The soccer gods have heard the prayers of every cubicle bound worker and answered them with a scintillating mid-week slate. The Premier League knew we’d watch Huddersfield and Wolves if it came to that but threw us a bone with 4 games with YUGEEEEE implications. I will miss Rebecca Lowe in the studio for this, but she’d want us to go on without her so with Lady Lowe in mind let’s jump into Wednesday’s matchups.
Tottenham vs. Chelsea
The best game of the week pits perennial underachievers against the Kepa Arrizabalaga’s. Seriously just how bad of a look was that for the Chelsea backstop. It’s one thing to want to compete, I get that, but if you’re going to do that uhhh maybe stop Aguero’s penalty. Maybe. Everyone on Chelsea handled it awful but where the fuck was Azpilcueta during this? He was about as present as the truth in Jussie Smollet’s head around 3 am in downtown Chicago. As the captain you have to do something in that situation and it just adds to the turmoil for the West London club. On the other hand, Tottenham just lost to Burnley….at home…to Burnley. It’s not a good time Bob! We will also cherish the challenge Tottenham put on the title race but alas all good things come to an end. Chelsea did play well against City, but do they have the mental strength to put together another performance like that against Spurs? I think this has letdown written all over it for the Blues after the heartbreaking loss in the Carabao Cup. Sarri is gone soon and I’m sure the fans will let him hear it. Hazard is already thinking about the Iberian Peninsula and all it has to offer. Tottenham are still not healthy but they’re healthy enough where they can give Chelsea a run for their money. Harry Kane returned against Burnley and promptly scored but he’s still lacking fitness for a full game. Ultimately, I think Chelsea will hold possession and probably get one goal while Tottenham look for the counter. I’m going 1-1 draw for this one.
City vs. West Ham
Could be a sneaky good game at the Ethiad on Wednesday. City have won 14 of their last 15 games but picked up a couple of significant knocks in their Cup win. Aymeric Laporte and Fernandinho both will be out a couple weeks and with the volume of games City have it could spell trouble. Kompany is an old man now with little pace and Otamendi is always good for a red card scare so look for Felipe Anderson and Michail Antonio to try and exploit that down the flanks. I think Pep puts Gundogan in Fernandinho’s spot, which adds a bit of offense but the German international definitely lacks the defensive stopping power that Fernandinho brings. Pep did try to light a fire under the team before the game here and I can’t see them dropping points here at home. West Ham would have a better shot at home but on the road they’re a completely different team. City 3 – West Ham 1.
Liverpool vs. Watford
Oh boy Liverpool fans. What a lame showing against United over the weekend. The nerves are alive and well in that attacking 3 and they aren’t producing at the level that they need to be. Firmino picked up a knock so expect him to be out and that hurts for what Klopp wants to do. Sturridge and Origi aren’t the false 9 that Bobby is and Salah won’t be afforded the ability to push forward into the striker role he likes to be in. Would love to see Klopp just throw Salah up top and Shaqiri in the right-wing role but I don’t think he does that against Watford. If Liverpool don’t score early the crowd could start getting anxious and that spells trouble for the Reds. Watford have overachieved all year, but I don’t think they have enough to get a result at Anfield. Their defense isn’t good enough and they may get 1 or 2 goals tonight, but it would take a lot against Van Dick and co. They’re at their best when Delofoeu and Pereyera have space outside and it’s going to be tough with the high press Liverpool implement. I think this game is very close but in the end Liverpool get the result they need to stop the bleeding. Liverpool 2 – Watford 1.
Man United vs Crystal Palace
United are DECIMATED with injuries for their top 6 players. Martial, Lingard, Mata, Herrera and probably Rashford are all out. That’s not good. Enter Romelu Lukaku. I really do hope he gets it going because he makes me laugh doing step overs. Lukaku actually has been decent lately and his passing might be better than Messi’s. (only half kidding). It comes down to if you think Alexis, Pogba and Lukaku can get enough goals against a stout Palace defense. I’m in the camp that Zaha, Townsend and Michy can cause some trouble for United and might even win the damn thing. This has classic trap game written all over it. Coming off an emotional draw against Liverpool then travelling to a mid-tier club. Call me crazy please do but I think Palace pull this out due to United’s infirmary on the bench. Palace 2 – United 1.
Arsenal vs Bournemouth
Arsenal very very quietly snuck back into the top 4 this past weekend. I still don’t think they’re that good, but it is still impressive in Emery’s first season in charge. Bournemouth for all the accolades they get this season are AWFUL on the road. The defense is going to have their hands full with a confident Gooners attack and I can see the over hitting in this one. Both defenses are pretty bad let’s be honest so I’m taking the over. Arsenal will put a few past the Cherries defense and keep that top 4 spot locked up for yet another week. Good the for vampire that is Unai Emery. Arsenal 3 – Bournemouth 1.