Steven Gerrard must be concerned about Aston Villa’s remaining Premier League fixtures ahead of the World Cup. Arsenal could extend their lead.
There are 40 days until the opening match of the World Cup. The Premier League clubs will split for Qatar around a week before that date, but up to six matches each will be crammed in during that time.
One place currently separates Crystal Palace and Aston Villa in the table. That may not be the case by the time everyone picks up their mid-season boarding pass.
The current Premier League leaders face a top 14th-place side in their last five games before the World Cup. They have a great opportunity to create a healthy advantage and properly piss off the celebration police.
Oh dear. Steven Gerrard does not last the year. As expected.
In fact, he wouldn’t be completely stunned if Gary O’Neil went to the World Cup on an 11-game unbeaten streak – Spurs at home are a guaranteed 1-1 – before taking over from Gareth Southgate.
Three upwardly mobile opponents and three locked in a downward spiral. Perhaps in the end we can actually be certain of the group the Brentfords themselves belong to.
Roberto de Zerbi should be able to stretch his legs there.
Graham Potter will have a few team rotation tricks up his sleeve; he always does.
After a remarkably tough start that pitted them against four of last season’s top five in their first seven games, crystal palace have already successfully launched a period of rather more welcoming encounters.
It’s as mid-table as it gets for Frank Lampard, but he could note that Everton’s two biggest opponents ahead of the World Cup are in away games, with pressure to get as close to them as possible. those matches at Goodison Park.
It might be an idea to use these early games to sort out the defense before heading to the Etihad.
Things could be about to get worse for Jesse Marsch and his laughable winning percentage before it gets better. Five out of six opponents are in the top half, with Leicester being the terrible exception.
READ MORE: Gerard out? Aston Villa boss leads Champions League-level players in relegation fight
Things could be about to get better for Brendan Rodgers and his disorganized populace. Five of our six opponents are in the bottom half, with Manchester City a truly daunting exception.
Can’t wait to see how many times Trent Alexander-Arnold will prove his England critics wrong and on the right during these games.
Erling Haaland will be on 23 Premier League goals after this Brentford game if he continues his current goalscoring pace, with Jamie Vardy’s consecutive record also at risk.
Navigate those early hurdles with nothing more than a few scratches and Manchester United will have passed it until they face Manchester City or Brentford again.
Eddie Howe will want the scalps of all three teams immediately above Newcastle, but nine points from the other half of those games should be on target.
Steve Cooper may finally have introduced himself to all of his squad by the time Crystal Palace rises.
It feels like another one of those losing streaks is brewing, whether or not the inevitable happens and Ralph Hasenhuttl is finally fired.
They’ll get enough points to stay in touch with the front runners, while not looking convincing at any point.
This should be opportunity enough for Craig Dawson to bolster his Ballon d’Or case.
They strength score a goal with this run. Maybe.
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