Weblog: The football punter

Marmite man can once again make his point

MIXED views on the supposed Thursday-Sunday curse.

Our two Europa League runners are Southampton and Manchester United and they seem to be reacting differently to this allegedly desperate scheduling which has earned criticism down the years from the likes of Alan Pardew, Martin Jol and Mark Hughes.

Cor, Mark Hughes complaining about something; who’d have thought it?

Saints have followed their two Thursday assignments with a win and a draw and two clean sheets. United have followed their two with a defeat and a draw and no clean sheets.

They’ve got both more travelling to do this Sunday with Soton heading for Manchester to take on City while United are off to the capital to visit Chelsea.

While Sky and the red-tops get their knickers in a twist over how Mourinho will be received on his return to the Bridge, I, like you, will worry about the best bet.

And after the way United stopped Liverpool from being Liverpool on Monday night, I’ll take Jose’s current mob to do the same to his previous team.

Monday was made for Mourinho to prove his mettle, and he did it. Now he gets to go on and like him or loathe him, Marmite Man is just the man to stop Chelsea in their tracks.

I can also see Southampton putting the brakes on City. Saints are a good team, in good form and having not conceded in six of their seven definitely have the organisation and manpower to keep Sergio Aguero and pals quiet.

Best bet for Saturday? Stoke to win at Hull. The Potters will be out of the bottom three this weekend courtesy of victory against a team whose only direction is down.

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Match in Focus

19:45 TODAY BT1

Paris St-G. v Marseille

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Marseille have won one of their last 11 away league fixtures
Expert verdict
Paris St-Germain have work to do in Ligue 1 (they are four points behind leaders Nice) but have won their last four matches in all competitions and should defeat Marseille in the capital. Mid-table Marseille have picked up one point from a possible 12 on their travels and new boss Rudi Garcia faces a daunting start at Parc des Princes.