The Premier League ran a successful gauntlet midweek, with the League Cup games yielding only the one ‘cupset’. Newcastle, despite splashing the cash in the summer, have gone backwards under new boss Steve McClaren, and crashed out of the cup with a 1-0 loss at home to Sheffield Wednesday of the Championship on Wednesday.
But it’s back to the Premier League this weekend, with Newcastle up against Chelsea in the late kick-off on Saturday afternoon. Some may think, considering the Magpies’ abysmal form, that this could be a walk in the park for Chelsea. But this is not an easy match to call.
Despite having started the process of solving Chelsea’s own domestic troubles this term, Jose Mourinho has never once won at St James’s Park, with Newcastle proving to be a bit of a bogey team over the years. The Magpies were one of just three teams to beat the Blues last season, and while there can be no doubt of their problems this term, this match could throw up a few surprises. Especially as Chelsea will be without the infamous Diego Costa rampaging up top.
The early kick-off on the Saturday could be equally as interesting. Leaders Man City, still reeling after their 2-1 loss to West Ham at the Etihad last time out, travel to White Hart Lane to take on a Tottenham side desperate to kick-start their season.
Losing at home to Arsenal in the cup midweek was a bitter pill for any Spurs fan (especially with Mathieu Flamini getting the goals), with two wins from their opening six Premier League games already cause for concern. Star striker Harry Kane has lost his mojo, and they can’t even call on Roberto Soldado to solve their crisis up top! City will fancy their chances, having consistently rolled Spurs over in recent years. But that West Ham defeat will have shaken them. They’ll need to get past that, and sharpish.
Manchester United face a flailing Sunderland at Old Trafford, which could end up being further target practice for Anthony Martial. Four goals in his first four games is pretty impressive, and with the Black Cats barely making it out of the changing room these days, it could turn out to be a bit of a battering.
A battering is what many thought Carlisle would have got at the hands of Liverpool in the cup during the week, but they pushed Brendan Rodgers’ boys right to the death, finally bowing out on penalties. The Reds haven’t looked in good shape this season, and need a pick-me-up. Tim Sherwood’s Aston Villa won’t be happy to oblige when they arrive at Anfield on Saturday.
You’d think a manager mad or brave not to play a two-goal midfield hero in the next game, but if Coquelin gets himself fit, its pretty cast iron that Mathieu Flamini will not be starting Arsenal’s match at Leicester City! The Gunners are another side that haven’t hit top form yet, and they will be out for blood after their 2-0 loss at Chelsea last weekend. Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester are the talk of the town, flying high in fourth spot, and establishing themselves as the early season comeback kings! Could be a high scoring one, this one!
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