Yep, I realise November isn’t over yet but December starts on Saturday and Europa League matchday 5 will take up the end of this week.
So, what’s in store for December – Nine flippin games is what. This is partly due to the ridiculous amount of international breaks, maybe. Injuries will abound and the clubs with the biggest squads will benefit.
These 9 games include 7 in the Prem, 1 Caribou Cup game and our remaining Europey fixture. With us still to win in Vorskla away this Thursday, hopefully Qarabag at home on the 13th December will finally be a chance to play some Academy players.
The League Cup game on Wednesday the 19th is, of course, against our loathsome neighbours from Middlesex. I’ve no real idea how we approach that tie, except to win by as many as is humanly possible.
December kicks off, yep you’ve guessed it, against the spuds at THOF – next Sunday the 2nd, with an earlyish kick off of 2.05pm, presumably to minimise potential crowd disturbances. Three days later sees a midweek trip to Manchester – everyone gets a draw there. Can we grab a point or even go one better? These are two massive fixtures which could set the tone for the whole month.
Either side of that Qarabag fixture we take on Huddersfield at home and Southampton away. Huddersfield at home last season was a bit of a romp – hoping for more of the same this time around. St Mary’s was turning into a bit of bogey ground a couple of seasons ago; what with Szczesny smoking after almighty howlers and other such nonsense like Shane Long looking a half decent player but only ever in the one game he played against us each year. Recently, however, we’ve managed to win 2 and draw 1 of our last three down on the South coast. Definitely need to keep up that improvement.
The ground staff will have their work cut out to fumigate the Clock End lower Tier after the spud Caribou game in time for the visit of Burnley in the League 3 days later.
Our last two fixtures between Christmas and New Year involve away trips to Brighton and then to Liverpool. Both will be tricky in different ways.
All in all, a quite horrendously busy month with the only 5 day gap between matches fairly early on, after the Huddersfield game and before Qarabag. I suppose we’ll just have to take it one game at a time. 🙂
Twenty one League points up for grabs. Where we might finish in the table come the end of the season should become more obvious by the turn of the New Year.