Finally after what seems like months of waiting despite it being only two weeks, all the four divisions are back this weekend, all looking to either build on their start, maintain or start to desperately turn their season around. Manager sacking season has started and won’t stop until half the league has changed hands.
Talking about turning seasons around there are a few teams that will be desperate to do just that this weekend, and two of them are meeting at Stamford Bridge. No surprise that Aston Villa are down the blunt end of the standings but Chelsea in 16th is probably the surprise so far in UK and European football. Whilst Aston Villa have reportedly given manager Tim Sherwood two games to turn their form around, Chelsea have given their full support of Mourinho. Although full support is usually the entrée to sacking, and given Mourinho’s history of not hanging around he could be the next manager sacked.
Two clubs who have already jumped the gun in Sunderland and Liverpool have their new manager debuting this weekend. The currently and universally adored Jurgen Klopp take Liverpool to White Hart Lane and Big Sam takes his Sunderland and loads of grudges to WBA for a game that looks like it would get the Heart Foundation’s tick of approval for leanness. Both jobs will be hard given the expectations – Liverpool for former glory, and Sunderland avoiding the Championship and beating Newcastle. The latter of those looks quite achievable but may not mean the first objective is ticked off.
Away from life at the bottom the EPL proves the openness of the season thus far with Arsenal in 2nd and Tottenham in 8th separated by just 3 points. And with Manchester City’s injuries (Aguero, Silva to name a few) they may still not lead after this weekend a they are just two points ahead of 2nd. Good to see Gurgler pick to be top side outside of Big 6 – Crystal Palace going so well.
SPURS v LIVERPOOL – Sat 12:45pm UK
CHELSEA v ASTON VILLA – Sat 3:00pm UK
CRYSTAL PALACE v WEST HAM – Sat 3:00pm UK
EPL MULTI – $1 for $11
OVER 2.5 GOALS – Crystal Palace v West Ham
UNDER 2.5 GOALS – WBA v Sunderland
ARSENAL to beat Watford
CHELSEA to beat Aston Villa
SOUTHAMPTON to beat Leicester
EPL ROUGHIES MULTI – $1 for $95
BOURNEMOUTH to beat Manchester City
EVERTON to beat Manchester United
NORWICH to beat Newcastle
The Championship returns, and not a moment too soon for a bunch of clubs who were in disappointing form before the International break. And yes, as an Ipswich Town, we mean you too. Ipswich has turned a promising start to be 12th, but luckily the Championship is as tight as ever and 12th is just three points from 3rd. And as it looked like Brighton and Middlesbrough would be the two teams to skip away, the Seagulls have drawn three in a row and Boro lost last start. They are still 2 points apart and two from 3rd.
Rotherham and Brentford started the manager merry go round before the break and in the most sackingest league in English football, surely more can’t be too far away.
In League One Walsall won the top of the table clash and first place as a result, but both teams along with Gillingham and Bury will be more than happy to be in the top 4 at this stage of the season. Plenty of value for those teams pre season for promotion. At the bottom the entire second half of the ladder is within 5 points, so even a small bad run could see a team in the bottom four quickly.
League Two is full of teams with great names like Accrington Stanley, Wycombe Wanderers and Leyton Orient, and arguably the best of those is Plymouth Argyle who lead from a bunch of teams from 2nd to 8th covered by just 2 points.
CHAMPIONSHIP – Burnley v Bolton – Lancashire derby
LEAGUE ONE – Bury v Rochdale – Poor man’s Manchester derby
LEAGUE TWO – Plymouth Argyle v Accrington Stanley – Great Name Derby and Top 7 clash
CHAMPIONSHIP MULTI – $1 for $40
IPSWICH to beat Huddersfield
MIDDLESBROUGH to beat Fulham
READING to beat Charlton
DRAW – Leeds v Brighton
DRAW – Sheffield Wednesday v Hull
LEAGUE ONE MULTI – $1 for $49
COVENTRY to beat Blackpool
WALSALL to beat Chesterfield
BURY to beat Rochdale
CREWE to beat Gillingham
UNDER 2.5 GOALS – Scunthorpe v Shrewsbury
LEAGUE TWO MULTI – $1 for $23
PORTSMOUTH to beat Newport
WYCOMBE to beat Stevenage
PLYMOUTH to beat Accrington
LUTON to beat Crawley
WIMBLEDON to beat Morecambe