Tag Archives: Louis van Gaal

Premier League, Week 38 Game of the Week

18 May

Recap: Newcastle’s horrible slide continues, as they lost 1-2 at Loftus Road to lowly, and newly relegated Queens Park Rangers. Fear not though you Magpies. A draw or loss by Hull City, regardless of your own outcome against West Ham United, will ensure your safety in the Premier League next season.

This Week:

Hull City Tigers vs Manchester United

Hull City Tigers vs Manchester United

Sunday, May 24th, 9am CDT, KC Stadium

Why This Game Is Intriguing: With the Premier League title already decided (Chelsea), and 2 of the 3 relegation spots secured (Burnley and QPR), all eyes will be on the Hull City Tigers, who literally are in a must-win situation. A loss or a draw to Manchester United (a likely scenario), will ensure the Tigers of relegation back to the Championship. Hull is led by Nikica Jelavic with 8 goals, and midfielder Ahmed Elmohamady with 5 assists, but overall lack the quality to really compete in the Premiership.

Other Reasons to Watch this Match: Mission accomplished for Louis van Gaal and his Manchester United Red Devils. After a disastrous season last year under David Moyes where the club finished 7th and out of European competition, Manchester United, after a bit of a rough start to the season, have managed a guaranteed top 4 finish and Champions League bid. They have taken down their rivals in Liverpool and in Manchester City en route to 69 points through 37 games played. Despite abysmal performances and injury concerns to strikers Robin van Persie and Radamal Falcao, van Gaal has been part of  and responsible for a resurgence of players such as Ashley Young, Marouane Fellaini, and Chris Smalling. Going forward, this club has a nice mix of youth and experience, and knowing how Manchester United spends, adding Memphis Depay among what are sure to be other key transfers, will see this club competing for the Premier League title next season.

Soccahaus Prediction: Bye Bye Tigers. Manchester United 2, Hull City 1

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EPL Week 33, Game of the Week

13 Apr

Recap: The Manchester Derby was a delightful match, featuring some of the top players in world football. It was Manchester United that came away with a 4-2 win, and a game in which the Red Devil’s dominated.

This Week:

Chelsea vs Manchester United

Chelsea vs Manchester United

Saturday, April 18th, 11:30am CST, Stamford Bridge

Why this game is intriguing: Form. Again. Manchester United is in splendid form, particularly after beating rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford 4-2 just last week. Louis van Gaal’s men are currently in 3rd place, just 1 point behind Arsenal, and 8 points (and 1 game) behind 1st place Chelsea. Now 4 points clear of City, the Red Devils have all but reached their #1 goal at the start of the season: Finish in the top 4, and earn a UEFA Champions League spot. United is one of, if not the biggest club in the world, with a globalized fan base. Their story this season, while not yet complete, is absolutely worth the headlines and the news coverage they receive. Chelsea have won their last 3 matches in a row, and having been eliminated from the Champions League and the FA Cup, winning the league is their only chance of getting a trophy this season, minus the Capital One Cup.

Other Reasons to Watch: The Manchester United midfield is something to behold, and while it did take awhile, this unit is the strength of the club. Marouane Fellaini is showing glimpses of the player he was at Everton before David Moyes brought him with to Manchester. He scores, he’s unselfish, and he’s a large presence in the box on crosses and corner kicks. Juan Mata is an intelligent Spaniard- the archtype of a number 8, and a player with great ball handling skills, vision, and scoring ability. Ander Herrera and Daley Blind are smooth passing defensive midfielders (Blind the more defensive of the two, Herrera more offensive). This unit thoroughly dominated the likes of Yaya Toure and Fernandinho in the Manchester Derby, and have really stepped up in the latter part of the season.

Prediction: United is on a train that can’t be stopped. I’m going Red Devil’s 3, Chelsea 1

EPL, Week 33 Game of The Week

9 Apr

We are back for the Manchester Derby!!

 

Manchester United vs Manchester City

Manchester United vs Manchester City

Sunday, April 12th, 10am CST, Old Trafford

Why this Game is Intriguing: Present form. While Manchester United has seemingly gone through hell in the last 12 months with David Moyes’ blunder last season and an initially struggling Louis van Gaal this season, it seems as if the Red Devils are finally hitting their stride. Manchester United, 3rd in the table, leads City by just 1 point heading into the final Manchester Derby of the season. Manchester City has been struggling as of late, losing to Crystal Palace, FC Barcelona in the Champions league, Burnley, and Liverpool. Manchester United, who early on in the season had plenty of hiccups, including a disastrous loss to Leicester City who find themselves at the bottom of the table, are now playing like one of England’s best clubs. Manchester United has won 5 of it’s last 6 matches, including a precious road win over rivals Liverpool.

Other Reasons to Watch: Could we be witnessing another changing of the guard in Manchester? Louis van Gaal and his squad, particularly the partnership of Daley Blind, Ander Herrera, and Fellaini in the midfield, are playing lights out. They appear to have a swagger about them that Manchester City guys like Jesus Navas, Fernandinho, and particularly Yaya Toure have lost in the last several games, and for much of this season. City manager Manuel Pellegrini’s seat has never been hotter at the Etihad, and you can bet that a blowout loss to their rivals at Old Trafford would absolutely seal his fate.Van Gaal on the other hand, with a victory here, would take a large step towards securing Manchester United’s return to the Champions League, which means United will have the cash and the legitimacy to build on what is already a strong team in this summer’s transfer market.

Soccahaus Prediction: Manchester United 2, Manchester City 0

 

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

English Premier League Week 8 Game of the Week

21 Oct

Recap: Manchester City beat Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad 4-1, with all 4 goals coming from none other than Argentinian forward Sergio “Kun” Aguero. Aguero’s performance was one of the best of his career, as City continues to chase Chelsea in standings.

This Week:

Manchester United vs Chelsea FC

Manchester United vs Chelsea FC

Sunday, Oct 26th, 11am CST Old Trafford

Why This Game is Intriguing: Because the Blues are in 1st place in the Premier League and are undefeated as they make their way to the hallowed ground that is Manchester United’s Old Trafford. The 6th place Red Devils have won each of their first 3 home matches this season by a combined score of 8-2. While this club gets a lot of criticism for the way they have performed, particularly under managers David Moyes and Louis van Gaal- Manchester United is a whole different beast when they play at home. Coming off a short week in an ugly draw to lowly West Bromwich Albion, look for United perform well, and upset Chelsea in front of a sold out Theater of Dreams crowd.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: Expectations for the Red Devils ought to be very high for this game, despite their recent draw to West Brom? Why? Since Manchester United does not participate in European competition, and Chelsea does- the Red Devils have a huge advantage here. They have more preparation time, they have more time to rest players that might be slightly injured, and they can take advantage of some of Chelsea’s fatigue and player rotation. Even though Chelsea’s Champions League game is against Slovenian champions Moribor, because Chelsea drew to Schalke, every point in the group matters. Manchester United, because aren’t playing in European Competition, lives for these games- these massive league games against England’s best. This game, right here, is their Champions League final- while next week against arch rival Manchester City, is of equal importance.

Soccahaus Prediction: Manchester United 3, Chelsea 2

English Premier League, Week 1 Game of the Week

10 Aug

WELCOME TO SOCCAHAUS! We are excited for another season of previewing matches!

Swansea City vs Manchester United

Swansea City vs Manchester United

Saturday, August 16th, 6:45am CST, Old Trafford

Why This Game is Intriguing: The Louis van Gaal era is officially under way at Old Trafford, and the Dutch manager will look to make a statement against a solid team at home. Unlike his predecessor David Moyes, van Gaal will look to attack, attack, attack, only using a backline of 3 defenders- much like he did with The Netherlands in the World Cup. New acquisition from Athletic Bilbao, Ander Herrera has looked sensational in the preseason, and Wayne Rooney definitely comes into this game with a chip on his shoulder after the way last season went, and the way his English national team underperformed in Brazil. Manchester United went from Champions of the Premier League to coming in 7th place last year- and missing out on European competition.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: Louis van Gaal isn’t the only manager with something to prove in this game- Swansea’s Garry Monk was permanently named manager this past May, a promotion from his interim status last season after the club fired Danish manager Michael Laudrup in February. Monk captained Swansea for much of the last decade, and has a good squad this seasion to boot. Swansea’s best players are captain Ashley Williams, midfielder Nathan Dyer, and center forward Wilfried Bony. Ivorian Bony is an exceptional talent, scoring 16 goals last season and 2 goals in the World Cup in Brazil. Swansea underachieved finishing in 12th place last season. With more stability in the club this season with regards to the managerial situation, expect the Swans to be in contention for a top 10 finish. Michu has been sold to Serie A side Napoli, but Bony is more than capable of filling the void.

Soccahaus Prediction: Manchester United 4, Swansea City 1