Morning, happy new year to you all, hope 2017 is going swimmingly thus far – here’s a very quick blog.
What would kick off the new year in a good way is an Arsenal win later on. Yesterday looked as if it might be a good day for brief periods, but Man City aside everyone ended up winning. It doesn’t really change things from our point of view, but a quick look at the table this morning shows you there’s really no room for error today against Crystal Palace.
They have a new manager, the Walrus is back in the game and you can be quite sure that he’ll have looked at what West Brom did and think that’s probably the best approach today. The only thing you’d say is that he hasn’t had a great deal of time to work on things on the training ground, so they’re unlikely to be as well organised as the Tony Pulis mob we had to deal with on Monday.
It’ll be interesting to see what the manager does with his team today because home, against Palace, and with Bournemouth coming up on Tuesday, would lend itself to some rotation. The trip to the south-coast is potentially a bit more tricky, so there’s room for manoeuvre today with his selection.
He might also think that these next 48 hours or so is when he asks a lot from his main players, before resting them ahead of the FA Cup game at the weekend. So, it’s hard to say exactly how we’re going to set up for this one, and what changes he might make.
He doesn’t sound as if he’s taking it lightly in any way, talking up the attacking threat of the opposition today:
You expect Palace to defend well against us, they have as well some strong offensive power because they have Benteke, Zaha who is in good form at the moment, Townsend is playing, so we will need again to have a go and to defend well. They have a good offensive threat so for us it will be very important to find that balance.
But ultimately it comes down to us, what we do, and how we do it. Given that Chelsea’s win put them 12 points clear at the top of the table, there’s nothing else about today other than 3 points. Achieve that and we remain within touching distance, just about. Anything else doesn’t really bear thinking about because I think we all know what that would mean.
Right, we’ll have all the coverage later on, from live blog to match report etc. Now it’s breakfast time, and I’ll see you later for the game.