Amazing Chelsea Performance, Weekend Predictions, Scotland Updates23rd Sep 2016 |
The League Cup is an arena where the young players can show their managers that they deserve to be taken into future consideration. It is also an arena where the teams from the lower leagues have a chance to really perform on a really big stage. These two combined is, as we have all learned a long time ago, the perfect recipe for great football surprises.
But we did not really get any surprises in the third round of the League Cup. The fact that Norwich, who played in the Premier League last season, defeated Everton can hardly be called a real surprise. Nottingham Forrest, Derby, Accrington, Gillingham and Northampton all had the opportunity to cause some uproar, but it was only Accrington who came close. They did get a decent result though – a 1-0 loss to West Ham does not look bad. But the fans must have been very disappointed when the final whistle came, as The Hammers had to wait until the 90th minute before Dimitry Payet scored the goal. The other teams were never close to challenging Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United. Leicester City Chelsea was a cracking game, luckily. Chelsea managed to get a 2-2 result in after being down 2-0. As Cesc Fabregas scored two goals within a few minutes in the extra halves, Chelsea won the game 4-2. The next round will be played at October 25th, with two derbies: Manchester United-Manchester City and West Ham-Chelsea.
Almost everything happening Saturday
Unlike last weekend, almost everything will happen on Saturday this weekend. No matter where you stand in terms of your favourite team, there is no doubt that there is one game that stands out more than anyone else: Arsenal-Chelsea, starting at 17:30 Saturday evening. We have seen many legendary games between these two, and I am completely sure that we will get a great one this time as well – try to type “Kanu belive it” on YouTube for my personal favourite of all time. The day starts with Manchester United-Leicester at 12:30, and it remains to see if Leicester will start to show some of the form they had last year. If they will do that this season, Old Trafford is a good place to start. Unless you have a clear favourite team playing, picking your game at 15:00 is a tough task. It is not easy to choose between six games, but if I were to give one recommendation it would have to be Tottenham-Middlesbrough. The former once again wants to manage to finish above Arsenal, and a win against Boro would make it impossible for The Gunners to move over them – at least for one more round. On Sunday, West Ham-Southampton is the only game being played in the Premier League.
The Championship and Scotland
We must not forget the great authentic football we can see here. It starts already on Friday with a struggle for survival between Preston and Wigan. If you are of the nostalgic kind there are many good games between great traditional teams at 15:00 on Saturday: Derby-Blackburn, Sheffield Wednesday-Nottingham and Leeds-Ipswich are all very good alternatives to the Premier League. Although Aston Villa-Newcastle can’t compete against compete against Arsenal-Chelsea at 17:30, I would highly recommend having two screens at that time. Unless you are a fan it is highly unlikely that Celtic-Kilmarnock or Hearts-Ross County can compete against the English football on Saturday, but at 13:00 on Sunday we can see a game with long traditions from the north of Hadrian’s wall, when Aberdeen gets a visit from the newly emerged Rangers.