Tag Archives: Daniel Sturridge

English Premier League, Week 10 Game of the Week

3 Nov

Recap: The Manchester Derby was not nearly as high scoring as I had predicted, rendering just 1 goal from Kun Aguero in the 2nd half. United were forced to play a man down for the entire 2nd half after Chris Smalling earned 2 yellow cards for overaggressive challenges. United played extremely well given the circumstances, but it was not enough to overcome their hated rivals.

This Week: 

Liverpool FC vs Chelsea FC

Liverpool FC vs Chelsea FC

Saturday, November 8th, 6:45pm CST Anfield

Why This Game is Intriguing: Chelsea is flying high and leading the league as they continue to win under skipper Jose Mourinho. Despite their undefeated record, Chelsea’s last 3 matches have not come easy: A close 2-1 win over QPR at home, a draw at Old Trafford against Manchester United, and a 2-1 victory at Selhurst Park against London rivals Crystal Palace. Combine that with their Champions League campaign- the Blues must continue to withstand injuries and a loaded schedule in order to win the Premier League. They have the talent, depth, and motivation to achieve these goals (because they went trophyless last season)- so it will be interesting to see how they hold up come spring time.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: Liverpool Football Club is struggling mightily, and their last 7 games have produced just 2 wins, including an ugly, thrilling win over QPR. Last week produced a heartbreaking loss at Newcastle United, where a defensive blip by Alberto Moreno in the box led to the only goal of the game for the Magpies. Italian striker Mario Balotelli has received a lot of criticism for Liverpool’s rough start- and even though he hasn’t performed well, the defense and weak midfield isn’t up to par. Missing Daniel Sturridge definitely hurts, and losing striker Luis Suarez to Barcelona, the Premier Leagues best player last season, clearly has a negative impact on the club as well. All that said, Anfield is a home ground that often inspires Liverp’ool to achieve the unexpected. A victory here, or a well fought draw is not out of the question given the fact that Liverpool are at home.

Soccahaus Prediction: Chelsea 2, Liverpool 1

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English Premier League, Week 3 Game of the Week

26 Aug

Recap: Manchester City thoroughly dominated Liverpool from start to finish at the Etihad. Stevan Jovetic scored a brace, while Sergio Aguero needed less than 30 seconds off the bench to score his first goal of the season. Liverpool managed to get on the board late thanks to an own goal by Pablo Zabaleta.

 

This Week:

Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool FC

Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool FC

Sunday, August 31st, 7:30am (CST) White Hart Lane

Why This Game is Intriguing: Because Tottenham Hotspur are in first place in the Premier League, and one of just 4 teams unbeaten through 2 games of the regular season (the others being Chelsea, Manchester City, and Swansea). The Spurs welcome Liverpool to their home in North London after Liverpool were crushed severely by defending champions Manchester City at the Etihad. Tottenham seems to have a flair about them that they did not have last year, and the major reason why is their new Argentinian manager Mauricio Pochettino. Pochettino’s primary strategy is to high press- constant pressure on the ball, rarely sitting back and waiting for the opponent to attack. He requires his center striker (using a 4-2-3-1) to rush the opposing defenders and goalie when they have ball as a means of keeping a fast tempo and ultimately winning back possession.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: Massive changes at Liverpool for a club that finished a close 2nd in the Premier League last year. Mario Balotelli, Italian striker who just joined the club from AC Milan may be available to play in this match- but at this point his status is up in the air. Alberto Moreno, Spanish defenseman and transfer from Sevilla, showed flashes of brilliance (and some mistakes) against Manchester City, so expect him to not only play, but to improve upon his first performance in the Premier League. Rickie Lambert and Emre Can also made cameos in the game against Manchester City, but all eyes will still be on Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard- Liverpool’s two most impressive playmakers. This has been a dramatic overhaul in a short amount of time for the Merseyside club- meaning it might take time, perhaps a couple of months, for Brendan Rodgers to fully understand how best to utilize and build chemistry with his new roster.

Soccahaus Prediction: 1-1 Draw.

English Premier League, Week 2 Game of the Week

18 Aug

Recap: I expected Manchester United to come out firing considering the club hadn’t lost a home opener since 1972. United’s preseason form I believed had bolstered their confidence- but in their opening game to Swansea, fell 1-2. Rooney scored United’s only goal in the 53′, while the Swans had goals in the first half (28′ Ki Sung-Yueng) and second half (Sigurdsson 72′).

This Week:

Manchester City FC vs Liverpool FC

Manchester City FC vs Liverpool FC

Monday, August 25th, 2pm (CST) Etihad Stadium

Why This Game is Intriguing: Because these teams finished 1st and 2nd respectively in last year’s Premier League final standings. Last year’s Premier League race was very tight all year long between Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester City. While Liverpool will be disappointed with coming so close to winning the league last year and just falling short, you can be assured that they were pleased with their overall performance last season and making it back to the Champions League. Manchester City is out to not only defend it’s Premier League title, but to prove itself as one of the best clubs in Europe.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: Talent. Even though Liverpool’s best player, and the league’s best player in Luis Suarez last season has gone to FC Barcelona, both of these clubs boast an incredible array of talent all over the field. For Liverpool, captain Steven Gerrard and forward Daniel Sturridge lead the way offensively,  along with creative playmakers Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson. Manchester City is a club with depth at every position, led by Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta, and many more. Without question these are two of the best clubs in England right now, and it is a treat to see them matched up against one another this early in the season.

Soccahaus Prediction: Manchester City 3, Liverpool 2

Championship Sunday, Game(s) of the Week

9 May

Recap: Manchester City continued their march towards winning the league with a sensational 4-0 performance over Aston Villa at the Etihad. It might have taken awhile for City to get going, with their first goal coming from Edin Dzeko in the ’64, but the goals thereafter just kept coming. City has shown great resilience all season, and this match was no different.

Game 1: 

Manchester City FC vs West Ham United

Manchester City FC vs West Ham United

Championship Sunday, May 11th, 9am (CDT), Etihad Stadium

Why This Game is Intriguing: It’s very simple for Manchester City. Beat 12th place West Ham, and the Citizens will win their 2nd Premier League title in club history, and the club’s second in just 3 seasons. Tie West Ham, then all Liverpool has to do is beat Newcastle United with a goal differential of 7- which, barring a miracle, is impossible. Should City lose to West Ham, and Liverpool beat Newcastle, then the title will belong to the Reds. Manchester City has just this 1 game to win, and win at home, and they’ll be celebrating with their fans in the Etihad and onto the streets of Manchester.

Other Reasons to Watch this Game: The last time these 2 clubs met was on October 19th, and Sergio Aguero led City with 2 goals as they beat the Hammers 3-1 in London. Aguero has been on and off injured much of the season, and did not feature in the 4-0 romp over Aston Villa. Even though Aguero’s goal against QPR just 2 years ago was the most significant City goal in Premier League history, City has proven that with the likes of Edin Dzeko- City has more than enough to get by without their best player. With an in-form Yaya Toure, City frankly has little to worry about as they face a team they likely would beat 9 times out of 10. But, Championship Sunday is known to produce some last minute drama….

 

Game 2:

Liverpool FC vs Newcastle United

Liverpool FC vs Newcastle United

Championship Sunday, May 11th, 9am (CDT), Anfield

Why This game is Intriguing: Because Liverpool can still win the title. As mentioned above, should City lose to West Ham, and Liverpool beat Newcastle, Liverpool will win the Premier League title this season, the season that celebrated the lives of the 96 lost in the Hillsborough Disaster 25 years ago. A draw or loss to Newcastle would eliminate any chance of winning the title, while a win against Newcastle combined with a City draw to West Ham would only benefit Liverpool if it were to defeat Newcastle by 7+ goals. The chances are extremely unlikely that Liverpool will win the title, but as long as there’s still a chance worth fighting for, you can bet the Reds will not give in.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: Liverpool have only scored 6 goals or more just once this season, so Liverpool really really really (did I say really?) need West Ham to beat Manchester City to give the Reds any chance at all to win this title. Even if Liverpool finish 2nd, they still have plenty to be proud of. They were the beast team in the league for much of the season, while earning a bid to be back in the Champions League is definitely an accomplishment worth celebrating. They have some of the best players in the league (Suarez, Sturridge, Gerrard, Mignolet), one of the best managers in the league in Brendan Rodgers, and a tradition and winning history that is almost sure to lure some quality players to Anfield in the future.

Soccahaus PredictionS: Manchester City 3, West Ham 1. Liverpool 4, Newcastle 1. Manchester City wins the Premier League title.

Other Games This Week Worth Watching: Fulham vs Crystal Palace, Cardiff vs Chelsea, Norwich vs Arsenal. Because this is the last time you’ll see Fulham, Cardiff, and the Canaries in the Premier League for at least a year, and probably longer.

English Premier League, Week 37 Game of the week

21 Apr

Recap: Arsenal beat West Ham United 3-1, and they also beat Hull City, their FA Cup finalist opponents, 3-0. Since Everton lost to Crystal Palace, yet beat Manchester United, the Gunners maintain just a 1 point lead over the Toffees for 4th place in the Premier League. With 3 games remaining for both clubs, this is set to go down the wire for the Gunners in order to maintain their Champions League streak.

 

This Week:

Liverpool FC vs Chelsea FC

Liverpool FC vs Chelsea FC

Sunday, April 27th, 8:05am (CST) Anfield

Why This Game is Intriguing: This matchup certainly lost much of its luster because of Chelsea’s shocking home defeat to Sunderland on Saturday- Mourinho’s first home defeat as a Premier League manager. Not to take anything away from Sunderland, but of all of the shocking results this year, particularly looking at Manchester United and who they’ve lost to at home this season, Chelsea’s loss to Sunderland is THE most unimaginable upset of the entire season. Jose Mourinho was quick to blame the refs, which is somewhat understandable considering the lone PK was relatively soft and undeserved- but Chelsea did not look aggressive at all on offense the entire game. Unless Liverpool drops points to Crystal Palace and Newcastle (Palace has not lost a match in 8 games), Liverpool will walk away with the title, in part due to Chelsea’s loss to Sunderland.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: The stage is set for Liverpool. Their win against Norwich clinched the Reds their first Champions League bid since the ’09-10 season, with much more still to play for. While Liverpool will have an entire week to focus, prepare, and get healthy for this match, Chelsea travel to Madrid to face Atletico in the Champions League semi final, with the hopes of getting on the board before their home return leg at the Bridge next week. Liverpool’s goal differential is 2nd highest in the Premier League behind Manchester City, and of course the Reds are led by a combined 50 goals between their 2 star strikers in Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. As always, captain Steven Gerrard provides consistency and poise on both the offensive and defensive ends of the field.

Soccahaus Prediction: Liverpool 3, Chelsea 2

Other Games this Week worth Watching: Southampton vs Everton, Stoke vs Tottenham, Manchester United vs Norwich, Sunderland vs Cardiff, Crystal Palace vs Manchester City, Arsenal vs Newcastle

 

English Premier League, Week 22 Game of the Week

25 Jan

Recap of Last Week: What a game! In what was surely one of the most remarkable games of the season thus far, the real Clint Dempsey stood out with his game tying goal in extra time at the White Hart Lane against league leader Manchester United. The 1-1 draw was a fantastic result for the Spurs, as they inch closer and look forward to securing a Champions League bid.

This Week:

Arsenal FC vs Liverpool FC

Arsenal FC vs Liverpool FC

Wednesday, January 30th 1:45pm (CST) Emirates Stadium

Why This Game is Intriguing: Liverpool is on the rise, and they have looked like a different club since acquiring Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea a couple of weeks ago. Currently in 7th place and playing some great football, the Reds have won 3 of their last 4 matches by a combined score of 12-2, their one loss coming to Manchester United at Old Trafford. Liverpool is surging after starting the year off slowly, and the Champions League is definitely within reach at this point. Liverpool’s next two Premier League matches, at Arsenal and at Manchester City will be major tests to see just how far Liverpool has come in the past couple of months. Manchester City, as defending champs, leads the league with 2 losses, so walking away from the Etihad in a couple of weeks with a draw would be an incredibly positive result for Brendan Rodgers’ club.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: Arsenal comes fresh off their best match of the season thus far. After losing 1-2 at Stamford Bridge to rivals Chelsea, Arsenal played a masterful midweek game against fellow london club West Ham United. After West Ham scored the first goal, Arsenal tied it up to go into halftime 1-1. Arsenal went on to score 4 goals in 10 minutes in what was the most electrifying, clinical performance Arsenal fans have seen in quite some time. At the beginning of the game, the Fox Sports Soccer commentators were noting how empty the Emirates stadium was, how quiet and uneasy the fans seemed to be about their slumping club. Between the 47′ and 57′, Olivier Giroud, Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott and Giroud again scored one goal after another, prompting the commentator to blurt out “THIS IS THE REAL ARSENAL!!!”, which accurately summed up the dumbfoundedness Arsenal fans found themselves in at the peak of this game. Heading into this game, Arsenal leads Liverpool by just 3 points. While Liverpool has been surging, and despite Arsenal’s most recent performance, many still question whether Arsenal is good enough to hang onto a Champions League birth.

Soccahaus Prediction: Arsenal 3, Liverpool 2

Other Games This Week Worth Watching: QPR vs Manchester City, Sunderland vs Swansea, Norwich vs Tottenham, Everton vs West Brom, Manchester United vs Southampton