HUGE DAY AT THE EMIRATES FOR EMERY AND XHAKA
You can throw your house on the main focus of Saturday’s 3pm games will be on Arsenal and the fan’s reaction to manager Unai Emery, and more what their reaction will be to captain Granit Xhaka.
It never seems to be far away from a crisis at the Emirates stadium and that has begun to rear its ugly head recently, resulting in the hostile scenes that unfolding during the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace last weekend.
We’ve all seen the response from the crowd to Xhaka’s, err, response to being substituted after the Gunners gave away a two-goal lead to Roy Hodgson’s side. All eyes will be on North London come 3pm on Saturday to see what sort of reception the Swiss international will get, particularly now Xhaka has come out and explained the reasons behind his reaction.
Arsenal are in dire need of a win following that draw to Palace and the 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United that preceded it, and there will be intrigue to see whether Emery will give in to the demand of the crowds and start Mesut Ozil.
The former Sevilla and PSG manager could do with a home banker on Saturday, so it is less than ideal that they come up against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side took four points off the Gunners last season, drawing 1-1 in this fixture, and you can find a draw with both teams to score at 4.30* on site.
VILLA PARK BACK WELCOMING THE BIG BOYS
Nobody can tell you when the Carabao Cup quarter-final tie between these two sides will be played but at least we’ve got a guaranteed league fixture between Aston Villa and Liverpool tomorrow.
Villa fans have been looking forward to days like this since their return to the Premier League following their playoff final victory over Derby County in May. The big boys back at Villa Park in a league fixture, and this will be the first time that Dean Smith’s side have welcomed one fo the ‘top six’ to Birmingham this season.
The context of this fixture may just give the Villains something to cling on to in terms of hoping to get a result, because who knows what to expect from Villa in these types of fixtures?
Villa Park when its at full capacity, bouncing and proving a hostile noise is not a easy day out for any side, and it may not prove to be that for the current league leaders.
Liverpool should still get through unscathed but keep an eye on a draw at 5.55*.
TIGHT AND TENTATIVE BATTLE EXPECTED AT BRAMALL LANE
Sheffield United could move into the top six of the Premier League this weekend with a win at home to Burnley.
The top six, which qualifies for Europa League football, Sheffield United could be playing European football next season.
Ok, there is a long way to go for the Premier League to resort to the mean but nothing can be taken away from how well Chris Wilder’s team have started to their first season back in the Premier League since 2007.
A fantastic scalp was accomplished by their 1-0 win over Arsenal which was followed up by coming from behind to salvage a respectable 1-1 draw away at West Ham United last weekend. The Blades are set up brilliantly in their 3-5-2 formation which can be disciplined at the back while also having enough of a presence further up the pitch to cause sides problems.
Despite the fact Liverpool and Manchester City are both playing this weekend, this fixture could be the one that is the most fascinating of the 3pm’s this weekend.
The intriguing Sheffield United coming up against a Burnley side hurting from the 4-2 loss to Chelsea last weekend, who know how to stop a few defeats turning into a crisis.
It could be a safe prediction to see United take the lead and the Clarets to then peg them back, you can get on 1-1 at 5.40*.
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