Wednesday, 16 March 2011

EPL News Round-up

What's new in the EPL this week?

Alex Ferguson has been handed a five-game ban by the FA following his criticism of referee Martin Atkinson. I like this move by the FA. I get a little tired of managers blaming any loss their team suffers on the performance of the referee when everyone knows how hard that job is. Of course the ref is going to make mistakes, there are 22 players out there on the pitch who are trying to cheat, dive and influence the referee in some way. I wish it wasn't like that but, let's face it, that is a big part of professional football these days.

Fergie wouldn't be whinging if his team had gained an advantage through poor refereeing. In fact, more often than not it is Fergie who gains the advantage, so I'm glad the FA gave him this ban. Perhaps they could duct-tape his mouth up too.

Adam Johnson looks like he is set to return for Manchester City. This is great news for The Citizens and for England fans. The sooner he gets back on the pitch the better.

Nani is still pissed at Jamie Carragher for the nasty tackle he received in Manchester United's 3-1 loss to Liverpool a couple of weeks ago. I guess he has every right to be angry, the tackle was pretty awful but I think he could let it go. It didn't seriously injure him (he was back on Tuesday night to feature in United's Champion's League clash with Marseille) and Carragher did apologise.

I'm not a fan of Nani, he prances round like a fairy half the time, but I do agree with him when he asks the referees to be fair. Carragher should have been sent off but there is far too much inconsistency with how the refs deal with bad tackles.

Bale is back
Gareth Bale is back! This is excellent news for everyone. He was playing so well up until his injury so I hope he gets back to his best as soon as possible. It's a shame he will, like Ryan Giggs, waste his international career with Wales but I guess you can't have it all.

I'll have a wee look at some of this weekend's upcoming games shall I?


Nice London derby to kick things off on Saturday. West Ham have been pretty good recently but I can't see Tottenham losing this one. Maybe a draw, but I reckon Spurs will win.

Bent and Young have been so good playing up front for Villa that I cannot see how Wolves will contend with them. However, Villa are suspect at the back (the Bolton game anyone?) and Wolves have the physicality to cause any team problems.

Blackpool will be looking to get back to winning ways now they have dropped firmly into the relegation battle. Blackburn are just one place above Blackpool on the same points so this game is easily a six-pointer.

Man Utd have lost their last two Premiership games in a row and Bolton are never an easy team to play. I can see this one being close but Man Utd's home advantage might see them through.

This is going to be a tough game for Newcastle. Stoke are very physical and will put plenty of balls into the Newcastle box. I'm not totally convinced by Newcastle's back four so I think they will concede. Can Best and Lovenkrands do enough up front for the Toon? I don't think they can.

This should be a walk in the park for Arsenal but as any Gunner fan will know, these games never seem to be easy anymore. With Man Utd involved in such a tough game against Bolton, Arsenal should be looking to win this game comfortably to keep the pressure on the Red Devils.

Wigan desperately need the points, as do Birmingham, who need to shake off that Cup winning hangover quickly if they want to stay in the Premiership. This one should be a cautious game so I can't see too many goals.

It has been the same story for both of these teams all year. You never know which team is going to turn up. The really good one or the really poor one. I guess the lack of consistency is the main reason why they are both languishing in mid-table obscurity. I literally couldn't hazard a guess at what will happen in this game.


I can see Liverpool keeping up their current good form with a win at the Stadium of Light. Suarez looks a fantastic player and I can't see the Sunderland defence coping with him.

This is a huge game for the end-of-season bragging rights. Which of these teams is going to finish third? It should be, I stress should be, a fantastic game. I'm going with Chelsea.

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