Blogs & Opinion


Man City and Liverpool should come strong in Premier League in 2013, says David Jones

Features - David Jones Posted 2nd January 2013 view comments

I'm writing this on the train to Newcastle, who play Everton tonight in one of the final games of the festive period.

As ever, it's been a fascinating fortnight: goals galore, great drama, but more than anything at the games I've been lucky enough to cover, an incredible atmosphere.

It's what makes our league so special.

Liverpool chief Brendan Rodgers will be hoping to overhaul Everton come May

Liverpool chief Brendan Rodgers will be hoping to overhaul Everton come May

From Stoke on Boxing Day, to Sunderland on Saturday, Southampton on New Year's Day and, no doubt, St James' Park tonight, the passion of Premier League fans has driven the players on when so many must have been feeling the strain.

We're past the halfway stage now and there can be no let up.

At the top the deposed champions Manchester United, inspired by the goals of Robin Van Persie, will take some shifting.

Norwich's unbeaten run has been ended by four consecutive defeats and suddenly the club is gripped by anxiety.

David Jones
Quotes of the week

But Manchester City have too much class to go quietly and the challenge from London could grow from Tottenham and Chelsea.

Surmountable

Arsenal, as ever, and Everton are also in the hunt for a top-four finish and both may look to the January window to aid their cause.

Liverpool surely will, and their most optimistic supporters will consider a five-point deficit on their Merseyside rivals easily surmountable.

At the bottom, meanwhile, the fight for survival will keep us engrossed until the very last ball is kicked. Is it too late for QPR to overcome the odds? Will Reading's tactical shift lift them closer to the pack?

Above them, surely no-one in the bottom half is safe.

Norwich are proof enough of that; the 10-game unbeaten run that only Barcelona had bettered was ended by four consecutive defeats and suddenly the club is gripped by anxiety.

There are so many stories still to unfold and our first instalment of The Footballers' Football Show of 2013 will guide you through where to look for them.

Join us for 90 minutes of football chat with Ray Wilkins, Chris Coleman and Niall Quinn.

Catch The Footballers' Football Show, 10pm, Thursday, Sky Sports 1 HD.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Gary Neville

Neville: Arsenal must sign a striker

Arsenal must sign a replacement for injured Olivier Giroud if they want to win the title, says Gary Neville....

Jeff Stelling

Stelling: Fears for Leeds

Jeff Stelling is worried that headline-making Leeds could end up slipping back into League One. ...

Latest News RSS feeds

Sky Sports Today

Premier League build-up, Europa League draw and reaction plus all the manager press conferences.

Live transfer updates

Aston Villa and Valencia want Tom Cleverley, Xabi Alonso joins Bayern Munich and Arsenal linked with Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

Merson's predictions

Merse expects a losing start for Neil Warnock, but wins for Arsenal, Chelsea, Man United and QPR.

Premier League preview

Chelsea travel to Everton for Saturday Night Football, while Super Sunday features Tottenham against Liverpool and Leicester versus Arsenal.

Spurs handed Besiktas test

Tottenham will face Arsenal's UEFA Champions League victims Besiktas in the group stage of the Europa League.

Features

Tottenham's Erik Lamela ready for Premier League lift off

Tottenham's Erik Lamela ready for Premier League lift off

Everyone agreed that Tottenham had acquired some fine players in the summer of 2013, but the notorious line that Spurs sold Elvis to buy the Beatles soon became a source of embarrassment. Not least because that cast young Erik Lamela as John Lennon, the most celebrated of the lot.

Analysis: Everton's signing of Samuel Eto'o can be significant on and off the pitch for Roberto Martinez's side

Analysis: Everton's signing of Samuel Eto'o can be significant on and off the pitch for Roberto Martinez's side

Saturday’s opponents Chelsea might have expected Everton’s Romelu Lukaku to come back to haunt them, but Jose Mourinho surely thought he’d seen the back of Samuel Eto’o. Instead he’s back in the Premier League and eyeing another challenge in his remarkable career.

Mario Balotelli's track record on the pitch makes him a gamble worth taking for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool

Mario Balotelli's track record on the pitch makes him a gamble worth taking for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool

When it comes to the art of signing players, few did it better than Brian Clough and Peter Taylor. In the latter’s book With Clough by Taylor he explained some of the science behind it in detailing how Nottingham Forest actively sought to buy players they perceived to have personal problems.