It has not been a good week for football. Firstly, Ray Jones, the QPR prospect, was killed in a car crash over the weekend, followed by the collapsing and subsequent deathof Seville’s Antonio Puerta, yesterday.
And last night, Leicester’s Clive Clarke collapsed at half time, his heart stopping, and their match was abandoned while he was rushed to hospital. Reports suggests that he should, at least, be okay.
So it is with heavy hearts that we all return to football tonight, crippled by a renewed sense of perspective brought about by a series of tragedies that have affected and will continue to affect many. My thoughts are with all the families.
The show must go on, however, and if tonight’s game is a peaceful non-event, I won’t be in the slightest bit disappointed. I would be surprised to see Cesc start, as even at his tender age it is imperative that we keep him fit, and he is carrying a yellow card, not to mention the anger of Tomas Repka who is unhinged enough to seek revenge for Fab’s tackle two weeks ago.
Similarly, Van Persie is on a yellow, so this would seem a wise game to add to the fitness and sharpness of Adebayor and Eduardo. With Sagna out, Hoyte should fill in at right back.
Carrying a 2-0 lead from the away leg, progress should be relatively straightforward, but an early goal would certainly help settle the team down.
I predict a 1-1 draw in a tame match.