It’s gearing up to be a very interesting Sunday afternoon of football, with Liverpool and United meeting before we take a trip east to face West Ham, opponents we haven’t exactly thrived against in recent years. In fact, some of the games have become infamous, the 1-0 defeat that saw Wenger and Pardew nearly come to blows, and a 3-2 reverse where Sol Campbell jumped ship at half time.
West Ham are really struggling at the moment, deep in relegation trouble, but to be honest that is a little misleading – with the players they have available, and a managerial team of Zola and Clarke, they are sure to pull away from trouble, probably while playing some decent football. They will certainly be up for the game this afternoon, and we’ll have to improve on Tuesday’s lethargic performance if we’re to take three points.
There isn’t a lot of team news – Rosicky, Nasri and Bendtner are all close to a return, but this afternoon may come too soon, while Eduardo will probably start on the bench. So it should be the same eleven as in midweek – even rotation to bring in the likes of Gibbs is unlikely given that he’ll start against Liverpool in the Carling Cup on Wednesday.
Speaking of Liverpool, they are aiming to avoid a fifth straight defeat this afternoon, and amusing as it would be to see them continue such as abysmal run (possibly even making it six against us later in the week), I’d much rather United dropped points. I don’t think Liverpool are a title threat this season simply because I think they did about as well as the could last year with the squad they have, still fell short, and then lost Alonso to Real Madrid and Mascherano’s will to an almighty sulk in the summer. Since then, they’re half the team they were.
United, on the other hand, are continuing their annoying habit of winning matches they barely deserve to – I really haven’t been impressed with them this season yet there they are at the top of the league. You can’t argue with their consistency.
I’m hoping for a Liverpool win, but I’m predicting a draw – Liverpool will be happy to end their run of defeats and United equally pleased to pick up a point at Anfield. That’s my particular bet of the day, and thanks to the folks at Sportingbet offering me a refund if I lose anyway, it’s a risk free one.
As for us, I’m strangely not feeling that positive, and a draw wouldn’t surprise me. But with West Ham in the form they’re in, we would be disappointed with anything other than three points, so I’m putting my optimistic hat on and backing a 2-1 win.
Sit back, put your feet up, and enjoy the afternoon. Here’s to three points.