11 March 2013

The Race for 4th, Week 28.5 (or something...).

Bit of an odd day today as most of the teams at the top of the table didn't play this weekend due to various postponements. The one result that did matter worked largely to our favor as Liverpool beat Spurs. Apparently, Spurs defender Assou-Ekott was foolish enough to bump into Suarez in the box, who predictably went flying. I've seen worse in the queue for the bus, frankly, but it was Suarez after all, a man who is to staying upright in the box what Spurs are to holding onto 4th. By which I mean, neither one happens. So Suarez outdid Bale on both counts, scoring once and diving once. At any rate, Gerrard tucked it home without much trouble, and that was that. In all honesty, Suarez's dive wasn't all that bad--Assou-Ekott did jump into Suarez and shouldered him. A player who is less susceptible to gravity would have kept his feet and simply scored. The ball ended up in the back of the net regardless, and the top of the table is now a bit tighter than it was with Liverpool climbing up into a tie for 6th with Everton.

A glance at the chart shows Liverpool shoving its way in the conversation, if only because they've played one game more than most everyone else. Chelsea hosts Steaua on Thursday and West Ham on Saturday, Spurs go to Inter on Thursday and Fulham on Saturday, Liverpool goes to Southampton, Everton hosts Man City, and we have to go to Swansea after our Wednesday trip to Bayern. This might just be a week that sees Chelsea leapfrog Spurs. As tough as our trip to Swansea might be, the schedule gives us a little help in that everyone save Chelsea faces a tricky match, and two of our toughest competitors for a top-four finish do so in a cluttered week. Yes, we have to face Bayern, but the task of winning is so far-fetched that I wouldn't mind us throwing on Squillaci and ten other cardboard cut-outs. Chelsea and Spurs, by contrast, face games that matter more and will therefore require more effort. Even if Franck "don't forget the 'C'" Ribéry himself might be out, along with Schweinsteiger and Boateng, few would blame us if we rest a few key players against Bayern in order to stay fresh for Swansea.

There's other noise out of Germany about Wenger and offers and stuff, but it's too irritating to deal with right now. I'll come back to it after I've had some coffee.