RG Fantasy Football
It’s every reporter’s worst nightmare being called an “ostrich”.
I mean, is there a more demeaning insult? “You’ve got your head in the sand.” Ouch!
Hard to believe but that is what Nigel Pearson barked at the writer who had the temerity to question the bully-boy Leicester City manager.
In his uncontrollable fury he pulled out the “O” word. It’s almost certainly unprecedented — and ridiculous.
What part of Pearson’s granite-style head did that come from? Probably the same part that saw him regale a story of him battling a pack of wild dogs.
As one colleague, of greater wit than I, pointed out, Pearson sounded like that spotty kid at school who returns after summer holiday boasting of how many girls he’d conquered.
“Really, Nige. You did what to her? She was a model? Yeah, whatever, jog on, your mom’s calling.”
Anyway, ostrich-gate. Pearson apologised, which is fair enough. He said he was angry at having lost against champions-elect Chelsea.
For everyone’s sake, let’s hope he doesn’t lose to deadbeat Newcastle.
11am kick-offs unless stated
Leicester City v
The sad thing about Pearson’s rant was that it took the attention away from his side’s largely positive performance in defeat to Chelsea. It interrupted a run of four straight wins and City are playing well.
Jamie Vardy up front is a handful and the team appear energised — an impressive feat at this stage of the season. Another performance like that and they will sweep aside Newcastle, who have lost seven on the spin.
Aston Villa v Everton
Tiger Tim leads his troops into battle against a resurgent Everton.
With the suave Roberto Martinez in the other dugout, the action off the pitch could be better than that on it. An honourable, and exciting, draw.
Queens Park Rangers
The knives are out for Brendan Rodgers as his side continue to show little appetite for the season run-in. Knives could also be out for the walking injury that is Daniel Sturridge, who may face more surgery.
QPR have it all to play for and they need a result. Whether Liverpool can muster the motivation will be key to this one.
Sunderland v Southampton
A game with a lot riding on it for these two clubs. Saints want European football to rubber stamp an impressive season, while Sunderland are in the mire and need points to clamber out of the bottom three.
It’s hard to see the away side’s defence being breached.
Swansea City v Stoke City
Stoke have taken just one point from a possible nine on their past three trips on the road, netting only twice. They are, though, unbeaten in three games.
Swansea have shown little sign of pulling on the beach flip-flops just yet.
West Ham United v Burnley
Everyone’s favourite relegation fighters, Burnley now look like they are going to come up short, struggling for goals as their campaign intensifies.
However, if there is one team they would want to face right now, it’s the Hammers, who appear as if half the team are already playing at their new Olympic Stadium.
Manchester United v West Bromwich Albion
A complacent warm-up hinted at a poor display against Everton last time out for United — expect Louis van Gaal and his clipboard to be full involved in the pre-match ball-work this time, which doesn’t bode well for WBA.
Chelsea v Crystal Palace
A win will see Chelsea crowned Premier League champions. Only a fool would bet against them doing it in front of their own fans. Expect some scenes.
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City
Super Sunday climaxes with this ... a dead rubber. Who wants it more? I’m going for a Harry Kane-inspired Spurs.
Hull City v Arsenal
Hull now look they might survive after their thoroughly deserved win over Liverpool on Tuesday.
Let’s face it — most of us would love to have a pint, or seven, with manager Steve Bruce.