What a week this has been. First, St Patrick’s day – an actual excuse to down pint after pint until you can’t remember what year it is and think your name is Guinness. Then there’s El Classico on Sunday – which roughly translates as “men, grown men, falling down after minimal (if any) contact at an alarming rate” – and if that wasn’t enough to make this week the Chuck Norris of all weeks, we have these three Premier League clashes to look forward to as well.
Man City v West Brom
Ah, the life of a footballer. One minute you’re playing at the Nou Camp, relentlessly getting nutmegged by the greatest footballer on the planet in front of 90,000 Catalans, the next you’re trying to avoid slipping up to a West Brom side led by Chris Brunt – who, incidentally, have kept four clean sheets in the last five games. However, the Baggies have lost their last five visits to the Etihad, and City have lost just one of their last 11 home games, so unless jetlag from Spain is particularly bad this time of year or the partial eclipse blinds the entire City squad, it seems as though this one should be pretty straightforward for the Citizens.
Hull v Chelsea
So, Jose is still banging on about this “campaign” against his side – even my mum didn’t moan this much when my attempt to emulate Roberto Carlos’ free-kick in the back garden resulted in the death her prized nasturtium, counseling for the cat and a football-sized hole in next door’s greenhouse. But, for the record, it’s Chelsea who have seen more red cards given to opponents than any other Premier League team this season. The hosts may need some of this imaginary bias, seeing as the Blues haven’t lost in their last 11 matches against Hull. The Tigers sit just three point off of the relegation zone but for the love of god, nobody mention that to Brucey, or else his already impossibly red face may be in danger of becoming even redder.
Liverpool v Man United
Van Gaal said this week that the United job will be his last managerial position in football – yeah, you think? If I spent millions on underachieving players, lost 4-0 to a League 1 outfit and regressed a world super-brand like Manchester United into a route-one playing, Fellaini-dependant, Europa League-challenging, Falcao-destroying, uninspiring mess of a side, I wouldn’t be too confident of securing another decent job in the game either. In fairness, his team have been on a great run of form but, then again, so have Liverpool. You wouldn’t want to rule the Mancs out but it seems like this is the chance for the Scousers to seriously hinder their rivals’ Champions League chances. With Sturridge, Sterling and Coutinho all now clicking, the Reds have gotta be favourites this weekend, no?