It’s a huge weekend for… Benitez, QPR, Real Madrid, Rodgers and Newcastle
Most of the guff spouted by Chelsea fans (through the medium of boos and banners) has been completely ridiculous e.g “Oh please apologise Rafa”. However, two games, no wins and no goals hasn’t exactly helped the Spaniard settle into his new home. Football fans are fickle and will be easily converted by victories. Home draws, however, are not acceptable, especially when the second is a home game against a lesser local rival.
This weekend, Rafa’s Chelsea travel to the East End to face West Ham. If Chelsea lose this game, two conclusions could be drawn: They could be all but out of the title race (ten points behind United) and fans would be at boiling point against their interim manager.
It’s getting more than a little sticky for Newcastle. Lose to Wigan on Monday and the Magpies could be in the relegation zone. It’s unthinkable after the fifth-placed finish last season.
This week, Newcastle lost their fourth consecutive game for the first time since September 2008. They have won two league games since the first game of the season and have only four different goalscorers in the league.
After the Wigan game, Newcastle then play Fulham (a), Manchester City (h), Manchester United (a) and Arsenal (a) all before the New Year. They couldn’t go down, could they?
Rodgers keeps giving us his ‘we’re doing well’ schtick, but as January 8th approaches the Northern Irishman could still be behind Roy Hodgson’s points total. I know he is dealing with a unideal squad and aiming to overhaul the club, but wins are still helpful.
Only five teams have less home points than Liverpool this season, and three of those have played a game less. The main worry has been the average of just over one goal per home game.
Southampton love conceding goals so Rodgers will be confident of victory, but his side are only four points outside of the relegation zone and ten behind the top four. It’s certainly not ideal.
Facing their city rivals, Real are in a rather unusual position. Los Blancos have not finished outside of the top two since 2003/4 and have finished above Atletico in every season since 1995/6.
Real, however, are currently 11 points behind Barcelona and eight behind Atletico. The title race is essentially over when you consider that Real won the league last season dropping only 14 points. The Champions League may be the number one priority but one suspects the President won’t be too happy about the current situation in La Liga.
A home game against Atletico this weekend. Best keep Falcao quiet.
A first home game for Harry, and it really is a huge game. If QPR win then one feels they can really push on in a bid to survive. But the Hoops are eight points from safety, and fourteen games without a win is shoddy beyond believe. Lowest scorers, second worst defence and a horrendously high wage bill.
Last season 37 points were needed by QPR to survive by one place. If they lose this weekend then they require 32 points from 23 games. If five games against Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City, Man Utd and Liverpool were lost (for purposes of theory), this would require winning nine and drawing five of 18 games.
The conclusion is: It’s getting desperate, so get winning quick.