Will an old boy Jersey return to haunt
Will an old boy Jersey return to haunt Chelsea again?
Thirty years ago this month Manchester City http://www.officialedmontonoilers.com/Adidas-Andrej-Sekera-Jersey thrashed Huddersfield 10-1 and three of their players scored hat-tricks (Paul Stewart, David White and Tony Adcock). That remains their biggest ever margin of a victory in a league match. You get the feeling, http://www.officialsstlouisblues.com/Adidas-Alexander-Steen-Jersey despite their laboured performance against Feyenoord in midweek, that Pep Guardiola’s side are going to set a new record soon. If this weekend’s fixture were at the Etihad, such a feat might even be very imminent. But Huddersfield are much tougher opponents at the John Smith’s Stadium, where Spurs are the only visitors to have won this season and Manchester United have fallen. City could only draw there 0-0 in last season’s FA Cup – but both sides fielded second-strings that day, whereas on Sunday both will be close to full strength. Another draw would be a major triumph for Huddersfield.
How fitting that West Brom’s first match since jilting Tony Pulis should be against Mauricio Pochettino’s team, who have demonstrated so well in recent seasons that, even on a budget, it is possible to combine solidity with entertainment. Granted, Spurs’ budget is much bigger than West Brom’s but it is smaller than that of many of the teams they are out-performing. It is hard to foresee Gary Megson wielding a dazzling new broom during his stint as the Baggies’ caretaker but a visit to Tottenham would be a good time to give Nacer Chadli a chance Dre Kirkpatrick Jersey to prove he can flourish now Pulis has departed. Gregorz Krychowiak, too, has just lost an excuse.
Chelsea have Alex Erickson Jersey already been haunted by a former player this season. Antonio Conte was as baffled as anyone after Kevin De Bruyne’s starring role in Manchester City’s win at Stamford Bridge in September sparked questions about why the Belgian was allowed to leave when the club was under previous management. It could be a similar story at Anfield on Saturday evening. Like De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah was never given much of a chance when José Mourinho was Chelsea’s manager, but the Egyptian’s potential was obvious even as he left after an unproductive year and, after excelling for Fiorentina and Roma, he has been superb since joining Liverpool, scoring 14 goals in 19 games. Asked to defend their transfer policy, Chelsea might argue that selling Salah did not stop them winning two league titles. Yet Conte’s thoughts will be interesting if the 25-year-old leads Liverpool to victory. After all, Salah’s pace makes him look like the type of forward who would flourish in this Chelsea side. JS
Burnley entertain Arsenal with the sides separated only by goal difference and will leapfrog their visitors if they beat them. Sean Dyche’s side would be unlikely Top Six gatecrashers a third of the way into the season, but their largely impressive results against the sides above them speak for themselves: an away win over Chelsea, draws at Liverpool and Tottenham, and a defeat at the hands of Manchester City in which there was no shame. Sunday’s encounter could reveal a lot about the mettle of both, with Burnley taking on one of the Premier League’s elite at Turf Moor for the first time this season and Arsenal hoping to defy the expectations of those expecting them to revert to monotonously predictable “Arsenal” type. Assuming Chris Wood has returned to fitness, Dyche has a big decision to make: stick with Ashley Barnes, who scored against Swansea last weekend, or replace him with the New Zealand international who is more mobile and is likely to pose a greater aerial threat. With Sam Vokes and Nahki Wells also fit, it is a pleasant conundrum for the Burnley manager to ponder.
As far as Hartley’s omission is concerned, meanwhile, this was increasingly a case of now or never for Jamie George to start for England. He has made 19 consecutive appearances as a replacement – a world record – but with Samoa England’s last opponents of the year, Jones has finally seen fit to hand George the No2 jersey.
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