Premier League: Father and Son face-off as Football defeat pandemic - Man City host Arsenal, Sheffield face Aston Villa
|Kevin De Bruyne was the star man at the Emirates last December as he scored a brace to lead Man City to a 3-0 win at Arsenal. Image credit: premierleague.com|
We’ll be magnanimous in victory, especially as we know VAR can also come to play in the game between humanity and the novel COVID-19; if anything goes wrong, a global lockdown could be reinstated with news of notable relapse across the world, for now, we focus on the return of football, as led by the German Bundesliga and followed by the rest of Europe.
The English Premier League, arguably the best in the world will restart with Arsenal facing Manchester City, a game that was the first casualty of the virus sometime around 100 days ago.
Aston Villa will square up against Sheffield as well in a must-win encounter for the West Midland side.
Manchester City may have done better with cup competitions but they have handled their title defense badly, and if not for the imperious form of their Belgian star, Kevin De Bryune, they would probably have fallen so badly that they wouldn’t need the CAS ruling to miss champions league places.
While that can partly be blamed on their freakish defense line, made worse by the long term injuries to Aymeric Laporte and their unusual profligacy in front of goal, that can be improved on with the availability of someone you must have forgotten… Leroy Sane.
Arsenal have a lot going on for them, swinging both ways, they have contract conundrum for arguably their most important player, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and promising starlet, Bukayo Saka.
Fans are divided over the situation of Alexander Lacazette, while almost every Arsenal fan like the idea of the sight of steel and vigor on their team sheet in the form of Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey,
A section wouldn’t want to lose the friendship of AubaZette, one that has lit up the Emirates since the Gabonese showed up at London Colney.
Before the break, the Gunners were already finding their rhythm, in fact, they remain the only unbeaten side in the league in 2020 and have picked the second-highest point in the strange year till date, only behind you know who… Liverpool.
Sheffield United have had the best run from the trio that came in from the Championship.
They go about doing their businesses fearlessly and have the best defensive record only behind the champions-elect.
They comfortably press high without losing shape at the back, haven’t spent ridiculously and still neck to neck with mega billionaires in the league.
They have managed to stay fit, the secret remains something they should package and place on Amazon for clubs like Arsenal and Spurs to buy.
Aston Villa on their own rights can believe, while they were one of those clubs that voted for total abandonment of the season, for obvious reasons.
Not sure there’s much they can do to salvage their situation, it’s possible really, but with the way they turn up big in the first half and then implode in the second, you won’t expect too much from them.
Jack Grealish can’t possibly remain longer than next season at Villa Park, but for now, he continues to shoulder them like his beloved daughter.
We’re back at the predictions table and we’re up for the rescheduled games that will launch "Project Restart".
Everyone is at par for now, squad quality will still come to play and teams like City with depth will benefit more from the five men substitution.
We’ll miss the rowdy crowds and their vociferous voices but what do we expect from empty stands?
Technology would replace fans but we’re happy to see live premier league games again, are we looking forward to the return of VAR?
Manchester City vs Arsenal
Master and Trainee, the first time they will square up but would have been more intense if they had met before the lockdown.
City have all their players back and reports say Arsenal are without Lucas Torreira and Callum Chambers, fatigue or freshness?
Verdict: Both teams will score
Sheffield vs Villa
One needs to continue where they stopped, the other needs to stop what they were up to before the break.
No one expects intensity, but the Blades will remain disciplined as always, Villa’s survival battle starts here and they can’t afford to collapse like they used to.
Verdict: Villa to be booked at least twice
Strictly the writer’s opinion