Tag Archives: Southampton

Premier League, Week 35 Game of the Week

27 Apr

Recap: I had predicted the London derby between Chelsea and Arsenal to be tight, and low scoring. My 1-1 prediction wasn’t far off, as the final score ended in a 0-0 draw. The result pretty much sealed Chelsea’s fate as this season’s Premier League champions.

This Week:

Sunderland AFC vs Southampton FC

Sunderland AFC vs Southampton FC

Saturday, May 2nd, 9am CDT, Stadium of Light

Why This Game is Intriguing: With just 6 games to go including this one, both the Black Cats of Sunderland and the Saints of Southampton desperately need this win- albeit for very different reasons. Sunderland currently finds itself in 18th place and in the relegation zone, and could jump as high as to 15th place depending on other results. Sunderland was last in the 2nd division in 2007, and they will do everything they can to avoid dropping back down. Southampton on the other hand is one of the more remarkable stories of the season. Having lost its 3 top players last season in Adam Lallana, Rickey Lambert, and DeJan Lovren (all to Liverpool), many including myself expected the Saints to be one of the worst teams in the Premier League. Southampton is currently in 7th place, and will be fighting to finish 5th or 6th so they can participate in the Europa League next season. Southampton has 57 points, while Liverpool and Tottenham, 5th and 6th respectively, each have 58 points. Those 3 clubs will be in a heated battle that will likely go down to the last day of the season to see who gets to participate in the European competition.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: Both of these teams have good players worth keeping an eye on. Southampton striker Graziano Pelle’ is the Saints’ leading goal scorer with 11. Despite experiencing a dip of form in February and March, Pelle managed to score 2 goals against Tottenham last weekend. Other contributing players include defensemen Nathaniel Clyne and Jose Fonte, 2 of the better players at their respective positions in the Premier League this season. Sunderland is a squad lacking in talent, but forwards Jermain Defoe and Connor Wickham, along with holding midfielder Lee Cattermole are opportunistic difference makers who will play important roles in this game.

Prediction: Southampton 2, Sunderland 0.

Advertisements

English Premier League, Week 7 Game of the Week

13 Oct

Recap: 2 weeks ago, prior to the International Break, Chelsea defeated Arsenal 2-0, after a scuffle between managers Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho. The 2 rivals squared off, but it was the Blues who looked the better side, with goals from Hazard (penalty in the ’27) and Diego Costa in the ’78.

This Week: 

Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City FC

Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City FC

Saturday, October 18th, 6:45AM (CST) Etihad Stadium

Why This Game is Intriguing: These teams are both in the top 6 in the current Premier League table, and both are currently involved in European competition (City in the Champions League, Spurs in Europa League). Manchester City hasn’t lost a Premier League match since August 30th (Stoke City at home), and has 2 wins (on the road against Hull and Aston Villa and 2 draws (Chelsea at home and Arsenal on the road) since then. Despite their inconsistent play, the Citizens are in second place, and only 5 points behind league leaders Chelsea. A win at home against the extremely talented Tottenham Hotspur would give Manuel Pelligrini’s men a boost of confidence heading into another week of Champions League play.

Other Reasons to Watch this game: The 6th place Tottenham Hotspur have just 2 wins in their last 6 games, but their most recent victory was by far their biggest of the season. Their home win against 3rd place Southampton, manager Mauricio Pochettino’s former team, was incredibly significant. The Spurs played a complete game against a very good team, and the goal came from none other than their star player, Dane Christian Eriksen. Nacer Chadli has been a beast thus far for the Spurs, scoring 4 goals already, and seems to be improving each game.

Prediction: Man City 2, Tottenham 0

English Premier League, Week 35 Game of the Week

7 Apr

Recap: It seems like a long, long time ago when Arsenal once led the Premier League table. Everton thrashed the Gunners at Goodison Park 3-0, with goals by Nasmith, Lukaku, and an own goal by Mikel Arteta. Arsenal now has not won a single match since the March 16th 1-0 win over North London rival Tottenham.

This Week: 

Liverpool FC vs Manchester City FC

Liverpool FC vs Manchester City FC

Sunday, April 13th, 7:30am (CDT), Anfield

Why This Game is Intriguing: The hype leading up to this match cannot be overstated- this is THE match of the entire Premier League season. The outcome of this match most likely directly affects who ends up winning the league. Liverpool is in first place with 74 points in hand, Chelsea is in 2nd place with 72 points, and Manchester City is in 3rd place with 70 points- BUT, the Citizens have 2 more games to play than Liverpool or Chelsea because of postponed games earlier in the season. Essentially, and yes there are more games to play- particularly another major one between Liverpool and Chelsea also at Anfield- But I think if Manchester City wins this game, there is a very small chance Liverpool or Chelsea can catch up and beat City for the league title.

Other Reasons to Watch this Game: Form. Manchester City has 5 wins and 2 draws in its last 7 matches, including dominating efforts against Southampton, Manchester United, and Fulham. Liverpool has won its last 9 games in a row, including blow-out wins over Tottenham, Cardiff, Manchester United, Southampton, and Arsenal. This might be considered a stretch, but I believe we’ll be watching the 2 best players in the Premier League in this match: Liverpool’s Luis Suarez, and Manchester City’s Yaya Toure. Toure leads his club with 18 league goals to go along with 5 assists. Luis Suarez has 29 goals (leads the league) to go along with 11 assists. Despite the accolades of these 2 players, both are team first guys who leave it all on the pitch in order for their teams to win.

Soccahaus Prediction: Manchester City 3, Liverpool 2

Other Games this week worth Watching: Fulham vs Norwich, Manchester United vs Hull City, Southampton vs Cardiff, Stoke City vs Newcastle, Sunderland vs Everton, Swansea vs Chelsea

English Premier League, Week 28 Game of the Week

13 Mar

Recap of Last Week: In a matchup between two of the hottest teams in England, featuring arguably the two best players in England in Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale, the home side (Liverpool) came away with the close 3-2 victory thanks to goals by Suarez 21′, Downing 66′, and Gerrard 82′ PEN. Liverpool continues to climb up the table as they are now in 6th place, while Tottenham maintains their 3rd place position.

Aston Villa vs Queens Park Rangers

Aston Villa vs Queens Park Rangers

Saturday, March 16th, 10AM (CST) Villa Park

Why This Game is Intriguing: Believe it or not, QPR is on a winning streak! The London based club has won their last two games, their first such winning streak in the Premier League this season. They beat Sunderland 3-1 at home last week, and beat Southampton 2-1 the week before at St. Mary’s Stadium. QPR is, and has been at the very bottom of the Premier League table for pretty much the entirety of this season, but this last string of wins, combined with the collapses of clubs like Reading (losers of their last 4 games in a row, including a loss to Aston Villa) and Southampton (only won two Premier League games this calendar year), is forcing people around the league to believe that QPR will be remain in the top flight of English soccer next season.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: Aston Villa is currently just one spot ahead of relegation zone, and based on their recent string of results, are in real danger of being relegated to the 2nd division of English soccer for the 1st time since the late 1980’s. The club from Birmingham is just 3 points ahead of Wigan Athletic, and a win here against QPR would go a long way towards providing some much needed cushion between themselves and the relegation zone. Aston Villa will have the best player on the pitch, regardless of team, in Christian Benteke. The Belgian international leads his team in goals with 12, and is tied for tops on his team in assists with 4. Benteke provides a spark and intimidating flashiness to go along with his natural abilities as an attacking footballer- and is without a doubt the most beloved player on Aston Villa. Look for Benteke to cause some serious problems for QPR’s weak back line.

Soccahaus Prediction: 2-2 draw

Other Games This Week Worth Watching: Everton vs Manchester City, Swansea vs Arsenal, Southampton vs Liverpool, Manchester United vs Reading, Tottenham vs Fulham, Chelsea vs West Ham

English Premier League, Week 20 Game of the Week

8 Jan

Recap: Apologies to all for skipping the last couple weeks of English Premier League play, but we are back just after this most recent round of FA Cup matches. The last game I previewed was the December 23rd match between Manchester United and Swansea City- a game that ended in a 1-1 tie with goals by Patrice Evra and Michu, the Spanish sensation who is currently tied with Demba Ba for 3rd most goals in the league. Manchester United sits in 1st place with a comfortable 7 point gap ahead of 2nd place Manchester City. Keep an eye on the January transfer window, as several English teams are making bold moves as they enter the 2nd half of the season.

This Week:

Arsenal vs Manchester City

Arsenal vs Manchester City

Sunday, January 13th, 10am (CST) Emirates Stadium

Why This Game is Intriguing: This is the second time I am previewing a match between these two clubs, and this time around there is even more at stake, particularly for Arsenal. Arsenal’s season has been marred by inconsistency, though they are still in prime position to finish in the top 4 of the league. The Gunners’ previous two matches could be considered microcosms of the season as a whole thus far. On 12/29, Arsenal demolished reeling Newcastle United by a score of 7-3 at home- Theo Walcott had a hattrick, Olivier Giroud added two more, and Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski also got involved in the scoring with a goal a piece. Then, just a few days later on New Years Day, Arsenal ties Southampton, a team in relegation zone by a score of 1-1, and Arsenal’s only goal was an own goal by Southampton. Arsenal has got to prove that they can win any game, home or away, regardless of the competition. Chelsea (4th), Everton (5th), Arsenal (6th), and West Brom (7th) are all separated by no more than 3 points in the standings, so stringing together a few wins in a row will go a long way towards securing a Champions League birth.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: Man City sits comfortably in 2nd place in the EPL table, a full 7 points behind 1st place Manchester United, and 6 points ahead of 3rd place Tottenham Hotspur. January is a critical month for City, as they will be losing Yaya Toure (and to a less significant extent, Kolou Toure as well) to the African Cup of Nations, for what could be a full 6 weeks depending on how Cote de Voire does in the tournament. Manchester City’s scoring depth this season has been nothing short of remarkable- even with Italian star (and headcase) Mario Balotelli in and out of the lineup, City continues to score at a consistent, team-first pace. Eden Dzeko (9 goals), Sergio Aguero (8), and Carlos Tevez (7) have shared the ball and scoring opportunities as well as any team in the league thus far. While City is known to be less affective on the road, it is important that at least one of those 3 players gets going early in this game.

Soccahaus Prediction: Manchester City 3, Arsenal 2

Other Games This Week Worth Watching: QPR vs Tottenham, Stoke City vs Chelsea, Everton vs Swansea, Manchester United vs Liverpool