As the middle of the season is getting closer, the Premier League games are getting more and more interesting, and the Week 17 has two matches that are an absolute must on your football watching schedule: one at the top of the League – Arsenal v Man City – and another at the bottom – Chelsea v Sunderland.
Although neither the Gunners nor Man City are at the top of the Table (which is a place reserved to Leicester City, apparently), they are occupying the 2nd and the 3rd positions respectively and both have very good chances at claiming the title. The TonyBet bookies consider Arsenal more likely to win though, with their odds being at 27/20 against the City’s 39/20.
However, the Gunners have to deal with numerous injuries – Alexis Sanchez, Francis Coquelin, Jack Wilshere, and Danny Welbeck to name a few. The squad can always rely on Mesut Özil though, Olivier Giroud is as healthy as ever, and maybe Aaron Ramsey will use the opportunity to step up and prove he can be one of the keys to success.
While Man City doesn’t have to worry about as many injured players, it looks like Vincent Kompany is not going to play in the upcoming match. They did get a boost in the form of Sergio Aguero, who is already back in training, but it’s going to be his first game after a good while. The squad still managed to play well though, and they’ve been scoring a lot.
Now at the bottom of the Table there is going to be a whole another battle going on. If last year Chelsea vs Sunderland wouldn’t have been anything notable, it’s a different story this season. While the Blues only occupying the 16th place after winning the League last year would be enough to make you wonder what is going to happen, they have also sacked José Mourinho quite literally two days before this game.
Just as he did in 08/09, Guus Hiddink is going to lead Chelsea for the rest of the season. Back then he was appointed on February 11th, 2009, and managed to have the squad finish 3rd, which was the spot they occupied when Hiddink came, plus under his management Chelsea only lost a single match (to Tottenham).
Obviously, it was a whole different set of players back then. Petr Cech was the goalkeeper, and the vast majority of the goals were scored by Nicolas Anelka, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, and Salamon Kalou. Still, Chelsea has a lot of talent to work with, so he has an opportunity to mould that talent into a team that manages to play like they should.
While Klopp coming to Liverpool may still turn out to be the most discussed managerial change in the Premier League this year, Guus Hiddink coming to Chelsea in the middle of the season for the 2nd time is bound to be interesting. The team seems to be in some sort of crisis nobody can really explain with solid facts, so it’s tough to say how this is going to play out, but there’s one thing that’s certain: a great weekend of football is ahead.