Friday, 29 March 2013

Proper Football Returns

 Proper football returns this week, in the first game of this Easter Bank Holiday weekend sees Manchester United travel to Sunderland. I think even though Sir Alex will mix up his team with Chelsea to play in the FA Cup on Monday, I expect them to collect all three points. They want to make sure there’s no slip ups like last season in the title run in. The derby game comes next week and if they beat City it will kill any lingering doubts United may still have. Manchester City are at home to Newcastle on Saturday even though Newcastle have improved I still see City winning this match.

 Sunderland for me are in big trouble, they have games against Chelsea, Newcastle & Everton to come and with Fletcher out for the season they will struggle even more to score goals. Sunderland are only 4 points off the drop zone so they could easily slip down and have a massive relegation fight on their hands. 

 The race for the top four hots up this weekend. Arsenal should beat Reading even though they have many injury problems. Chelsea I expect will pick up three points at St Marys. Tottenham I think will be the ones who slip up. A trip to Swansea is always tough. Swansea have lost three of their last five matches, they need to pick up the form even though they do have Carling Cup success already. They still would want to put on a show for the fans till the end of the season and a win against Spurs could be just what they need. Everton play Stoke and if they have any real hopes for a top four finish they have to win this game. I think this will end in a draw. Stoke are slowly crawling there way to safety, Pulis will have to freshen things up this summer with his Stoke side. 

 At the bottom of the Premier League QPR have a must MUST win London derby at Fulham (or Foolham as some of the QPR fans refer to them). There’s very little hope really that Rangers will stay up. Harry Redknapp does believe that they can still do it, I’m just not quite sure it can happen. Reading will struggle to get anything from Arsenal and Wigan have a huge game against Norwich. Aston Villa will fancy their chances against a Liverpool side who blow hot and cold each week.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Rio not interested in Rio

So Rio Ferdinand has withdrawn from the England team, shock. The whole situation has been a bit of a joke. I don’t think Rio had any intention to play for England at this point in time. Revenge is a dish best served cold, and Rio acted in this way against Roy Hodgson. After he was left out for ‘footballing reason’ by Roy, Rio who is in fine form is needed by the England manager. England have a lack of experienced centre backs in the squad. All the signs looked like Rio would join up with the team this week. He tweeted about it, Sir Alex said he would go etc etc. However his withdrawal smells of Manchester United, Sir Alex and Rio siding with club rather than country. If you look at the Paul Scholes he jacked in England because he was being misused, he will probably pick up another Premier League winners medal this season. His career was extended by dropping England. Man United fans even sing a chant about United being better then England. Rio knows he can add a few years to his career at United if he continues on his special regime they have set up for him which means he has to give England the swerve. Also I don't think the whole Ferdinand  -Terry- Cole gate has completely been forgotten. 

Friday, 15 March 2013

Weekend Preview

 Starting at the bottom of the table it’s a huge game at Villa Park as Aston Villa host QPR. It’s really a must win game for both sides. They both come into the game off the back of wins last weekend. With QPR 4 points behind Villa they know a win will give them real hope of doing the great escape. However a win for Villa could see them kill off QPR. It will be a massive game for both clubs. I would say a draw is the most likely result. They both can’t afford to lose the match, but if I had to side with someone it would be QPR. With Zamora, Remy and Taarabt they have more ‘match winners’ then Aston Villa on their day.

  After Reading sacked Brian McDermott this week they have the easy task of Man United away this weekend. You would expect United to take out recent disappointment against Real Madrid & Chelsea on the Royals. Wigan play on Sunday against Newcastle, both sides will be on a high, Wigan with their FA Cup Semi Final place and Newcastle with the Europa League Quarter Final to come. Southampton play an in form Liverpool team at St Mary's and Sunderland face Norwich with both teams still in danger of getting dragged into the relegation battle.

  At the top of the table like I said United have a easy game against Reading and if Manchester City slip up at Everton they could be on course to win the title against City at Old Trafford in a few weeks. The race for top four continues as Tottenham play Fulham, Chelsea host West Ham & Arsenal are at Swansea. I see Spurs & Chelsea winning and Arsenal getting a draw.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Champions League

 This week in the Champions League Barcelona look to turn around a 2-0 first leg defeat to AC Milan. You would expect Barcelona to win the game a Camp Nou but keeping Milan out could be a problem. If the Italian side can sneak an away goal it will be a very tough task for the Spanish team. I predict the Italian side cause a shock and get past Barcelona. In the Schalke & Galatasaray game it's all square at 1-1 after the first leg. I would back the Turkish team in this one. With the fire power of Yilmaz, Drogba and Sneijder in their ranks I think they will get through to the next stage of the Champions League.

 On Wednesday Bayern Munich will ease past Arsenal, they have a 3-1 lead and have won their last 5 games at home in all competitions conceding only 3 goals in that time. Arsenal have injuries and have to try and somehow finish in the top for in the league. Wenger must try to focus on the league and catch their London rivals Tottenham & Chelsea. In the other match on Wednesday night FC Porto have a 1-0 lead I think the side from Portugal will have a little too much for this Malaga team. The Champions League draw is on Friday so hopefully its kind and I still keep by my pick of Borussia Dortmund winning the whole thing.    

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Champions League Preview

This could be one of the greatest matches of all time, after the first leg its all square at 1-1. I expect Real Madrid to score I expect Ronaldo to score on his first return to Old Trafford. You can also see Man United scoring as they always do at home. I think it will be a open, fast high scoring match. Madrid will be a real threat on the wings with their counter attacking football but Man United have their danger men too and have more players on the pitch who can chip in and get you goals. I would punt on Man United getting through with a 3-2 win. 

In the other game tonight Borussia Dortmund face Shakhtar Donetsk, with this tie also all square after the first leg I will stick with my pick and for the German side to progress.  Juventus are home and hosed for me it's just a matter of how much they want to put past Celtic. Juventus I feel done a number on them in the first leg. Their industrial defending tactics and quick counter attacking football is something the Scottish side couldn't deal with. The Italian side don't need to attack but I feel they will want to put on a show for their home supporters. PSG have a 2-1 lead to take back to the French capital. They should have enough to see off Valencia, you would expect David Beckham to appear and make his Champions League debut for his new team.