Blogs & Opinion


David Jones:

Most Popular Posts:

Deadline Day and crucial fixtures make this a vital week in the Premier League, says David Jones

David Jones - David Jones Posted 29th January 2013 view comments

Make no mistake this will be remembered as a pivotal week in this season's Premier League.

On Thursday a flurry of last minute shopping will signal the end of the winter transfer window and I can assure you Sky Sports News are braced for their biggest Deadline Day yet.

Primarily it's those clubs near the bottom who've been the busiest so far as they try to equip their squads with tools enough to plot a great escape.

Crucial: Newcastle and Villa do battle in a vital game on Tuesday

Crucial: Newcastle and Villa do battle in a vital game on Tuesday

But I wouldn't be surprised if come Thursday night it's those chasing Champions League glory who are writing their own headlines.

After all, the rewards for a top four finish are as bountiful as the prize for maintaining Premier League status.

Before then though we have a full midweek programme to cherish with huge games at top and bottom, which could shape Deadline Day.

Aston Villa face Newcastle on Tuesday in a game neither dare lose. Either could find themselves in the bottom three by the night's end.

Meanwhile, Harry Redknapp's transfer business is rudely interrupted by the visit of Manchester City, who have the incentive of closing the gap on the leaders to just two points.

We'll be on Wearside to watch two of the form teams of 2013 so far.

Marksmen

After a season of struggle, Sunderland have strung together five wins from their last eight but are only slight favourites over Swansea City, rapidly becoming many fans second club.

Having seen off Chelsea to reach their first major cup final Swansea can now establish themselves as a top half club. So much for second season syndrome!

It's a chance to view two of the leagues top marksmen head-to-head and I note Sky Bet offer 5/1 that both Michu and Steven Fletcher will find the net again.

And then on Wednesday our focus is on the race for Champions League places when Arsenal take on Liverpool.

There has been an element of unpredictability about both teams of late but at their best both can be scintillating and both scored five last time out in the league.

Daniel Sturridge seems to have added a new dimension to Liverpool's attack, though Oldham fans may beg to differ.

It was around this stage last season that Arsenal embarked on a run of seven wins on the bounce which carried them up to third. Arsene Wenger's side might need to produce that form again to carry them beyond Everton, Chelsea and Spurs, who all play on Wednesday night as well.

Be warned though the last 8 meetings between Arsenal and Liverpool have featured seven goals in or after the 90th minute, so this match could go down to the very last seconds, just like Deadline Day.

Due to Deadline Day there is no Footballers' Football Show this week - but the show will return next Thursday

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Latest News RSS feeds

Balotelli banned for one game

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has been given a one-match ban by the FA after his controversial post on social media.

'Quadruple may never be done'

Jamie Carragher says winning the quadruple is so difficult it may never be done in England.

Rodgers: Sterling can be striker

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says Raheem Sterling has the qualities needed to play as a striker on a regular basis.

Allardyce plays down reports

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has played down speculation about his future, saying nothing has changed since the start of the season.

Recovery setback for Rodriguez

Southampton forward Jay Rodriguez has suffered a setback in his rehabilitation from a long-term knee injury.

Features

Sky Sports Fantasy Football: Our scout looks at which players you should consider signing this weekend

Sky Sports Fantasy Football: Our scout looks at which players you should consider signing this weekend

The crucial festive period is upon us and, with games coming thick and fast, here are five in-form players to consider for your Sky Sports Fantasy Football team.

Brendan Rodgers has compared Raheem Sterling to Alexis Sanchez but Liverpool lack those Luis Suarez-like qualities

Brendan Rodgers has compared Raheem Sterling to Alexis Sanchez but Liverpool lack those Luis Suarez-like qualities

Brendan Rodgers has compared Raheem Sterling to Alexis Sanchez but the Arsenal forward's qualities are a clear example of what Liverpool are missing with Luis Suarez gone, writes Adam Bate...

Raheem Sterling's two goals for Liverpool at Bournemouth offer hope for Brendan Rodgers and his new system

Raheem Sterling's two goals for Liverpool at Bournemouth offer hope for Brendan Rodgers and his new system

After Raheem Sterling rediscovered his composure to see off Bournemouth, Brendan Rodgers will be encouraged that his new system can help Liverpool beat Arsenal on Sunday, writes Matthew Stanger...