Tag Archives: Yaya Toure

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 4 Game of the Week

8 Sep

Recap: Liverpool annihilated the Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane 3-0, a much needed result after their pummeling to Manchester 1-3 just a week prior. Raheem Sterling opened up the scoring in the 8′, followed by a pk by Steven Gerrard in the 49′, and capped off in the ’60 by newcomer defenseman Alberto Moreno.

This Week: 

Manchester City vs Arsenal

Manchester City vs Arsenal

Saturday, Sept 13th, 6:45am (CST) Emirates Stadium

Why This Game is Intriguing: Both of these clubs desperately need a positive result coming off the international break. Manchester City suffered a humiliating defeat to Stoke City at home, while the Gunners drew with newly promoted side Leicester City. The Gunners have just 1 win in 3 games thus far, and a win against the defending champions at home early in the season would go a long way towards building confidence for a club seeking 3 points. Manchester City has a tough 2-game stretch here, playing Arsenal on the road, and then next week hosting Chelsea at the Etihad- a game which will speak volumes as the season continues to move on. On the face of it, it appears that Chelsea is the frontrunner to win the league- unless a club like Manchester City, or even Arsenal, can manage to make this a competitive race.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: Quality of talent. Manchester City’s Kun Aguero already has 2 goals in 3 games, and he has yet to even play a full 90 minutes. Aguero is one of the elite players in the Premier League, as are his teammates Yaya Toure, David Silva, Joe Hart, Stevan Jovetic, Fernandinho, Eden Dzeko, and others. Arsenal, despite drawing their last 2 matches, seems to look more comfortable with Alexis Sanchez leading the attack after Olivier Giroud went down with injury. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better player in greater form right now than Aaron Ramsey, who continues to get better with each season.The last time these 2 clubs played, Arsenal demolished Manchester City at Wembley winning FA Community Shield by a score of 3-0.

Soccahaus Prediction: Manchester City 2, Arsenal 1

 

 

 

English Premier League, Week 2 Game of the Week

18 Aug

Recap: I expected Manchester United to come out firing considering the club hadn’t lost a home opener since 1972. United’s preseason form I believed had bolstered their confidence- but in their opening game to Swansea, fell 1-2. Rooney scored United’s only goal in the 53′, while the Swans had goals in the first half (28′ Ki Sung-Yueng) and second half (Sigurdsson 72′).

This Week:

Manchester City FC vs Liverpool FC

Manchester City FC vs Liverpool FC

Monday, August 25th, 2pm (CST) Etihad Stadium

Why This Game is Intriguing: Because these teams finished 1st and 2nd respectively in last year’s Premier League final standings. Last year’s Premier League race was very tight all year long between Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester City. While Liverpool will be disappointed with coming so close to winning the league last year and just falling short, you can be assured that they were pleased with their overall performance last season and making it back to the Champions League. Manchester City is out to not only defend it’s Premier League title, but to prove itself as one of the best clubs in Europe.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: Talent. Even though Liverpool’s best player, and the league’s best player in Luis Suarez last season has gone to FC Barcelona, both of these clubs boast an incredible array of talent all over the field. For Liverpool, captain Steven Gerrard and forward Daniel Sturridge lead the way offensively,  along with creative playmakers Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson. Manchester City is a club with depth at every position, led by Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta, and many more. Without question these are two of the best clubs in England right now, and it is a treat to see them matched up against one another this early in the season.

Soccahaus Prediction: Manchester City 3, Liverpool 2

Championship Sunday, Game(s) of the Week

9 May

Recap: Manchester City continued their march towards winning the league with a sensational 4-0 performance over Aston Villa at the Etihad. It might have taken awhile for City to get going, with their first goal coming from Edin Dzeko in the ’64, but the goals thereafter just kept coming. City has shown great resilience all season, and this match was no different.

Game 1: 

Manchester City FC vs West Ham United

Manchester City FC vs West Ham United

Championship Sunday, May 11th, 9am (CDT), Etihad Stadium

Why This Game is Intriguing: It’s very simple for Manchester City. Beat 12th place West Ham, and the Citizens will win their 2nd Premier League title in club history, and the club’s second in just 3 seasons. Tie West Ham, then all Liverpool has to do is beat Newcastle United with a goal differential of 7- which, barring a miracle, is impossible. Should City lose to West Ham, and Liverpool beat Newcastle, then the title will belong to the Reds. Manchester City has just this 1 game to win, and win at home, and they’ll be celebrating with their fans in the Etihad and onto the streets of Manchester.

Other Reasons to Watch this Game: The last time these 2 clubs met was on October 19th, and Sergio Aguero led City with 2 goals as they beat the Hammers 3-1 in London. Aguero has been on and off injured much of the season, and did not feature in the 4-0 romp over Aston Villa. Even though Aguero’s goal against QPR just 2 years ago was the most significant City goal in Premier League history, City has proven that with the likes of Edin Dzeko- City has more than enough to get by without their best player. With an in-form Yaya Toure, City frankly has little to worry about as they face a team they likely would beat 9 times out of 10. But, Championship Sunday is known to produce some last minute drama….

 

Game 2:

Liverpool FC vs Newcastle United

Liverpool FC vs Newcastle United

Championship Sunday, May 11th, 9am (CDT), Anfield

Why This game is Intriguing: Because Liverpool can still win the title. As mentioned above, should City lose to West Ham, and Liverpool beat Newcastle, Liverpool will win the Premier League title this season, the season that celebrated the lives of the 96 lost in the Hillsborough Disaster 25 years ago. A draw or loss to Newcastle would eliminate any chance of winning the title, while a win against Newcastle combined with a City draw to West Ham would only benefit Liverpool if it were to defeat Newcastle by 7+ goals. The chances are extremely unlikely that Liverpool will win the title, but as long as there’s still a chance worth fighting for, you can bet the Reds will not give in.

Other Reasons to Watch This Game: Liverpool have only scored 6 goals or more just once this season, so Liverpool really really really (did I say really?) need West Ham to beat Manchester City to give the Reds any chance at all to win this title. Even if Liverpool finish 2nd, they still have plenty to be proud of. They were the beast team in the league for much of the season, while earning a bid to be back in the Champions League is definitely an accomplishment worth celebrating. They have some of the best players in the league (Suarez, Sturridge, Gerrard, Mignolet), one of the best managers in the league in Brendan Rodgers, and a tradition and winning history that is almost sure to lure some quality players to Anfield in the future.

Soccahaus PredictionS: Manchester City 3, West Ham 1. Liverpool 4, Newcastle 1. Manchester City wins the Premier League title.

Other Games This Week Worth Watching: Fulham vs Crystal Palace, Cardiff vs Chelsea, Norwich vs Arsenal. Because this is the last time you’ll see Fulham, Cardiff, and the Canaries in the Premier League for at least a year, and probably longer.

English Premier League, Week 38 Game of the Week

28 Apr

Recap: So Liverpool’s 16 match unbeaten streak comes to a halt at home to Chelsea. Liverpool now has 2 games left, at Crystal Palace, and then home to Newcastle to close out the season. Liverpool needed 7 points from their last 3 games to secure the league title, but falling to Chelsea now puts the pressure squarely on Manchester City to win out and perhaps win, for the second time in history, the Premier League title.

This Week:

Everton FC vs Manchester City FC

Everton FC vs Manchester City FC

Saturday, May 3rd, 11:30am (CDT) Goodison Park

Why this game is intriguing: The saying often goes “we are prisoners of the moment”- well in this case, yeah, i’ll buy that, because depending on the result of this game- there might even be a more important game next week- the final week of the Premier League. This game is VITAL for both Everton and Manchester City. For City, it’s simple- win out at Everton, home vs Aston Villa, then home vs West Ham- and they are champions of the 2013-14 Premier League season. Everton also needs to win, though their hopes of securing a top 4 finish and Champions League bid hinges upon Arsenal and how the Gunners perform in their last 2 games. Everton has stumbled as of late, losing 2 of their last 3.

Other Reasons to watch this game: World class players. Players who will feature prominently in the World Cup in less than 2 months will take the field in this game. For City: Joe Hart, Kun Aguero, David Silva, Yaya Toure, Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta- these guys will be counted on to not only perform well in Brazil, but will also be trusted to captain their teams to victory. For Everton- Kevin Mirallas, Romelu Lukaku, Tim Howard, Leighton Baines, and Phil Jagielka will all be key players in the World Cup. But before all of that, both sets of players have some serious work to do- and some trophies possibly to win, before they set out to join their national teams in Brazil.

Prediction: Manchester City 2, Everton 1

Other Games worth watching: West Ham vs Tottenham, Aston Villa vs Hull, Stoke vs Fulham, Arsenal vs West Brom, Chelsea vs Norwich, Crystal Palace vs Liverpool

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