Blues’ Benitez in last chance saloon
Posted Saturday, February 9 2013 at 02:00
Players’ performances have dropped a level due to the awareness that Rafa won’t be around next season.
Chelsea 2 Wigan 1
Jose Mourinho’s shadow lurks ominously over under pressure Spanish gaffer Rafa Benitez. Players’ performances have dropped a level due to the awareness that Rafa won’t be around next season. The unthinkable chop is even fathomable unless Chelsea beat Wigan.
Spurs 2 Newcastle 1
What a signing Moussa Sissoko is turning out to be. Two man of the match performances against Aston Villa and Chelsea in which six points were gathered has lifted spirits. A triumvirate with Chiekh Tiote and Yohan Cabaye will trouble any side. Alan Pardew’s French connection should expose Spurs’ soft underbelly.
Norwich 1 Fulham 1
These two teams are in a wretched run of form. The Cannaries December luster has completely deserted them while Fulham cannot recognise themselves from the shambles of the last two months. I cannot see how these strugglers are going to be separated. Time for Chris Hughton and Martin Jol to earn their wages.
Stoke 1 Reading 0
Reading just cannot stop putting points on board. This is something I find puzzling because I feel they have the weakest squad in the division. Stoke’s form has been woeful in recent weeks but Tony Pulis will command his aerial aces to pick up three points from this tie.
Swansea 1 QPR 0
Goalie Julio Caesar’s immaculate displays have ensured Rangers have the best defensive record this year. Exactly how to translate this solid foundation into victories has been complicated by new signing Loic Remy’s groin injury. Swansea will juggle their squad in readiness for the Carling Cup final against Bradford City.
Southampton 2 Man City 2
Talisman Yaya Toure’s return from another disastrous African Nations Cup outing will give City impetus. But will it be enough to dislodge energetic, exuberant Southampton? I have my doubts. The Saints have been excellent since Mauricio Pochettino (remember Old Trafford) took over and I can see the spoils hared.
Liverpool 2 West Brom 0