Something for the Weekend: Full steam ahead for Arsenal after extra break at Christmas and why Coventry and Bristol Rovers are proving to be such a sell out
09:27 GMT, 28 December 2012
Every Friday, Michael Walker will pick out 10 things to look forward to over the footballing weekend.
This week: why Arsenal have an advantage ahead of their game against Newcastle, while former Wolves manager Mick McCarthy returns to Molineux intent on piling more pressure on his former club. And then there's the great Coventry City ticket rush…
1. When Herbert Chapman was manager of Arsenal he famously persuaded London Underground to change the name of the local Tube station from Gillespie Road to ‘Arsenal’. This seems relevant given that Arsenal have a Tube-related benefit again tomorrow against Newcastle United.
The postponement of Arsenal’s game against West Ham on Wednesday due to the Tube strike means that Arsene Wenger’s players have had seven days since they played at Wigan.
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Herbert Chapman was successful in changing the name of the local tube station to 'Arsenal' in his time as manager in the 20's and 30's
Arsenal station will be open for business, while Newcastle will be hoping to avoid going down the tubes
2. Everton-Chelsea on Sunday is the stand-out Premier League game of the weekend. Rafa goes back to Liverpool and should get a hearty welcome at Goodison Park.
Benitez will see familiar sights, such as the corridor where a Chelsea predecessor, Carlo Ancelotti, was sacked.
3. Mick McCarthy is another returning manager. He goes back to Molineux tomorrow as Ipswich Town boss and will pile pressure on his Wolverhampton successor Stale Solbakken with an away win.
Wolves lost 3-0 at home to Peterborough United on Wednesday. McCarthy got the club promoted to the Premier League and kept them there for three seasons. Wolves are now 14th in the Championship.
Mick McCarthy celebrates with Stephen Ward after Wolves beat Blackburn in May 2011
4. Kenny Jackett once managed Swansea. That is enough to ensure he will get 'a reception' when he takes Millwall to Cardiff tomorrow afternoon.
One imagines that will be the least of South Wales police concerns.
5. Home banker alert: in League One it is Sheffield United (top) against Hartlepool United (bottom).
The Blades have scored 21 goals in 12 home games; Hartlepool have conceded 24 goals in 12 away games. The Blades haven’t lost at home; Hartlepool haven’t won away.
Top job: Danny Wilson has taken the Blades to the League One summit after three victories in their last four league games
6. Home banker warning: the biggest surprise (Sean O’Driscoll apart) from midweek came in League Two where Barnet won 1-0 at leaders Gillingham.
Barnet have now won consecutive matches and go to Exeter tomorrow.
7. Barnet’s new six points means they are no longer 92nd of 92. Bristol Rovers have that dubious
honour. They also have very good fans. It falls into the fairly staggering category that for
tomorrow’s trip to Cheltenham, Bristol Rovers were given 1,419 and have sold every one of them.
Edgar Davids in training at Barnet and they are now off the bottom of the league
8. Coventry City are another to have sold out their allocation of tickets for tomorrow, which again is
The initial 3,000 tickets for the match at MK Dons went and 2,000 more are on sale now. City are expected to make an announcement about their residence at the Ricoh Arena today (Friday).
9. Sunday’s other Premier League game is QPR-Liverpool. It is over eight years since Djibril Cisse cost 14m when he moved to Anfield.
His transfer was not considered a success, particularly when he went from September 25th to May 15th in his first season without scoring.
But Cisse made the bench in Istanbul, then came off it, then scored Liverpool’s second penalty in the shoot-out.
Cisse scores from the spot as Liverpool win the European Cup in 2005
Cisse shows off his medal and now he will be hoping to shoot down Liverpool
10. Rangers, the Glasgow version, have occasions as much as matches this season. Today sees them back at Hampden Park, where once they would visit annually to battle for silverware.
Today it’s a Scottish Third Division fixture against Queen’s Park. Rangers are expected to take 30,000 fans across Glasgow to the scene of the summer vote expelling them from the SPL.