Kieran Davies looks back on a protest of merit and ahead to a weekend of fixtures where predicting the outcomes is akin to taking on Camelot.

What another crazy week the footballing world has seen this week. Liverpool’s owners have backed down from acting like a dialysis machine where there fans are concerned and are re-thinking ticket prices for next season. Leicester City demolished Manchester City away from home, showing everyone that they are here for the duration and not the flash in the pan everyone thinks they are. Sunderland were shamed this week when Adam Johnson admitted to child sex offences leading to the club sacking the player. And Gary Neville had the biggest hiding since Neville Neville found his stash of jazz mags under his bed!  During their game with Sunderland at Anfield last weekend, around 10,000 fans left the ground in the 77th minute as a protest against the intended price hike of tickets in their soon to be completed new stand to £77. That’s right £77 to see that shower of shite! Christian Benteke couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with an oversized shovel, Simon Mignolet couldn’t catch the Zika virus if he were covered head to toe in Brazilian mosquitoes and generally the Liverpool defence looks capable of letting more in than UK border control. How on earth these deluded Yanks thought this price hike was justifiable is just beyond me, these owners need to realise that the fans are the lifeblood of any club and that you cannot bite the hand that feeds you! After being 2-0 up last week, Klopp’s side crumbled to allow the visitors to leave with a point. Add to that being dumped out of the FA Cup by West Ham in the week and this really has been a grim week to be a Liverpool fan. Defeat at Aston Villa this weekend would really test the patience of the most ardent of reds fans.

Leicester City travel to Arsenal this weekend knowing that another upset and three points would really move them a step closer to realising their dream of winning the title. This could be a good thing for the Premier League as the usual suspects grip on the monopoly that is the coveted Premier League crown is loosened. They have been a breath of fresh air this season and their direct style of football has most teams in the league running scared. Whoever would have predicted a Leicester/Tottenham top two this late in the season would have taken most bookies to the cleaners! The matter of fact is that the table doesn’t lie and these two teams are by far playing the best football in the league currently. Pochettino’s team had a hard fought 1-0 victory at home against Watford but the three points will be all that matters at the end of the day and they travel to Manchester City this weekend to face the wounded lion after being chewed up and spat out by Ranieri’s foxes. A tough fixture for Tottenham but this is the sort of game where victory can put real daylight between them and the chasing pack and make the North London team’s dreams seem more of a reality. Across the other side of Manchester, there has been a lot of talk of Mourinho potentially taking over the reins at Old Trafford. The approach of the board since Fergie’s departure seems to be ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again!’ As for ‘The Boring One’, it remains to be seen what he could do at Gold Trafford. Money seems to not be an issue as each manager is given hundreds of millions of pounds to build unbalanced squads which completely undermine the ethos and vision Fergie had for the club and therein lies the problem, although it is questionable whether Jose would even take the job if the club didn’t acquire Champions League qualification this season.


Sunderland host LVG’s side this weekend and will hope to use the draw they obtained at Anfield as a catalyst to push on and claim all three points here which would go some way to undo this week’s negative press the club has had to endure thanks to the Jimmy Savile of football. Elsewhere, Eddie Howe will be all too aware that his club risk getting sucked back into a relegation dogfight if they don’t start getting back to winning ways soon. A visit of Stoke City will give them some positivity going into this game as Hughes’ team show the inconsistent pattern of Kerry Katona’s mood ring of late. Crystal Palace have found 2016 to be an annus horribilis as FA Cup aside, Pardew’s team haven’t won a game this year. Watford are the visitors to Selhurst Park this weekend and Flores’ team will be fancying their chances of leaving with the spoils in this one. Everton find themselves in the position all their fans pray for every evening before their bedtime as they currently sit above Liverpool in the table. With Pullis’ West Brom travelling to Goodison Park this weekend this should be a banker of a home win. Everton are playing well at the moment and in Romelu Lukaku they have a striker in a rich vein of form. After The Baggies requiring extra time and penalties to get past Peterborough in the FA Cup, they may find an in form Everton too much to cope with after their exploits in the week.

Swansea know they are already in the mire of a relegation dog fight and points are a necessity if they want to keep their Premier League status. With Southampton travelling to South Wales in good form, this is not going to be an easy fixture for Swansea. Home games are where they will fancy picking up points but Koeman’s side will have different ideas about this. They know a win will see them close the gap on Manchester United and that coveted Europa League spot with The Saints feeling they have a point to prove after the way they crashed out of that competition this season without showing much fight.

The team just above Southampton, West Ham, travel to Norwich City this weekend. The Canaries are in the bottom three after last weekend’s results and know the longer they stay in these positions, the more difficult it will be to get themselves out of this situation. The Hammers had an energy sapping game against Liverpool in their FA Cup replay in the week so it remains to be seen how they cope with this busy fixture schedule. One of the pitfalls of their own success but not a bad position to be in. After making Dimitri Payet their highest paid player to ward off interest from China, three points against Norwich and maybe a Payet winner would the perfect end to a good week for Bilic’s side. Newcastle fresh out of clawing their way out of the bottom three and seeing their local rivals embarrassed by all things Adam Johnson this week, would love nothing more than to get a result at Stamford Bridge to put some serious daylight between them and their North East rivals. That is easier said than done as The Magpies historically have not done well in this fixture, but against this season’s Chelsea………..anything is possible! Despite getting a very late equaliser against United last weekend, Hiddink’s side didn’t really set Super Sunday alight last weekend. A chance to put this right against a Newcastle lacking confidence, may be just what the doctor ordered. Predicting results this season seems about as easy as picking the winning National Lottery numbers, a task made even more difficult by Camelot adding another twenty or so numbers to the game! One thing we can guarantee is action, thrills, spills and plenty of goals.