Tag Archives: White Hart Lane

English Premier League, Week 3 Game of the Week

26 Aug

Recap: Manchester City thoroughly dominated Liverpool from start to finish at the Etihad. Stevan Jovetic scored a brace, while Sergio Aguero needed less than 30 seconds off the bench to score his first goal of the season. Liverpool managed to get on the board late thanks to an own goal by Pablo Zabaleta.

 

This Week:

Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool FC

Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool FC

Sunday, August 31st, 7:30am (CST) White Hart Lane

Why This Game is Intriguing: Because Tottenham Hotspur are in first place in the Premier League, and one of just 4 teams unbeaten through 2 games of the regular season (the others being Chelsea, Manchester City, and Swansea). The Spurs welcome Liverpool to their home in North London after Liverpool were crushed severely by defending champions Manchester City at the Etihad. Tottenham seems to have a flair about them that they did not have last year, and the major reason why is their new Argentinian manager Mauricio Pochettino. Pochettino’s primary strategy is to high press- constant pressure on the ball, rarely sitting back and waiting for the opponent to attack. He requires his center striker (using a 4-2-3-1) to rush the opposing defenders and goalie when they have ball as a means of keeping a fast tempo and ultimately winning back possession.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: Massive changes at Liverpool for a club that finished a close 2nd in the Premier League last year. Mario Balotelli, Italian striker who just joined the club from AC Milan may be available to play in this match- but at this point his status is up in the air. Alberto Moreno, Spanish defenseman and transfer from Sevilla, showed flashes of brilliance (and some mistakes) against Manchester City, so expect him to not only play, but to improve upon his first performance in the Premier League. Rickie Lambert and Emre Can also made cameos in the game against Manchester City, but all eyes will still be on Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard- Liverpool’s two most impressive playmakers. This has been a dramatic overhaul in a short amount of time for the Merseyside club- meaning it might take time, perhaps a couple of months, for Brendan Rodgers to fully understand how best to utilize and build chemistry with his new roster.

Soccahaus Prediction: 1-1 Draw.

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English Premier League, Week 30 of 2014, Game of the Week

11 Mar

Recap: After a 10 month hiatus, we are back, previewing the final 9  best games down the stretch of this season.

This Week: 

Tottenham Hotspur vs Arsenal FC

Tottenham Hotspur vs Arsenal FC

Sunday, March 16th, 11am (CDT) White Hart Lane

Why This Game is Intriguing: The North London derby is one of the best and most intense football events in England, and you can rest be assured that Tottenham will be looking to avenge their 0-1 loss back on September 1st at the Emirates. Currently Arsenal sits in 3rd place in the league table with 59 points, while Tottenham is in 5th with 53 points. A Spurs win here would greatly affect the standings and might give the Spurs a chance of potentially finishing in the top 4- though at this point in time, that appears to be a long shot. A turnaround for the Spurs must start with a positive result in this match.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: A reasonable question to ask of Arsenal is- How much left is in the tank? This match at White Hart Line will be their 3rd match in 8 days- and it doesn’t help that Arsenal lost one of it’s most consistent and intelligent midfielders in Jack Wilshire during England’s friendly just last week. After playing in Munich on Tuesday night- Arsenal must travel back to London and recuperate before this huge derby game. As for Tottenham, they will be coming off their first leg against Benfica in the Europa League- a quality opponent that has a legitimate chance to win the Europa League trophy.

Soccahaus Prediction: Tottenham 2, Arsenal 1

Other Games this week worth watching: Manchester United vs Liverpool, Aston Villa vs Chelsea, Everton vs Cardiff, Hull vs Manchester City

English Premier League, Week 36 Game of the Week

6 May

Recap of Last Week: I incorrectly predicted the winner of the game, and I definitely overestimated the amount of goals that were scored in this game. Chelsea beat English champs Manchester United away at Old Trafford by a score of 1-0 thanks to a goal by Juan Mata in the 87′. This game was not without controversy, as Manchester United defender Rafael was unjustly sent off- David Luiz received a minor elbow from his fellow brazilian, and video clearly shows Luiz was just fine, faking an injury.

This Week: 

Chelsea FC vs Tottenham Hotspur

Chelsea FC vs Tottenham Hotspur

Wednesday, May 8th, 1:45pm (CST) Stamford Bridge

Why This Game is Intriguing: Tottenham Hotspur needs to win or draw this game, plain and simple, if they want to finish top 4 and participate in the Champions League next season. This might be, for all intensions and purposes, one of the most important matches in the history of Tottenham Hotspur football. The Spurs are currently in 5th place with 65 points, while Chelsea is currently in 3rd place with 68 points, and Arsenal is in 4th, just in between these two clubs, with 67 points. Chelsea, Arsenal, and Tottenham- 3 London based clubs with tremendous followings both in England and around the world, are fighting for the final 3rd and 4th place spots- and there will be one loser who misses out. It’s not just making the prestigious tournament- it’s all of the added bonuses that come with being a Champions League club- most notably all of the revenue and exposure the club attains for an entire year and beyond.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: A rematch with much larger stakes. These clubs last met on October 20th at White Hart Lane, where Chelsea won 4-2 thanks to goals by Juan Mata in the 66′ and 69′ minutes. This time around though, the Champions League is staring both of these clubs in the face. Chelsea is playing some outstanding football as of late both in England and in the Europa League, and the Blues have a roster deep enough and capable enough to handle the rigors of winning both in Europe and at home. A loss here for Tottenham would be absolutely crushing- if the Spurs fail to qualify for the Champions League, there is a very good chance Welsh star Gareth Bale and Portuguese manager Andre Villas-Boas leave and go elsewhere.

Soccahaus Prediction: Chelsea 3, Tottenham 1

Other Games This Week Worth Watching: Sunderland vs Stoke, Manchester City vs West Brom, Wigan Athletic vs Swansea

English Premier League, Week 33 Game of the Week

18 Apr

Recap of Last Week: In a game that I personally am very glad I was unable to watch, Arsenal and Everton drew 0-0 at the Emirates Stadium in North London. Arsenal is in 4th place heading into the weekend, while Everton is in 6th place. The Tottenham Hotspur are right in between them in 5th place, and remain just 2 points behind their rivals.

This Week: 

Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City FC

Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City FC

Sunday, April 21st, 7:30AM (CST) White Hart Lane

Why This Game is Intriguing: Tottenham desperately could use a win here to gain on Arsenal (the Gunners play Fulham this weekend), but are facing the 2nd best team in England right now in Manchester City. The Citizens have won their last 3 games in a row, including an incredible 2-1 victory over rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford. After a couple of bad losses to Everton and Southampton, City looks to have rebounded and are playing with a swagger that is starting to resemble the attitude the club played with all of last season. Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero are playing incredibly well as of late, and even better the two are playing well together on the field at the same time.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: Will Gareth Bale play or not? It is clear that Tottenham can beat anyone when Bale is in the lineup, yet the club, while still pretty good, is only a shell of itself when the Welsh star isn’t playing. Tottenham is fighting desperately for a Champions League birth, and will be paying close attention to the scores of Arsenal, Chelsea, and Everton. Manchester City and Tottenham played each other back in November at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, where City won the match 2-1 off an Eden Dzeko winner in the 88′. While the score was close, City dominated the matchup, putting up twice as many shots and dominating the possession battle 62% to the Spurs 38%. This game will be thrilling because Andre Villas-Boas and his Tottenham club know how important it is at least get a point out of this match. A tall task, considering City is a juggernaut with (quite literally) a wealth of talent.

Soccahaus Prediction: 2-2 draw.

Other Games This Week Worth Watching: Norwich vs Reading, Fulham vs Arsenal, West Brom vs Newcastle, Liverpool vs Chelsea, Manchester United vs Aston Villa

English Premier League, Week 26 Game of the Week

27 Feb

Recap of last week: I thought Chelsea would come into the Etihad and win rather easily, partially because I expected Manchester City to unravel and fold under the pressure of playing one of the top teams in the league. My 3-1 score prediction in favor of Chelsea could not have been more inaccurate, as it was the club from London that looked sluggish and outmanned. In a game in which Manchester City had more shots (both on and off target) and than Chelsea, City ended up with the 2-0 victory thanks goals by Yaya Toure ’63 and Carlos Tevez ’85.

This Week:

Tottenham Hotspur vs Arsenal FC

Tottenham Hotspur vs Arsenal FC

Sunday, March 3rd 10am (CST) White Hart Lane. The NORTH LONDON DERBY

Why This Game is Intriguing: Tottenham has a whole lot to play for, including sweet revenge over their most hated and closest rival. It’s been a few months since the November 17th Arsenal romp at the Emirates, where Arsenal destroyed Tottenham 5-2. After Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor scored the game’s first goal, he was red carded and taken out of the game just a few minutes after for recording a vicious tackle on Arsenal player Santi Cazorla. The Spurs were then forced to play a man down for much of the game, and Arsenal took full advantage, scoring 5 times with 5 different players. The stakes for this game on Sunday are even higher, and you can bet the team from Tottenham will remember every minute of the disaster that occurred last November.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: The current standings and the ability to watch the two best players in the English Premier League. As far as the current standings, Tottenham is in 3rd place in the league thanks to the heroic efforts and a last minute goal by Gareth Bale during Monday’s game at West Ham United. In all competitions thus far this year (39 starts), Bale has scored 22 goals. Not only that, but Bale has scored at least 1 goal in each of the last 5 premier league games. Gareth Bale is as in form a player as there is in the world- and if you ask me, right now- Bale is the 3rd best player on the planet behind Messi and Ronaldo. Arsenal on the other hand is in 5th place, just 2 points behind 4th place Chelsea, and 4 points behind  Tottenham. Santi Cazorla has had a masterful season, scoring 11 goals already in the league this season, and amassing 6 assists from his CAM position. This game is absolutely huge for a number of reasons, but the key players to keep an eye on are Bale and Cazorla.

Soccahaus Prediction: Tottenham 2, Arsenal 1

Other Games This Week Worth Watching: Manchester United vs Norwich, Chelsea vs West Brom, Swansea vs Newcastle, Southampton vs QPR, Wigan Athletic vs Liverpool

English Premier League, Week 21 Game of the Week

16 Jan

Recap of Last Week: I predicted a high scoring, exciting affair between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium in north London. I did predict a victory of the Blues of Manchester City, but I did not expect the Gunners to be shut out. An early, 9′ red card for Laurent Koscielny put Arsenal down a man for pretty much the entirety of the game, and even though City captain Vincent Kompany was red carded in the ’75, it was just too late for Arsenal at that point.

This Week: 

Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United

Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United

Sunday, January 20th, 10 AM (CST) White Hart Lane

Why This Game is Intriguing: This match features two of the best clubs in England right now, including the league’s current 1st place team in Manchester United. The Spurs have not lost a match in well over a month (Dec 9th at Everton), meanwhile Manchester United’s last loss came on November 17th at Norwich City. Manchester United has a full slate of football ahead- between the FA Cup (an away match against West Ham Jan 16) followed by this game against the Spurs in London, on top of already starting to plan for the home/away Champions League tango with Real Madrid next month. Manchester United has played very well much of the season, and like most of the world’s elite teams, their ability to rotate quality players and create many mismatches using 15-20 players regularly is a strength of the club. In a huge away match against a top club like Tottenham, the Red Devils are staring at an opportunity for a major statement win.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: Will the real Clint Dempsey please stand up? With Brazilian midfielder Sandro out for an undisclosed amount of time (he was carted off with a knee injury in last week’s draw against QPR), and with the struggling Emmanuel Adebayor gone for at least the next few weeks as he participates in the African Cup of Nations, this is prime opportunity for Clint Dempsey to rediscover the form he had last season at Fulham. Dempsey can play very well in the midfield, but he is equally as good as a central striker- and he is at is best when going forward towards the goal. With Sandro and Adebayor out, Clint Dempsey will be seeing significant playing time, and he will have the opportunity to show Tottenham whether he is truly part of their future plans. Scott Parker who is also starting to finally recover from injury will be seeing an increase in playing time as well.

Soccahaus Prediction: Tottenham 2, Manchester United 2

Other Games This Week Worth Watching: Chelsea vs Southampton, Manchester City vs Fulham, Swansea vs Stoke, Liverpool vs Norwich, Chelsea vs Arsenal

English Premier League, Week 17 Game of the Week

17 Dec

Recap of Last Week: I predicted a close 2-1 result between the Spurs of Tottenham and the Swans of Swansea City. The end result was close, but the Spurs ended up completely shutting out Swansea by a score of 1-0. Michu, one of the league leaders in goals, was rendered useless- the Swans were limited to just 3 shots on goal, 0 on target, while Tottenham had 29 shots and 8 on target.

This Week:

Swansea City vs Manchester United

Swansea City vs Manchester United

Sunday, December 23rd, 7:30AM (CST), Liberty Stadium

Why This Game is Intriguing: Swansea, you get one last chance. Just kidding- even though the Swans had a rough outing against Tottenham last week, they have another shot to prove themselves against the best club in England. Manchester United has not lost a league game in over a month, and the momentum the Red Devils have through the middle of the season is not only impressive, but downright intimidating for the rest of the league. Man U is rolling, and they are in prime position to take not only a commanding lead in the Premier League, but to also start gearing up for the knockout stages of the Champions League. In games such as this, where it is clear Man U has a wealth of talent, especially compared to the opposition, it is important Sir Alex Ferguson give his entire roster a chance at significant playing time, particularly the youngsters. Players like Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck need to receive at least some playing time to spell players like Robin van Persie and Ashley Young, especially for the long haul that is the rest of the EPL season and the Champions League.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: If you haven’t yet watched Manchester United this season, you are missing out on some beautiful, team-first football. Robin van Persie is tied with Swansea Midfielder Michu for the most goals in the league this season at 12, and van Persie has been on a tear recently, scoring at least 1 goal in each of the last 4 EPL meetings for Man U. The Wayne Rooney to van Persie combo continues to improve by the week, and the Dutchman’s class and the way he carries himself not only on the pitch tactically but as a member of a team-first club such as Man United has been one of the highlights of this season so far. While Arsenal has struggled mightily at times this season, Man U has seamlessly taken off to new heights with their leading goal scorer. As for Swansea, they must have a better showing at home this week than they did at White Hart Lane last week. 3 shots, 0 on target will not cut it against a team of Manchester United’s caliber. Swansea needs to play their best game in order to have a legitimate chance of getting any points against the league leaders.

Soccahaus Prediction: Manchester United 3, Swansea 0

Other Games This Week Worth Watching: Man City vs Reading, Tottenham vs Stoke City, West Brom vs Norwich, West Ham vs Everton, Newcastle vs QPR, Liverpool vs Fulham, Chelsea vs Aston Villa