Monsieur Salut is off to Tunisia to take a quick look at what the Arab Spring has meant for tourism. Will he find somewhere to watch the Chelsea game? Or will he have to rely on the nimble-fingered Pete Sixsmith’s test messages from the East Stand? Better still, you tell me now before I fly, what the score will be …
This is yet another of Martin O’Neill’s Big Games.
Each time we lose, or meekly draw, the boss says the next match will be a big one. Ordinarily, or at least since that season in which we did the double over them and the barnstorming 3-0 win a Stamford Bridge two years ago, we have come to expect a routine defeat each time the opponents are Chelsea.
What impact will Chelsea’s 6-1 thrashing of Nordsjaelland have on Saturday’s game? Take your pick between the competing theories.
* Torres, heartened by the novelty factor of scoring, could be a handful or could revert to his status as pantomime flop.
* The pain of Champions League exit could make Chelsea mean and nasty and frankly unplayable. Or they could be such a deep sulk that a genuinely passionate Sunderland effort brings that wonderful but lesser spotted thing, a win.
Tell me how it will go by predicting the score in the comments below, before kickoff if you don’t mind.
Go to the ESPN Soccernet site for another look at the Chelsea game – and a summary of this week’s classy series of assessments from Salut! Sunderland writers of Martin O’Neill’s first year in charge: http://soccernet.espn.go.com/blog/_/name/sunderland/id/721?cc=5739
Last week’s winner, Kevin Lamb, was so embarrassed at having correctly forecast a Sunderland defeat for the second time that he declined the buy one/win one mug offer. Or maybe he just thought it a lousy prize. All the same, he suggested a rollover.
So for one week only, the prize is beefed up. You still have to dig into your own pocket; the deal this week is buy two mugs, which will cost £19 (post free in the UK), and then get two free ones. Imagine, a whole row of Salut! Sunderland mugs. And while most of us probably want the manager to stay, the winner can choose between mugs with the Martin O’Neill design or the original, as show below, or take two of each:
As always, non-SAFC fans can enter. A Chelsea winner would receive mugs with a suitably tweaked design. Or you can just have a go for fun.
Ha’way the Lads, Allez les Rouges et Blancs, ????? ??? ?????? ??????? (that was my attempt to do it in Arabic, too) …
*** See the full O’Neill One Year On series at this link: https://safc.blog/category/martin-oneill-one-year-on/