Gameweek 23 provides us with a really super Sunday. We have the Second City, Tyne-Wear and Merseyside derbies to look forward to and if that’s not enough there is Man Utd’s visit to Tottenham to cap it all off. A day of goals, drama, high emotion and controversy is on the cards.
Aston Villa’s short trip to St Andrews looks to be a close encounter, and it could be at the back where the points are to be had. Ben Foster(5.2) is having an impressive season which has seen him notch 89 points so far. Birmingham’s uncompromising Liam Ridgewell(5.8) could be worth a run out. It’s a game that could be decided by a set play and Ridgewell will be right in the mix. Villa find themselves well and truly in the relegation battle and will be willing skipper Stylian Petrov(5.1) to recapture his inspirational form. Gerrard Houllier’s men need a boost fast, and their fit again Captain could be the man to provide it.
The only thing on Steve Bruce’s mind will be revenge come Sunday. Sunderland’s mauling at the hands of their rivals is still fresh in the memory. Phil Bardsley(4.7) will be hoping that goals are like buses after scoring his first goal for the club last gameweek and Mackem’s Goal-machine Darren Bent(8.6) must fancy his chances of getting on the scoresheet. In the absence of Andy Carroll the Magpies main threat will come from the engine room, in the form of Kevin Nolan(6.1) and Football’s Mr Popular Joey Barton(4.7), love him or hate him at 4.7 million with 76 points Barton is value for money.
King Kenny is back on the throne at Anfield. He is two matches into his reign and it is clear he has a job on his hands. Confidence is the main issue, if Fernando Torres(11.9) start’s banging the goals in on a regular basis, confidence will begin to spread throughout the side. Rivals Everton just can’t seem to decide what sort of season they are going to have and they must now cope without Asian Cup bound Tim Cahill. Extra pressure in Cahill’s absence falls upon string-puller Mikel Arteta(8.0). If you’re feeling brave then why not throw Luis Saha(7.6) into the mix, he may have porcelain hamstrings but he’s scored two goals in his last two games and who knows he might be on the start of a goal-scoring run.
If Tottenham are to be considered genuine title challengers then Sunday’s game is must win for them. Stand up Rafael Van Der Vaart(8.8), Gareth Bale(7.4) and Luka Modric(7.2), whoever can control the midfield in this one should come out with all three points. Dimitar Berbatov(9.4) will be desperate to spoil the party for the club he sulked his way out of and Nani(9.5) will also pose a threat to a side which tend to try and outscore their opponents. The clash at White Hart Lane has all the ingredients of a classic in the making.
And finally, if you feel the need to freshen up your attack, Robbie Keane is on the brink of signing for Birmingham City. Keane’s lack of action has seen his price drop to a very tempting 4.8 million.