The Ruffgrain Midweek Preview
Tuesday and Wednesday evenings contain a number of intriguing fixtures, with the pick of the bunch being the Manchester derby hosted at Old Trafford on Tuesday, while Arsenal, with hopes of bouncing back from a crushing defeat at the hands of Chelsea at the weekend, entertain a battling Swansea team.
Elsewhere, Everton travel to St. James’ Park to tackle Newcastle, with both teams fresh from weekend victories that keep their ambitions of European action alive – the Magpies less so, but as long as there’s a mathematical chance …
Anfield is the setting for a clash between a marauding Liverpool side and Sunderland hoping to stave off relegation. The Black Cats will hope to stem Liverpool’s Red Tide, who appear to be scoring at will, while Sunderland themselves have not recorded a victory since their 3-0 away triumph at rivals Newcastle five games ago.
The forecast for midweek: partly cloudy and mild with a 100% chance of raining goals.
The Manchester Derby
United, again off the back of morale-boosting wins over West Ham, away, and Olympiakos to burst into the Champions League last eight, host a devastating Manchester City team steamrolling all who cross their path.
Little needs to be said about the host’s inconsistency this season, while praises for their ‘noisy neighbours’ ability to dispatch opponents with disdain cannot be sung louder. While Sergio Aguero will remain side-lined for the visitors, the likes of Alvaro Negredo, David Silva, Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri, Fernandinho and James Milner will all provide a lethal threat for City.
Wayne Rooney will bid for a repeat performance from the weekend where his exquisite strike from the just the right side of the halfway line, alone, would have proved enough to see off West Ham United.
It remains difficult, however, to predict anything other than a Manchester City victory going into this one, with the only real question for me being how much damage will Man United sustain over the 90-minute period.
Prediction: 3-0 to Manchester City – their attack is second only to Liverpool’s so far this season, and their defence has been rock-solid to boot.
Please check out the remainder of this preview (Liverpool vs Sunderland; Arsenal vs Swansea; Newcastle vs Everton; and West Ham Utd vs Hull City), vote, and comment on http://ruffgrain.com/2014/03/25/the-ruffgrain-midweek-preview/