Manchester United’s stuttering season shows no sign of ending anytime soon as they were beaten in the Europa League last by lowly FC Astana in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan 2-1. However, they can be excused on this occasion as they’ve already qualified for the knockout stages with a game to spare. The same can’t be said for under pressure Arsenal unfortunately as they through away another lead in the Europa League last night, against last year’s semi-finalists Eintracht Frankfurt who won 1-2 with two goals later in the second half.
Wolves continue to punch above there weight on the domestic and European front and last night’s trip to Braga in Portugal will have felt like a domestic Portuguese league game for Wolves, with their strong Portuguese influence throughout the club. The game turned out to be like a high stakes league game, rather than a cagey European affair, with both teams going at it hammer and tongs, which produced six goals and a 3-3 draw.
The top-flight football action comes thick and fast for the remainder of this week and into the middle of next week. There’s Premier League, EFL and second round FA Cup action over the weekend, then there’s a round of Premier League games next week on Tuesday and Wednesday. There’s no major heavyweight Premier League clashes this weekend, but there’s still plenty to play for with the title race, European places and relegation battles taking place and then the manic Christmas and New Years fixtures, which usually throws a few spanners in the works in terms of title winning and relegation survival aspirations.
On Saturday reigning champions Manchester City are first up and they travel across the Pennines to face Newcastle United at St James’ Park and United manager Steve Bruce will have been glad to here City striker Aguero won’t be taking part as he usually fills his boots against the Magpies. I’m not sure this will be a straight forward win for City, like previous corresponding encounters, because City look more vulnerable at the back this season, Newcastle have performed better than expected and they’ve proven they can win against the odds against the bigger teams as wins against Spurs and Manchester United prove.
Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs are all in action at 3pm and have winnable home games against Brighton, West Ham and Bournemouth respectively, but be cautious about steaming in at short odds as any of the three could easily fall foul of the European hangover.