In the British Premiership, two tough away matches catch my eye.
Fulham v Chelsea
Fulham are struggling. They just fired their 2nd manager of the season and they are bottom of the Premiership a massive 39 points behind the league leaders, their visitors this weekend – Chelsea! So it’s last versus first, David & Goliath, so to speak. Only Goliath has just started to show some signs of wear and tear. Chelsea struggled in their last league match at home against Everton and needed an injury time goal to win. Then revelations that manager Jose Mourinho had made some terrible remarks about his own players including the lack of a real striker and he also questioned the real age of African legend Samuel Eto’o. This was followed by an unconvincing performance in the Champions league away in Turkey – a long trip home and a London Derby against the bottom team.
Add all of these little elements into the mix, including the stat that Chelsea have won 99 London Derbies and are keen to hit a century as well as the referee for the match is Mark Clattenburg, who was recently accused of racism by a few Chelsea players… and cleared of all charges. And my friends, we have a potential humdinger!
Chelsea should win. But I’ll stick my neck out and go for a shock result – or rather Chelsea won’t win. A score draw with a few cards handed out to both sets of players.
Southampton v Liverpool
It’s hard watching Liverpool these days if you are a United fan – they are oozing confidence and there is a real swagger about the team. This confidence is directly related to the impact Suarez and Sturridge have had in front of goal this season – 41 league goals between them – that’s more than 15 of the other Premiership clubs have scored and only 2 goals less than Manchester United have scored the whole season! They are only 4 points off the top and after a 24 year vacuum of league trophies; there is a real sense among the Scousers that this could be their year.
But Southampton away has not been a happy hunting ground for the Reds who travel to St Mary’s on the back of 3 consecutive defeats at the home of the Saints.Now that you know a few more facts, you might find this fixture a little more stimulating.
I’m hoping for a Southampton result, but my head tells me Liverpool will break their bad run and close the gap on Chelsea.
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George Dearnaley is a former Bafana player, supports AmaZulu & Manchester United and loves talking football – follow him @zulushark