It will be a fantastic weekend of football ahead of us as for the sixth round of the Premier League we have cracking games. Arsenal will take on Chelsea and Manchester United will host Tottenham at Craven Cottage. Chelsea are currently top of the league and they reached that position by having an impressive run of victories. Although they also had a disappointing draw against QPR they managed to score points weeks in and weeks out even tough their main concern is that their defence looks shaky and the attack is not totally convincing yet.
Moratti’s decision to promote a young coach as Stramaccioni to the first team was a gamble, but it made sense if you consider that after winning everything Inter Milan have started to focus on youths. What better, then, that a youth coach like Stramaccioni who was able to win everything with the youth side? Moreover, the same choice was also made by Barcelona who preferred a domestic solution like Tito Villanova to a coach with a different football culture.
This week another Champions League season drama will start and we have had a look at the clubs to understand where to put the money in the winning market.
Even if they surrendered the 2011/12 Premier League to their bitter rivals, Manchester United are not famous to have failing seasons and they have worked hard during the summer to bounce back immediately. In order to do so they have strengthen their squad with the signing of Robin Van Persie and Shinji Kagawa so Alex Ferguson will be expecting nothing less than a glorious success this time out. United can be backed at 11.00.
Any side with the players that Real Madrid have can only have the objective of winning the Champions League. From the uber-experienced Casillas to a very solid back four through the talented midfield and the top attack, they have what it takes to win against anyone. They have started the new season very badly tough and are already 8 points behind Barcelona but this could mean that they may focus even more resources towards the Champions League. Los Blancos can be backed at 5.40.
Despite spending heavily and having won the domestic title last season we still think that they don’t have enough experience to win at international level. Throwing money at a squad doesn’t guarantee European Champions League glory and Roman Abramovich knows this very well despite he finally achieved his dream last May in strange circumstances. I think ManchesterCity won’t go farer than the last eight. If you think they can win than you can back them at 11.00
Even if I do understand why the price for the Catalans to win at 3.55 I think that they may have some problems when they will face top teams towards the last part of the competition. Also, many of their players have won everything and may feel a bit tired considering that they have never stopped in more than 1 year having played the Euro this summer. Also Tito Vilanova is not experienced and this could cause problems down the line when top games will come around (see Spanish Super Cup).
They are priced at 13.00 and it is not surprising as the German giants aren’t quite as strong as the top sides. Last year they managed to get to the final but had many things going their way. During the summer they have invested heavily but I think they will focus mostly on the Bundesliga where they have been defeated for two years in a row.
England started their World Cup qualification campaign with a professional performance against international minnows Moldova on Friday night coming away with a 5-0 victory in what could have been a difficult night for the Three Lions. Roy Hogdson set out his stall early and thanks to an early penalty from Frank Lampard England ran easily with an easy victory and their first step towards Brazil 2014.
After drawing 1-1 inGreece against Atromitos, Newcastle are expected to progress and reach Europa League group stage. Alan Pardew’s men did well last week in Athens and although they conceded the opening goal they were able to change the course of the match thanks to a superb Ryan Taylor strike they gave the Tyneside a crucial away goal.
The premier league weekend action was once again a hugely exciting affair with plenty of goals and action to keep the fans on their toes. With the game of the weekend at Anfield where Liverpool welcomed Manchester City. The reds under the weight of expectation of the fans who expect a top four challenge did deliver on that with a strong performance in which they took the lead twice before squandering and gifting manchester city a route back in. The reds are now 3/1 for a top 4 place after dropping 5 points out of 6. With Spurs conceding a late equaliser against West Brom and losing midfielder Modric to Madrid for just over £30 million it is difficult to fancy them for the top 4 spots being a weaker squad with a new manager.
Many pundits did question Roman Abramovich’s motivation once Chelsea won the Champions League by the Russian owner proved that he is still keen to bring more trophy to Stamford Bridge and kept their wallet open allowing Roberto Di Matteo to buy a series of top players like Hazard and Oscar. The Russian oligarch has managed to put £80 million on the plate this summer proving that winning the European was just the start for him. He is continuing to buy new players and Saturday morning they have also confirmed the arrival of Victor Moses for £9 million after a summer long pursuit of Wigan’s talented youngster.