Jose Mourinho thinks he will be the manager of Chelsea until 2019 but he may not survive until Monday morning if results go against him this week. His side are in a position from which no team have been champions in the Premier League era at this juncture.
Aston Villa sacked Tim Sherwood last week and November and December is the time clubs lose patience with underachieving managers. Manuel Pellegrini seems to be on the verge of leaving Manchester City every week with Pep Guardiola ready to step in. However, City have been rejuvenated this season and a win at Villa would consolidate their position at the top of the league.
The north London derby could see a shift in power from Arsenal to Tottenham Hotspur but both teams are on a good run of form. Home advantage can be key to determining the outcome of this fixture. Arsenal are unbeaten over the last five home meetings with Spurs and another three points for the hosts in this fixture is the most likely outcome.
John Terry has insisted that the Chelsea squad are united and behind their manager. However, it has been reported that one player would prefer to lose than win for the boss. In these cases results speak volumes and Chelsea have lost six of 11 league matches to date. In last year’s title winning season they just three of 38 matches. Chelsea have conceded 22 goals and only three other sides have let in more.
It seems that Mourinho is manufacturing the sack and he may have another job lined up. His behaviour is becoming increasingly erratic and he is turning into the Crazy One. He has made too many enemies at the FA to be considered for the England job but maybe he is aware of the flak Louis Van Gaal is getting at Manchester United. Mourinho would walk up the motorway barefoot to take over at Old Trafford.
Manchester United have been champions of Europe three times and on each occasion they were managed by somebody who became a Sir. It would appeal to Mourinho’s sense of self importance if he were to follow Matt Busby and Alex Ferguson to Buckingham Palace and an appointment with the Queen or one of the three potential kings waiting for Her Majesty to depart.
Stoke away is not the ideal fixture for a team out of form and looking for a result. On last season’s form backing Chelsea at odds against to win this match would be a steal. If Chelsea are in unity that price could seem massive at the end of the match. Stoke are underperforming and are 14th in the table having scored just 9 goals and conceded 12. They have only won one of five home league fixtures this season to date. Chelsea must be backed to get their season back on track with a narrow win.
Aston Villa have already lost four times at home in the league this season, having scored three goals while conceding seven. The old Arsenal player Remi Garde is now in charge and has the huge task of improving Vila’s record of one win in 11 Premier League matches. Playing the league leaders could not be a more tough proposition for his first match as the Aston Villa manager.
City have won three of five matches on the road and they have a decent recent record against Villa. The Mancunians have won 8 of the last 10 meetings with a goals tally of 27 with only 10 conceded. They head to Birmingham on the back of a good win at Sevilla in the Champions League when even Raheem Sterling scored a goal. Form can negate the effect of a new manager so City should beat Aston Villa at Villa Park.
Arsenal have played Tottenham 189 times in their history, winning 80 of those meetings, losing 61 and there have been 48 draws. Arsenal have won six of the last ten north London derbies including the last match in September at White Hart Lane but that was in the Capital One Cup which doesn’t really count. The two London outfits are the form teams in the league and both are playing with confidence.
The away treble pays 13/1 so quite a lot of money could be rolling up on Tottenham in the local shoot out at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon. Harry Kane is scoring again and his place in Tottenham folklore would increase many fold if he scored the winner against Arsenal. However, the home side have one more day to recover from playing in Europe and they can scupper the multiple on the three road teams.