Super Sunday

Stoke City v Chelsea - Premier League

Sunday sees two massive games in the English Premier League taking place. Chelsea host Arsenal in the early kick-off, whereas Spurs are set to entertain the Red Devils. Both games are expected to be fairly open attacking encounters, with all of the teams involved having defensive issues of late.

TKTG scouts the web and provides you with the major talking points on the big games tomorrow, as well as our predicted outcomes:

Chelsea vs Arsenal: 1330 GMT

The Blues are caught up in the midst of a poor home run, and Rafael Benitez is tasked with the monumental challenge of turning their domestic record around. They’ve just signed Demba Ba, (who thankfully for them has hit the ground running) and will definitely be looking to test a rather shaky Arsenal defence tomorrow. John Terry is expected back, but Benitez will make a late decision on whether to start up front with Torres or not.

It’s not like Arsenal are doing any better. The Gunners were torn apart last weekend at home to Manchester City, and they’ll need to start picking up points fairly rapidly in order secure that lucrative fourth spot. The big news for them this week has been the contract signing of Theo Walcott. Arsene Wenger is hoping to make another addition to the squad in the transfer window, but is probably counting on his ‘English Core’ to do the business for him at Stamford Bridge.

Miguel Delaney from Soccernet believes the game will be won in midfield:

Key battle: Juan Mata v Arsenal’s defensive midfield With Mikel Arteta injured and Abou Diaby still not at full fitness, any Arsenal gameplan could well be undone by their lack of cover in front of the defence – particularly with Mata in such exceptional form. As it is, Wilshere may have to drop back into that area to aid his team, thereby removing some of the vigour from Arsenal’s attack too. This could well end up one of those individual tactical quirks that turns an otherwise even contest into an onslaught, with one side just exploiting the same flaw over and over again. It is imperative Arsenal shore up this area.

Arsenal v Swansea City - FA Cup Third Round Replay

We say: Away win (Arsenal to win by a goal)

Tottenham Hotspur V Manchester United: 1600 GMT

With United’s lead cut down to four points, Sir Alex will know how important it is for his team to come away with a win. Robin Van Persie can’t stop scoring, and with Cleverly and Michael Carrick holding the fort in midfield, the Red Devils are firm favoruties to reclaim the title from their ‘noisy neighbours’. It’s only a matter of them sorting out their leaky defence, and obviously keeping the likes of RVP and Rooney fit.

Wigan Athletic v Manchester United - Premier League

Spurs on the other hand lack squad depth. Jermain Defoe is their only available striker, so it will take a massive performance from stars like Gareth Bale & co to ensure that they get anything from this game.

Mark Lawrenson from the BBC adds:

I think this will be another close game and I wouldn’t mind betting that Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson would take a point now.

Tottenham are fourth and playing extremely well – and they won at Old Trafford earlier in the season.

Yes, Sandro is injured and Emmanuel Adebayor has gone to the Africa Cup of Nations but United will still have to deal with Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon.

Ferguson has got the depth in squad to counter that, though. He picked an attacking team against Liverpool last weekend but
I don’t think he will do the same at White Hart Lane.

He will tailor his team for the opposition and that might include stopping Bale by picking Antonio Valencia down United’s right. We have seen Valencia can play right-back and, if you have got a right-sided midfield player who is good going forward and defensively, then why wouldn’t you play him against Spurs?

United will unleash Robin van Persie and there have been some classic games between these two sides but I see it being a cagey afternoon.

I suspect Andre Villas-Boas will pack his midfield and I don’t see there being much space for either side.

We say: Away win (Manchester United to win by two or more goals)

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