This weekend marks week six of the Barclays Premier League and it is obvious to even the uninitiated in the round leather game that this season promises to be probably the most exciting and intriguing campaign.
The shock defeat for Manchester United at Old Trafford by Swansea (mind you Swansea did not park the bus) and their eventual capitulation at Leicester, considering the fact that United had led 3-1 before bowing to the resilience of Leicester City – eventually losing the game 5-3 was fascinating to say the least (except you are a Manchester United fan of course). Stoke City win against the defending Champions, Manchester City and West Brom getting three points at White Hart lane simply buttresses the unpredictability of this campaign.
Southampton who many pundits thought will be relegation candidate with the way the team lost key players in the transfer window has surprised many, even though it is still early days. They occupy the second position just three points behind Chelsea. The Blues were impeccable in their opening four games (Costa and Fabregas seem to be perfect fit) and had it not being a Frank Lampard equaliser for Manchester City in week five, they could have won all their five opening matches.
Arsenal have not gotten their rhythm looking at the first four games they played but if the way and manner they destroyed Aston Villa is anything to go by, they may just be getting into another gear now. The much maligned Mesut Ozil showed why is regarded as the “pass master” at Villa Park with the way he combined with Danny Welbeck.
As we enter week six, there are some interesting matches with the Merseyside derby between Liverpool versus Everton lunch time fixture to kick start the weekend. Both Managers, Brendan Rogers and Roberto Martinez are from the school of free flowing attacking football and you can be rest assured that the game at Anfield will be keenly contested. Will Everton finally be able to beat Liverpool in a Merseyside Derby after such a long time? Liverpool have won eight and drawn seven of the last fifteen matches. This tie certainly promises to be exhilarating.
Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea tutored side will host Aston Villa at Stamford bridge, while Crystal Palace play confident Leicester City who are coming into this game on the back of their win over Manchester United. The defending Champions, Manchester City travel to Hull City and will hope to get back to wining ways after drawing their last two matches in the League.
Louis Van Gaal certainly did not bargain for the kind of start as Manager of Manchester United. The injuries to key players in his defence will be a source of concern this afternoon as they face West Ham at Old Trafford. Anything less than a victory by Van Gaal will be difficult to swallow for the United faithfuls. Sam Allardyce have shown that they are capable of producing upsets as confirmed with their win against Liverpool.
The North London derby is certainly a cracker any day. From the fans, players and managers it is not lost on anyone how significant this game is and the bragging rights it offers. To quote Arsene Wenger “it is more than just the three points.” This derby ranks among one of the most anticipated derbies in club football. You can be rest assured of goals, drama, emotions and thrills. Arsenal have dominated the derby of late “painting North London red” but their neighbour down the road, Tottenham now under Mauricio Pochettino will have other ideas. This weekend’s game between the two sides marks the 174th derby. I have gut feeling this may be the match of the weekend.
Other games over the weekend are Sunderland playing Swansea at home, West Brom entertaining newly promoted Burnley who are yet to win a game so far. Stoke City will host Alan Pardew under fire Newcastle United. Pardew will certainly love a win to get the fans of his back. If he loses, he may just be days away from being sacked.
No matter team which you support or even if you are a “neutral” the Barclays Premier League matches promises to be exciting and captivating. My pick for the weekend are Merseyside and North London derbies. Expect some fireworks!
Fasten your seat belt, get ready for some top class entertainment.
Written by Bimboh Adekoya. You can follow him @Bimboh5