Cleat Geeks

What to look out for this weekend

Arsenal – Awesome or Abject?

arsenalThe Gunners seemed to have turned the corner in recent weeks. Players returning from injury and a level of consistency in their performances had seen them win 8 out of their last 9 games in all competitions before Wednesday’s Champions League game against Monaco. The words ‘kind,’ ‘generous’ and even ‘easy’ had been used to describe the tie when the Ligue 1 side came out of the hat to face the Gunners at the draw. However, the only thing kind and generous about it on the night was Arsenal’s defensive display. In fact, they were abysmal all over the field during the 3-1 defeat, a performance that was not in keeping with their recent domestic form. You have to go back to December 2013 for the last time Arsene Wenger’s side lost two in a row, so is a response on the cards or can Everton add to the Gunners woes?

United – Time for a sensational display?

The Louis Van Gaal ‘philosophy’ has come in for heavy criticism so far this season. Players playing out of position, changing formations and starting lineups have caused United’s displays to, become less easy on the eye than we’re used too, to put it nicely. RooneyScares against lower league opposition in the FA Cup have made the Red Devils uneasy viewing for supporters, but a home game against lacklustre Sunderland could be just what the doctor ordered. The Black Cats currently sit 16th in the table and haven’t scored in any of their last three matches in all competitions, so I doubt the Reds’ defence will be quaking in their boots. United have scored 14 goals in their last 6 matches in all competitions, despite losing their last one away at Swansea. Robin Van Persie left the Liberty Stadium on crutches so maybe – just maybe – Wayne Rooney will return to the striking role, alongside Radamel Falcao, who still has to earn himself a full-time deal at Old Trafford. A couple of goals on Saturday will do the Colombian’s chances of staying in Manchester the power of good.

League Cup Final – Mourinho: Tottenham “favourites” for final

Jose loves his mind games, but I don’t think he’s fooling anyone with his assessment of Sunday’s League Cup final. True, Spurs did put on a brilliant display in beating their London rivals 5-3 at White Hart Lane on New Year’s Day. True, Harry Kane seems unable to miss at the moment (even when he does he still puts home the rebound).eriksen True, Mauricio Pocchetino’s side have rescued more points from losing positions in the league than anyone else, so you can never feel sure that you have them beaten. Chelsea are without Nemanja Matic, a huge influence on matches and a massive miss. However, Spurs head to Florence on Thursday night for their Europa League second leg against Fiorentina, with the tie still in the balance. Apparently players can’t play twice in a week these days, so surely Tottenham will struggle, right? Kane might find things tougher up against John Terry on Sunday and the Blues defence and midfield should be able to keep Christian Eriksen quiet enough to nullify Spurs’ threat. The pair have bagged over 50% of Tottenham’s goals in the league this season and without their attacking threat the game is there for the taking for Mourinho’s men. If only Jose would open up a bookies…

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