Kieran Davies looks back on a week that unified us all and a weekend ahead that – rightfully – will divide.

With the international break behind us, in the aftermath of the savage attacks in Paris, the only thing we can be sure of is atheists weren’t responsible. Grounds up and down the country will rightfully have a minute’s silence for the tragic victims but the best way we can celebrate the lives of the lost is to continue living and enjoying our day to day lives to show we can not and will not be beaten.

International football never manages to live up to the fast paced action of the Premier League however. The early kick off this weekend sees Watford entertain LVG’s United side. On paper, Watford shouldn’t be in the same ball park as the Dutchman’s expensively put together side, but often these games can ignore these facts. Arsene Wenger’s team have a chance to go top of the league on their own Saturday afternoon as they travel to The Hawthorns. Their squad have been far and wide on international duty so it will be interesting how quickly their players can return to club form. If they seriously want to challenge for the title, they need to win these games and put pressure on their rivals. City would go into the evening game against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool with a bit of pressure on their shoulders. The form book has City getting the points here with Liverpool’s record not looking too great with one win in nine games. Can the German repeat the fantastic victory at Chelsea or will we see the side who got rolled over by Palace. One thing is for sure, its got to be time to give Adam Bogdan a shot at the number one jersey after Sir Dropalot (Mignolet) cost his side another three points last time out.

Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, must beat Norwich City at Stamford Bridge. This season has been a horror show for the West London outfit and the only way to rectify it is to go on a long run of victories to propel themselves up the table. A newly promoted side at home is the sort of game a Chelsea manager is expected to win convincingly, excuses will not be tolerated. This afternoon could be a record breaking one for Leicester’s Jamie Vardy. If he manages to score at St James Park, it will be a record breaking tenth consecutive game that he will have scored in. Newcastle seem to have found a pocket of form currently so this will not be the simple run out it would have been for Ranieri’s team a few weeks ago. No doubt it will be the sort of temperatures John Snow is more used to up near the wall, I mean North East this weekend.


Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth who replaced Newcastle in the bottom three travel to Swansea this weekend. The Welshman are in danger of being dragged into a relegation dogfight so this will be an important game at a sun drenched Liberty Stadium.  Garry Monk (above) is under the microscope as a great start to the season, has gone south very rapidly. Bottom of the table, Aston Villa, will be facing Everton at Goodison Park this weekend. Its not a ground they had much luck at in the Premier League era but their new manager will need to hit the ground running if they are going to get themselves out of this hole they find themselves in. Unfortunately for the Frenchman, they don’t look like a squad of players capable of this.

Southampton face Stoke at St Marys in a fixture they are undefeated in since 1980. Both sides find themselves in a mini run of form of late but history would lean towards a draw leaving both sides continuing their unbeaten runs. No doubt for Stoke to come away with anything, they will need the man who almost single handedly won them points of late, Jack Butland. Some of his performances of late have been nothing short of outstanding, with opposing managers immediately congratulating his heroics on the final whistle. John Walters is a good punt for an anytime goalscorer bet after his morale boosting exploits for Ireland in their play off match. Form team, Tottenham Hotspur host West Ham on Sunday. Pochettino is winning accolades, Harry Kane is finding the back of the net again and Christian Erikssen is running the show from midfield. Dele Alli put in a man of the match performance in his England debut and scored a cracking goal too. So surely there is only one outcome here, away win! That seems to be the way Bilic’s season is going. One thing is for sure, they have enough form players themselves to pull off such a scalp. That leaves us with this weeks offering from Monday Night Football, Crystal Palace versus Sunderland. If results don’t go their way this weekend, Allardyce’s side may be desperate for three points. After a morale boosting win at Anfield last time out, Pardew’s side will want to build on this with a convincing victory over the Mackems.

So let’s suitably commemorate the victims of Paris, cheer on our sides with passion and show that we will not live in fear!