Weekend Football Preview

Some big games this weekend!

Premier League MW 26

West Ham vs. Newcastle

West Ham sit 5th in the table with no games in hand as they take on Newcastle who sit 17th in the table with two games in hand. Newcastle have won their last three games in a row and are unbeaten in their last five. West Ham have only won two of their last five games. West Ham are at a risk of losing ground in the top four race and Newcastle are in good form at the moment. It’s an interesting game for sure. West Ham won the reverse fixture 2-4. 

Arsenal vs. Brentford

A London Derby as 6th placed Arsenal have three games in hand and sit four points behind United who sit 4th. Brentford sit 14th in the table with no games in hand and ended their losing streak last weekend with a draw. Arsenal should win this game but Brentford need to start winning if they want to not get dragged into a relegation battle. Brentford won the reverse fixture 2-0. 

Brighton vs. Burnley

9th placed Brighton have one game in hand as they take on Burnley who sit bottom of the league and have four games in hand. Burnley sit seven points from safety and lost last weekend. Brighton only have one win in their last five games but also only one loss. An interesting game both teams will want to win it. Brighton won the reverse fixture 1-2. 

Liverpool vs. Norwich

Liverpool sit 2nd in the table having won their last four, with one game in hand and sitting 9 points behind Man City. Norwich sit 18th in the table with one game in hand and four points from safety. This should be a straight forward win for Liverpool. Liverpool won the reverse fixture 0-3. 

Southampton vs. Everton

Southampton sit 10th in the table with one game in hand with one loss in their last five games. Everton sit 16th in the table with three games in hand and finally ended their losing streak as Lampard got his first win last weekend. It’s a big game for Everton in terms of the relegation race while Southampton will want to try and get into Europe. An exciting game expected. Everton beat Southampton 3-1 in the reverse fixture.

Aston Villa vs. Watford

12th placed Villa only have one win in their last five games and have two games in hand as they take on Watford who sit 19th in the table with no wins and two games in hand. Villa need to win this game as Gerrad goes through a slight slump while the pressure is on Watford in every game. Watford beat Villa 3-2 in the reverse fixture. 

Man City vs. Tottenham

City sit 9 points clear at the top with no games in hand having won four of their last five as they take on Spurs who sit 8th with three games in hand and having lost their last three. I would love to say that Spurs could make this game interesting and City could drop points but there is very litte chance of that happening. City should win this game and Conte will have lost four in a row. If Spurs get something out of this game it would be a great point or three for them. Spurs won the reverse fixture 1-0. 

Leeds vs. Man United

Leeds sit 15th in the table and have not won any of their last three games having two games in hand. United sit 4th with no games in hand and are unbeaten in their last five. This should be a straight forward win for United as they usually beat Leeds. United won the reverse fixture 5-1. 

Wolverhampton vs. Leicester

Wolves sit 7th in the table with two games in hand and have lost only one of their last five games. Leicester sit 11th in the table with three games in hand but only have one win in their last five games. Two teams on the opposite sides of the form spectrum. In current form Wolves should win this game and the pressure is on Leicester to perform. Leicester won the reverse fixture 1-0. 

La Liga MW 25

Villarreal travel to Granada, Atletico travel to Osasuna, Real Madrid take on Alaves, Sevilla travel to Espanyol, Barceloan travel to Valencia, Betis take on Mallorca, and Real Sociedad travel to Bilbao. Real Madrid sit four points clear at the top of the table with Sevilla, Betis and Barcelona making up the top four. Atletico, Sociedad, Villarreal, make up the teams behind them. The race is heating up and Real Madrid are going through a slump in form at the moment. It will be interesting to see if their are more slip ups. 

Serie MW 26

Juventus take on Torino in a derby, Roma take on Verona, Milan travel to Salernitana, Atalanta travel to Fiorentina, Inter take on Sassuolo, Lazio travel to Udinese, and Napoli travel to Cagliari. Milan sit at the top a point clear of Inter but Inter have a game in hand. Napoli and Juventus make up the top four. A
Atalanta, Lazio, and Roma make up the teams behind them. Another very close and interesting race, and it’s a weekend where there could be some slip ups. 

Bundesliga MW 23

Leverkusen travel to Mainz, Wolfsburg take on Hoffenheim, Frankfurt travel to Koln, Bayern take on Furth, Dortmund take on Monchengladbach, and Leipzig travel to Hertha Berlin. Bayern sit six points clear at the top of the table with Dortmund, Leverkusen, and Leipzig making up the top four. Bayern and Dortmund are going though a slump in form at the moment but Bayern should still remain clear in this race. 

Ligue MW 25

Lille take on Metz, Lyon travel to Lens, PSG travel to Nantes, Nice take on Angers, Monaco travel to Bordeaux, and Marseille take on Clermont. PSG sit 13 points clear with Marseille, Nice and Strasbourg making up the top four. Monaco, and Lyon are playing catch up. The title race is over in this league but the rest are trying to get into the Champions League places. 

Midweek Football Review

Straightforward results.

Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg

Paris Saint Germain 1 vs. 0 Real Madrid

No away goals meant that Real Madird set up to defend in this game. It was a poor performance from the away team and PSG were a threat throughout. The winner came in the 94th minute as Mbappe scored to give PSG the advantage. Mbappe will probably be heading to Madrid in the summer but right now he is making it count for PSG.

Sporting Lisbon 0 vs. 5 Man City

Mahrez, Silva, and a Foden double meant that City were 0-4 up at half time against Lisbon. Sterling scored in the 58th minute to make it five and send them through to the next round. The 2nd leg is just a formality now as City seal a place in the quarter-finals. 

RB Salzburg 1 vs. 1 Bayern Munich

Adamu scored in the 21st minute to give Salzburg the lead. It looked like they were heading for a win but Bayern equalised in the final moments thanks to a goal from Coman. Bayern were no where near their best and Salzburg did well. I still think Bayern should seal the win in the 2nd leg. 

Inter Milan 0 vs. 2 Liverpool

This was a very close game and Inter had several chances to give themselves the lead but Liverpool held on at the San Siro. Firmino then scored in the 75th minute to give Liverpool the lead and Salah made it two in the 83rd minute. Liverpool should now go through regardless of the 2nd leg as Inter failed to make the most of their chances. 

Premier League (Game in hand)

Man United 2 vs. 0 Brighton

Solksjaer was back in the dugout spiritually as United gave a performance that would make him proud and against all odds got three points. Brighton were the better team throughout but failed to take chances and United through moments won the game. Ronaldo scored a brilliant goal in the 51st minute and Dunk was sent off for Brighton in the 54th minute. Brighton still dominated but Fernandes scored in the 97th minute to seal the deal. United move back into 4th with the win two points ahead of West Ham. Brighton remain 9th in the table with the loss.

La Liga (Game in hand)

Levante scored in the the 54th minute thanks to Melero and beat Atletico 0-1 in what was a surprise result in Spain. Atletico remain 5th in the league and fail to take their chances while Levante remain bottom and 10 points from safety. 

Midweek Football Preview

THE CHAMPIONS!!!

Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg

Paris Saint Germain vs. Real Madrid

One of the standout fixtures of this round as PSG take on Real Madrid. PSG have won seven drawn two and lost one of their games since their last group stage game. Real Madrid have won eight, drawn three, and lost two of their games. A pretty similar track record as both teams lead their respective leagues as well. PSG I feel are flattering to decieve at the moment sitting 13 points clear in Ligue 1 while Real have entered 2022 in inconsistent form. There are no away goals so it should encourage teams to go all out in both legs. This is what Messi was bought for and he has been in good form recently. It will be a very interesting game but over two legs I think Real Madrid will beat PSG. 

Sporting Lisbon vs. Man City

Sporting sit 2nd in the Portguese league as they take on Premier League leaders Man City. Sporting have won 11, drawn one, and lost two of their games. Man City have won 11, and drawn one of their games. City are the clear favourties without a doubt and they should progress easily over two legs. Sporting always stand a chance but I doubt they get anything over two legs. 

RB Salzburg vs. Bayern Munich

Austrian leaders RB Salzburg take on German leaders Bayern Munich in this fixture. RB have won six, and lost one of their games since the group stage while Bayern have won six and lost two of their games since the group stage. Similar to Man City I doubt Bayern Munich will face any problems over two legs against Salzburg. Bayern have not started the new year in great form having lost two games but overall they will have enough. Salzburg have nothing to lose and should go for it. 

Inter Milan vs. Liverpool

Inter sit 2nd in Serie A as they take on Liverpool who sit 2nd in the Premier League. Inter have won eight, drawn two and lost one of their games since the group stage while Liverpool have won ten, drawn three, and lost one of their games. More or less two evenly matched teams but of course Liverpool being the Premier League team are favoured in this fixture. I don’t think it’s going to be that simple and I think Inter have a case to upset the odds in this round. Inter will have to be strong defensively and take their chances. The result can go either way and Liverpool are the favourites but I think Inter could cause a shock over two legs. 

Premier League (Game in hand)

Man United vs. Brighton

Man United play their game in hand with Brighton during the week. United sit 5th in the table and a win would take them into 4th two points above West Ham. Brighton sit 9th in the table and a win could potentially take them up to 8th and within four points of United. Both teams are unbeaten in their last five fixtures with two wins and three draws. United are for sure the team under pressure at the moment and the result can go either way. Brighton have done well against the traditional top six this season. I think Brighton can get something out of this game.

La Liga (Game in hand)

Atletico take on Levante as they play their game in hand. A win for Atletico would take them into 4th above Barcelona and a point behind 3rd placed Betis. Levante sit bottom of the table and it should be an easy win for Atletico. 

Weekend Football Review

No one wants 4th!

Premier League MW 25

Man United 1 vs. 1 Southampton

Sancho scored in the 21st minute of the game to give United the lead. In typical Unitd fashion though they conceded in the 48th minute to a Che Adams goal. Southampton were the better team in the 2nd half but could not find the winner. United move up to 5th in the table with the point while Southampton remain 10th in the table. 

Watford 0 vs. 2 Brighton

Maupay scored in the 44th minute to give Brighton the lead and Webster scored in the 83rd minute to double that lead. Watford remain 19th in the table six points from safety while Brighton remain 9th in the table. 

Brentford 0 vs. 0 Crystal Palace

Neither team could find the winner in this game as they shared the points. Brentford end a run of losses to remain 14th in the table while Palace remain 13th in the table. 

Everton 3 vs. 0 Leeds

Coleman and Keane scored in the 1st half while Gordon scored in the 78th minute to give Everton an important win against Leeds at home. Lampard’s first league win as Everton manager sees them remain 16th but five points clear of the relegation zone. Leeds remain 15th in the table with the loss. 

Norwich 0 vs. 4 Man City

Sterling scored a hattrick of goals while Foden added the 4th as City cruised to a comfortable win over Norwich. Norwich remain 18th in the table four points from safety while City maintain their nine point lead at the top of the table. 

Tottenham 0 vs. 2 Wolverhampton

Jimenez, and Dendoncker scored in the first half for Wolves and it was enough to see them get a big win against Spurs. This is the the third successive loss for Spurs and Conte was livid and it seemed in shock at full time. Spurs drop down to 8th with the loss. Wolves move into 7th with the win as they chase those European places. 

Newcastle 1 vs. 0 Aston Villa

A free kick by Trippier in the 35th minute was enough to see Newcastle get three more massive points in the race for survival. Newcastle remain 17th but now four points clear of the relegation zone while Villa drop down to 12th with the loss. 

Burnley 0 vs. 1 Liverpool

Fabinho scored the only goal of the game in the 40th minute as Liverpool got a tough win at Burnley. Liverpool remain 2nd in the table nine points behind City but now seven points clear of Chelsea. Burnley remain bottom of the table seven points from safety. 

Leicester 2 vs. 2 West Ham

Bowen scored in the 10th minute to give West Ham the lead. Tielemans equalised for Leicester via a penalty in the 45th minute. Pereira gave Leicester the lead in the 57th minute. It looked like Leicester would get a massive win but Dawson scored from a corner via his arm and VAR failed to catch that as West Ham managed to steal a point. Leicester move up one place into 11th while West Ham remain 4th in the table. 

La Liga MW 24

Sevilla beat Elche 2-0, Villarreal drew 0-0 with Real Madrid, Atletico beat Getafe 4-3 in a crazy game, Real Sociedad beat Granada 2-0, and Barcelona drew with Espanyol 2-2. Real Madrid see their lead at the top cut down to four points while Sevilla, Betis, and Barcelona make up the top four. Atletico are level on points with Barcelona in 5th while Real Sociedad sit 6th and a point behind Atletico. Villarreal sit 7th. The title race and the race for top four are truly on in Spain. It is looking like a very exciting season at the moment. 

Serie MW 25

Lazio beat Bologna 3-0, Napoli drew with Inter 1-1, Milan beat Sampdoria 1-0, Roma drew with Sassuolo 2-2, and Juventus drew with Atalanta 1-1. Milan move to the top of the table a point clear of Inter. Napoli and Juventus make up the top four. Atalanta, Lazio, and Roma make up the rest of the lineup. It was a big weekend for Milan for Lazio especially as they fight for the title and top four repsectively. 

Bundesliga MW 22

Leipzig beat Koln 3-1, Bochum stunned Bayern by winning 4-2, Wolfsburg beat Frankfurt 0-2, Leverkusen beat Stuttgart 4-2, and Dortmund beat Union Berlin 0-3. Bayern see their lead at the top of the table cut down to six points. Dortmund, Leverkusen, and Leipzig make up the top four. Hoffenheim sit 5th in the table. Bayern slip up at the moment but a lot needs to happen to actually create a title race here. The good thing is that the teams behind them won. 

Ligue MW 24

PSG beat Rennes 1-0, Lille beat Montpellier 0-1, Lyon beat Nice 2-0, Monaco drew with Lorient 0-0, and Marseille beat Metz 1-2. PSG remain 13 points clear at the top of the table with Marseille, Nice and Strasbourg make up the top four. Monaco sit 6th in the table while Lyon sit 7th in the table. Lille sit 10th in the table. Ligue 1 continues to be a foregone conclusion but the top four race does seem interesting. 

Weekend Football Preview

The games keep rolling on!

Premier League MW 25

Man United vs. Southampton

6th placed United have one game in hand and sit a point from top four. United are unbeaten in their last four but have only won two of those games. Southampton sit 10th in the table with one game in hand and have only lost one of their last five games. This should be an interesting early kick off and Southampton are coming off of an impressive win at Spurs. The result could go either way but there is pressure on United. The reverse fixture was a 1-1 draw. 

Watford vs. Brighton

19th placed Watford have two games in hand and sit three points from safety as they take on Brighton who sit 9th in the table and have two games in hand as well. Watford are winless in recent games while Brighton have drawn four of their last five games. More pressure on Watford in this game but Brighton fans will want to win as well. Brighton beat Watford 2-0 in the reverse fixture. 

Brentford vs. Crystal Palace

Another London Derby as Brentford take on Palace. Brentford sit 14th in the table and have lost their last six in a row. Palace sit 13th in the table and have only one win in their last five games. Palace have one game in hand. If Palace win then Brentford will find themselves right in the middle of a relegation race. We could see the debut of Christian Eriksen as well for Brentford. A high stakes game for the home team. The reverse fixture was a 0-0 draw. 

Everton vs. Leeds

16th placed Everton have three games in hand as they take on Leeds who sit 15th in the table with two games in hand and four points above Everton. Everton have lost their last four while Leeds have two wins in their last five games. The pressure is already on Lampard after that loss to Newcastle and this would be a massive three points in their race for survival. A big game for the home team. The reverse fixture was a 2-2 draw.

Norwich vs. Man City

Norwich sit 18th in the table with one game in hand and a point from safety. They take on City who sit 9 points clear at the top of the table. City should win this game comfortably even though Norwich are unbeaten in their last three. City won 5-0 in the reverse fixture. 

Tottenham vs. Wolverhampton

7th placed Spurs sit 6 points from 4th as and have three games in hand as they take on Wolves who sit 8th two points behind Spurs with two games in hand. Spurs have lost their last two while Wolves lost to Arsenal. A big game for both teams in terms of the race for top four. Spurs won the reverse fixture 0-1.

Newcastle vs. Aston Villa

Newcastle sit 17th in the table and are unbeaten in their last four with two games in hand as they take on Villa who sit 11th and are unbeaten in their last three wth two games in hand as well. Newcastle got a big win against Everton and will face a similar if not tougher task against Villa. Another big game for the home team. Villa won the reverse fixture 2-0. 

Burnley vs. Liverpool

Bottom of the table Burnley have drawn their last three games and have four games in hand as they take on Liverpool who sit 2nd with a game in hand. Liverpool should win this game comfortably. Liverpool won the reverse fixture 2-0. 

Leicester vs. West Ham

Leicester sit 12th and have three games in hand having won only one of their last five games. Their is plenty of pressure on Rodgers at the moment to start winning games. West Ham sit 4th and have won three of their last five games. It’s a big game for both teams. West Ham won the reverse fixture 4-1. 

La Liga MW 24

Sevilla take on Elche, Villarreal welcome Real Madrid, Atletico take on Getafe, Real Sociedad take on Granada, and Barcelona travel to Espanyol. Real Madrid sit six points clear at the top of the table while Sevilla, Betis, and Barcelona make up the top four. Atletico sit 5th in the table, Villarreal sit 6th and Real Sociedad sit 7th in the table. Real Madrid are leading the race in Spain at the moment but the teams around them are doing well to keep up. 

Serie MW 25

Lazio take on Bologna, Napoli take on Inter, Milan take on Sampdoria, Roma travel to Sassuolo, and Juventus travel to Atalanta. Inter sit a point clear of Napoli and Milan while Juventus sit 4th. Atalanta, Lazio, and Roma all follow the rest. The closest race in Europe at the moment and an entertaining one. Another big game with Napoli taking on Inter and maybe Milan can take advantage. A very interesting weekend.

Bundesliga MW 22

Leipzig take on Koln, Bayern travel to Bochum, Frankfurt take on Wolfsburg, Leverkusen take on Stuttgart, and Dortmund travel to Union Berlin. Bayern sit 9 points clear at the top of the table with Dortmund, Leverkusen, and Union Berlin making up the top four. Leipzig sit 7th in the table. Bayern are running away with the title once again and no one looks likely of catching them.

Ligue MW 24

PSG take on Rennes, Lille travel to Montpellier, Lyon welcome Nice, Monaco take on Lorient, and Marseille travel to Metz. PSG sit 13 points clear at the top of the table and are heading towards regaining their title. Marseille, Nice and Strasbourg make up the top four. Monaco sit 6th in the table. The top four race is interesting but the rest is a foregone conclusion. 

Midweek Football Review

Races heat up!

Premier League MW 24

Newcastle 3 vs. 1 Everton

This was a massive game at St.James’s Park as Everton travelled to play Newcastle. Everton took the lead in the 36th minute thanks to a Lascelles own goal and had been the better team up till that point. Holgate returned the favour a minute later to bring Newcastle back into the game. Fraser gave Newcastle the lead in the 56th minute and Trippier scored a brilliant goal in the 80th minute to seal the win. Newcastle climb out of the relegation zone and into 17th a point behind Everton with two games in hand and a point above Norwich. Lampard loses his first Premier League game in charge of Everton but they still have three games in hand. 

West Ham 1 vs. 0 Watford

Bowen scored in the 68th minute of this game as West Ham got all three points against Watford. West Ham move back into 4th with the win a point above Arsenal. Watford drop down to 19th with the loss but have two games in hand as they sit three points from safety.

Burnley 1 vs. 1 Man United

Pogba scored to give the United the lead in the 18th minute and United should have put the game to bed in the 1st half. Rodriguez scored the equaliser for Burnley in the 47th minute after some brilliant work by Weghorst. Burnley ended the game strongly but could not find the winner. Burnley remain bottom of the table with four games in hand and they sit four points from safety. Man United drop down to 6th with the point and have one game in hand and sit a point from top four.

Norwich 1 vs. 1 Crystal Palace

Pukki scored in the 1st minute to give Norwich the lead over Palace. Zaha scored the equaliser for Palace in the 60th minute. Neither side could find the winner. Norwich drop down to 18th in the table a point from safety with one game in hand. Palace remain 13th in the table with the point and have one game in hand. 

Tottenham 2 vs. 3 Southampton

Bednarek scored an own goal in the 18th minute to give Spurs the lead. Broja equalised for Southampton in the 23rd minute. Son restored Spurs lead in the 70th minute but Southampton had other plans. Elyounoussi equalised for Southampton in the 80th minute and Adams scored the winner for them in the 82nd minute. A collapse by Spurs and a big come back for Hassenhutl. Spurs remain 7th in the table  three points from 4th with three games in hand. Southampton move up to 10th with the win and have one game in hand. 

Man City 2 vs. 0 Brentford

Mahrez scored a penalty in the 40th minute and De Bruyne made it two in the 69th minute for a routine win for Man City. City remain top of the league with a 9 point gap as they go 13 points clear of 3rd placed Chelsea. Brentford remain 14th in the table but only six points above the relegation zone now. 

Aston Villa 3 vs. 3 Leeds

James scored in the 9th minute to give Leeds the lead. Coutinho equalised for Villa in the 30th minute. Ramsey gave Villa the lead in the 38th minute. Ramsey then made it three for Villa in the 43rd minute. James got one back for Leeds before half time. Llorente equalised for Leeds in the 63rd minute as Konsa was sent off for Villa in the 87th minute. A blockbuster game but points shared in the end. Villa remain 11th in the table with two games in hand. Leeds remain 15th in the table with two games in hand. 

Liverpool 2 vs. 0 Leicester

Jota scored a goal in each half to get a comfortable win for Liverpool over Leicester. Liverpool remain 2nd in the table but go four points clear of Chelsea and stay with in 9 ponts of City with a game in hand. Leicester drop down to 12th in the table with three games in hand. 

Wolverhampton 0 vs. 1 Arsenal

Gabriel scored the only goal of the game in the 25th minute as Arsenal got all three points at Wolves. Martinelli was sent off for Arsenal in the 69th minute as well. Wolves remain 8th in the table with two games in hand while Arsenal move up to 5th in the table a point from 4th with two games in hand. 

Copa Del Rey Semi-Final 1st Leg

Real Betis beat Rayo Vallecano 1-2 in the 1st leg of their semi-final while Bilbao and Valencia drew 1-1 in their first leg. Both games are evenly poised but Betis have a slight advantage going into the 2nd leg. Nothing to lose for all four teams. 

Coppa Italia Quarter-Finals

Inter beat Roma 2-0, Milan thrashed Lazio 4-0 with Giroud scoring another brace, Fiorentina beat Atalanta 2-3, and Juventus beat Sassuolo 2-1. Some big semi-finals are set and it looks to be a very exciting Coppa Italia this year. 

Coupe De France Quarter-Finals 

Monaco beat Amiens 2-0, Versailles beat Bergerac on penalties, Nice thrashed Marseille 4-1, and Nantes beat Bastia 2-0. One would say that Monaco and Nice are the favourites out of the teams that are left but anything can happen with Nice probably being the best out of all the teams. 

Chelsea 2 vs. 1 Plymouth Argyle FA Cup 4th Round Review

An unexpectedly tough game.

Chelsea welcomed Plymouth Argyle to Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon for the FA Cup 4th Round game. Plymouth sat 7th in League One so on paper it should have been an easy afternon for Chelsea. It did not get off to the best starts though as Thomas Tuchel turned in a positive covid test and had to isolate. Chelsea still selected a strong lineup as Kepa started in goal with a back four of Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, and Sarr. Kovacic, and Jorginho started in the midfield two wth Hudson-Odoi, Mount, and Ziyech playing behind Lukaku up top. Tuchel was communicating with the staff via the phone throughout the game as it kicked off.

Gillesphey gave Plymouth the surprise lead against the run of play in the 8th minute via a set piece. Plymouth then defended with their lives as Chelsea hit the post three times. The equaliser finally came in the 41st minute after Mount sent in a low cross and Azpilicueta backheel flicked it into the goal.

It was all Chelsea for much of the game but Plymouth did come out and test Kepa in the latter stages in the 2nd half. The game went into extra time and Chelsea finally gained the lead in the 106th minute thanks to Alonso. Timo Werner, and Kai Havertz linked up well and Havertz cut back for Alonso to smash Chelsea into the lead. Plymouth then threw the kitchen sink at Chelsea and got a late penalty to send the game to penalties. Kepa though was more than up for the task and saved the shot to deny Plymouth. Chelsea saw out the final few minutes for the win. 

Chelsea Team Review

Goalkeeper

Kepa was strong once again and the goal that was conceded was not his fault but due to more marking. The penalty save is what Kepa is brilliant at and it was great to see him save Chelsea once again. A good overall game for him.

Defenders

Azpilicueta got a brilliant goal while Alonso also came off the bench to score the winner. Christensen, Rudiger, and Sarr had decent games as well. Chalobah came on later in the game to see out the win. The defence continues to be the torch bearer for goals in this team. 

Midfielders

Jorginho and Kovacic along with Mount found it tough to handle Plymouth physically in the 1st half. They got better as the game went on. Mount got an assist to his name. Saul came on later in the game to help search for a winner and see Chelsea to victory.

Forwards

Apart from Ziyech who was brilliant for the whole 120 minutes and Havertz and Werner who played a part in the winner no one else did much at the top. Hudson-Odoi didn’t have the best of games and was being muscled off the ball by Plymouth players. Lukaku was at his worst again and looked like he couldn’t be bothered to be on the pitch. Late to every ball, loose passes, no conviction it was a lacklustre performance. 41 shots and only 11 on target sums up Chelsea in front of goal. 

Manager

Tuchel would have been happy to see Chelsea progress to the next round but apart from that it would have been a poor performance for him. There is not much the German could have done and the players on the pitch really need to pick up in performances especially in attack.

Chelsea progress to the next round where they will face Luton Town away from home. For now Chelsea travelled to Abu Dhabi on Sunday for the Club World Cup. The team will be in the middle east for the week and will look to win another trophy. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Midweek Football Preview

League football is back!

Premier League MW 24

Newcastle vs. Everton

Newcastle were very busy during the winter transfer window as they spent nearly a 100 million euros. Trippier, Targett, Burn, Wood, and Bruno all came into the team with Bruno being the most eye catching acquisition from Lyon. A combative midfielder that has a knack to attack as well. Everton were also busy as they brought in Lampard as the manager and got Alli, and van de Beek into the team. Newcastle have two games in hand and sit 19th in the table one point from safety. The Magpies are unbeaten in their last three. Everton sit 16th in the table with three games in hand and haven’t won a game in a long time. A big game with pressure on both teams. The reverse fixture was postponed. 

West Ham vs. Watford

A London derby as Watford travel to West Ham. West Ham sit 5th in the table with no games in hand while Watford sit 18th with two games in hand. West Ham have lost their last two and are looking for a win to stay in the top four race while Watford will love to pull out of the relegation zone at least momentarily. Another big game with high stakes. West Ham beat Watford 1-4 in the reverse fixture. 

Burnley vs. Man United

Burnley are unbeaten in their last two and have four games in hand as they sit 20th in the table three points from safety. United sit 4th in the table with one game in hand and a point above 5th. Another game with both teams having plenty to lose. Burnley will not fear United and will know that they can get a result if they stay strong at the back. United beat Burnley 3-1 in the reverse fixture. 

Norwich vs. Crystal Palace

Norwich have won their last two and have a game in hand as they sit 17th in the table a point above the relegation zone. Palace sit 13th in the table and have only won one of their last five games. Norwich are the team in better form which is a rarity and Palace will want to bounce back. A tough game but Norwich lose more if they can’t get a result. An interesting one to watch. Palace beat Norwich 3-0 in the reverse fixture. 

Tottenham vs. Southampton

7th placed Spurs have three games in hand as they take on 12th placed Southampton who have one game in hand. Conte lost his first game in the league as Spurs manager to Tuchel and Chelsea the last time around. Southampton have only lost one of their last five games. An interesting game for sure but Tottenham can move closer to top four with a win. The reverse fixture was a 1-1 draw. 

Man City vs. Brentford

City sit 9 points clear at the top with no games in hand as they take on Brentford who sit 14th in the table and have lost their last four games. This should be an easy win for Man City as Brentford are in dismal form at the moment. City beat Brentford 0-1 in the reverse fixture. 

Aston Villa vs. Leeds

Villa sit 11th with two games in hand as they take on Leeds who sit 15th with two games in hand as well. No real stakes in this game but it should be an entertaining one for sure. The reverse fixture was postponed. 

Liverpool vs. Leicester

Liverpool sit 2nd in the table and have a game in hand as they cling on to some hope of a title race. Leicester sit 10th in the table with three games in hand but are in dismal form at the moment. Leicester beat Liverpool 1-0 in the reverse fixture. 

Wolverhampton vs. Arsenal

Wolves sit 8th in the table and are in brilliant form with two games in hand. Arsenal sit 6th in the table with two games in hand. Two point separate the two teams so this is a massive game. If Wolves win they go above Arsenal while if Arsenal win they open up a five point gap. One to watch for sure. 

Copa Del Rey Semi-Final 1st Leg

Rayo Vallecano take on Real Betis while Bilbao take on Valencia. None of the traditional top three in the Copa Del Rey this season. I would say Betis are favourites to qualify from the first semi-final while Bilbao are the in form team in the 2nd. An interesting couple of fixtures. 

Coppa Italia Quarter-Finals

Inter take on Roma, Milan take on Lazio, Atalanta take on Fiorentina, and Juventus take on Sassuolo. All the four fixtures are tasty ones and it’s safe to say anyone could progress from them. A very interesting set of games. 

Coupe De France Quarter-Finals

Monaco take on Amiens SC, Bergerac Perigord entertain Versailles, Nice take on Marseille, while Nantes welcome Bastia. Some very interesting fixtures and all teams are relatively well matched. Should be some interesting outcomes. 

Weekend Football Review

Some major upsets!

FA Cup 4th Round 

Man United 1 (7) vs. (8) 1 Middlesbrough

Sancho scored in the 25th minute to give United the lead but Crooks equalised for Middlesbrough in the 64th minute. Neither team could find the winner as the game eventually headed into penalties. Both teams managed to score all their penalties until Elanga missed his which sent United out of the FA Cup. Middlesbrough continue on to the next round while United realistically can only look to a top four finish this season.

Kid’minster 1 vs. 2 West Ham

Penny scored in the 19th minute to give Kidderminster the lead against West Ham. The home team were so close to a famous win but Rice scored the equaliser in the 91st minute. The home team were then close to reaching penalties but Bowen found the winner in the 121st minute. West Ham proceed to the next round but Kidderminster really made them work for it. 

Man City 4 vs. 1 Fulham

Carvalho gave Fulham the surprise lead in the 4th minute but it only served to wake City up. Gundogan eqalised for City two minutes later and Stones gave them the lead in the 13th minute. Mahrez added two goals in the 2nd half to seal the win for Man City. City progress to the next round while Fulham will now concentrate on getting back into the Premier League. 

Wolverhampton 0 vs. 1 Norwich

McLean scored the only goal of the game right before half time as Norwich held on for a win against Wolves. Wolves will now focus on finishing as high as possible in the league while Norwich continue on to the next round. 

Everton 4 vs. 1 Brentford

Life for Lampard as Everton manager got off to a great start as Everton got a big win against Brentford. Mina gave Everton the lead in the 31st minute and Richarlison doubled it in the 48th minute. Toney got one back for Brentford in the 54th minute via  a penalty but Holgate and Townsend added two more in the 2nd half to seal the comfortable win. 

Southampton 2 vs. 1 Coventry

Gyokeres scored in the 22nd minute to give Coventry the lead but Armstrong equalised for Southampton in the 63rd minute with a brilliant strike. Walker-Peters scored the winner for Southampton in the 112th minute. Southampton survive a shock to progress to the next round while Coventry are sent out. 

Crystal Palace 2 vs. 0 Hartlepool

Guehi scored in the 4th minute to give Palace the lead while Olise doubled the lead in the 22nd minute. Hartlepool could not score any goals as Palace cruised into the next round. 

Tottenham 3 vs. 1 Brighton

Kane scored in the 13th minute to give Spurs the lead while March scored an own goal in the 24th minute to double that lead. Bissouma got one back for Brighton in the 63rd minute but Kane added a third three minutes later to seal the win for Spurs. Spurs progress to the next round while Brighton are sent back home. 

Liverpool 3 vs. 1 Cardiff

Jota scored in the 53rd minute to give Liverpool the lead while Minamino made it two for Liverpool in the 68th minute. Elliot made it three in the 76th minute while Cardiff got a consolation goal in the 80th minute via Colwill. 

Nottingham Forest 4 vs. 1 Leicester

Zinckernagel, Johnson, and Worrall scored in the 1st half to give Nottingham Forest a blistering 3-0 lead. Iheanacho got one back for Leicester in the 40th minute. Spence got a 4th for Forest in the 61st minute to seal the win for the home team. Forest on a roll as they progress to the next round while the holders Leicester are sent home packing. 

La Liga MW 23

Sevilla drew against Osasuna 0-0, Real Sociedad drew with Valencia 0-0, Barcelona got a big win against Atletico 4-2, Villarreal beat Real Betis 0-2, and Madrid beat Granada 1-0. Real Madrid increase their gap at the top to six points. Sevilla, Real Betis, and Barceona make up the top four as Atletico drop down to 5th. Villarreal move up to 6th while Real Sociedad sit 7th. A good weekend for Real Madrid while Barcelona get a massive win and move into the top four. Worrying times for Atletico as they will need to find form. 

Serie MW 24

Roma drew 0-0 with Genoa, Milan came from behind to beat Inter for what was a big win, Giroud with two goals. Lazio beat Fiorentina 0-3, Cagliari beat Atalanta 1-2, Napoli beat Venezia 0-2, and Juventus beat Verona 2-0. Inter see their lead at the top cut down to one point. Napoli, Milan and Juventus make up the top four. Atalanta, Lazio, and Roma sit 5th, 6th, and 7th respectively. A big weekend for Milan and Napoli as they get back into the title race while Juventus also get a good win with Vlahovic scoring. 

Bundesliga MW 21

Frankfurt beat Stuttgart 2-3, Bayern beat Leipzig 3-2, and Leverkusen thrashed Dortmund 2-5. Bayern increase their gap at the top to 9 points as they begin to pull away once again. Dortmund, Leverkusen, and Union Berlin make up the top four. Leipzig sit 7th in the table. Bundesliga looks like a foregone conclusion once again as Bayern should roll on and win.

Ligue MW 23

Marseille beat Angers 5-2, Monaco beat Lyon 2-0, Clermont beat Nice 0-1, and PSG thrashed Lille 1-5. PSG sit 13 points clear at the top with Marseille, Nice and Strasbourg making up the top four. Monaco sit 6th while Lyon sit 8th. Lille sit 11th in the table. Similar to the Bundesliga Ligue 1 is a foregone conclusion. 

Chelsea vs. Plymouth Argyle FA Cup 4th Round Preview

The FA Cup returns to resume football!

After a two week break where most of football including the fans took some time off to rest and relax and freshen their minds after a grueling winter period, the sport is back again. The Fa Cup 4th Round is upon us and Chelsea entertain Plymouth Argyle who sit 7th in Football League One. Plymouth beat Birmingham 0-1 in the last round and have since won one, drawn one and lost two of their games. It’s safe to say Plymouth are relative underdogs going into this game and similar to Chesterfield in the previous round Chelsea are heavy favourites.

Chelsea go into this game having beaten Chesterfield 5-1 in the last round. The club have since won two, drawn one and lost one. This is a good game for Chelsea to get back into the groove of things and another good chance for the academy players to get a run out at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea only play the solitary Premier League game this month against Palace as we will be involved in four different competitions this month. It’s a grueling schedule and a consequence of us being involved on all fronts and doing well. 

Chelsea Team Preview

Bettinelli should be back in goal for this game with a back four of Azpilicueta, Trevoh Chalobah, Andreas Christensen, and Malang Sarr. I expect Lewis Hall and Saul to make up the midfield two with Hudson-Odoi, and Charlie Webster supporting Vale and Havertz up front. To be honest it is anyone guess who Tuchel picks having almost a full squad to select from apart from Silva, Pulisic, James, RLC, and Chilwell. Either way whoever plays Chelsea should have enough talent on the pitch and the bench to get the job done early and expertly. The players should be refreshed from the break and that should relfect on the pitch. 

Starting XI Prediction

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Chelsea should get this game done nice and early in the 1st half. I expect a fresh peformance from the team and some of the academy players if given a start should look to impress. COME ON CHELSEA!!!