FA Cup, European tournaments, this weekend’s Premier League games9th Dec 2016 |
If you do not love the FA Cup, then you are not a real fan of football. It’s as easy as that. The draw for the world’s oldest and greatest club tournament went down this week, and the games are scheduled to be played at the weekend of 6th-8th of January. Among the greatest excitements is always the question of which of the little teams will face some of the huge teams. We now know that Chelsea will face either Notts County or Peterborough, while Liverpool will face either Plymouth or Newport County. Unfortunately, it must be allowed to say, the games will be played at Stanford Bridge and Anfield. There is a very special atmosphere connected to such games at the smaller team’s home ground. The two most winning teams in the history of the competition, Arsenal and Manchester United, will face Preston away and Reading at home respectively. A game that might be fun to watch, and a potential surprise, is Cambridge-Leeds.
We now know which English teams we will see more of in the European tournaments this season. Out of the five British teams in the Champions League it is only Celtic that will be seen no more. Tottenham ended on a third place, which will send them on to the Europa League together with Manchester United – Southampton is out of that competition. Arsenal and Leicester won their group, while Manchester City finished second. So that is what we’ve got now: Three English teams in the Champions League and two in the Europa League. It will be exciting to see who the opponents are going to be.This weekend’s games
A new weekend means new games to watch, and we get a great one already this Friday night when Brighton is getting a visit from Leeds. The latter probably feels that they have been floating around the Championship and League 1 for far too long now, and this game gives them a great opportunity to strengthen their claim for a spot in next year’s Premier League. Brighton, on the other hand, has been looking like a clear candidate for promotion for several years now, but they have always managed to mess thing up for themselves.
I would suggest that this weekend’s greatest game for anyone who knows a bit about football history would be played in Scotland. Glasgow Rangers will take on their rivals Hearts from Edinburgh at 15:00 this Saturday, and for the first time in what seems like an eternity they are actually battling on equal terms this season. At the same time in England, Arsenal will try to spend at least one night at the top of the league when they face Stoke. If they fail at that task, they might be replaced at second place by Manchester City, who will face Leicester away.
No matter how this ends up, most people believe that Chelsea will still be top of the league after their game against West Brom at 12 on Sunday. But that day’s most interesting game in the Premier League is without doubt Manchester United-Tottenham. Both teams are fighting to be able to play a role in the top of the league, but the loser will enter the Christmas games in a very bad position after this game. A draw will only give us two teams in a bad position.
But the most interesting game in the Premier League does not mean that it is the most interesting game in the whole of England. Derby-Nottingham Forrest is due. This is, as you already know, one of the most intense derbies in the entire country. Watching it is mandatory.