Tag Archives: English Premier league

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.

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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 34 Game of the Week

31 Mar

Recap: I thought Arsenal would get blown out by Manchester City, but I failed to acknowledge City’s struggles on the road this season. The end result was a 1-1 draw at the Emirates- a reasonable result from the Gunners’ perspective- as just last week, they had been blown out 0-6 at Chelsea.

This Week:

Everton FC vs Arsenal FC

Everton FC vs Arsenal FC

Sunday, April 6th, 7:30am (CDT), Goodison Park

Why This Game is intriguing: Because Arsenal is just 4 points ahead of surging Everton for 4th place in the table. Everton FC dreams of playing in the UEFA Champions League next season, and in order for them to qualify, a win here at home against the Gunners would give them a very solid chance of achieving that goal. Everton has won its last 5 matches in a row, and a lot of that has to do with the return of the injured young English superstar Ross Barkley. After this match, Everton has a few very tough games remaining on the schedule including vs Manchester United, at Southampton, and then vs Manchester City. If Everton can take care its business at home, they’ll have a great chance of usurping the Gunners for 4th place in the league.

Other Reasons to Watch this Game: Everton is a club stacked with talent- talent that this offseason, you can bet Arsenal will try to pry down to North London. Arsenal will be clamoring to sign Romelu Lukaku, though his parent club Chelsea very well could want him back for next season. Lukaku is a matchup nightmare at striker, scoring 12 goals and earning 6 assists with his enormous, powerful frame. Kevin Mirallas is another player Arsenal would love to have, for his consistency in attack and particularly in front of goal is something the Gunners have lacked all season. Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman are two stud defenders who pick their spots when it comes to involving themselves in the attack. Baines is a sure-fire starter for England in this upcoming World Cup.

Soccahaus Prediction: Everton 2, Arsenal 2

Other Games this week worth Watching: Manchester City vs Southampton, Newcastle vs Manchester United, Chelsea vs Stoke City, West Ham vs Liverpool

English Premier League, Week 33 Game of the week

26 Mar

Recap: I was convinced that after Manchester United’s win over Olympiacos in the Champions League followed by a 2-0 win at West Ham, that perhaps the Red Devils were feeling confident enough to withstand the Manchester City attack. I was wrong- and Manchester City proved once again that Manchester is blue, and that the best team in the land is led by Yaya Toure. As City manager Manuel Pelligrini said after the game, referring to Manchester United’s scoring opportunities, ” I don’t remember one single chance for United”- and that is truly how the game felt from a neutral standpoint just watching the match.

This Week:

Arsenal vs Manchester City

Arsenal FC vs Manchester City FC

Saturday, March 29th, 12:30pm (CDT), Emirates

Why This Game is Intriguing: Because these two teams are two of the top four in the Premier League, and Manchester City has a very strong chance of winning the league outright for just the second time in history. Manchester City has won its last 4 games, shutting out each opponent by a combined score of 11-0, including the 3-0 drubbing the other day at Old Trafford. Manchester City is healthy (other than Kun Aguero), sharp, dialed in, and ready to finish off its remaining 9 games in style. Arsenal on the other hand has seemingly nose-dived, earning an ugly 2-2 home draw to Swansea City, and before that, a 0-6 loss at Chelsea. Arsenal’s chances for the Premier League title this season are completely done, and the Gunners will be fighting very hard until the end just to finish 4th in the league- Everton is only 6 games back, and Arsenal must travel to Goodison Park in two weeks time to face the Toffees.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: These teams hate each other, and while some of the tension may have eased now that Pellegrini is in for Mancini at City- Arsenal still looks down at the City bench and recognizes some faces that are all too familiar. Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy were Gunners for a number of years, 2 players who would unquestionably be starters on this years Arsenal team. Arsenal seems to have lost its edge it had in the beginning of the season- and while injuries definitely are making an impact on that lack of success- Arsenal still seems shorthanded particularly against opponents with better records.

Soccahaus Prediction: Manchester City 4, Arsenal 1

Other games this week worth Watching: Manchester United vs Aston Villa, Crystal Palace vs Chelsea, Southampton vs Newcastle, Fulham vs Everton, Liverpool vs Tottenham

English Premier League, Week 32, Game of the Week

24 Mar

Recap: In what was easily the most embarrassing loss for the Gunners all season, Chelsea thrashed Arsenal 6-0 at Stamford Bridge. After the ref incorrectly sent off Kieran Gibbs instead of the Ox for a handball in the box, Chelsea seemed to score at will.

This Week:

Manchester United vs Manchester City

Manchester United vs Manchester City

Tuesday, March 25th, 2:45 PM (CDT), Old Trafford

Why This Game is intriguing: Although not as good the previous couple of years due to United’s struggles this season, this matchup still remains one of the best derby games in the English Premier League. United showed just how good it can be when RVP and Wayne Rooney combined for a spectacular performance in the UEFA Champions League against Olympiakos last week. Manchester City, although knocked out of the Champions League, has outscored its last 3 opponents (vs Stoke, at Hull, vs Fulham) by a combined score of 8-0.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: United’s priority to stop the bleeding against its most hated rivals. In United’s previous 3 games this season against its 2 most hated rivals; at Liverpool, at Manchester City, then at home against Liverpool again just 3 weeks ago, United has lost all 3 of those matches by a combined score of 8-1. The crowd at Old Trafford responded remarkably well when its club had their backs against the wall against Olympiakos. While the Greek Champions have less talent and less experience than the visiting Citizens- that game last week could very well have been the turning point for David Moyes and his quest to salvage this season. It is true that United can kiss its European competition aspirations goodbye, but a win here vs City would make the entire fanbase extremely pleased.

Soccahaus Prediction: Manchester United 2, Manchester City 2

Other Games This Week Worth Watching: Arsenal vs Swansea, Newcastle vs Everton, West Ham vs Hull, Liverpool vs Sunderland

 

English Premier League, Week 31, Game of the Week

17 Mar

Recap: I thought that the magic of White Hart Lane would be enough to catapult the Yids to a victory over their North London counterparts Arsenal. Unfortunately for them, it was Tomas Rosicky’s goal just a minute in a half into the match that was enough to seal the deal for the Gunners. The goal was class, but Spurs ought to be disappointed with their missed chances, particularly in the 2nd half.

This Week:

Chelsea FC vs Arsenal FC

Chelsea FC vs Arsenal FC

Saturday, March 22nd, 7:45am (CDT) Stamford Bridge

Why This Game is Intriguing: Because this match features 2 clubs from London who are 1st and 3rd in the Premier League standings. 1st place Chelsea is coming off a 0-1 loss to Aston Villa in Birmingham this past week, while Arsenal is flying high after beating their hated North London rivals. Not only is Chelsea coming off of a loss, but Chelsea also must play Galatasaray at home this week as they look to fend off the Turkish champs in order to advance to the round of 8 in the Champions League. Chelsea has a lot on their plate, but Arsenal still must compete in order to ensure themselves of a top 4 finish.

Other Reasons to Watch this Game: Because this game features arguably the most gifted attacking player in the league (Chelsea’s Eden Hazard) vs the best defensive player in the league (Arsenal’s Per Mertesacker). While some may label Eden Hazard as slightly overrated, I definitely don’t, as his 13 goals and 7 assists lead this 1st place Chelsea team. Is he as good as Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?- frankly he isn’t in that conversation- but his production, consistency, and creative flair in attack are the reason why Chelsea finds itself in the position they are currently in. Anyone who has watched an Arsenal game this year will tell you that Per Mertesacker is the Gunners’ most consistent and important player. With injuries to key players Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, and Jack Wilshire this season- it has been Mertesacker who has been standing tall in front of goal the entire season- largely unscathed.

Soccahaus Prediction: Chelsea 3, Arsenal 1

Other Games this week worth Watching: Manchester City vs Fulham, Cardiff vs Liverpool, Everton vs Swansea, West Ham vs Manchester United, Tottenham vs Southampton