Black Cats reprieve for Moyes
Posted Saturday, October 5 2013 at 01:00
Man City 2 Everton 1
Topsy-turvy is how best to describe Manuel Pellegrini’s brief reign at the Etihad. The Chilean engineer is finding trouble balancing an assault on the Premiership with European engagements, with brilliant performances interspersed with stuttering displays. But he does have the tools to end Everton’s good record away to City. Stocky Argentine Sergio Aguero is crucial to his goal.
Cardiff City 1 Newcastle 1
Mickey Mackay’s newcomers continue to show their impressive Championship credentials are not misplaced in the big time. Last Saturday’s late winner at Craven Cottage, just like the victory over Manchester City, was built on guts. However, Alan Pardew’s Magpies do have the assets to trouble Cardiff. Loic Remy is building a lethal understanding with Hatem Ben Arfa.
Fulham 1 Stoke City 1
Boos to beleaguered Cottagers coach Martin Jol reached a crescendo as they staggered to a 1-2 home loss to Cardiff. Shahid’s Khan’s side do not have the mental resolve to finish off teams even when they are on the front-foot. It was the second time in as many home games they had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, having also dropped points very late against West Brom.
Sunderland 1 Man Utd 2
David Moyes should earn reprieve from the disastrous start to his reign at Old Trafford when the Red Devils visit the Sunderland. The Black Cats’ defending is shambolic, their midfield play uninspired and their attacks too blunt to trouble the visitors. Utd’s form is puzzling, when you consider that the Robin van Persie- Rooney striking partnership is as good as any in the division.
West Brom 1 Arsenal 2
Steve Clarke’s Brummies have developed a Jekyll and Hyde aspect to their performances that makes them slippery for punters. A listless Capital One Cup home display against Gunners’ reserves was followed by a memorable 2-1 victory over champions Manchester United. With Mesut Ozil creating chances for fun and Aaron Ramsey in the form of his life, Arsenal start as favourites to win a record 13th consecutive away game.
Tottenham 2 West Ham 0
It is a measure of Andre Villas-Boas’s progress as a manager that the Spurs rebuilding process is already being touted as superior to Chelsea’s who are managed by his former mentor Jose Mourinho. The North Londoners are defensively stout, creative in the centre and wide areas and lethal in front of goal. A Hammers outfit bereft of out and out strikers should be no match to them.
Norwich 0 Chelsea 2
Jose Mourinho has admitted he doesn’t know his best starting line-up and I can understand why. Juan Mata’s second half display against Spurs, in which he improved the team’s distribution will some eye-catching passes, means he must be in contention to start today. Mourinho has matured enough to admit when he is wrong, and he must realize the Mata-Oscar-Hazard combination can work. Chelsea want this victory badly and will get it.
Hull Tigers 2 Aston Villa 1