Chelsea v. Blackburn (3pm UK/10 am ET, ESPN2, ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes): Will Blackburn kill off another manager, after successfully punching Roy Hodgson’s pink slip at Anfield? What about Chelsea, who battered Ipswich last weekend 7-0 in the FA Cup? Are they “back,” or was that the last, desperate fight from a dying giant? I lean toward the latter. Chelsea desperately need to buy if they’re going to have a fighting chance at making the Champions League, and Steve Kean’s Blackburn are not the side you’d want to see right now if you were Chelsea. Prediction: Draw, 2-2.
Boring, Boring Manchester City v. Wolves (3pm UK/10 am ET, Fox Soccer Channel). Hopefully in this match we can see what City can do, unlike their embarrassing performance vs. Arsenal. They are also coming off a 2-2 draw against Leicester City in the FA Cup. Prediction: City, 2-0.
West Ham United v. Arsenal, (12:30 PM ET, Fox Soccer Channel). Not a great week to be an Arsenal fan. First, the near-disaster at home against Leeds last weekend, with only Cesc Fabregas’ late penalty keeping Arsenal in the Cup. Then, an awful performance against Ipswich, in which Arsenal, clear favorites to win the League Cup, were incredibly lethargic, and players like Nicklas Bendtner and Andrei Arshavin continued their poor form in the league. Meanwhile, for Avram Grant’s West Ham, their cup form is a bizarro world of sorts from their league form, where the Hammers are still threatened with relegation, despite a sudden improvement in their form lately (nevermind the 5-0 spanking by Newcastle). They remain, however, just a point from safety. And the Hammers have been a bit of a bogey team for Arsenal, and were actually the first team to beat Arsenal at the Emirates. Can Avram Grant keep it up, and save his job for another week? Prediction: Arsenal, 2-1.
Stoke v. Bolton (Fox Soccer Plus, 10 am).
West Brom v. Blackpool (Foxsoccer.tv, 10 am).
Wigan v. Fulham (Foxsoccer.tv, 10 am).