HAVING MOVED LEVEL on points with Manchester United on Wednesday, Spurs must now (legally) be considered as title contenders. Tomorrow they host Wolves and, with Manchester City not in action until Monday, we could have a three way tie at the league summit come Saturday night.
Spurs are eight games unbeaten since their highly-contentious defeat at Stoke a month ago. In those eight games they managed to keep six clean sheets. There is just the nagging feeling that this is the type of game where Spurs will lay siege to the visitors’ goal, but come up short in the end. Still, it would take a greater level of bravery than ours to back against Harry’s boys in this sort of form.
Chelsea and Liverpool are also at home against very beatable opposition (Sunderland and Stoke, respectively) so there ought to be ample fish to aim for in this weekend’s fantasy barrel. City are away from home, but could hardly have chosen a nicer fixture to bounce back into form.
The January transfer window is in full swing so don’t forget is to check out the transfer speculation before completing dodgy deals of your own. After all; we don’t want your new captain and big-money signing getting ‘unsettled’ at his current club by large wads of cash, now do we?
Two players to pick this week
Wayne Rooney: Apparently, he is not going anywhere. Rooney has scored eight times in nine games against Bolton. That does include two hat-tricks, but Rooney has a habit of going on fruitful scoring runs. As Gary Cahill’s departure from the Reebok is imminent, the Trotters can’t make any promises to nip this streak in the bud.
Daniel Sturridge: Hardly rocket-science, these calls. With Didier Drogba and Solomon Kalou off to help the Ivory Coast lift the African Cup of Nations, Chelsea’s attacking hopes rest on Sturridge and (don’t laugh) Fernando Torres. Sunderland, Norwich and Swansea are all on the Chelsea itinerary before February so the Blues will surely create plenty of scoring chances.
PS: Arsenal fans; you should be be re-jigging your squad to make room for a £7.5M Thierry Henry – you would never forgive yourself if he finds the net again.
Two players to avoid this week
Wigan defenders: No need to name names here. The Latics will be up against the finest attack in the land on Monday and, after two home defeats, they’ll be hell-bent on proving they are still title bound.
Ryan Taylor: Newcastle will be critically weakened by the absence of Demba Ba and Cheick Tiote over the coming weeks. Their opponents on Saturday are QPR and we all know what happens when a new manager parachutes in – temporary 100% improvement.
Predictions for the week:
Aston Villa 1 – 1 Everton
Blackburn 1 – 2 Fulham
Chelsea 1 – 0 Sunderland
Liverpool 2 – 0 Stoke
Man Utd 3 – 0 Bolton
Spurs 1 – 0 Wolves
West Brom 0 – 1 Norwich
Newcastle 2 -2 QPR
Swansea 1 – 2 Arsenal
Wigan 0 – 4 Man City
How my team got on last gameweek: Eh… lets just say it was a long Christmas, though I did hand Demba Ba the armband before doling out the presents. I have since thanklessly stripped him of said garland and drafted Sturridge in to replace him.
Who’s leading TheScore.ie’s league? Paudie O’Neill’s Deceptively Slow are still showing everyone else how it’s done. Over half of his 63 points in gameweek 20 were thanks to Gareth Bale (captain) and Brad Guzan.