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January 22, 2019

Chelsea may be red hot but I still believe Magpies can rise to the occasion

ON POINT: Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas celebrates after Chelsea bag all points at Crystal Palace. Photo/Reuters
ON POINT: Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas celebrates after Chelsea bag all points at Crystal Palace. Photo/Reuters

Newcastle Vs Chelsea, Today 3:45pm,

My Prediction: Magpies.. 2 Blues....1


Last weekend, I praised Chelsea endlessly because of the brilliant season they’ve been having, but then they faltered and drew against a resilient Sunderland. But just when I was about to declare that the Blues players are just human after all, they show a superhuman display in the London derby against Spurs midweek. Aaaargh! I guess they were just a little tired at the Stadium of Light and possibly underestimated the Black Cats; only to be jolted into reality. Naturally, they expected tougher opposition against Tottenham and so they really showed up. As much as we love to go all Diego Costa on Jose Mourinho, he proves to us that he has other scorers in the side. Eden Hazard, the never tiring Didier Drogba and of course Loic Remy reminded us all that they are just as prolific as their Spanish top scorer. At this point, Mourinho can do very little wrong. Newcastle went through a really strong period in October and November, winning five games in a row; but a 1-0 loss to West Ham last weekend put a dent in their confidence. They recovered somewhat midweek to draw with Burnley but this will be a tough tie. I think Alan Pardew’s guys can rise to the occasion. They fear no-one right now and will borrow from what Sunderland managed to do last weekend and go one better to become the first team to beat The Blues this season. I dare them!


Liverpool Vs Sunderland, Today 6pm,

My Prediction: Reds...2 Black Cats...2


Two wins in a row and the average Reds are feeling like champions! Hilarious! After a string of embarrassing losses to Newcastle, Chelsea and Crystal Palace, the Reds recovered last weekend to beat Stoke City 1-0. But I don’t know why they are over-celebrating their 3-1 victory over Leicester as the latter have lost to nearly every team except Manchester United this season. But I guess the red boys needed the boost of confidence and they got it. Knowing they’re facing one of the few sides who didn’t gift Chelsea maximum points this term won’t be easy though and Captain Steven Gerrard and his boys have to rise to the occasion. They’re still missing Daniel Sturridge but sometimes it’s not a bad thing to miss your biggest striker. It forces others to rise to the occasion and midweek Adam Lallana, Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson did just that. I, however, feel that Brendan Rodgers is feeling in the dark with his side right now. Now one person has been given the full responsibility to score; which is a plus and a minus. A minus because no-one will get in trouble if they don’t score but a plus because anyone makes the attempts. It’s worked for the last two games but will it work against a Sunderland side climbing ever so slowly further from the relegation zone.


Stoke Vs Arsenal, Today 6pm,

My Prediction: Stoke... 1 Gunners...3


Stoke City used to be a difficult team for Arsenal to beat because of a player called Rory Delap; who thankfully retired from playing professional about a year ago. I remember one season where we conceded goals home and away following one of those infamous Delap throw-ins that just needed a tap into the goal. I felt like such a fool that season; falling for the same trick twice. Early in the year Arsenal beat Stoke City and even though they are known for being rough; the Gunners will be ready! Arsenal recovered from the embarrassing home defeat to Man United two weeks ago with wins over West Brom and Southampton; though neither win was convincing. But three points is three points and we got them. Stoke will be a touch team to beat and we need our team—read Alexis Sanchez— to be at his best. Okay let me be serious. Arsenal have dominated all her recent matches including the game against Man United, but scoring has been our problem. If Manager Arsene Wenger starts Olivier Giroud instead of the blunt force Danny Welbeck, then we are more likely to go ahead early. If he waits; as he usually does; to bring in Giroud and Lukas Podolski late in the game, then our win will come late. Dear Mr Wenger, please don’t give me 90 minutes of heartache and start the right players. Either way, it’s three points in the bag.


Southampton Vs Man United, Monday 11pm

My Prediction: Saints...2 Red Devils....1


Oh Manchester United fans were pleased for the first 88 minutes of the midweek match between Arsenal and Southampton. But the Arsenal had to spoil the party for them. The Red Devils will have watched that match knowing that Southampton aren’t ahead of them in the standings by mistake. Sadly, the Saints are beginning to drop points but you can’t blame them; they have just played the mighty Arsenal and the champions Man City. They still have a strong side and a goal keeper with a stone wall disguised as hands! Wayne Rooney’s knee injury incurred in their mid week win over Stoke City isn’t serious according to the Old Trafford doctors so he will play on Monday. Slowly the Devils are getting all their injured players back and beginning to play like a great team. I can’t believe I just said that but it’s true! United aren’t looking half bad but then again neither is Southampton. The Saints can pull of a home win against LVG’s boys because they have the resilience to do so. By the time this game is played, Arsenal will be 4th and even though United will try their best, it’s time for them to start slipping too. This is an emotional prediction because I’m allowed a few a year.

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