I do not like this. My only solace is Gonzo’s (Muppet aliases, remember) determination to get more drunk tomorrow than ever before by the time that kick off comes round. The sight of him crawling up the stairs in the Shed Upper and dribbling on himself five minutes after the game has started will be just about enough to placate me with regard to Friday matches. Maybe. This, Sky, is a crime, seeing as your definition seems to be a bit fuzzy/ridiculous. (Insert rant about football’s capitulation at the feet of suited television fascists here)
The others: Amongst the fixtures for clubs not being subjected to this Friday wank, Hull take on Arsenal at 3pm on Saturday, when football is supposed to be played, at the same time as Leicester’s game against Burnley. The champions sit 16th at the moment (familiar, anyone?) so they could do with a win. Burnley will probably prove tougher opposition than their maiden Champions League match this week. Manchester City are at home to Bournemouth, so they should stay ahead of us and the Olympic Stadium gets some respite from all the fist-fighting as West Ham travel to West Brom for their annual dose of an instant cure for insomnia with Tony Pulis at the Hawthorns. Everton have the late kick off at home to Boro on Saturday, who are still in the top half at this early stage and seem to be getting a disproportionate amount of TV coverage. All of the Europa League peasants play on Sunday, with HWWNBN (because it is still all about him, it would seem) off to Watford to blame yet more people for his own inadequacies if United don’t get three points. Stoke, who are still bottom, travel to Palace. Southampton, who seem to be suffering after the departure of their manager and sit in 18th, host Swansea. The 4pm kick off sees Sp*rs, (thanks for making my birthday so awesome with your European ineptitude, chumps) at home to Sunderland. Surely they can’t f*ck that up.
Unfortunately if we lose they, Everton or United go could all go ahead of us if they pick up three points. The Mickey Mousers would need beat us by a significant margin to move past, and likewise, Arsenal or Hull would need big wins. What I am saying, essentially, is that (glass half full) it can’t be any worse than 7th by the end of the weekend. Happy days compared to last season!
Our game: JT’s ankle looks a bit less purply and more normal (thanks John for the constant close ups on Instagram) but not quite normal and un-puffy enough to have the likes of Skrtel stamping on it and pretending that it was an accident for 90 minutes. Enter Sideshow Dave, who gets a start in his place. Go get ‘em you mad-haired bast*rd. Conte says they have worked out many defensive scenarios. I’d keep it basic. “Dave, if you see anyone with a sh*t top-knot tomorrow night, (covers most of the opposition) end them. Other than that it is just Kurt Zouma who is unfit.
Conte Assessment (Each week, using all of my FBI profiling skills, meticulously absorbed watching 12 seasons of Criminal Minds, I will rate him on the Mourinho Scale, a careful and scientific calculation based on the premise that the more dishevelled and tramp-like a manager gets, the more he is about to strike the male menopause and have a total meltdown) Antonio remains at Defcon 1 after last week on account of no emotional incontinence and appearing to function sensibly as a grown man. (You’d think these are things to be taken for granted, but we know HWWNBN too well. For those unfamiliar, 1 is normal and it goes up to 5 when the Russians are coming)
I do not believe Klopp for one second when he says they won’t be trying to wind Costa up. As far as the red heathens go, they are expecting Lovren back (good, he’s sh*t) and they will probably recall Coutinho after resting him because he was apparently jet lagged after the international break (hope it wasn’t the gormless expression that prompted that move, because that is just his face).
Expect intensity, expect niggling on both sides, expect to be confronted by them singing at us in a collective southern accent and expect some raging sense of indignance about some ‘crime’ whilst they conveniently overlook some footballing atrocity on their own part. A ‘crime’ that Scouse Sports News will completely buy into and probably go on to mount a campaign to get someone suspended. Obviously I hope we do them 2-0 and there is no drama, but given the attacking flair of both teams and the crumbly, choux pastry-like consistency (damn you GBBO you’re taking over my mind with your brainwashing cakelike awesomeness) of the defences on occasion, I reluctantly admit that this could be a car crash with the three points going to whichever team happens to score last.
However, we have scored at least twice in all of our games so far. They score a bucket load of goals, but they have only kept but one clean sheet away from home in 2016. Also, (here’s some ‘istoreee for you) if they concede at ours tomorrow night, it will be the first time they have gone nine games without keeping one since 2005. All of which translates to, we’d be bellends if we didn’t put at least one past this lot. Sports Analytics Machine makes a home win 67% likely, a draw 20% and a win for the Vermin 13%. However, this SAM claims to be made by the University of Salford. Which is obviously made up.