Based in London and writing for a global audience our aim is to produce EliteFootballTalk. Enjoy the site and feel welcome to join in our discussion on the beautiful game.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Big four Clash this weekend: Liverpool v Man Utd & Arsenal v Chelsea - Skipper Predicts

Sky are building this weekend’s meeting between the big four as 'grand slam' Sunday. This is the first time these clubs are going head to head on the same day this season. I am taking a close look at how the matches will pan out.

Liverpool v Man Utd

Liverpool haven’t beaten Man Utd at Anfield since 2001, which should give Fergie’s men huge confidence going into this monster battle.Liverpool are in a good run, with the exception of the Reading game they have been in scintillating form.

Matches between these two teams are always very tight. Both teams have a solid back four. The strikers will have to be on top of their game to come out on top.

Liverpool need to play with two up front. I think we should play with the same team that battered Marseille, except I would go with Crouch to partner Torres.

Which ever team scores the first goal will go on to win this game. Liverpool will need to start the game on the front foot and put United under pressure from the kick off.

Skipper Predicts: 2-1

Arsenal v Chelsea

Part II of 'Grand Slam Sunday'.

This is Arsenal's first match since their defeat to Middlesbrough last weekend - their first league loss of the season - and represents a big test for the young Gunners.

Chelsea, who are doing the business quietly but effectively at the moment and fast looking like dark horses for the title, travel to The Emirates in the knowledge that they haven't been beaten on Arsenal's turf since 2003.

I think Arsenal will get back on track and sneak this one. I like the way Arsenal attack teams, the loss of Essien and Drogba will affect Chelsea. Arsenal on the other hand will get some of their injured players back.

Skipper Predicts: 2-1


Blogger RedsMan said...

To be pedantic, we beat Utd in the FA Cup fixture last year at Anfield but I dont expect the same result. Liverpool have been scoring plenty when they do first, so to grab the first goal would be ideal, yet we did this with the other two top teams that ended in a 1-1 draw. That could be the same score on Sunday. If we take the game to Utd instead of being cautious, and are 2-0 ahead at half time we should then repeat the same in the secodn half.

Note Utd's two defeats have been away and by a single goal. If Liverpool turn up as they have done mostly this season, then it will be an even contest where some skill, flair or a lapse of concentration will make the difference. We want this to be further in the race for the title. Players should play out their skins in this game for Rafa.


12/14/2007 5:25 pm

Anonymous alam said...

Redsman i agree with your comment but we all should hope that rafa's right hand man's(skipper) prediction will become true, we need to get goals and get them in the first half, i hope the burglary incidents dont effect the players concentration especially for stevie.G. what do you think the score for the arsenal game is going to be.

12/14/2007 7:48 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

Difficult one. Arsenal at home, crowd behind them, quick, rapid responding defence of Toure and Gallas, Fabregas may or may not make it and if he does his quick responding passing and movement will be instrumental with Diaby and potentially Gilberto in a five man midfield in front of Lampard, Mikel and Makelele. I expect Adebayor in a 4-5-1 upfront or Wenger could be bold and go for the fight with 4-4-2 with RVP with Adebayor.

The midfield will have to play a quicker pass-and-move game with Chelsea seeking to shut them down quickly, that in itself could open up Chelsea if Arsenal get to pass round them quickly towards goal. Any rash movement could see a five pass move raising to danger for the Blues. Terry and his partner will have to think and move sharp.

Chelsea still dont have Carvalho who is touch and go and could deputise with Alex or Ben Haim alongside Terry (I would go with Alex), between Belletti and Bridge or Cole. Three man midfield of Lampard, Mikel and Makelele, behind a good choice of players out of SWP, Malouda, Kalou, Pizarro, J Cole, Sidwell and Shevchenko.

I would go with SWP on the right and Malouda on the left either side of Kalou. Pizarro gives height and strength in the same way that Viduka does, and that is suitable for J Cole to supply. going with Kalou could mean goals from anywhere, though he failed against Valencia. I see SWP as a breakthrough to supply low balls across the box for Kalou or Lampard, Malouda to give the higher crosses.

Chelsea have looked vulnerable previously and their wins have help overlook this threat. What is helpful is that they have weathered dangerous attacks and turned on the counter into goals. Both sides can deliver superb goals depending on who is on the ball and any difference in class could be the gap that forces a win.

Something tells me this will be a draw, one can draw on the other in pushing themselves to score, where if one scores, that spurs the other to go seeking an equaliser without fail, like keeping with the Joneses. I can see RVP scoring if he is benched due to 4-5-1, even better if he comes on with Arsenal in a 4-4-2 change after 60mins, or Adebayor using his strength on Terry. Pizarro could do the same but I sense Chelsea should go for sleekness and tenacity and so Kalou is Chelsea's likely scorer, unless Lampard/Rosicky/Fabregas try from outside the box.

This is tricky. An Arsenal corner could open up for Gallas coming round the back, and I feel Arsenal will have the quicker counterattack response. I feel for a 2-1 to Arsenal, Gallas on 35mins, Chelsea through Lampard on 63min, RVP on 77mins.


12/14/2007 11:48 pm

Blogger Abdul said...

I was looking forward to your weekely predictions this week given the big matches. I actually see both matches ending in draws as I don't see much between the four teams at the top.

But I don't think this weekend will have a big bearing on the title race at the end of the season. Its the resukts against the middling and lower teams that decides the title which has been the case in recent years.

12/15/2007 3:43 pm

Blogger T said...

Redsman, that is an unbelievably accurate prediction for Gallas to score the first from a corner! Well done!

12/16/2007 7:58 pm


Post a Comment

<< Home


Locations of visitors to this page