In late December I was somewhat stressed by a pressing and personal matter around which I required some advice.
Fixtures are coming through thick and fast and there are some fun games this weekend in the Premier League.
Who will be at the top of the table when the weekend is complete? Here are the games you need to keep a close eye on.
Everton vs Leeds: Sunday at 4:30 am (AEDT)
If you like to see goals scored, this is going to be the game for you. The leading goal scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be going head to head with Patrick Bamford, who isn’t too far behind.
Everton and Leeds are one of the worst defensive teams in the league and it’s due to their philosophy of trying to attack the opposition.
Both teams love going forward with Everton trying to get Calvert-Lewin in one-on-one situations while Leeds try to attack from the wings and provide service to Bamford.
This will be a massive game as a win for Everton will allow them to stick to the top four while a much-needed win for Leeds gets them further up mid-table.
Everton managed to hold on against Fulham while Leeds were very unfortunate against Arsenal but that shouldn’t discourage them. This game should be fun.
Southampton vs Manchester United: Monday at 1:00 am (AEDT)
Can Southampton extend their unbeaten run another week against Manchester United? That’s the stakes for the Saints. Meanwhile, Manchester United have finally reached the top half of the table and will be looking for their third-straight league win.
Where would United be without one Bruno Fernandes? He has been lighting it up in all competitions but for sustainable success, he will need his teammates in Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial to step up.
The midfielders outside of Fernandes have been a mess with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still unsure of his best combinations.
On the other hand, Southampton will be hoping that Che Adams and Theo Walcott up front can continue to produce. Since losing Danny Ings, they have done just enough to remain unbeaten.
They have a gritty defence that can deal with long balls and they have midfielders who track back to ensure they don’t drive through the middle. If Southampton can keep Fernandes quiet, the Saints will definitely be a chance at home.
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Monday at 3:30 am (AEDT)
This will likely be the most monitored game of the weekend especially as it’s a London derby plus a top of the table clash. Two of the hottest teams currently going head to head and it’s really difficult to determine who can come out on top. There are two contrasting styles at play.
Chelsea will be aggressive and looking to go on the front foot. Meanwhile, Spurs will most likely defend deep and look for chances to counterattack.
The battle of the midfield will be vital, and Pierre Hojbjerg will have a mammoth task on his hand. With Toby Alderweireld injured, expect Joe Rodon and Eric Dier to be the centre backs. Hojbjerg will have to protect those two while also initiating plays to go forward with the ball.
Likewise, N’golo Kante will have a similar role when he has to protect most likely Kurt Zouma and Thiago Silva with Spurs on the break.
This game should show us how legitimate title contenders play and could be our match of the weekend.
Arsenal vs Wolves: Monday at 6:15 am (AEDT)
These two teams are struggling to score goals and there are crucial points on offer here. Arsenal and Wolves have been identical this season with both clubs scoring nine goals while conceding ten.
Both teams are also coming off a loss and a draw and they’ll be hoping a win here can turn things around.
On paper Arsenal have more talent especially going forward whereas Wolves need to rely heavily on Raul Jiminez. Both teams have been solid defensively, but the big question will be who can create the goal-scoring chances. It will be very interesting to see what unfolds in this match.
West Ham vs Aston Villa: Tuesday at 7:00 am (AEDT)
Both teams sit in seventh and eighth position with the chance to stay in touch with the European spots. West Ham have been in decent form whereas Aston Villa will be disappointed they couldn’t back up their emphatic win against Arsenal.
The Hammers have navigated through a tough schedule early on and since their loss to Everton, they have played some quality football against all opposition.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa have lost three of their last four but there seems to be a major theme. In all of their wins, Aston Villa have managed to keep a clean sheet outside of their ridiculous performance against Liverpool where they scored seven goals.
When Villa have conceded goals, they seem to become susceptible to multiple goals conceding three goals on average in losses. If Villa can focus defensively, they certainly have the firepower going forward to trouble West Ham.
Pablo Fornals has been in form and looks set to go head to head with Jack Grealish. That should be a fun match-up to watch and whoever can outperform the other will be a massive boost to their respective team.