Everton at Manchester City: Saturday, 7:45 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Network/Mundo2
If it weren’t for Arsenal and Mesut Ozil, Romelu Lukaku and Everton would be considered the hottest player and squad in England right now. On the other side of the coin we have Manchester City fresh off a shock defeat at Aston Villa and an Oregon-style beating at home Wednesday at the hands of Bayern Munich (BIG RED MACHINE !!!). Will Manchester City have their heads right? That’s anyone’s guess. They typically show up at home, but the waxing they received at the hands of Europe’s top team could leave them uninterested against an Everton team continuing to improve. Both teams have had issues keeping the ball out of the back of the net so there will be a healthy chance we see goals.
Chelsea at Norwich City: Sunday, 8:30 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Network
Since halftime of last week’s mammoth match with Tottenham it has looked like Jose Mourinho has his squad figured out. After trailing at halftime to Tottenham the Blues have followed with three consecutive winning halves: 1-0, 2-0, and 2-0 consecutively. The Oscar-Juan Mata conundrum appears to have been worked out to some regard.[ref] as much as you can work out a conundrum in two games[/ref] Norwich are no slouch and Carrow Road is one of the tougher grounds to visit in England. Aside from a pair of losses to Aston Villa, Norwich are unbeaten at home this calendar year in league play.
KEEP AN EYE ON
Swansea at Southampton: Sunday, 8 a.m. ET, Premier League Extra Time
This should be the game of the weekend, if you can find it that is. You’ll probably have to watch it on your mobile device or computer, but Southampton have quietly moved up to sixth in the table with their consistent displays, even boasting a win over a disjointed Liverpool two weeks ago. Swansea, who I seem to find a way to write about each week (maybe I’m biased?), are just fun to watch. They have impressed in Europe this year, but the results have not been there in the league. Aside from the draw with Liverpool a few weeks back the Swans have failed to gain anything from the opener with Manchester United or matches with Tottenham and Arsenal. Look for a slower-paced game with Swansea controlling the possession and looking to pass Southampton to death, while the Saints will attempt to counter-attack the Swans and get the ball on the ruthless feet of English stud Rickie Lambert.
RUN FOR THE ROSES
An update on my search for a new football club and a gander at the clubs I feel are still in the running.
Chelsea- The Blues appear to be finding their footing with their midfield situation sorted out. Fernando Torres has gone down with injury in addition to his suspension. Who will play up top for Chelsea? Samuel Eto’o has not impressed. Could we see Demba Ba at some point? Regardless, things are looking good in London.
Everton- So hot right now. The Roberto Martinez experiment appears to be working out quite well now that he’s got some talent from the transfer window. Romelu Lukaku has been the most consistent striker in the league over the last 10 months and that Chelsea let him go to Everton for the year is just… curious. Either way, Lukaku and Everton are reaping the dividends and this team is just plain fun to watch.
Liverpool- Luis Suarez is back and the Reds looked great last week, albeit against the last place team in the league. It will be interesting to see what happens with this team when Phillipe Coutinho comes back. The attacking front could be absolutely terrifying.
Swansea- Still trying to figure out things at home while continuing to streamroll anyone outside of Great Britain. Swansea could really use a win this week at Southampton.