It’s a huge weekend for… Lambert, McLeish, Benitez and Sporting Lisbon

Posted by - January 4, 2013 - FA Cup, Huge Weekend, Portugal

Paul Lambert
It doesn’t rain, but it pours. Paul Lambert is in charge of a side seemingly sinking into decline, and this is not just a recent problem. Only three sides in the country gained less points per game in 2012 than Villa, and they have been in relegation form for the best part of two years.

Lambert has been credited for using youth, but there are no prizes gained for doing so, and football is a business that awards little importance to anything but results. With owner Randy Lerner being coerced into dipping into his pocket once again to stave off the fear of relegation, Lambert could really do with impressing the American with a decent performance. Ipswich at home might be the ideal fixture to do so, but it also appears as a worrying banana skin on the near horizon.

Alex McLeish
Two games in charge after replacing Sean O’Driscoll, and McLeish must already feel that he needs a win to relieve the pressure at Nottingham Forest. Such was the bizarre nature of SOD’s sacking (after a 4-2 victory over Leeds) that last week’s 3-0 defeat to Blackburn will have caused plenty of football supporters to feel that the club had simply been issued with fairly instant karma.

Whilst McLeish has been given the direct task of gaining promotion, but an embarrassing upset at home to League One Oldham would certainly ramp up the ante.

Rafa Benitez
The problem with being the Chelsea manager when a moronic minority have continuously displayed their crude reaction to your appointment is that as soon as a slip-up occurs there is a large queue of people to pick fault.

Wednesday’s defeat to QPR was a lacklustre performance after an impressive run, but effectively ruled Chelsea out of the title race, piling the pressure back on the Spaniard. With that in mind, Rafa Benitez

Sporting Lisbon
A once great club fallen on hard times. Once one of the big three in Portugal’s trio of dominance, Sporting have fallen by the wayside in impressive manner. Whilst both Benfica and Porto are both yet to lose a league game this season, Sporting have won just twice.

Struggling financially, it was confirmed earlier this week that captain Daniel Carrico had been sold to Reading for £600,000. This weekend, Sporting face Ferreira at home, a small club side who sit seven places above Sporting in a league of only 16 clubs. Lose at home once again, and Sporting Lisbon could find themselves in the relegation zone, unthinkable just a short while ago.