Tag Archives: Old Trafford

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

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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 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 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

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