The Premier League kicks off 15:00 on Saturday with six games, followed by four on the Sunday in what promises to be an exciting weekend of football. I’m looking at the players who will have the ‘bit’ between their teeth going into their games, for one reason or another.
Tottenham host a Newcastle side that will be high on confidence after their comfortable 2-0 win over title favourites Chelsea, however, will understand playing away at Tottenham is another proposition for Pardew and his men.
Spurs will be looking to bounce back from their 0-0 draw with Everton, as they look to cement their place in the top 4 for next week. Newcastle will also be looking at reinstating their top 10 finish going into next week, and could need at least a point to achieve this.
The man in question is Roberto Soldado, whohas had question marks over his start this season. Despite scoring 4 goals, the player only has 1 from open play and the other 3 have come through penalties.
The Spaniard can make the difference this weekend for Tottenham, and a goal or two would go a long way of quashing the doubters.
Two Manchester United players hoping for a kind weekend are Ashley Young and Shinji Kagawa, both for different reasons of course but a good performance could go a long way.
Ashley Young was at the heart of controversy in the week and was the subject to abuse from pundits and supporters. The winger dazzled the defence as he cut through into the box, where the slightest of nudges was enough to knock him to the ground to win a penalty. It was another heavy blow to his already shaky reputation, in what has seen him go from England regular into a footballing pariah.
Shinji Kagawa started the game in the 0-0 with Real Sociedad on Tuesday and caught the eye of David Moyes, if no-one else. After the game, I felt under-whelmed by the performance but David Moyes said it was one of his best yet, so luckily for Shinji it wasn’t me he had to impress. If he gets the chance on Sunday it is up to him to impress once more, perhaps the Japanese maestro can create himself a bit of a run in the side.
England duo Gary Cahill and Jordan Henderson will both be looking to impress this weekend and both should be under intense spotlight when the games kick off.
Gary Cahill earned his place back in the team on Wednesday night where he was for many; Man of the Match, so should take his place in Chelsea’s line up against a West Brom side looking to push on after their 2-0 win over relegation favourites Crystal Palace. The pressure is purely based on him keeping out Brazilian international David Luiz out the team, as he looks to partner John Terry and continue to play, and impress with the World Cup coming up.
Despite being in great form this season, when Jordan Henderson was selected for the England squad there were still grumbles at the inclusion probably based on form two years ago. He hasn't had the same publicity for playing well, than he had for playing badly straight after his £20-million-pound transfer from Sunderland. Due to his call-up, I imagine he’ll be watched closely on Saturday as Liverpool take on an out-of-sorts Fulham side that is coming into the game off back to back losses. A goal, or a man of the match performance could open people’s minds a bit, he deserves that much at the very least.
Who are you backing to do well this weekend? Who deserves a break?
image: © Victor Gutierrez Navarro