Each week the Cutter ignores the big picture and zooms in on the finer details that could help sway some of the key fixtures of the weekend ahead.
Arsenal v Liverpool – Theo Walcott v Jose Enrique
The Gunners are down to the bare bones and we’re only one match into the season.
Here at the Cutter we may not have a Masters degree in economics but even we dumbasses know that this illustrates perfectly the desperate need to spend some money and reinforce an ailing squad of talent.
With Nasri packing for Manchester and Gervinho mulling over his cheek-shattering haymaker on Barton there are reports that Le Professor may opt for the raw, untested Oxlade-Chamberlain down the left flank with Walcott tearing down the right at every given opportunity. Seeing how Mark’s son fares at the highest level will be fascinating – particularly if he’s up against Liverpool’s similarly inexperienced Flanagan – but it’s the jet-heeled Walcott against Enrique that intrigues us the most. The Spaniard had a comfortable debut last weekend but won’t be looking forward to reuniting in battle with the speed merchant who skinned him twice last year in Arsenal’s epic 4-4 draw at St James’ Park. The first of those occasions was after just forty seconds so expect a ‘Just letting you know I’m here’ follow-through early on.
Sunderland v Newcastle – Joey Barton v Lee Cattermole
If you’ve ever wondered what Dumb and Dumber would be like rewritten as a horror flick then keep your eyes peeled on the centre circle throughout this one. A fiercely contested derby involving a player with a faulty moral compass that permits him to stub cigars into a youth’s eye, an opposition clogger who is seemingly incapable of timing a challenge, and neither anywhere near match sharpness. These are the ingredients to a recipe for disaster. No need to even simmer.
There’s more chance of an A-level student finding a job this week than both Barton and Cattermole to escape a card or two.
Swansea City v Wigan Athletic – Jacks v Roberto Martinez
The Man City game was a celebration for Swansea fans. This is business. Martinez is viewed with utter disdain by all Jacks after he jumped ship to the glamour and big-time of the DW Stadium. The return of a ‘Judas’ manager to a former club is always an entertaining spectacle for any neutral but let’s hope it doesn’t prove to be a distraction for the Welshmen. They need to cheer their boys on loud and proud and get their Premier adventure off to a winning home start against a side who could well be relegation rivals come May.