Tag Archives: Manchester Derby

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

 

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English Premier League, Week 11 Game of the Week

17 Nov

Recap from 2 weeks ago: Although not the most dominating of efforts, Chelsea handled Liverpool at Anfield thanks to goal by Gary Cahill and Diego Costa. Chelsea remains in first place, 4 points clear of the surprising Southampton Saints.

This Week: 

Arsenal FC vs Manchester United

Arsenal FC vs Manchester United

Saturday, November 22nd, 11:30am (CST) Emirates Stadium

Why This Game is Intriguing: Teams 6 (Arsenal) and 7 (Man United) in the Premier League face off in North London. Just a point apart, this is a crucial game as we head into the middle of November. The Gunners are coming off an ugly loss to Swansea City, a game which they controlled for about the first 60 or so minutes, before things got wildly out of hand. Man United won their last game at home against Crystal Palace thanks to a 67′ goal by Juan Mata. While not as significant of a rivalry as say the Manchester Derby, the North London Derby, or Liverpool vs Manchester United, this game, because of the history of the two clubs, has meaning beyond just two good teams playing.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: What does the future hold for both Arsenal and Manchester United, and where they end up finishing could all come back to this game. Both clubs are struggling mightily stringing together wins in a row, and both are dealing with bad injuries. The laundry list of injuries for Manchester United undoubtedly is hurting their chances: Falcao, van Persie, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind, Ander Herrera- each have missed or are slated to miss several games. For Arsenal: Olivier Giroud, Debuchy, Arteta, Ozil, Koscielny. Both of these clubs have Champions League aspirations, but have a ways to go. Even the Europa League, particularly for Manchester United, would be a positive step in the right direction for the club- however, as it stands and the way these clubs have looked, missing out on the top 6 entirely is a possibility that both would like to avoid.

Soccahaus Prediction: 1-1

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

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 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

 

English Premier League, Week 15 Game of the Week

3 Dec

Recap of Last Week: I predicted Manchester United to beat West Ham by a score of 3-1 at Old Trafford. While I was correct in predicting Man U to win the game, the end result was shocking, even to the supporters of both sides. Robin van Persie of Manchester United scored the first goal, and it happened within less than 1 minute into the game. At that point, I along with many expected the game to be a rather back and forth affair, with both sides scoring multiple goals. Instead, that one goal was the difference in a rather unimpressive game, especially for the Red Devils.

This Week:

Manchester City vs Manchester United

Manchester City vs Manchester United

Sunday, December 9th 7:30AM (CST) Etihad Stadium

Why This Game is Intriguing: Because this season’s first Manchester Derby features England’s first place team in Manchester United vs the second place team in Manchester City. Manchester United has yet to draw a game (12 wins, 3 losses, 0 draws), while Manchester City has yet to lose a game (9 wins, 0 losses, 6 draws). A draw in this game I believe would be a positive result for both teams, however in a rivalry game such as this, winning seems to carry a lot more weight than just adding another 3 points to the table. Manchester United with a victory though would take a commanding 6 point lead over their rivals, which could give the Red Devils some much needed cushion. It would be hard to argue against the notion that the two clubs from Manchester (ok, one technically is from Old Trafford, City fans) are the best clubs in the Premier League, particularly with the recent troubles of Chelsea under new manager Rafa Benitez. That said, regardless of the result in this game, you can bet that the rematch of this game at Old Trafford on April 6th, 2013 will be just as, if not more important than this week’s fixture.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: Because Manchester United will be looking to maintain their first place position by avenging the two losses suffered at the hands of Manchester City last season. The last two regular season games between the two clubs were both won by City by a combined score of 7-1, and the final 1-0 result last season at the Etihad last April was first domino to fall that ultimately led to Manchester City winning the league. With City playmaker David Silva listed as doubtful for this game, all eyes will be on Carlos Tevez. The 28 year old Manchester City forward formerly of Manchester United has been a model of consistency this season. Tevez leads his club in goals (7) and in assists (4), and with the erratic behavior of teammate Mario Balotelli, the Argentinian has been an anchor in Mancini’s lineup. With the way City swept the series and took the league title from United last season, look to see if City plays with that continued edge, or if United musters up the energy and anger needed to win the derby.

Soccahaus Prediction: Manchester City 2, Manchester United 1

Other Games This Week Worth Watching: Southampton vs Reading, Sunderland vs Chelsea, Swansea vs vs Norwich, Arsenal vs West Brom, Everton vs Tottenham