Almost there folks… I know I am eager to finish off this season and start fresh with a healthy roster and a team that went through a proper summer program. The Reds still have hopes for a Champions League spot though especially with Leicester losing at home to Newcastle today and Chelsea facing City this weekend. We might even end up rooting for Everton to get a decent score this weekend. Strange times indeed.
Here are my recommendations for this weekend:
Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid Saturday 10:15AM EST
Huge game in the title chase in the La Liga. A win by Atletico surely puts Barcelona out of contention with only 3 weeks to go. At one point this race was Atletico Madrid’s to lose and they sure have done enough to pull the usual suspects into the title race and aside from Ligue 1, the only top league that has an exciting finish until the end. It also provides a break from the Premier League that is much needed, at least for me, these days. I find it hard to root for any of the La Liga teams for some reason but should be a tense and exciting game with what is on the line. The game is being advertised as a Suarez vs Messi matchup and you would think Suarez would chomp at the opportunity to get one over Messi who did not do much to keep Suarez at Barca. (see what I did there…?)
Manchester City vs Chelsea Saturday 12:30 EST
Well well well.. how the turntables…(hope there are other The Office fans here) Hard to think of Chelsea to be in the CL final a few months ago but better without Lampard than with him I say. How the managers will approach this game will be interesting to see. City has the luxury of having millions spread around the squad and a deeper bench. While City can afford to hold back and use that depth, Chelsea needs to get at least a point from this game. If they lose the final to City and end up losing the top 4, they could be outside looking in for the Champions League next year. This is a huge game for us as well since with a City win, we would be only a point behind Chelsea if we win our games in hand and Chelsea has three tough games (Leicester, Arsenal, Aston Villa) to close out the season.
West Ham vs Everton Sunday 11:30 AM EST
I know it is painful but we will need Everton to get a decent result from this game as it seems to be the toughest fixture left in West Ham’s schedule in terms of strength of opponent. A month ago, this game looked like a huge one for the top 4 for both sides but Everton’s recent form has all but removed them from the Champions League chase at this stage of the season. This does concern me especially knowing that a West Ham win would hurt the Reds which would not really bother Everton fans much. Same fans who were happy to lose to City just a few seasons ago. Let’s hope they get confused and put a good performance and steal some points against West Ham. If you find it hard to root for Everton,which I will not blame you for, think of it as rooting for the underdog.