Tag Archives: Etihad Stadium

English Premier League, Week 9 Game of the Week

27 Oct

Recap: Manchester United, in dramatic fashion at the Theater of Dreams, drew league leaders Chelsea thanks to a goal by Robin van Persie in the waning seconds of extra time. While Chelsea was clearly the favorite, and looked like the better team for much of the game- it is moments like the one RVP had that make playing at Old Trafford one of the more unique experiences in all of world soccer.

This Week:

Manchester City vs Manchester United

Manchester City vs Manchester United

Sunday, November 2nd, 7:30am (CST) Etihad Stadium

Why This Game is Intriguing: Because of the results for each of these teams last week, and the emotional aftermath of those results and how they effect the mindset of the players heading into this match. As mentioned in the recap, Manchester United is coming off of an elating draw vs Chelsea; while some could argue that Manchester United is better than that, to celebrate a tie at home, irregardless of the opponent- considering how the last 2 seasons have gone for the Red Devil’s, this was arguably the most impressive, positive game they’ve played in a season and a half. Manchester City lost at West Ham United 1-2, despite outshooting and outpossessing the Hammers. West Ham, currently in 4th place, is a very good English club and should push for a Europa league spot- but no doubt this was a let down for the Citizens.

Other Reasons to Watch this Game: Manchester City has dominated this rivalry as of late- winning the 5 of the last 6, and both league matches last season by a combined score of 7-1. The last match these 2 played at Old Trafford resulted in a 3-0 win for the Citizens, and you can bet the Red Devils still have a bitter taste in their mouths from such an embarrassing result. Compared to last season, Manchester United seems much improved- with the additions of Angel di Maria, Marcos Rojo, Ander Herrera, and Daley Blind. Sergio Aguero has 9 goals in 8 games, while United’s top goal scorer is RVP with just 3 so far. Expect City to reassert itself and prove once again, despite the recent shortcomings against CSKA Moscow and West Ham, that the club is capable of being the best in England.

Soccahaus Prediction: Manchester City 4, Manchester United 2

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English Premier League, Week 4 Game of the Week

15 Sep

Recap: In what was by far the most exciting game of the season, Manchester City and Arsenal drew 2-2 at the Emirates. Jack Wilshire and Alexis Sanchez scored for the Gunners, while Kun Aguero, and Martin deMichelis (who scored the game winner) were the goal scorers for the Citizens. These 2 clubs look to be true contenders, along with Chelsea, for the Premier League title. Both Arsenal and Man City open their Champions league campaigns this week against against Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, respectively.

This Week: 

Manchester City FC vs Chelsea FC

Manchester City FC vs Chelsea FC

Sunday, September 21st, 10pm (CST) Etihad Stadium

Why This Game is Intriguing: Because Chelsea takes their league leading perfect record: 4 wins, 0 draws, and 0 losses to the Etihad to take on Manchester City, the defending Premier League Champions. Manchester City comes off a 2-2 draw at Arsenal, and currently finds themselves in 5th place with 2 wins, 1 draw, and 1 loss. This match against Manchester City will be, by far, the best opponent Chelsea has faced up until this point- of their 4 matches played, only 1 team finished in the top 6 last season (Everton), and 2 of the opponents (Burnley and Leicester City) weren’t even in the Premier League last season. This is a tough, early regular season matchup for the Blues, and it will be interesting to see the chess match between skippers Manuel Pellegrini and Jose Mourinho.

Other Reasons to Watch this Game: There will be a lot of talent on the field considering both of these clubs are two of the richest in world football, but if there’s one player to watch, it is Diego Costa of Chelsea and formerly of Atletico Madrid. For those who follow La Liga, it’s not a total shock to see Costa perform this well this early, considering the player scored 27 league goals (in 35 appearances) for league winners Atletico. In just 4 games, Costa has a league leading 7 goals- more than twice as many as any other player in the Premier League (several have scored 3 goals). Fellow Spanish newcomer Cesc Fabregas leads the Premier League in assists with 6, and Cesc has transitioned seamlessly back to the Premier League after a spell at Barcelona . Chelsea takes this potent attack to Manchester to face one of the most formidable defenses in world football- a group that includes captain Vincent Kompany and Argentine Pablo Zabaleta.

Predictions: Manchester City 3, Chelsea 1

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 before Championship Sunday Game of the Week

5 May

Recap: Manchester City managed to hang onto a win at Goodison Park against Everton. Edin Dzeko provided 2 goals as City recaptured the Premier League lead, albeit on goal differential, over Liverpool. Manchester City controls their own destiny. Wins at home to Aston Villa and West Ham United will give Manchester City its second Premier League title in its history, and its second Premier League title in the last 3 years.

This Week: 

Manchester City FC vs Aston Villa FC

Manchester City FC vs Aston Villa FC

Wednesday, May 7th, 1:45pm (CDT) Etihad Stadium

Why This game is Intriguing: Because Manchester City just needs to win this game, and at home against West Ham on Championship Sunday to once again win the Premier League. Despite City’s shortcomings this season, particularly against Liverpool and Chelsea, they have managed to overcome injuries while still scoring more goals than any other club in the Premier League. A concern for Manchester City heading into this final stretch here is Sergio Aguero’s health. He picked up a knock shortly after scoring his goal against Everton, and it’s becoming a disturbing trend with him- can Aguero sustain health and strength for an entire season? Even if Aguero is forced to miss these last 2 games, City has more than enough talent, particularly against Aston Villa and West Ham, to still win the league even without their best player.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: Aston Villa’s season has been just short of disastrous- While they surely won’t be relegated, their 10 wins, 8 draws, 18 losses and -18 goal differential is nothing for fans to be excited about, other than of course remaining in top flight. Sure, the injury bug has slammed them pretty hard too with the likes of Christian Benteke, their main goal scoring threat, out for much of the season, but Aston Villa, a storied club- should expect much better. Aston Villa actually beat Manchester City during their first encounter this season in late September at Villa Park, so perhaps they have some confidence heading into this match. Gabriel Agbonlahor is Aston Villa’s best player going forward, so keep an eye on him in this match.

Soccahaus Prediction: Manchester City 3, Aston Villa 0

Other Games This Week Worth Watching: Manchester United vs Hull City, Sunderland vs West Brom, Crystal Palace vs Liverpool

English Premier League, Week 33 Game of the Week

18 Apr

Recap of Last Week: In a game that I personally am very glad I was unable to watch, Arsenal and Everton drew 0-0 at the Emirates Stadium in North London. Arsenal is in 4th place heading into the weekend, while Everton is in 6th place. The Tottenham Hotspur are right in between them in 5th place, and remain just 2 points behind their rivals.

This Week: 

Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City FC

Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City FC

Sunday, April 21st, 7:30AM (CST) White Hart Lane

Why This Game is Intriguing: Tottenham desperately could use a win here to gain on Arsenal (the Gunners play Fulham this weekend), but are facing the 2nd best team in England right now in Manchester City. The Citizens have won their last 3 games in a row, including an incredible 2-1 victory over rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford. After a couple of bad losses to Everton and Southampton, City looks to have rebounded and are playing with a swagger that is starting to resemble the attitude the club played with all of last season. Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero are playing incredibly well as of late, and even better the two are playing well together on the field at the same time.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: Will Gareth Bale play or not? It is clear that Tottenham can beat anyone when Bale is in the lineup, yet the club, while still pretty good, is only a shell of itself when the Welsh star isn’t playing. Tottenham is fighting desperately for a Champions League birth, and will be paying close attention to the scores of Arsenal, Chelsea, and Everton. Manchester City and Tottenham played each other back in November at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, where City won the match 2-1 off an Eden Dzeko winner in the 88′. While the score was close, City dominated the matchup, putting up twice as many shots and dominating the possession battle 62% to the Spurs 38%. This game will be thrilling because Andre Villas-Boas and his Tottenham club know how important it is at least get a point out of this match. A tall task, considering City is a juggernaut with (quite literally) a wealth of talent.

Soccahaus Prediction: 2-2 draw.

Other Games This Week Worth Watching: Norwich vs Reading, Fulham vs Arsenal, West Brom vs Newcastle, Liverpool vs Chelsea, Manchester United vs Aston Villa

English Premier League, Week 30 Game of the Week

1 Apr

Recap of last week: Tottenham scored two goals within the first 25 minutes of play as they held off Swansea City, in Wales to beat the Swans by a score of 2-1. Goals by Jan Vertonghen 7′ and Gareth Bale 21′ were enough to overcome Swansea, even though Spanish stud Michu notched a goal himself in the 71′. With that win and with Chelsea’s surprising loss to the Saints of Southampton, Tottenham remains in 3rd place in the table, ahead of Chelsea by just 2 points heading into next weekend.

This Week: 

Manchester United vs Manchester City

Manchester United vs Manchester City

Monday, April 8th 2pm (CST) Old Trafford

Why This Game is Intriguing: With only eight games left including this one for each of these two teams, 1st place Manchester United’s 15 point lead over 2nd place Manchester City will most certainly not be overcome. That’s not to say this game isn’t going to be important: any derby between these two clubs is incredibly important not only for soccer fans in Manchester, but for Premier League fans across the globe. Manchester City is coming off one of their most dominant wins of the season, clobbering Newcastle 4-0 easily at the Etihad. While City has maintained a healthy rotation amongst strikers Aguero, Tevez, and Dzeko- the two most consistent and most talented players on the roster are David Silva and Yaya Toure. Both of those players will need to lead the way if City wants win their 2nd game in a row at Old Trafford. Manchester United meanwhile has not looked as dominant in their wins since losing to Real Madrid in the Champions League. United last two games were both 1-0 results over two teams in the relegation conversation in Sunderland and Reading.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: Despite United’s huge lead over City, the Red Devils will have a mental edge in this game as memories of the last match between these two clubs at Old Trafford didn’t exactly go to plan for the home side. The last time City came to Old Trafford, the home side was demolished 1-6 en route to the Citizens’ first Premier League title. Manchester United will be looking for a statement win to not only embellish what will be the club’s record 20th league title, but to officially stamp out City as potential contenders. Also, the last match between these two clubs occurred December 9th- a match which was was won by United’s Van Persie in extra time by a score of 3-2. That match provided for plenty of drama on the pitch, as City fans pelted debris onto the field- some of which hit Man United defender Rio Ferdinand in the nose, and in another incident during that match, a City fan ran onto the field. Manchester United and its fans will be looking to restore some honor to the rivalry, hopefully without incident.

Soccahaus Prediction: Manchester City 2, Manchester United 1

Other Game This Week Worth Watching: West Brom vs Arsenal, Liverpool vs West Ham, Tottenham vs Everton, Chelsea vs Sunderland, QPR vs Wigan