Hello there, happy Sunday. I’m back after a few days away. I was in Prague from Wednesday until Saturday and decided to leave my laptop at home. I have to say, Prague is a wonderful city and I would definitely recommend going if you’re looking for a European city break. It was a great few days over there.
But it’s back to it now. That’s not a bad thing, because I absolutely love writing here. I really enjoy getting up every morning to write something or research an in-depth article. It can be hard work trying to find a balance between being here and going to work and living my life, but I do my best to balance them out. If only there were thousands of people coming here to read what I have to say every day! Then I could leave work and write here full-time, and put out a lot more than I do now. That’s my dream, but it’s not something I’m close to now. Hopefully one day!
Anyway, there are two games in the Premier League today, so we’ll have a look at each. Leicester host Manchester United at the King Power, and then Arsenal travel to play Manchester City at the Etihad.
Leicester vs Man United
At 2:05 p.m., Leicester host Man United at the King Power Stadium.
Leicester are quite an odd team. Since December, they’ve beaten Chelsea and Man City and drawn with Liverpool. But in the last few weeks, they’ve lost to Southampton and Wolves. They were also beaten by Cardiff and went out of the FA Cup against League Two Newport. This means the pressure is still on Claude Puel, with many still calling for him to be axed.
The Foxes have dropped to 11th in the Premier League table. They looked like they were in with a shout of finishing seventh at one stage but now sit six points behind Wolves, who occupy that likely Europa League qualification spot. It’s not impossible that they’ll manage to get back up there, but they’ll have to find some consistency.
Leicester got a good point at Anfield on Wednesday night and will look to take something today. They’ll be hoping to see plenty of the ball against Man United and will hope to hurt them. The signing of Youri Tielemans is a very good one, and he may be involved today. He’s a cracking player and signing him was a boost for Leicester. Hopefully he starts today because it would be good to see him. Leicester certainly have a chance today, as they’ve shown they can put in a good performance against the top teams.
Man United are looking to get back to winning ways after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s eight-game winning streak was ended by Burnley, as the Clarets claimed a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford on Wednesday. But that wasn’t a bad result for United, as they trailed 2-0 with three minutes to play before Paul Pogba scored a penalty and Victor Lindelof got the equaliser in injury time. They’ll still be disappointed that they only managed a draw against Burnley, though, of course.
United now trail Chelsea by five points, but a win today would put them in a great position. They’d move ahead of Arsenal, who play Man City later, and they could start feeling really confident of finishing in the top four. Solskjaer’s men are definitely in with a shout of finishing in the top four, and will feel confident of doing it given their recent form. We’ve seen a huge change in how they’re playing, and they’re now enjoyable to watch once again after a couple of years of shocking football.
Today’s game could be a good one. Both sides should go for this. Leicester have some very dangerous attacking players that can really hurt United. But United are favourites to get three away points today, and rightly so.
Man City vs Arsenal
This game at the Etihad, which kicks off at 4:30 p.m., looks like it can only go one way, and that’s with three points for the Premier League champions. Man City are absolutely desperate to get the win after losing against Newcastle during the week and slipping five points behind Liverpool. But they were lucky that Liverpool didn’t manage to beat Leicester on Wednesday. A win today would cut that gap to just two points, and with Liverpool facing a tricky trip to West Ham tomorrow night, City could be in a good position after this round of games.
Pep Guardiola’s side are clear favourites to win this one. They have to win it. A loss or draw could see their title challenge finished. They’re currently third after Tottenham won yesterday and overtook them in the table. And playing against this Arsenal side, they’ll be more than confident of getting the job done comfortably.
As we know, City are blessed with attacking talent. Arsenal’s defence is dodgy when it’s full-strength, but they’ll be far from that today. Hector Bellerin being out is terrible for them, and they’re also missing Sokratis, who has been their best centre-half this season. Rob Holding’s season was also ended prematurely. Ainsley Maitland-Niles is unavailable today, which could mean Stephan Lichtsteiner or Carl Jenkinson plays at right-back. This is definitely an area in which City should try to exploit, as Leroy Sane could run either of those ragged.
The other side of the pitch could also give City some joy. Sead Kolasinac is a very good attacking left-back. But he’s caught out of position time after time, and Arsenal have been hurt down that side on numerous occasions. Unai Emery will likely revert to a five-man defence today to try to offset some of their defensive weaknesses, but the wings are where they could be hurt regardless.
Memories of the 5-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield in December will haunt Arsenal. And there could easily be a similar result today. It wouldn’t be a surprise if City battered them. But then maybe they won’t. Maybe Arsenal will turn up and put an amazing performance in and get something from the game. It’s unlikely but possible. Emery’s men have put in good performances at times this season and have come up with a couple of good results. They’ve beaten Tottenham and Chelsea at home, while they were competitive in games against City and away to Chelsea earlier in the season. You just never know.
There probably isn’t a great chance of Arsenal getting something from this game and doing Liverpool a favour. The Reds shouldn’t be too hopeful of it. Not many Arsenal fans will be feeling confident of getting something today either. At full-strength, maybe, but with such a depleted squad that their owner Stan Kroenke hasn’t bothered making stronger, there’s little chance. I don’t want to write them off completely because they could really turn up today, and Man City haven’t exactly been at their best in recent games, but if Arsenal aren’t beaten by at least a couple of goals today, I would be surprised.
Anyway, that’s that for now. The team news will be up here for those games an hour before they kick off. I’ll be back tomorrow with another blog, so I’ll see you then. Have a good Sunday and enjoy the football.