Game to watch – Chelsea vs Manchester City
A victory in the last four means that this meeting is no longer the head clash that promised to be a few weeks ago. Chelsea slipped ten points behind Manchester City after Sarri-ball's faults showed their faces late. But this does not make this Saturday evening less appetizing. Especially for those who appreciate a passing game.
This could be the closest thing that the Premier League ofl for a two-touch game. It brings together the reigning champions, who broke the winning record in a game last year, and the previous title holders, who recorded the highest number of passes in a single game this season.
The difference between Sarri & # 39; s Blues and Pep Guardiola is that the city passes with a bigger purpose. Of course, Guardiola had a two-year lead over Sarri and the progress the Chelsea boss has overseen since he took over in the summer was considerable. But while these two parts, according to Opta, are the only teams to have recorded more than 300 passing sequences more than ten, the cities are more successful in moving the ball to reach the intended destination – the opposition box.
Chelsea's possession seems too often for the sake of it. Perhaps that perceived weakness will be an advantage against the City: if Sarri's team manages to keep the ball, to play in the press and to deprive the city more successfully than other opponents, Guardiola's men will have less opportunity to mount their attacks vertiginous.
One thing seems certain: neither side will get possession that they are used to. The City had the ball for 68% of the season, while Chelsea played only marginally less – 67%. Both teams, if they are playing to win, will have to be more efficient with the possession they have.
This is where both managers have concerns. Chelsea's shortcomings are well documented, and neither Alvaro Morato nor Olivier Giroud offer the normal threat from goals that Sarri craves. Even the goals of Eden Hazard have dried up, with the star of Belgium that has not affected by the Southampton tour on 7 October.
Guardiola does not have much to worry about, but the lack of a common thread is something to keep him awake at night. The Premier League table suggests that it does not have to worry, as City has scored 11 more goals than anyone else. But how he admitted, his part is ruthless in Watford it has led to a lot of unnecessary ass contractions in the final stages at that point Gabriel Jesus could have had to make a hat-trick. Given the current form, Guardiola will desperately try to recover Sergio Aguero from an absence for two games, even if he offered his support to Jesus.
The city can not afford to slip because it could have been pushed out of the Premier League summit before even kicking off the Stamford Bridge. And for Chelsea, their unbeaten run of 18 games will seem a distant memory if they lose for the third time in four games.
Player to watch – Ander Herrera
Jose Mourinho has a long list of complaints with his team. The main one among them in recent weeks has been the lack of a basic effort. Since he criticized his players for the 0-0 win with Crystal Palace two weeks ago, Mourinho has brought Herrera back to his XI and it is probably no accident that industry levels have been increased.
Herrera symbolizes the basic values that Mourinho does most treasure at this time. The fact that a Manchester United coach must repeatedly appeal for "intensity and desire" it is an overwhelming accusation against everyone at Old Trafford, but you can not blame the manager for standing still with those he knows he can trust.
Mourinho wants "crazy dogs … who bite the ball all the time and press all the time" and Herrera is one of the few United players ready to sit down and get the manager. The Basque star, the United player of the year 2017 who is out of contract at the end of the season, is part of a constantly changing midfield and seeing how things go for the Red Devils, this is her time to demonstrate the its worth and strengthen its negotiating position in contractual negotiations.
Nemanja Matic won the man of the match against Arsenal, which surprised more than a few observers, as the Serb seems to have been out of the way for much of this season. Paul Pogba is falling well below the standards of all but his own and while Marouane Fellaini is one of Mourinho's favorites, the manager can not place a midfield around the Belgian in case he has to escape in case of an emergency to play in advance.
So Herrera has the opportunity to cement a place, at least for now, in Mourinho's team. Despite The clumsy critiques of Paul Scholes, Herrera led United against Arsenal, making several key passages and double the interception of anyone else on the field. He needs an equally dominant performance against Fulham to help United avoid heavy time even the most porous Premier League defense.
Team to watch – Watford
After starting the season as a surprise Premier League package, the Hornets head for Goodison Park for MNF as the team in the worst shape in the division.
Since he beat Tottenham to record his fourth win of four, Javi Gracia's men have won only two of their next 11 games and none of their last five. After having flirted with the first four, the Hornets are slowly descending to the point where many assume to be their natural habitat.
Watford fought with honor against Manchester City mid-week and they gave Pep Guardiola a discomfort in the last five minutes while fighting for what would be a bonus point against the champions. Their results do not seem to harm their spirit, even if they meet for the first time against their old boss and their former top player will offer the Hornets additional motivation if necessary.
Presumably, Gracia will look towards her attack as the area most in need of improvement. Watford has been ruled out in three of the last five and five of his last nine games. Andre Gray has been sitting patiently on the bench for most of their last run and it may be time for Gracia to reunite the club's signature with Troy Deeney.
Manager to watch – Ralph Hasshenhuttl
The Austrian is an exciting event from Southampton. Given their recent managerial recruits and the mud they are in, the fear was that the Saints would choose Sam Allardyce or David Moyes out of the carousel and would sneak through the season with the only goal of avoiding relegation.
But the arrival of Hasshenhuttl demonstrates more ambition and a longer-term vision in favor of the saints. It is a manager with a proven track record of success at both ends of the table, while demonstrating that he knows how to bring teams from one extreme to another.
However, the first priority of Hasshenhuttl is the work that Big Sam and some of his companions at British Manager's Club run before implementing their exit strategy. Southampton simply has to become harder to beat.
The Saints have conceded 15 goals in their last five games, leaving them tied to nine points with teammates Fulham and Huddersfield. Mark Hughes has tried all kinds of formations and staff, but could not find a solution. Hassenhuttl has barely two training sessions with his new players to stiffen them for the trip to Cardiff.
Some of the improvements required by the saints will come to mental and mental factors. They went off at the start of each half of Tottenham on Wednesday night, after allowing Man Utd to return to the game last weekend with two quick goals. Simple mistakes for which Hussenhattl hopes to have quick solutions.
One-v-one battle to watch – David Brooks against Andrew Robertson
One of the most fascinating subpopulations of the Bournemouth Liverpool clash is the heads-up between two forged players in the league and now booming in the Premier League.
Liverpool left-back missed Robertson the victory at Burnley because of a dead leg and perhaps an abundance of caution on the part of Jurgen Klopp before another huge week for the Reds. Presumably, Klopp will rather be more reluctant to not have the captain of Scotland on the south coast, given the Liverpool left and Bournemouth's right will be one of the most decisive areas in the result.
This is because Brooks has been on fire since he moved from Sheffield United in the summer. Liverpool know all about international Wales that followed him closely in the league, as did Tottenham. But Brooks opted for a smaller step towards Bournemouth and is turning out to be a smart decision.
Eddie Howe sat Brooks on the bench for the two toughest Bournemouth games so far – trips to Chelsea and Manchester City – but the expectation is that the 21 year old trusts home, just as he was when he founded the Cherries & # 39, single goal against Arsenal.
If both players have to make a nod, no man marking jobs will be awarded. Robertson will be too busy thinking of flying on the Liverpool wing, while Brooks will be happy to play in the space left free by the left-back, or wander inside to find him there. But it remains an intriguing battle that offers proof that there is talent in the lower leagues for the Premier League to sneak.
European game to watch – River Plate v Boca Juniors
El derbi Barceloni (we promise not to have just done it) between Espanyol and Barca takes place Saturday night, while the Italian derby sees Juventus host Inter on Friday night. But the European match this weekend is characterized by a Superclasico Sunday of South America.
River Plate and Boca Juniors will play the second leg of their Copa Libertadores final almost a month after their premiere. We all know what happened when they tried to play the decision-maker in El Monumental: everything became a little silly in Buenos Aires, while on Twitter, British football journalists spied among them.
So, to be safe, CONMEBOL decided to move the crash to 6,200 miles along the road to Madrid. There are 10,000 supporters from both sides making the trip to Spain with the Madrid police preparing for "the most risky meeting in the history of Madrid". In the event that you are interested in football, the final is balanced on 2-2 and the decisive leg is likely to be almost as fun as the chaos outside the field. Almost…
Football League match to keep eye on – West Brom v Aston Villa
Channel 403, or Sky Sports Leeds, has two league offers for you this weekend: Reading managerless hosting Sheffield United on Saturday afternoon while Chelsea plays in Man City; or at the same time Juve-Inter, is a derby of the Midlands between Baggies and Villa.
The last derby that involved Villa seemed like a good beef when the Villans beat Birmingham 4-2. So we gave you a little idea to take a look at Villa against Forest a few days later. Only the 10 goals in that …
So we're taking the 'if it's not broke, do not fix it approach & # 39; in urging you to look at Villa at The Hawthorns if you do not have access to the A shenanigans series. Villa can enter the first six, in short, most likely, with a win while the Baggies are trying to move to a point in Leeds in second place. The last 10 games that involved both sides produced 36 goals.
So start your own weekend with Albion 0 Villa 0.