 weeks; otherwise we will be just reading about how we are going to cope with the loss of RVP and Song etc. A win here is also vital as it means we will be only 4 points off the top of the table with big games against Man C and Chelsea in the league and Montpellier in the Champions League to follow this one.
Consider the form of Liverpool’s defence; I can see us winning this one.
4. Southampton v Man U (Sunday – 16:00)
Man U visit St. Mary’s Stadium as Southampton returned to top flight after finishing as runners up in the championship. The match between these two teams saw the end of Southampton’s stay of 27 consecutive years in the league come to an end. Their return to it hasn’t been good so far as they, along with Aston Villa, are pointless after 2 games.
Man U has won on their last 4 visits to Southampton in all competitions but they have lost 3 of their last 4 away games. Man U will be without Rooney as he got injured last week. Man U’s win percentage drop by 16% when he’s not in the team. Southampton has conceded 5 goals in the league so far and lost to what might turn out to be a six pointer against Wigan at home without scoring. It seems like an easy victory for Man U.
It also seems like a 3-day weekend with the transfer stories giving us a joy of their own. I hope that this weekend sees us registering the first victory and goals of the campaign.
- Who said project youth is dead?
- Do refs get told – don’t do Man U again?
- Remember 31 August 2011: five transfers in one day
- Champions League Draw
- Ref Review: Arsenal v Sunderland
- Next Gen, Wembley, Champs League
- Lee Probert, a total anti-Arsenal ref
- Chapman’s brilliance with wingers
- Arsenal v Marseille