The focus is on the relegation battle as well as the fight for the title this weekend. Both have been covered in both articles and the podcast but here are a couple of other things to consider.
On Saturday we have Aston Villa v Wigan, Bolton v Sunderland, Everton v Manchester City, Newcastle v Birmingham, West Ham v Blackburn and Tottenham v Blackpool.
City’s trip to Goodison is one that has flown under the radar – probably on account of Spurs challenge for 4th place falling away.
Nonetheless City will want to maintain that seven point lead on Spurs and Liverpool (City with a game less played) and maintain pressure on Arsenal for third.
City also has Spurs as visitors to Eastlands on Tuesday.
Los Angeles Galaxy v New York Red Bulls
It is commonly accepted that strong and contending teams in New York and Los Angeles would be a major boon to MLS in North America.
There was the possibility of a Red Bulls/Galaxy MLS Final in 2010 until both teams fell short of the mark in the play offs – Red Bulls were knocked out by San Jose while the Galaxy lost to FC Dallas.
Twelve months the Galaxy’s defensive prowess was one of the main topics of discussion and debate. It took until round 18 for the team to concede 9 goals.
This season they have reached that mark in half as many games. Instead, it is the Red Bulls (along with the Philadelphia Union before Friday night’s match against Portland) appear to have taken on the mantle of defensive king-pins with both tams only allowing two goals so far.
NYRBs have only trailed once this year and that was in the loss to Philadelphia Union. Since conceding that goal to the Union the Red Bulls have gone 292 minutes without allowing a goal.
The Galaxy go into this game a point better off than New York but having played two games more.
The other games in a seven-match Saturday schedule are: Real Salt Lake v Chivas USA (2 wins and 3 draws in last 5 games); Toronto FC (winless in last 6) v Houston Dynamo; D.C. United v FC Dallas; Columbus Crew (unbeaten in last 6) v Seattle Sounders; New England Revolution v Colorado Rapids; Chicago Fire v Vancouver Whitecaps – two teams with only a win apiece so far.
Roma v Milan
With three games remaining in the Serie A season Milan needs just one point to clinch their 18th top flight title in Italy.
On the other hand Roma are still very much in contention for the 4th and final (final in the absolute sense given that Italy loses the right to qualify 4 teams after next season) Champions League spot.
Lazio is currently fourth a point ahead of Udinese and Roma (Roma trail Udinese on goal difference but have the edge on head-to-head encounters which is the first Serie A tie-breaker).
Lazio also plays Udinese on Sunday so there is an excellent opportunity for Roma to take control of their destiny this weekend.
However, Roma will be missing Daniele De Rossi and Simone Perrotta for the rest of the season on account of three-match bans. This places even more pressure on Francesco Totti who has once again become the main man for Roma.
Totti has scored 10 goals in last 9 Roma games (including 6 penalties) to go with a meagre return of four from earlier in the season.
For Milan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic returns from suspension.
The already relegated Bari travels to Sicily to play Palermo.
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