Weekend preview

Sooooo unfortunately I haven’t had any time this week to write a full preview, but I am gonna still make top 7 predictions, and since it is a crazy weekend for world football, I’m gonna toss in some other big games too!
Liverpool vs Man Utd
1-3

Crystal Palace vs Chelsea
0-4

Man City vs Stoke
3-2

Spurs vs Bournemouth
2-1

Watford vs Arsenal
1-2

Brighton vs Everton
1-1

Spain

Atleti vs Barca
2-1

Germany

BVB Vs RB Lipzeg
2-0

Italy

Juve vs Lazio
2-0

Roma vs Napoli
1-3

Inter vs Milan
2-0

Advertisements

Weekend Recap (Week 7 top 7 teams only)

Huddersfield Town vs Tottenham Hotspur (watched by NAFB)

Huddersfield 0 – 4 Tottenham Hotspur

Huddersfield have had a very comfortable start to their life in the EPL, after 6 games they have only conceded 3 goals. Harry Kane is looking to break the 36 goal calendar year record in the EPL, he currently sits at 25.

Spurs came out of the gates flying, scored 3 goals in the first 24 minutes, as many goals that Huddersfield had conceded all season. 2 from Harry Kane and 1 from Ben Davies. Huddersfield’s strength this season has been their ability to defend really well, conceding 3 early goals is really not a part of the plan for them. Doesn’t look like Alli could buy a goal right now, the lad has been struggling to put them in today. Harry Kane has the ball in the back of the net but it’s waived offside. It was a super finish to be fair to him.

The teams went in for Half time with Spurs leading 3-0. About 7 minutes into the second half, Tripper went down with a head injury, the physio took a few moments with the young player to ensure everything was in order. As I said earlier, Alli couldn’t buy a goal, now he tries to get a penalty by diving and got himself a yellow card. Now, a moment for Kane, is he the best striker in the world right now (On form)? He has 6 hat tricks in 2017, and that is without scoring a single goal in the months of June, July and August. Currently he has a 1.13 goals to game ratio, the best in Europe’s top 5 leagues, above Messi, Ronaldo, Suarez, etc. As of now, 8 clubs in the EPL have scored fewer goals in 2017 than Harry Kane, while 1 is tied with him.

Spurs have relaxed a bit here and the game has most certainly slowed down in the second half. Lossl for Huddersfield has had an interesting day, he’s been struggling to hang on to the ball at times and is lucky to only have conceded 3 today. And now in stoppage time Spurs have 4. Davies plays a lovely pass to Sissoko who somehow pokes it in, probably going down as an own goal.

Man of the Match

2 goals in the match earns Harry Kane the Man of the Match award.

Next up

Spurs host Bournemouth on the 14th of October, after the international break while Huddersfield travel to Swansea on the same day.

 

Manchester United vs Crystal Palace

Man Utd 4 – 0 Crystal Palace

United made just one change, Eric Bailly drops to the bench for Chris Smalling. Juan Mata makes his 200th EPL appearance today.

Palace are going to want to stay at 0-0 for as long as possible while United know they may have to be patient to break down Palace.

Rashford makes a lovely run down the left win, with a little bit of fine trickery, gets the ball into the box and Mata is on hand to pop it into the back of the net. 1-0 United in under 2 and a half minutes. How many will United get today?

It’s been all United so far, Palace have the odd long ball they are playing but nothing coming off it.

Palace look settled into this game now, getting more of the ball and access into the United box. However, against the run of play, United have a second from Fellaini who heads it in far post.

Second half now, Man Utd get a free kick after Young nutmegs the Palace right back. Rashford whips it in and it goes in off Fellaini. United have had big players like Lukaku and Mkhitaryan off the pace today and they have still been solid because others have stepped up, Mata, Rashford and Fellaini have been solid today. Following the goal, Palace are unlucky to not get a penalty, surely that would have been their first goal of the season?

United fans are chanting for Martial, singing the 50 million down the drain chant. Surprised he didn’t start today considering he has the next 2 weeks off as he didn’t get picked for France. Rashford is down, looks like he took one in his private bits. Ouch, Sakho swung his hand and hit him, unintentional but painful. United making a change, Mkhitaryan off for Jese Lingard. Lingard has fond memories playing palace, he scored the winner when United beat Palace in the FA Cup final a couple of seasons ago. Palace bring McArthur and Riedewald on, Riedewald played for Ajax against United last season in the Europa League final. Both the subs involved now for Palace as they have some possession, doesn’t come to anything though as Sako takes out someone in the stretford end with his shot. Palace should be worried now, Martial is getting ready to come on, he has been lethal off the bench this season. Lingard brought down, the ref played advantage, Lukaku gets a shot off from around the penalty spot and puts it wide. Should have scored there. Rashford off for Martial, not sure which of these 2 the Palace defense would rather face. Martial has made it a habit of breaking ankles with his ‘playstation’ football and he’s already up to his tricks. Palace make their last change, Sako off for Ladapo. Palace look like they are going to be only the second team this season to make sure Lukaku hasn’t scored against them. United bring on Ander Herrera for Mata. He was being supposedly groomed for the United armband but his appearances this season have been mostly off the bench. Counter attack by United, Martial gets the shot but Hennessy does well to keep it at 3-0. Into the last 10 minutes, United have been lethal in the league in the last 10, can they score some more today? Yes, they can. Lukaku gets on the scoresheet. 4 nil now, 7 in 7 now for Lukaku in the league. Martial gets the assist. He is the first Manchester United player to score 7 in 7 since Andy Cole did it in 1995. We have 3 minutes of stoppage time, enough time for either of these teams to get a late goal. United shipped 2 late goals recently, one in the league cup and one in the Champions League, and we already know they love scoring a late goal at Old Trafford. Jose’s second season magic is in full flow here, United go into the break knowing that at least one of their rivals are dropping points, 19 points of a possible 21 here and Jose’s red army has got to be happy.

Man of the Match

Hard to pick, Fellaini and Rashford share the spoils here, both have been outstanding.

lmao.PNG

Next up

Manchester United face Liverpool at Anfield on the 14th of October while Palace face Chelsea at home.

 

Chelsea vs Manchester City

The pick of the fixtures this weekend, City have a few injuries to deal with and they bring in Delph at left back. Jesus is also back in the lineup. Hazard starts for Chelsea who are still without David Luiz after his red card.

A really slow first half as both teams are trying to feel each other out, with City being the more potent team in attack. The only real moment of concern came in the 30th minute when Morata pulled up with an injury and walked right off and down the tunnel.

A relatively dull game, considering the number of goals involved in games with City. 60 minutes in and former Chelsea midfield, Kevin De Bruyne gets the opening goal, hopefully this game will now open up.

The game has in fact opened up massively, Chelsea attacking non stop, City coming back at them constantly. Should this result hold, Chelsea will have just 1 win at home from 4 games this season.

Chelsea are throwing the kitchen sink at City now, they have to be careful that they don’t allow City to break on them because they will get punished. Doesn’t look like Chelsea have it to break down the City defense, the loss of Aguero and Mendy hasn’t affected City and they have done well to keep up with Manchester United who won earlier today. Pep gets his first win versus Chelsea as City manager.

 

Man of the Match

A fantastic finish and his puppet master skills in midfield earns Kevin De Bruyne the Man of the Match award.

Next up

Chelsea travel to Palace in a game they should win while City face Stoke at home, both on the 14th of October.

Premier League Weekend Preview Gameweek 7 (Top 7 teams only)

Huddersfield Town vs Tottenham Hotspur (9/30/17)

Huddersfield host Spurs, going into the game with just 3 goals conceded all season in the league, while Spurs are chasing their 4th win in 4 away games in the EPL for the first time in history. No team has won more points (55) against newly promoted sides than Spurs (since Pochettino took over the job). The Lillywhites have Eriksen coming back while Huddersfield have no fresh injuries or players coming back. Aurier will serve his suspension versus Huddersfield. Should be a great game, however, I think we could get an away win, Huddersfield haven’t come up against class like Spurs yet and could struggle.

 

Manchester United vs Crystal Palace (9/30/17)

Oh lord things do not look good for Palace. After getting demolished by City last week, they have to now travel to Manchester to face the Red Devils. United do have injuries to deal with, Carrick, Pogba, Rojo, Zlatan are out while Valencia, Fellaini, Jones and Martial will be assessed. These injuries issues are not as big a deal as Palace’s injury issues. Benteke, Loftus-Cheek, Tomkins, Zaha and Wickham are injured while Fosu-Mensah, one of their only stand out performers all season, is unavailable due to the fact that he is on loan from Manchester United. This game is going to be all one way traffic, expect a home win.

 

Chelsea vs Manchester City (9/30/17)

Easily the pick of the lot, City go into the game with a couple of injuries, Aguero injured in Amsterdam while Mendy is out for 9 months(ish). Kompany is still out. Luiz for Chelsea is out suspended while Drinkwater is out injured as well. Interesting tid bit, only 2 teams have scored more goals than City have at this stage in the EPL, Newcastle United in 94/95, Man Utd in 11/12, neither won the title that season. As pointed out in the power rankings this week, could this be the start of a slowdown for City? With key players out injured and Chelsea on fire, I think a home win is on the cards.

 

Arsenal vs Brighton (10/1/17)

Arsenal are unbeaten in 31 games versus newly promoted clubs, the last newly promoted club to win at Arsenal were Newcastle United in 2010, the manager that day, Chris Houghton is current Brighton manager (interesting). Arsenal are surprisingly strong in October, having avoided defeat at home in October since 2002! (21 wins and 5 draws). Arsenal have been on an upward tangent of late and should maintain their form. Arsenal should win this.

 

Everton vs Burnley (10/1/17)

Coming soon…

 

Newcastle vs Liverpool (10/1/17)

Coming soon…

EPL Power Rankings

Welcome to the EPL Power Rankings, where we look at the recent form of teams in the EPL and just their performance in the EPL.

  1. Manchester City

City are top of the league, only on goal difference but they have been in sublime attacking form. 21 goals scored and just 2 conceded, with the battering of Crystal Palace they have more goals now than their rivals Manchester United and are no longer neck and neck.

  1. Manchester United

The Red Devils picked up a win against Southampton, just 1-0 but it was a solid all-round performance by United. So far, this season, they have 4-0 wins against Swansea, West Ham and Everton. Last season, their games against Southampton (A), West Ham and Everton (H) all ended in draws, they have so far picked up 6 points that they dropped a year ago.

 

  1. Arsenal

Now, they may not be in the top 5 of the EPL table, but they have turned around their poor form and in their last 3 games they have 7 points. A massive point against Chelsea away and a comfortable home win against a good West Brom side brings Arsenal up to 3rd in the power rankings.

 

  1. Chelsea

Chelsea haven’t lost a game since opening day of the season. They also got Morata to score a goal with his feet, his first of the season. They did drop points against Arsenal last week in a game they 100% should have won considering Arsenal were so shaky going into that fixture.

 

  1. Watford

Watford have just 1 loss this season, home to City. Let’s be honest, we expected City to win that game very comfortably. Watford have won 3 away games in a row this season and responded well to the 6-0 hammering. Some had pipped Watford to go down this season but after getting 11 points from 6 games, they should be safe this season and could possibly finish in the top 10 this season. The true tests are yet to come, they play Arsenal and Chelsea in their next 3 games, should they come out with at least a point in either of those 2 games, they will be very satisfied with how their season is going.

 

  1. Burnley

Burnley have played 3 of the current top 8 teams in their last 4 games. Coming away with a point in every one of them and a win against lowly Crystal Palace. Burnley have just 1 loss all season, and are on a decent run of form. However, they need to start scoring more goals, while their defense has been solid so far this season.

 

  1. Tottenham Hotspur

Still without a home league win, they have been in great form away from home. 3-0 away to Everton and 3-2 away to West Ham (2 goals conceded after Aurier got sent off). However, they have fixed some of their issues with Harry Kane, who’s got 4 goals in the month of September after bagging none in August.

 

 

  1. Liverpool

After a 5-0 hammering at the hands of Manchester City Liverpool recovered with a draw against Burnley and a win against Leicester City. They did make it hard for themselves though, conceding a penalty that Jamie Vardy messed up by shooting right at the goal keeper. Liverpool need to do better if they want to move up or even stay at this position in the power rankings.

 

  1. Huddersfield Town

With 9 points in 6 games, the newly promoted Huddersfield have done a fantastic job of starting life in the EPL. Having scored just 5 goals, they are the only side in the top 10 with less than a goal a game, however, they have conceded just 3 goals all season, only 2 sides have a better defensive record than them. With just 1 loss all season, they are on route to survival, and dare I say it, a top 10 finish?

 

  1. Everton

Now, Everton are sitting in 14th place on the table, with just 7 points and a negative 7 goal difference, however, their first 6 games have been against City, United, Chelsea and Tottenham. Nobody expected them to get a single point in those games but they managed to come away with 1 point, while getting wins against Stoke and Bournemouth. A relatively easier fixture schedule is upcoming and that will 100% allow them to move further up on the table.

 

 

 

 

Goals and Targets

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome back. Today I am going to talk about something new, covering topics like, how many points will a team need to survive, how many to win, and go over the first 6 games of the season.

How many points will a team need to survive?

6 games into the season and the bottom 3 consists of West Ham, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace, Palace having replaced their manager already. Every season teams target the magical number of 40 points to survive in the EPL, based on that, as of now teams that want to survive should have about 6.3 points from their 6 games. As of now, 6 teams are below that target. We have seen teams like Manchester United revived this season and it is harder for smaller teams to pick up points this season. Therefore, I think we need to adjust that 40 points goal and bring it down. Teams with about 35 or 36 points this season may be safe. We are going to possibly see Crystal Palace with a big fat zero after 8 games because their next 2 games are Manchester United away and then Chelsea at home.

821px-Crystal_Palace_FC_logo.svg.png

How many points will a team need to win the EPL?

Since the 2011/2012 season, the average number of points needed to win the league has been 87.5, implying that as of right now, teams that are challenging for the league title should be on at least 13.8 points after 6 game-weeks. The only 2 teams above that amount, Manchester United and Manchester City with 16 points (shocked?), with Chelsea not far behind at 13 points. Because of their early season form, and assuming this form continues, the team to first reach around 98 points, 5 more than Chelsea had last season when they won the league, should win the league. However, we will probably see these top teams drop points as Manchester United and City have yet to be beaten. While we look at historic figures, it would be hard to ignore the fact that United were the masters of getting draws last season while City have faded away from their flying form in October/November of the last few seasons.

united v city.jpg

The golden boot race

As of now we have a 3 way tie at the top of the golden boot race with Morata (CHE), Aguero (MCY) and Lukaku (MUFC) with 6 goals. It would be hard to predict someone outside this group winning the golden boot, unless something drastic happens. The best goals per minute ratio though goes to Anthony Martial, who has scored a goal every 40 minutes, that’s right, 40 minutes.

 

6 games in and we already have had a cracking season so far, with a lot of big games coming up, the next 6 game recap will be very interesting to look at.

Premier League Preview Week 6 (Top 7 teams only)

West Ham United vs Tottenham Hotspur (23/09/2017)

Spurs go into this game with solid away form, while West Ham have yet to drop points at home, to be fair, they only have played one game at the London Stadium. In their short history, they have only won back to back games once in the league at London Stadium, and they would like to do that for a second time. Their best record historically in the EPL is versus Spurs. Spurs on the other hand would like to win their 3rd away game in a row, at the start of the season, for the first time in their history. It has never happened in the EPL before. However, with Kane being in solid form in London Derbies and having scored 5 in his last 5 against West Ham, expect a Spurs win.

 

Everton vs Bournemouth (23/09/2017)

Now that Everton is done with all the heavy hitters (United Away, Spurs Home, Chelsea Away, City Away), for now, they can finally focus on getting back to track after their midweek win in the League Cup. In the last 4 games between the 2 teams, there have been an average of 5 goals a game so it should be a high scoring game, even though Everton are struggling to score. Everton have not lost 4 games in a row since January 2015 and would like to make sure that stays that way. Expect an Everton win, it could be cagey but the toffees need this win to get to their goals for the season.

 

Southampton vs Manchester United (23/09/2017)

The Red Devils are in crazy form, the only difference at the top of the league right now is that both Man Utd and Man City are separated by only alphabet. The free scoring reds are looking to score and fly through the Saints. What has worked for them so far has been their ability to physically break down their opponents. This season, they have scored 9 goals in the last 10 minutes of a game, with Anthony Martial netting 3 goals and getting an assist off the bench. United have 8 different goal scorers, more than any other side in the EPL while Lukaku would like to equal or break Luis Saha’s Manchester United record of 6 goals in 6 EPL appearances. Expect a comfortable win for the Red Devils, even though Southampton are in decent form considering they have won 2, drawn 2 and lost just 1. Going for an away win.

 

Stoke City vs Chelsea (23/09/2017)

Morata is on fire in the EPL, he’s scored goals, picked up assists and done a fantastic job, however, can he do it on a cold night in Stoke? The question that is always asked. After defeating Arsenal and holding the high flying Manchester United to a draw, Stoke will look to pick up more points from a top side by drawing/defeating Chelsea. Stoke have lost to Newcastle and Bristol City in their last 2 games. Chelsea are looking to keep up pace with the 2 Manchester clubs after dropping points against Arsenal last weekend. Should be a tasty game to watch, going for an away win. 3 points for Chelsea.

 

Manchester City vs Crystal Palace (23/09/2017)

This game is not even worth watching. After scoring 11 goals in their last 2 games, and considering Crystal Palace are comfortably bottom of the league, City are most likely going to demolish them. The strike partnership of Aguero and Gabriel Jesus with Kevin De Bruyne in a supporting role, City are on fire. Currently joint top of the league, they know that Manchester United play Crystal Palace next and both teams need to batter Palace in order to try and stay ahead in the hunt for the EPL trophy. Easiest prediction all weekend, Manchester City win incoming.

 

Leicester City vs Liverpool (23/09/2017)

Liverpool are struggling, without Mane who is still suspended, they don’t look like they have that omph factor. Coutinho coming back into their line up has done nothing to improve them. Vardy has 5 goals in 3 games against Liverpool, including 2 braces at the King Power Stadium. Liverpool would like to pick up 3 points here after having dropped points this season against Burnley, Manchester City and Watford. If they would like to have even a small chance of winning the league, this is a MUST WIN GAME. I still think that isn’t enough, I am predicting a draw.

 

Arsenal vs West Brom (25/09/2017)

If there is any club more inconsistent than Liverpool, it is Arsenal. After putting in their best show all season versus Chelsea, they were lucky to beat Doncaster in the League Cup. Yes, DONCASTER. I had to look up which league they were in, the third tier of English football. Granted, they made a lot of changes to their line up but they still had Alexis Sanchez starting that game. West Brom have 8 points already this season, 1 more than Arsenal and would like to get back to back wins against Arsenal. Should be an interesting tie as Arsenal could rest a few players as they have a Europa League tie coming up. Depending on which Arsenal side shows up, they could get 3 points here or go home empty handed, therefore I personally think an Arsenal win here is very possible.

Barcelona out of the La Liga?!

Referendums, the latest unfortunate trend. On the 1st of October, a referendum vote is in place in Spain to see if Catalonia can stay a part of Spain. Now, this brings in problems for football teams like Barcelona, Espanyol and Girona who will have to play in a Catalan football league as Spanish laws do not allow teams outside Spain to play in the La Liga. A new legislation would have to be passed in Spain to allow teams from Catalan to play in the La Liga. Real Madrid Manager, and Legendary football player Zidane had the following to say:

“I can’t imagine a Spanish league without Barcelona,” Zidane said. “That’s all I have to say. As a football fan, I can’t see it. I always think of Barcelona as part of this league and that’s that. I won’t go into it any further because I don’t know what’s going to happen. There are people who want one thing, and others who want another. It’s a complex debate. What I can’t imagine, and I don’t like the idea of, is La Liga without Barcelona.”

While Javier Tebas said, “This is a problem that the Catalan clubs will have to deal with,” Tebas said. “The league, for good or bad, will get through this.”

After the loss of Neymar this year, Barcelona face the prospect of seeing players like Messi leave the Nou Camp as he would like to play in the top football leagues of the world. He is out of contract at the end of this season and he will 100% not sign one till after the vote.

Watch this space for more on the vote.