Friday, October 4, 2013

Pirlo's back, Zlatan the 3rd, Moyes on watch - the Weekend preview



Italy is where the action is this weekend. Inter v Roma and Juventus v AC Milan. Roma have won 6 of 6 in Serie A, with Inter unbeaten in 4th after a surprisingly strong start to the season. Gervinho is scoring goals (which can't be true), but he is playing with Totti, who could lay chances on that even Emile Heskey couldn't miss.

Inter are a bit of a team of no-names, but it's working for them. Gone are the big stars of the Mourinho era, but Walter Mazzari is building a strong team, and Diego Milito is back to prove that he can score from more than 6 yards out - I've never seen it, but it has to happen soon.

Juve against Milan is always a good game, or at least has a great history. Van Basten, Gullit, Vialli, Baggio etc. Who can't love names like that? The memory of Baresi, Maldini, Zoff and Del Piero makes it so easy to watch - and it's always great to see Pirlo show Milan why they were fools to let him go.

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I'll be looking at how the Premier League teams deal with post-European fixtures this week. Spurs have a (relatively) tough derby with West Ham, Swansea may struggle at Southampton after playing Thursday, and 3 of the 4 Champions League entrants have tough away games. City are at home against Everton after being schlapped by Bayern Munich in the week. Bayern are the best team in Europe right now, but Everton are unbeaten in the league, scoring lots of goals and have a red-hot Romelu Lukaku.

David Moyes will be in more hot water if United lose away at Sunderland. The Black Cats are a shambles, but they played well against Liverpool for large periods of the game, and are due a result. Arsenal are the form team, with people treating Mesut Ozil like he's the second coming of Diego Maradona. They've been good, but a loss away at West Brom and Arsene Wenger will have those fickle fans on his case again. Samuel Eto'o is going to score soon. Sorry Norwich fans, but he is.

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7 from 7 for Barcelona and Atletico Madrid - who's going to buckle first. Probably Atletico, but if Barca lose when Messi is out injured, some idiot is going to say they're a one-man team. Probably Jamie Redknapp or Alexi Lalas.

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The pick of the other European games for me is Marseille against PSG. Mainly because of this quote from Zlatan on Wayne Rooney... "if he did join, he would have to get used to the fact that Zlatan scores even better goals than he does." Zlatan, in the third person, telling it how it is. Love him.