Great midweek: Wolves v Man Utd, Aguero, Sarri, Spurs …



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Game to watch – Wolves v Manchester United
"This was the worst we played," said Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after seeing Manchester United babble and become the latest Wolves' victims in Molineux. They are in good company – Liverpool were defeated in the FA Cup, Chelsea succumbed to the Premier League and Manchester City was tied at 1-1 at dawn (August) – but that simply can not happen again, not when O United is involved in a battle for places in the Champions League that is bordering on ridicule. With all of their home rivals this week, a point at Wolves will not be the "good point" that may seem in isolation.

"We played well, we were very organized and we have to do it again because the game will require a lot of us," Wolves coach Nuno Espirito Santo said of his victory in the FA Cup. "This was a great moment, but we know that tomorrow is completely different. Every time we play in a team like Manchester United, we have to be ready to compete. "

Do not be fooled by the defeat at Burnley – this was entirely according to one side of the Wolves standing out against the best, but repels against the worst – for this is Molineux, where the Wolves are with seven invincible and feel invincible. And it's not just about claiming another scalp, but a push for a seventh place that is likely to bring football in the Europa League. That you can win 3/1 in a Wolves win is downright ridiculous.

United will need to be far, far better than the performance that saw them limp on the line against Watford, and to that end, Solskjaer should be tempted to bring back Romelu Lukaku, who lost the FA Cup defeat to Wolves. Certainly, the trio of Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford did little damage on their last visit to Molineux.

Given the outcome of the FA Cup, the home form of Wolves, United's less convincing performances after the triumph of victory in Paris and betting on both sides, this can be very good. United will not want the ridiculous possession they "took" last time, while the Wolves will be more than happy to let them win the ball and break their speed. Who will get his own way?

Player to watch – Sergio Aguero
"There are three or four players that no one is talking about or just saying they are having a good season while I am the one who is having a bad season. Aguero has two goals against me and they say this is one of the best seasons so far, "Mo Salah said on Sunday, trying to prove he is not upset about his lack of goal by knowing exactly how many goals his rivals scored. . As many have pointed out, it is Aguero's incredible scoring rate that makes his season so remarkable, not just the total.

Aguero being Aguero, he is unlikely to bite back with a verbal volley. But what is unbelievably likely is that he scores a hat-trick against poor Cardiff. It would be this season's Premier League season – which is surprising – and would make it clear to Alan Shearer with 12 hat-tricks in total. That would also take him beyond the 20-goal mark for the fifth consecutive season. Oh, and it would take City back to the top of the Premier League, even though Liverpool somehow "destined" to win the title. Watch him. Watch them

Manager to watch – Maurizio Sarri
Is this a relationship that can be rescued? It seems a ridiculous question to be asked about the club coach and his fans after a loss in just seven games since losing in the Cup final to one of the best teams in Europe, but this is where Chelsea find themselves. It seems that patience with Sarri and his particular brand of football is very worn out, and yet – with two routes back to the Champions League wide open – there are simple things the Italian could do on Wednesday in Stamford Bridge to fix bridges .

Let's presume he has already written the names of the rested No Goal Kante and Eden Hazard for the visit of Brighton, but he should also seriously think of bringing Olivier Giroud to the failed experience that bears the name of Gonzalo Higuain, and also for the prize of a first Premier League start for Callum Hudson-Odoi. As Tracy Chapman opined (not about CHO), if not now, then when? If not today then why make your promises? A love declared in the days to come is as good as none.

It's easy to understand why Sarri was relaxing in his teens – and certainly he should not have to interpret anyone based on age or passport – but now is the time when he is genuinely Chelsea's best option for the flank right. , where Kante can acquit him of any real defensive responsibility. Seeing the right names on the team record can only reduce the atmosphere of "mutinous" to simply "mary" before the kickoff on Wednesday.

Team to watch – Tottenham Hotspur
When Tottenham scored the visit of the Crystal Palace as the perfect game to open their new stadium, they probably did not predict that the game would come with a string of five games without a Premier League win; they probably did not expect Palace to enter the game in better shape than themselves. This should be a gimme, a nice smooth parade. Tottenham fans should enter this game in a festive atmosphere, not with a sick feeling in the mouth of their stomach that they are returning to the Europa League, thanks to a complete lack of financial support in the transfer market. They should be grateful to Daniel Levy for the gift of this wonderful stadium, not angry that the promise of "jam tomorrow" could find them eating a delicious strawberry preserve under the glass ceiling. Right now, there is not much to celebrate.

The victory over the Palace would be a great stimulus for the weather, especially as Manchester City will be the next visitor six days later. This will seem like a long six day if the Spurs stumble into the Palace. The good news is that the performance against Liverpool – with the exception of the late freak – was encouraging, and the coach is already doing what he can to accentuate the good points.

"Now it's a mini league – seven games and we are among the top four. It is in our hands, "he said, an advantage that could have disappeared by 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday if they failed to add up to three points against the Palace and all of its minibreak rivals. They really should make themselves at home within minutes of being handed the key.

"We need to maintain confidence and confidence and we will fight to be in the next Champions League. It is very important that the club is in the top four at the end of the season. "

No pressure, guys.

Football League match to watch – Middlesbrough v Bristol City
There are seven teams separated by only four points, from the fifth to the 11th in the Championship, with any of these teams capable of claiming one of two possible places in the play-off. Two of them are Middlesbrough and Bristol City, although the first form suggests that they are currently the least likely to claim a place. Saturday's defeat to Norwich marked their fourth straight loss, part of a five-game series without a win in which they scored just two goals. Things are now so desperate that they agreed with Stewart Downing to start their first games in 2019.

Meanwhile, Bristol City finished their own run without a win in five games with a 3-2 win over Sheffield United thanks to Andreas Wiemann's hat-trick. "There are nine rounds to give us half the chance to win." The first round comes against Middlesbrough in Middlesbrough, where he plays for the first time. a game that would make any winner be fifth.

European match to watch – Valencia v Real Madrid
If watching City batter Cardiff really is not your backpack – and the idea of ‚Äč‚ÄčTony Pulis nervously lowering his cap as he points and screams, leaves you cold – so Zinedine Zidane's first real test of this second Royal Management spell may just be for you . On Wednesday, the team face Valencia, who somehow managed a series of 11 unbeaten matches in La Liga, reaching the quarter-finals of the Europa League. They have very little Alaves in their sights as they try to seal the first four consecutive places for the first time since 2012. As Real Madrid needed a late goal to beat humble Huesca at home, this can be fun.

Sarah Winterburn


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