Blackpool v Arsenal
Blackpool have found themselves caught in a whirlpool over the last numbers of weeks as they get sucked closer and closer to the bottom three. So far Ian Holloway has stuck by his attacking principles and Arsenal will be hoping that he continues to do so.
Stacked defences frustrate Arsenal when an early goal does not come their way so an open game would be right up their street. Blackpool does not have a very impressive home record although they do have more home games remaining than any other side. On the other hand Arsenal has the most away points in the Barclay’s Premier League and in fewer games played than most.
Aston Villa v Newcastle
Newcastle are on the cusp of being safe which is a tremendous achievement given their status as a newly promoted club. It looks as if the gamble of cashing in on Andy Carroll has not backfired and now the question will be – can that money be spent in the next transfer window?
Aston Villa’s leaky defence – only two teams had conceded more going into this weekend – continues to haunt them as does a propensity to toss away more leads than a careless detective. Twenty three points from winning positions so far.
Maybe one specific thing to watch for in this game is Newcastle often play a highish back line that presses up looking to catch players offside. Darren Bent thrives on space behind the back four.
Newcastle have caught the opposition offside more than any other side in the PL – interesting to see if they play an aggressive offside trap against Bent who thrives on ball being played in behind the back four.
Villa away to West Ham next week; Newcastle home to Manchester United
By far the biggest game in Italy on Sunday is Milan at a much-improved Fiorentina. Fiorentina is unbeaten in their last six matches and have only lost once at home (to Inter) since the start of October.
The other matches scheduled are;
Juventus v Genoa,
Bari v Catania,
Bologna v Napoli,
Cagliari v Brescia,
Lazio v Parma,
Palermo v Cesena,
Sampdoria v Lecce.
With Real Madrid and Barcelona having played on Saturday the game that will likely garner te most attention is third place Valencia at home to Villarreal who are one place behind. The other matches scheduled for Sunday are;
Hercules v Espanyol,
Malaga v Deportivo La Coruna,
Racing Santander v Levante,
Sporting Gijon v Osasuna,
Atletico Madrid v Real Sociedad.
Houston Dynamo v Vancouver Whitecaps
The only Sunday match in MLS has the Houston Dynamo looking for their first win against the Vancouver Whitecaps who have started quite well with five points from four games.
Whitecap’s French striker Eric Hassli had just served his one-game suspension against Sporting KC and came on as a half time substitute against NER. He then picked up a yellow, scored a penalty, throw one of the two jerseys he was wearing into the crowd and got sent off for a second yellow card.
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