Good day folks. Footynyx is back after a ten day hiatus as a result of the international break. Its not that footynyx doesn’t like blogging about international footie but with so many matches taking place in different locations all over the world, it is indeed very difficult to blog about specific games with so much ground to cover.
- Club football returns today and for some clubs the international break could be a blessing and for some it could be an unnecessary distraction. For clubs struggling for form or coming from the back of a defeat it could be a blessing. A time for the manager to take stock and re-evaluate his options, reflect on how to make things better as the manager has more time on his hands than he would if the games were coming thick and fast. The reverse is the case for teams on a high. The euphoric feeling of a good run is something you don’t want to end. The buzz around the dressing room and the positive vibes from players and fans is something you want to continue. So we can see it is a case of different strokes for different folks.
And so today I shall be running a short preview on some selected matches in the Premier League. Matches that could impact on teams fighting for relegation and to some extent the title race though many feel the title race is done and dusted, I feel it is not over till it is mathematically proven by Einstein to be over. In football absolutely nothing can be taken for granted. With nine games to spare and with the home stretch in sight, all games from here on are a cup final. A stretch Sir Alex Ferguson calls ‘squeaky bum time’.
- Manchester United travel to face Sunderland at the stadium of light in the early kick off today. Last season, United painfully surrendered their league crown in the dying seconds of the season at Sunderland which saw the Sunderland fans celebrating by perfoming Manchester City’s famous ‘poznan’ celebration to rub salt to United’s wounds. Now the story is different, United are 15points clear of their neighbours with 9games left and an FA cup replay at Chelsea on monday. Sunderland have taken just 3points from their last 7games and still have to face Chelsea, Spurs and Everton in their relegation run in and with influential duo Stephen Fletcher and Lee Cattermole both injured for the season, manager Martin O’neil is in for a very tough run. It could be a long afternoon for the Black Cats. Prediction: Sunderland 0 Man Utd 1.
Manchester City might be 15points adrift after their recent defeat to Everton at Goodison and are now 10points and 20goals worse off than they were at this same stage last season but head into today’s fixture against Newcastle at home knowing they boast a stellar record against the Magpies. City have won the last 5 meetings between the 2sides and have won 10 of their previous 12 clashes. Added to that is the fact that Newcastle have won just once away from home all season away to Aston Villa. Newcastle surely suffer from travel sickness. Prediction: Manchester City 2 Newcastle 0.
- Aston Villa entertain Liverpool at Villa Park . Villa beat Liverpool 3-1 when both teams met in December at Anfield with Christian Benteke running the show but Villa have been very poor since then. Their home form is abysmal winning just 4, drawing 4 and losing 7 in front of their fans this season and it is little wonder they sit just 3points adrift of the relegation spot. Liverpool go into this game after losing their last fixture away to Southampton and are still fighting for a Europa league spot. Prediction: Aston Villa 1 Liverpool 3.
Arsenal entertain Reading at the Emirates as their push for an automatic champions league spot goes into full swing. The gunners are in fine form and in their last fixture, they beat Swansea 2nil in a tiki taka exhibition. In the previous encounters this season between Reading and Arsenal(Capital One fixture included) both teams have scored 19goals. Now Reading have a new manager in Nigel Adkins. The former Southampton gaffer who lost his job to Mauricio Pochentinno has a massive job on his hands. Reading are second from bottom on top of QPR only of goal difference and have now lost 9 of their last 10 away fixtures and today won’t be any different. Prediction: Arsenal 5 Reading 0.
- Lastly, QPR’s mission impossible continues in a West London derby away to Fulham. The corresponding fixture at Loftus road saw QPR record their first premier league win of the season. I expect QPR to put up a brave fight just as they did in their last fixture in an entertaining 3-2 loss against Aston Villa in what is now termed ‘thriller at the Villa’ but a brave fight might not be enough again today. Prediction Fulham 2 QPR 2. Footynyx. Photo credits: Getty Images.