It’s another bumper weekend of action in the Premier League this week with the Manchester duo of United and City looking to extend their gap at the top, the massive six pointer at Loftus Road between QPR and Southampton and of course the London derby clash between Arsenal and Spurs here are a few other things to look out for this weekend.
Steve Clarke to make Chelsea life miserable
Former Chelsea coach Clarke has made the transition to manager look easy with his WBA side currently fifth in the Premier League. WBA have won five of their six home games with Manchester City the only side to take three points off them at the Hawthorns. Liverpool, Reading, Everton, QPR and Southampton have all failed to win in the midlands with QPR the only losing side to score. The visit of Chelsea makes for an intriguing contest given not only Clarke’s link with Chelsea but also the fact that Blues manager Roberto di Matteo is a former Baggies boss. The added spice should not detract from what could be a shock result with 3rd place Chelsea currently in the middle of yet another November to forget.
Liverpool to end their Wigan hoodoo
The Reds are currently in the middle of a six match unbeaten run but have had a tough time against their Northwest neighbours in recent years, losing two and drawing 3 of their last five meetings. In fact its December 2009 since Liverpool supporter’s savoured success against the Latic’s however one of modern football most unlikely hoodoos should come to an end tomorrow. Liverpool are slowly improving with each game and in Luis Suarez they have the league’s form player.
Good things come to those who wait…
I tipped him to be gone last weekend but he hung on however Mark Hughes and his struggling QPR side will never have a better chance to secure that elusive first win when they welcome Southampton to Loftus Road. Hughes is very much a man under pressure in London and with time running out he will look at this game as a perfect opportunity to kick start the season for his high earning squad. Southampton has lost all five away games so far this season and have conceded 18 goals in the process. Easy right.
Time to impress, Ireland returns to City
It’s been an uncomfortable few years for fans of Stephen Ireland. The Cork man had the world at his feet when he was named City’s player of the year in 2009 but 12 months later he was on his way to Villa Park. Two years of injury, poor form and limited chances to impress have led to many writing off the 26 year old however in Paul Lambert the Irishman appears to have found a fan and the trust the former Norwich manager is placing in Ireland appears to be bearing fruit with a number of impressive and mature performances this season. Clever use of the ball, excellent vision and ability to score were always part of Ireland’s game and it seems that under Lambert’s system these are returning, so much so that fans could once again be treated to the regular sight of Ireland’s Superman underwear. Such has been in improvement in fortune, there is even talk of a return to the Irish set up and with Ireland’s lack of creativity very apparent against Greece the other night a return might suit both player and country.
Monday night is purists night…..
Okay that was tongue in cheek but the clash between West Ham and Stoke will be an interesting affair. A tale of two talented but under rated managers and two tall Liverpool strikers. In one corner the man who felt he could have managed Real Madrid, Sam Allardyce, unfairly dubbed a high ball merchant and his on loan goal less star Andy Carroll and in the other Tony Pulis and his maverick beanpole striker Peter Crouch. West Ham currently sits 6th in the table while Stoke are sitting comfortable in mid table. Stoke have yet to win away but have drawn three times while the Hammers have won 3 drawn 2 and lost 1 at Upton Park. Carroll and Crouch both score in an entertaining goal filled draw. You read it here first.