columnBy Carol Radull
Manchester United fell to second in the league last week following their expected; okay not expected... shock loss to Norwich. What happened? Well it was just one of those games that United won even before kick-off.
You could see it in the players' swagga as they lined up to shake hands. They didn't quite consider the game a contest. Hopefully, they have learned from that over-confident experience to ensure that history doesn't repeat itself today.
It's so easy to assume a walkover against QPR who haven't won a single game in the 12 matches played in the league so far. With players like Djibril Cisse, Shaun Wright Phillip, Jose Bosingwa, Kieron Dyer, Ji Sung Park and the list goes on; you would expect this team to be doing better.
Sadly, Bobby Zamora is injured and needs hip surgery but really, he hasn't done much this season by virtue of the fact that they are bottom.
But there is always that extra motivation that a win against a top team could earn reprieve for the very poor performance so far. I'm just surprised that Mark Hughes still has a job and Roberto Di Matteo doesn't. Today will be a tough test for Hughes who will be up against his mentor Sir Alex Ferguson. Perhaps he (Hughes) knows something about SAF that we don't and will use it against him.
Manchester United Vs QPR, today 6pm,
My Prediction: Red Devils.... 3 QPR....1
Aston Villa Vs Arsenal, today 8:30pm,
My Prediction: Villa....0 Gunners....3
Aston Villa were on the receiving end of a 5-0 thrashing by Manchester City last weekend and things are about to get worse for them. If Arsenal can continue from where they left off against Montpellier mid-week, then it's a wrap! Unfortunately the operative word here is "IF".
You see Arsenal fans, me included; love to feel inspired following one good performance but the reality is that we shouldn't get excited until we win at least five games in a row.
That is something that would restore my confidence in my side. Bacary Sagna and Olivier Giroud are in such good form while Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla are giving inspiring performances. Arsenal will get the three points in this game; the question is how many goals will the Gunners score and who will score them.
Swansea Vs Liverpool, tomorrow 4:30pm,
My Prediction Swansea....2 Liverpool.....2
His name is Miguel Michu and week after week, he gets me maximum fantasy football points by scoring for Swansea. Even when they lose.
Ironically, I also have Luis Suarez in my team and I know he will deliver as well. In this game, I'll just make sure I don't have defenders in either team as both sides will score.
Swansea are a point ahead of Liverpool in the standings because of Michu. He just can't stop scoring. Liverpool are a little like Arsenal.
They have one good performance; one bad one. One good one; one bad one. Actually let me rephrase. One average performance; one bad one.
On Thursday, the young Reds failed to get three points off Young Boys and now Liverpool's participation in the further stages of Europa are in doubt.
One Scouser here in the office, Arjun "Vipul" Vidyarthi says they are just waiting for the transfer window to buy Theo... ah I mean to buy strikers. So even Liverpool fans aren't expecting much here. And they are so used to draws. So I predict this game will be all square.
Chelsea Vs Man City, tomorrow 7pm,
My Prediction: Blues....3 Citizens....1
Rafa Benitez Vs the man who still has a job despite failing to get to the round of 16 in the Champions League for the second year running. The coaching world is interesting.
Benitez's first task will be to get past the league champions or else he'll be jobless by Monday! Just kidding! Roberto Mancini for some reason can't get his troops to perform in Europe.
Benitez has won the Champions League with Liverpool. But this is a local match so psychologically; City should have the upper hand. They are coming off a 5-0 drubbing of Aston Villa but a trip to Stamford Bridge won't be easy.
It never is. And Chelsea have been known to win their next few games following the arrival of a new coach. And we all know that's happened many times.
Chelsea have looked deflated over the past few weeks and last week's loss to West Brom coupled with their mid-week loss to Juventus must have hurt.
I think they will get back on their feet today to get points off the Champions! The players will also be out to impress Benitez to ensure that they are considered in his first team. We all know how much Benitez loved Fernando Torres and got the best out of him; so there are a few goals right there!