Week 2 and already there are 2 big games this Sunday in the Premier League. All the fixtures are listed here. And here are TTL’s storylines for this week.
Manchester City v Manchester United (Sunday 8:30ET). Crisis at Man U? No Wayne Rooney (injured) or Cristiano Ronaldo (suspended) for the Red Devils as they take on bitter rivals City. Even if Man U win they’ll still trail City in the table after City won their opening 2 games. Sven-Goran Eriksson has transformed City this season and the fans will singing his name from the terraces if the former England manager leads City to a win over Man U tomorrow. Gonna be a dogfight and keep an eye out for Man City’s Brazilian midfielder Elano, he’s the real deal. Feel like City will take the lead but Man U will nip them 2-1 in the end.
Liverpool v Chelsea. Oh yeah!! Chelsea comes to Anfield where they’ve had success in the League and a horrible time in the Champions League. Mourinho’s men gritted out 2 league victories already and will play well tomorrow despite their injury problems. Massive game for Liverpool as their supporters are clamoring for a Premier League title this season. And LP is laying it all on the line as Steven Gerrard will play with a hairline fracture in his toe (metatarsal alert) and then take some time off. Bout time LP beats Chelsea in the league and bet they do 1-0. YNWA! And for a full preview of this clash check out the rabid Liverpool blog of Being Sven.
TTL’s darlings from Tottenham are desperate for a home win against Derby. The Hammers have dropped their first 2 games and need to right the ship. As Steven Gerrard said earlier this week “you can’t win the title in August but you can lose it.” Must win game for Tottenham.
Wigan hosts Sunderland in an interesting game. As a general rule, if a team achieves 40 points on the season they’ll avoid relegation. Both these teams are in danger of being sent down so any points they can pick up are huge, even in August. Early on though, these bottom tier teams of Derby, Birmingham, Wigan and Sunderland among others are playing some good football. They fielded teams with strikers and are trying to score goals, even against the big clubs. The past few seasons the smaller clubs tended to play very defensively resulting in some quite boring games. Hopefully this attacking trend continues as its great to watch teams play to win rather than sit all 11 men behind the ball in a defensive wall.
In other news England announced their roster for the Aug. 22nd friendly against Germany. More importantly, this group of players will form the squad for home Euro 2008 qualifying games against Israel on Sept. 8 and Russia on the 12th. Becks is in, a whole host of injured are not. Adding to list of missing players is LP’s defender Jamie Carragher who announced his retirement from the national team this week. Carra is a world-class defender but has received scant playing time under manager Steve McClaren. Good news for Liverpool as Carra will be resting while international games are played.
Back tomorrow with a round-up of all Saturday’s action. Still working on the copyright piece but its evolved into an anti-ESPN diatribe of its own accord. Still needs some tweaking. Enjoy the games.