CHELSEA CHARGE ON
Frank Lampard who? That is the question that Chelsea supporters may be asking themselves and although those same fans will be grateful for the former midfielder’s managerial efforts, he is danger of being rather quickly forgotten.
That’s because the new man in town has taken to the Premier League like a duck to water and with Thomas Tuchel currently unbeaten as Chelsea manager, it looks as if the Blues’ hopes of a top-four finish have been given an almighty resurgence.
To the point, where the West London outfit start the weekend in the promised land of fourth place and when you consider that they were ninth at the time of Lampard’s departure, the turnaround has taken place in double quick time.
Of course, just because they’ve reached the top four does not mean it is job done, as now they must stay there and with a visit to Southampton this weekend, new manager Tuchel will be confident that this proves to be the case.
The Saints are currently going through a wretched run of form at present and after losing their last six league outings, it is only their ongoing F.A. Cup exploits which has offered any respite to Ralph Hasenhuttl and his players.
While although relegation is not a concern to Southampton, a decreasing reward of prize money certainly will be and the longer this downturn in performance continues, the lower down the table they will finish.
Looking at this weekend’s encounter, it is difficult to look past Chelsea recording a fifth straight league win and with that in mind, odds of 1.75 should be heavily considered.
Summary: Back Chelsea to win this weekend
PUT THE COTTAGE ON IT
While although Fulham earned a point for their troubles in midweek, manager Scott Parker may feel it was two dropped against Burnley and with the way the Cottagers have been playing as of late, a mood of optimism is beginning to cultivate.
Because with Newcastle without their main source of attacking output, now is the time to erode the gap that currently stands between them and although it is six points at the time of writing, it could very quickly be chopped in half.
That’s the hope of everyone connected with Fulham this weekend, as they play host to basement side Sheffield United and after being beaten by West Ham in their last showing, it seems as if any hopes of their own recovery have been stunted.
Which will certainly be the case, if Fulham come out on top in this one and where they to do so, there would be an all but insurmountable margin of 11 points between the two relegation threatened sides.
Fulham look like there is an element of upward mobility attached to them, as these are the opportunities that they cannot waste and at odds of 2.25 for them to win, there is an incredible amount of value attached to them also.
Summary: Back Fulham to win this all-important clash
WEST HAM’S BURST BUBBLE
With almost two-thirds of the season complete, not even the most ardent West Ham fan would have placed the club in the top five and they certainly would not have positioned their own club above that of Tottenham.
However, football is a rather strange beast at times and with us being where we are in the season, it is fair to say that the efforts of David Moyes and his players is certainly not a fluke, as they are set to entertain Tottenham on Sunday.
Tottenham’s hopes of a top-four finish are dissipating by the week and after suffering defeat to Manchester City last weekend, it seems as if manager Jose Mourinho may have to do some defensive soul searching.
With the shackles seemingly removed over the past week or so, it does Tottenham few favours and therefore, they may well revert to type in this hotly anticipated London derby. While should they do so, they may just have enough to edge out the Hammers.
It is a must win game for both teams and when you look West Ham’s upcoming fixtures, this might be the start of where it all falls apart and Tottenham would love nothing more than to burst their bubble on Sunday.
Summary: Back Tottenham to win at 2.75