Jake feigns confidence

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.

Buy Two, Win Two, says Jake

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.

Colin Randall disguised as Monsieur Salut, by Matt

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:

The classic design: 'Salut! Sunderland - a site better'

The Salut! Sunderland MoN mug: 'Team of all Talents - work in progress'

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: http://salutsunderland.com/category/martin-oneill-one-year-on/

Join the Salut! Sunderland Facebook group – click anywhere along this line

And follow us on Twitter: @salutsunderland … click along this line

Click anywhere on this sentence for a glance at the home page – and highlights of all the most recent articles …

Click here for the Martin O’Neill ‘Team of all Talents’ mug if you cannot wait for a winning Guess the Score entry: £9.50, post-free for UK buyers, from the Salut! Sunderland Shop

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by - and principally for - supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

16 Responses to “SAFC v Chelsea: will the Nordsjaelland factor help or hinder? Guess the score” Subscribe

  1. malcolm December 6, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    I’m sick of going for 5-0. I’ll go for match postponed because of icy roads.

  2. Bill Taylor December 6, 2012 at 12:06 pm #


  3. Kev December 6, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    Well I can see this being a 0-0, now I must got to the bookies this time 🙂

  4. Bernard Ramsdale December 6, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    3-0 Sunderland!

    • salutsunderland December 6, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

      We did that once before and still went down if I remember correctly. Didn’t Kevin Balls score with a great header? I know Craig Russell got one. For Saturday, I think we’ll struggle to win by such a margin so will go 3-2 (I won’t say here how I really think it will go). My pitch doesn’t count in Guess the Score so 3-2 remains available

      • Goldy December 7, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

        Yeah diving header. In the packed Fulwell end.

  5. Eric December 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    2 – 0 to the mighty Chel….sorry Sunderland.

  6. Ian_SAfc December 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

    It will help Chelsea and hinder us.
    However, we will pick up from where we left off at Norwich and win 2-1.
    A faint heart never won a fair maiden.

  7. Pete Sixsmith December 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

    A repeat of 1999; 4-1 to us.

  8. Jeremy December 6, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    0-0. We’ll be lucky if we can score nil.

  9. Joan December 6, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    I can’t get to this match so I shall miss our brilliant 1-0 win

  10. Alan December 6, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

    1.1 then take this point and beat reading on Tuesday and ile settle for that..

  11. Ian_SAfc December 7, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    For me, we’ve got to be playing 4-5-1
    because our midfield is weak and needs the strength of five players in it.
    We break fast, get bodies forward, close down in midfield quick. And get back too. That would be my strategy. Give the players an extra day off because of all the extra running.

    My team:
    Bardsley O Shea Cuellar Rose
    Larsson Gardner Vaughn Sess AJ

    Gardner take the free kicks.

  12. Goldy December 7, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    Ian, you will die a happy man when Rose gets employed on that left hand side 🙂

    • Ian_SAfc December 7, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

      Yes. Left wing will do me. 🙂 I was reading with some trepidation that Liverpool were after him in January. Oh no….

  13. David December 8, 2012 at 8:26 am #


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