What a week it has been. Harry Redknapp was cleared of tax evasion, Fabio Capello walks into the FA office as England’s manager and walks out as the former manager and Deloitte’s publish their annual money list.
The good news is that the schedule this weekend looks very promising. The early game has the always combustible Manchester United – Liverpool encounter.
Then we have Everton at home to Chelsea. Everton wins over Chelsea have been few and far between but Everton have caused Chelsea a consistent headache for the last few seasons.
Arsenal travels to the Stadium of Light for the first of two meetings with Sunderland. Next week it will be the FA Cup but first the Premier League. A win for Sunderland would put them within four points of Arsenal and arguably within shouting distance of 4th.
On the other hand the Martin O’Neill turnaround has to run out of steam at some point.
Arsenal’s short-term fixture list after this match
That is a very tough run.
The last time Spurs faced Newcastle they let a late lead slip and each team finished with a point a piece. After a tricky spell of league fixtures and a FA Cup exit to Brighton Newcastle has rallied and are still very much in the race for 4th.
The other games on Saturday have Blackburn Rovers at home to Queens Park Rangers, Wigan are at Bolton in a relegation 6-pointer, Fulham plays Stoke and two promoted sides, Swansea and Norwich clash in Wales.
Sunday has Wolves at home to West Brom. Wolves are in a relegation fight while West Brom could yet slip down into the mire.
The late Sunday game has Manchester City traveling to play Aston Villa. If City have one concern it probably their poor away form of late. For Villa it is been their home form. The last six home games have not included a single win and a seventh would break a record set nearly a quarter of a decade ago.
If the weather does not impact Serie A this weekend the Milan at Udinese game is the one that stands out. No Ibrahimovic for Milan on account of his sly slap on Aronica last week.
Udinese’s home record is quite phenomenal with 31 of a possible 33 points and they have only conceded five games.
On Sunday Bologna will be the latest team to try and bring the undefeated run of Juventus to an end.
In Libreville, Gabon the 2012 African Cup of Nations will be played between the Ivory Coast and Zambia. Later on Saturday Shona Black will have an article on what will surely be one of the most emotional games of this other any other year.
Any thoughts on this weekend’s games or particular games you are looking forward to?
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