This weekend isn’t as exciting as others, but there are still games worth talking about. So let’s begin as usual with what Manchester United are up to:
Stoke City vs Manchester United
After the Liverpool game, Manchester United and especially Paul Pogba have something to prove. There won’t be any Emoji advertisements so Pogba will have full concerntration to show what he can do. Pogba is usually a slow starter so it’s time for him to turn those good performances into amazing performances. I wouldn’t be surprised if we played like we did against Swansea, with Mata and Rooney outwide, to overcrowd the midfield. Stoke’s setup is similar to Swansea it would be the best idea to start off with, if it doesn’t work then we have enough on the bench to change the game. One thing I’ve been impressed with Mourinho is his quick decision making when it comes to making changes that are needed to be made. He did it against West Ham by bringing on Mata and Rashford to change the game, and they did. He also did it against Liverpool when our usual style wasn’t working. His decision making has saved us many points. Stoke at this moment of time are going to be difficult. Out of form Stoke are easy to deal with, but when players like Arnautovic and Crouch are playing very well, they shouldn’t be taken lightly. Smalling would be the right player to start to deal with the aerial threat of Crouch. But we’ll just have to see how it goes. This is a must win game. Because there is a good chance City will lose (will get to that game in a minute), we have to overtake them. All we need to do is look at the team above and only worry about them. It will be the best way to approach the second half of the season.
Prediction: Stoke City 0:2 Manchester United
Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur
Oh Pep, what is happening on the blue side of Manchester? He’s having an awful time and is finally realising he doesn’t have the players he has had in the past. He thinks he can do what what he did with Lahm but with Zableta, but it doesn’t work. Zableta isn’t close to the player Lahm is. He can’t keep forcing his ways on a team that isn’t good enough. People are finally realising the mistakes he made in the summer, by not spending more wisely. Gundogan is a really good footballer but is too injury prone, Stones isn’t good enough to win the premier league with and Bravo is just not good enough. He doesn’t even make mistakes. But the shots he lets in would be saved by any other top keeper in the league. Bravo is an issue that has to be solved now or in the summer. He could be the reason why City won’t get Champions League football. Pep isn’t even getting the best out of Aguero. He’s one of the best strikers in the league but he just doesn’t look at his best for some reason. He’s always a reliable player but this is the worst he’s ever looked at Manchester City. It is confusing why people never take Tottenham seriously. Last season they proved they could compete with the so called big clubs and challenge for the league. They have an amazing keeper in Lloris, the best defence in the league, one of the best strikers in the league with Kane, and in my opinion the best manager in the league. Spurs are still missing that extra bit of quality but their team is young and has time to improve. They are on an amazing run of form and after beating West Brom and Chelsea, I think City will be next. I don’t think City have the wingers to deal with Walker and Rose’s work rate. It’ll be a comfortable win for Spurs.
Prediction: Manchester City 0:2 Tottenham Hotspur
AC Milan vs Napoli
This should be an interesting game. Napoli and Roma are the only teams that’ll be able to challenge Juventus and even overtake them. Roma are on a good run so Napoli need to win this to keep up with the Old Lady. The only player that should be talked about on that Napoli team is Dries Mertens. He’s been on fire in the past few games and is definitely the player to watch. AC Milan seem to be on the up, with young players coming in while the experienced players are helping them improve. All Milan need to do is get European football and they have a good chance of getting it if they keep it up. Serie A is very competitive right now. With the top 5 being every close. Milan need to keep winning to keep their future bright
Prediction: Milan 1:3 Napoli
Lyon vs Marseille
On paper this would seem like a big game but the league wouldn’t make it look so important. Lyon have been very good this season with Lacazette doing what he does best. They’ve also just signed Depay, who should offer them more quality on that left side. Marseille are definitely the next big club to go in the decline. After losing 4-0 to Monacco and unable to bring Payet back, they are not having a good January. It should be a comfortable win for Lyon
Prediction: Lyon 3:0 Marseille