Snub-gate. With John Terry and Ashley Cole battling to be fit in time to face Queen’s Park Rangers (and be snubbed in the pre-match handshake if reports are to be believed), how will the home team make their protest if the duo are absent? And if they do play, how will the Chelsea pair react to being snubbed by their fellow professionals?
Dean Whitehead is back from suspension to take his place in Stoke’s midfield, and the gifted deep lying playmaker Javi Garcia has yet to play a Premier League game since signing for Manchester City. Then again, it’s not a wet, Tuesday night, so the Spaniard may be ok…
Nigel Adkins’ Southampton to score the first goal Arsenal concede all season - they have already been beaten agonisingly by both Manchester teams, whilst Arsene Wenger’s side have yet to let a goal in so far in three games. One of football’s golden rules is that runs like this end against the team and player you’d least expect. So keep an eye on Kelvin Davis…
Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool will travel to Sunderland this weekend searching for their first Premier League win of the season. Few places are tougher to go to than Sunderland, who will press Liverpool’s players intensely and give a particularly stern test of Rodgers’ new short passing ‘tiki-taka’ system. One of the most fascinating tactical duels of the weekend.
Javier Hernandez could return to the Manchester team if Robin van Persie fails to recover from injury in time for the match at home to Wigan. United will hope the Mexican can rediscover the form of two seasons’ ago. With their new found confidence Roberto Martinez’s team, so graceful in possession, could be a tricky test for a United team without their two big name forwards.
Barcelona travel to Madrid.To play Getafe. Who beat Madrid – Real that is, at the end of August. Getafe also beat Barcelona 1-0 last season. With the new Tito Vilanova led Catalans without Andrés Iniesta and Alex Sanchez, and Leo Messi returning from South American World Cup qualifiers, this game could be closer than may be expected at first glance.
Meanwhile, over in Seville, all eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo, as media and fans alike wait to see whether he will celebrate his 40 yard winner for Real Madrid against Sevilla.
Milan v Juventus. The Bianconeri look to keep their current 41 match unbeaten run in Serie A going against the team who feel they were moral victors in this match last season, when SulleyMuntari had a goal disallowed despite it appearing to clearly cross the line.
PSG watch. Will the world’s richest club (the other one) score a goal through someone other than ZlatanIbrahimovic against Toulouse? Of the four they have scored already, the Swede has netted them all.