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January 21, 2019

Smarting Devils should strangle the Black Cats as my Arsenal gun down the poor Toffees

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney scores a penalty against Queens Park Rangers. Photo/File
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney scores a penalty against Queens Park Rangers. Photo/File

Chelsea Vs Leicester Today 5pm

My Prediction: The Blues 3-0 Leicester

You lucky Chelsea! Even though I ranted and raved about you both in my blog this week and in Gunpoint yesterday, you have been given such easy opposition to open the season with. Newly promoted Burnley last week and newly promoted Leicester today. I gather Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson has put in a call to Burnley boss Stuart Pearce to ask whether there’s anything he can tell him that will help him beat Chelsea; or at least avoid embarrassment. Had such a call been made I’m sure Pearce would have said no; you have to be a special team to beat the current Blues and we are just not there yet. But if you try really really hard, you could lose by just two goals to nil. I’m kidding! The new boys will put up a fight but Burnley learned first hand how conceding first turns the Chelsea squad into monsters. Jose Mourinho will not have lost a second’s sleep wondering whether he will get three points today or not; because it is already assured. Leicester may have drawn 2-2 with Everton last weekend, but the shade of Blue at Stamford bridge is different.


Everton Vs Arsenal Today 730pm

My Prediction: The Toffees 1-3 The Gunners

I can’t believe that Arsene Wenger has no regret about not re-signing Cesc Fabregas when he had the chance. It’s taken Fabregas just one game for the Blues to show he is one of the most talented and smartest midfielders in the world. The second half of Wenger’s response to a question about Fabregas however betrayed him as he responded: “…but I regret that he left.” Why does Wenger carry grudges against players who leave? At the time Cesc left Arsenal weren’t showing any ambition at all and I never blamed him for having a little ambition. If there was a way he could help Arsenal win something now, why would I hold grudges? Anyway I’m veering off course right now since we don’t have him and Wenger’s new worry is an injury to our aging captain former Everton player Mikel Arteta. Arsenal have been missing a striker who knows the direction of the goal and I worry when Wenger says he isn’t looking to fill that position. He does say he’ll give Joel Campbell a chance to show his skill but doesn’t say when. I really hope it’s today as I can’t go through another 90 plus minutes watching Olivier Giroud pretend to be a striker. He scores one goal after every 19 chances so depending on how he’s fed with the ball today; he will need 9 more chances to score. Everton meanwhile gave away a 2-1 half time lead against Leicester last week to draw the game 2-2. They will be at home and eager to earn their first three points of the season; but I think we will be lucky to see goals from Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla and Joel Campbell. Campbell’s will be last because Wenger won’t bring him in until Giroud has missed about six chances.


Sunderland Vs Manchester United Sunday 6pm

The Black Cats 1-4 The Reds Devils

The Black Cats managed a vital away draw against West Brom in the league last weekend but only just; with their equaliser coming in the 85th minute after a very early lead. Boss Gus Poyet hasn’t made any spectacular signings this time but players like last week’s goal scorers Seb Larsson and Lee Cattermole can be relied upon to score week after week for the club; even though they are midfielders. I’m sure though that Poyet will have a word with his strikers to step up. I sort of understand Poyet’s plight, given that at Arsenal we are also relying on goals to come from midfielders. We all saw what happened to Manchester United against Swansea. It was a shock to all of us and I highly doubt that it will be repeated any time soon. The wake up call to the entire United fraternity was undoubted and I believe we will begin to see Louis Van Gaal’s true colours from today. Bringing in Sporting Lisbon’s Argentine defender Marcos Rojo was a no brainer as it was evident that The Red Devils suffered at the back last weekend. It was foolish to let Evra, Vidic and Rio leave at the same time with no big immediate replacement and I believe that’s now a lesson learned. I would hate to be Sunderland right now because they are about to be embarrassed to the core at home.


Manchester City Vs Liverpool Monday 10pm

My Prediction: The Citizens 2-2 The Reds

Despite the fact that he’s spent just a minute at Anfield, Mario Balotelli is likely to be the first name on Brendan Rodgers team sheet when his new club Liverpool comes face to face with his former club. I’m just kidding. Managers tend to reserve former players of their opposing clubs for the super-sub position and that’s likely what Rodgers will do. Either way, one thing is for sure, the Italian will play. I’m sure Balotelli will be anxious to show City that they let a superstar leave. City started the season so strong last weekend and got a convincing win over a fighting but ineffective Newcastle side. The City result annoyed me though as it convinced me that they were just joking with Arsenal when they lost the Community Shield. Manuel Pellegrini’s boys are playing with such confidence right now and I doubt whether they’ll be buoyed by the presence of their former hitman in a Reds jersey. Rodgers boys got the win over Southampton last week but they struggled for it. Perhaps it was opening weekend jitters but the team did not look like that which minced Borussia Dortmund the weekend before. Rodgers however has a good squad and if they keep their nerves and the new SAS – Sturridge and Sterling – play their best football, then there’s no telling who will win this. And that’s why I’m going for a draw.

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