Tag Archives: West Brom

Premier League Week 37 Game of the Week

12 May

Recap: I predicted correctly; a low scoring, 1-1 draw in which Chelsea celebrated its league victory in front of their home fans. Eden Hazard scored in the first half, but it was none other than Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard who scored the tying goal off of a set piece in the second half.

This Week: 

Queens Park Rangers vs Newcastle United

Queens Park Rangers vs Newcastle United

Saturday, May 19th, 9am CDT Loftus Road

Why This Game is Intriguing: Because if you are a QPR fan, this is your last home game of the season, and your last home game in the Premier League, that is, until you are likely promoted once again next season. QPR has been officially and mathematically relegated (along with Burnley), though QPR has a long history of promotion and relegation into and out of the Premier League. QPR’s hopes were slim last weekend: they desperately needed a David vs Goliath result against defending champions Manchester City on the road to have any chance of remaining in the Premier League. They were crushed in convincing fashion, 0-6 at the Etihad. QPR’s best player, Charlie Austin, had an incredible season carrying this club with 17 goals- and you can be assured that he will be swapping his horizontal blue and white stripes for another kit in England’s top flight: he is simply too good to be playing the Championship next season.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: Newcastle cannot afford a loss, or really even a draw here against an inferior opponent in QPR, if they wish to remain in Premier League. Newcastle finds itself just 1 place above the relegation zone, and just 2 points ahead of Hull City for that final relegation spot. A Newcastle loss to QPR combined with a Hull City win over Tottenham would force Newcastle to be in a must win situation in the season’s final week against a challenging West Ham United. The Magpies have not won a match since February 28th against Aston Villa, losing their following 8 straight matches in a row before drawing West Brom this past weekend. Newcastle is a big club with an enormous fan base, huge stadium, and mega brand. They have a whole lot to lose in this game against QPR if the club isn’t focused on earning all 3 points.

Soccahaus Prediction: For all of Newcastle’s problems and bad run of form, they are simply better than QPR. Newcastle win 3-1.

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Premier League, Week 34 Game of the Week

20 Apr

Recap: Chelsea beat Manchester United by a dull score of 1-0, thanks to a goal in the 1st half by Eden Hazard. Chelsea “did what it had to do to win”, playing a very defensive 2nd half and limiting the Red Devils’ attack.

This Week:

Chelsea FC vs Arsenal FC

Chelsea FC vs Arsenal FC

Sunday, April 26th, 10am CDT, Emirates Stadium

Why this Game is Intriguing: Because these two clubs are not only the best two clubs in London, but the best two clubs in English football. Chelsea has just about sealed their fate as the winners of the Premier League, as they currently lead the 2nd place Gunners by 10 points. Even with a Chelsea loss here, it’s hard to imagine the Blues dropping points against some of the remaining opponents on their schedule, including Leicester City, Crystal Palace, West Brom, and Sunderland. Coupled with the fact that Chelsea has been knocked out of the Champions League and FA Cup, these remaining matches after the Arsenal game will be taken incredibly seriously by Jose Mourinho and company. Chelsea has a way of creating a wall (or as many call it, a bus) in front of their own final third, and it will be incredibly difficult for Arsenal to have its chances.

Other Reasons to Watch: Arsenal is gunning for 2nd place. While the Gunners have all but secured another top 4 finish and Champions League bid, they remain just 1 point ahead of 3rd place Manchester United, and 2 points ahead of 4th place Manchester City. Arsenal have had a fantastic season despite major, long term injuries to key players including Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Olivier Giroud, the Ox, Jack Wilshire, and more. Arsenal would hate to finish 4th, because that would mean that they would have a play-in series, and thus 2 more key games to even qualify for the Champions League group stage. While it is impossible for the Gunners to overcome Chelsea in the standings, a victory over the Blues, and a victory for Arsene Wenger over arch nemesis Jose Mourinho, would do wonders for the pride in red based in North London.

Prediction: This one remains tight, and low scoring. I’ll go with 1-1 draw.

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 34 Game of the Week

23 Apr

Recap of Last Week: In what was one of the most thrilling games of the year, the Spurs came back to beat 2nd place Manchester City by a score of 3-1. City scored their first goal early in the 5′ (Nasri), but Tottenham went on a ridiculous run, starting with American Clint Dempsey’s goal in the 75′, followed by Defoe 79′, and capped off by none other than Gareth Bale in the 82′. Also, a word of note- yesterday, April 22nd, Manchester United clinched the Premier League title. Congrats to the Red Devils.

This Week: 

Arsenal FC vs Manchester United

Arsenal FC vs Manchester United

Sunday, April 28th, 10am (CST) Emirates Stadium

Why This Game is Intriguing: This is going to be a wild, wild finish in the EPL because at this point, teams 3,4, and 5 are separated by just one point each. So for this preview, I realistically could have chosen to cover Chelsea (playing Swansea) or Tottenham (playing Wigan), but this game appears to be the best matchup come game day. These 2 clubs last played each other back on November 3rd- a 2-1 victory for Man U led by goals from former Arsenal star Robin Van Persie 3′ and Patrice Evra 67′. With the title already in hand, how will Sir Alex Ferguson manage his club for the remaining 4 games of the season? Do some games, like this one against long time rival Arsenal, mean more than say Man U’s last two games against Swansea and West Brom?

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: The Gunners are in great form, and if Arsenal can get through this game even with a draw, there is a great chance Arsenal doesn’t lose a game the rest of the season. Arsenal has not lost a game since the North London Derby back on March 3rd, and after this match against Man U, Arsenal’s remaining schedule includes QPR, Wigan, and Newcastle. Arsenal, currently in 3rd place, is just 5 points behind 2nd place Manchester City, and is 1 point ahead of Chelsea and 2 points ahead of Tottenham. The key players for the Gunners in this match will be Santi Cazorla (leads the club in goals with 12) and Theo Walcott (leads the club in assists with 10). Going up against former teammate Robin Van Persie will be tough, as the Dutchman is coming off one of his most spectacular performances of his entire career, scoring a 1st half hattrick to seal the Premier League title last Monday against Aston Villa.

Soccahaus Prediction: Arsenal 2, Manchester United 1

Other Games This Week Worth Watching: Man City vs West Ham, Tottenham vs Wigan, Everton vs Fulham, Newcastle vs Liverpool, Chelsea vs Swansea

English Premier League, Week 29 Game of the Week

26 Mar

Recap of Two Weeks Ago: We are back after a week off because of international play. In what was an incredibly exciting, hard fought game between two teams at the bottom of the EPL, Aston Villa came away with the win, beating last place QPR by a score of 3-2. The back and forth affair was eventually settled by none other than Belgian international Christian Benteke in the 81′.

This Week: 

Swansea City vs Tottenham Hotspur

Swansea City vs Tottenham Hotspur

Saturday, March 30th, 10AM (CST) Liberty Stadium

Why This Game Is Intriguing: I’m going to call this game a must-win for the Spurs if they want to remain in the top 4 and earn a Champions League bid. Why? Not only have the Spurs lost their last 2 games in a row (at Liverpool and vs Fulham), but the upcoming schedule for the North London club after this match against Swansea is absolutely brutal. Now, Swansea is a fantastic club, especially this season, but the next 3 games after this for Spurs are: vs Everton, at Chelsea, and then vs Manchester City. For a club reeling from 2 defeats and clamoring to stay in the group of England’s elite, this game against a high powered Swansea team is huge. In those two losses, Gareth Bale has not scored a single goal. The Spurs are at their best when their superstar Welshman is leading the attack scoring goals.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: 11th place Swansea is looking for a home win against one of the top teams in England in the Tottenham Hotspur. Like the Spurs, Swansea is on a bit of a losing streak of their own, losing their last two games (vs Arsenal and at West Brom) by a combined score of 1-4. Swansea is led by Spanish international star Michu, who leads the team 15 goals, although he hasn’t scored a goal in the last 4 games. Swansea’s back line is anchored by Ashley Williams, the captain of the Wales National team. Williams is an incredibly athletic defender, and his leadership has propelled Swansea to a solid standing in the Premier League, as well as a victory for the Capital One Cup over Bradford City.

Soccahaus Prediction: Spurs 3, Swansea 1

Other Games This Week Worth Watching: Manchester City vs Newcastle, Arsenal vs Reading, Southampton vs Chelsea, West Ham vs West Brom, Everton vs Stoke City, Aston Villa vs Liverpool

English Premier League, Week 2 Game of the Week

22 Aug

Recap of last week: I predicted Newcastle over Tottenham 3-2. The end, correct result was Newcastle over Tottenham 2-1. A late goal by Hatem Ben Arfa in the 80th minute gave the Magpies the lead for good.

This Week:

Liverpool FC vs Manchester City FC

Sunday, August 26th, 10:00 AM (CST), Anfield.

Why This Game is Intriguing: Both of these clubs seem to be heading in opposite directions. Over the past 3 complete EPL seasons, Manchester City has continued to climb up the final standings, finishing 5th in 09/10, 3rd in 10/11, and winning the league this past season. Liverpool on the other hand hasn’t come close to qualifying for the Champions League over the past 3 seasons, finishing 7th, 6th, and back down to 8th last season. Liverpool started this most recent season on a terrible note, getting slammed 3-0 to West Bromwich Albion. Man City came from behind to beat newcomers to the Premier League Southampton 3-2, but lost Sergio Aguero to a knee injury. He is expected to be out for at least the next few weeks, which means more minutes for Mario “Why Always Me?” Balotelli, Eden Dzeko, and Carlos Tevez.

Other Reasons to Get Excited About This Game: Sorry to be redundant, but once again, star power. City is of course loaded with players who have a knack for scoring, including Balotelli, Dzeko, Carlos Tevez, Samir Nasri, Yaya Toure, and the out-of-form David Silva. We can’t forget about their defense either, led by Vincent Kompany, Joleon Lescott, Pablo Zabaleta, Micah Richards, and Gael Clichy. As awful as Liverpool looked last weekend, they still boast a great deal of talent led by Steven Gerrard, Lucas Leiva, Glen Johnson, Luis Suarez, Stewart Downing, Martin Skrtel, and goal keeper Pepe Reina. Given that this game is at Anfield and this is Brendan Rodgers’ second league fixture with his current club, the pressure will be on. As always, expect the Liverpool crowd to be in full force as they welcome in the defending champion visitors.

Soccahaus Prediction: Manchester City over Liverpool, 2-1.

Other games this week worth watching: Manchester United vs Fulham, Tottenham Hotspur vs West Bromwich Albion, Chelsea vs Newcastle United, Aston Villa vs Everton

*And since this is Liverpool, and the game is at Anfield, please enjoy the following video. Truly Incredible.