Weekend Football Preview

Premier League MW 34

Burnley vs. Leicester

A 6 point fixture and potentially one that could seal 7th place. Burnley have been in top form in recent weeks and will be looking to increase the gap to 9 points. Leicester come of a defeat in Newcastle and will look to avoid one that would seal 8th place for them. Leicester will hope that Vardy and Mahrez turn up for this game. 

Crystal Palace vs. Brighton

This is a crucial home game for Palace as they need a win to give them hope of surviving the relegation zone. A win for Brighton would take them to 38 points needing 2 more to reach the 40 point mark of safety. Offensively Crystal Palace have shown plenty of potential in recent weeks with Zaha being their main man. Palace will have to put in a disciplined defensive performance to get all 3 points. 

Huddersfield vs. Watford

Huddersfield need 3 points to avoid to stay above the relegation zone, while Watford are 3 points away from certain safety this season. Neither teams won in their last game week and Huddersfield will hope to put in a solid performance at home. Watford seem to be ambling towards safety and have been leaky at the back recently. This could be a close fixture. 

Swansea vs. Everton

As is the case with most bottom half teams in this season Swansea will be looking to win to keep up their hope of survival. A win for Everton could potentially take them to 8th place depending on results elsewhere. Under Carvalhal, Swansea have been in good form at home and should challenge a suspect Everton team for 3 points. 

Liverpool vs. Bournemouth

Liverpool’s European expedition continued midweek after a win in Manchester, and they will hope to move to within a point of United with a win. A win for Bournemouth could take them into the top 10 but with Liverpool riding a wave of good form we should nothing less than a few goals for Salah, and a win for Liverpool. 

Tottenham vs. Man City 

The past two weeks have changed the taste of City’s season, while they will probably be crowned champions within the next few weeks, they failed to seal the title by losing to United in what was a once in a life time opportunity. Knocked out by Liverpool in the Champions League, City could now potentially lose a 4th successive game in all competitions with their visit to London. Tottenham have been in spectacular form in 2018 and could continue to maintain the 10 point gap from Chelsea with a win. This is a must win game for Pep and his players while Tottenham will be looking to spoil the mood in the blue half of Manchester for a further week. 

Newcastle vs. Arsenal

Newcastle and Arsenal are enjoying good form in recent weeks and both teams could potentially move higher in the table with wins. Aubameyang has been on fire for the gunners and will be looking to add to his tally in Newcastle but Newcastle are no push overs and the fans will be hoping that their team continue their good form against an Arsenal side that at times has collapsed. 

Man United vs. West Brom

After having halted City’s parade with a spectacular comeback win at the Etihad, United will be looking to continue their high by beating bottom of the table West Brom. West Brom edge towards relegation with every game week and this weekend could add another nail to their coffin. 

West Ham vs. Stoke City

Chicharito gave West Ham a much needed point at Stamford Bridge last weekend and they will be looking to add to their distance from the bottom 3 with a win against 19th place Stoke City. Stoke played well at home against Spurs but failed to add any points to their tally, they will be hoping to put in a good performance and will take encouragement from the fact that West Ham is still in a very toxic environment. 

Rest Of Europe

AC Milan vs. Napoli 

Napoli are 4 points adrift of league leaders Juventus and Sarri’s men will look to win a difficult game to reduce that gap to a point. Having extended Gattuso’s contract, Milan are now looking ahead to better times and will be hoping to add to that expectation with a win at home to a very good Napoli side. 

Schalke vs. Dortmund

A battle for 2nd place in the Bundesliga. A win for Schalke would extend the gap between them and Dortmund to 4 points while a win for Dortmund would take them above Schalke into second place. An exciting Ruhr derby awaits. 

Weekend Football Review

City can bottle it too!

Premier League MW 33

Everton 0 vs. 0 Liverpool 

With Salah out and several players rested for the upcoming Champions League game Liverpool still fielded a decent team. Everton fielded a strong lineup but were denied by Karius who made a few good saves. The draw means that Liverpool are tied with Spurs and only ahead on goal difference with Spurs having a game in hand. Everton are 9th and are safe for the season. 

Bournemouth 2 vs. 2 Crystal Palace 

Bournemouth for the second week in a row managed to gain a point in the final minute of the game. A second half free kick by Milivojević gave Palace the lead. Mousset equalised in the 65th. Zaha then gave Palace the lead again with a good finish in the 75th minute. Finally in the 89th minute King was able to fumble the ball into the net via a cross. Crystal Palace’s defence has let them down over the past few weeks and that has caused them to drop important points. Palace sit 3 points above the relegation zone while Bournemouth edge closer to 40 points and safety. 

Brighton 1 vs. 1 Huddersfield 

Lossl scored an own goal to give Brighton the lead midway through the second half. Mounie was able to score in the 32nd minute for Huddersfield to get back in the game. A red card to Pröpper in the second half was not enough to give an advantage to Huddersfield and both teams finished with a point. Brighton continue to edge towards safety while Huddersfield sit 16th. 

Leicester 1 vs. 2 Newcastle 

Goals by Shelvey and Pérez in each half were enough to gain all 3 points for Newcastle while Leicester did manage to get one back via Vardy late on. Newcastle have begun to gain momentum and now sit 10th, 2 points of 40 points. Leicester are still 8th but now 6 points off Burnley in 7th. 

Stoke City 1 vs. 2 Tottenham 

Tottenham fielded a strong lineup and continued their winning streak after Eriksen gave them the lead in the second half. Diouf was able to equalise a few minutes later and while the first half was a stalemate the second half was entertaining. Eriksen finished well to get 3 points for Tottenham in the 63rd minute. Spurs 3 points take them to 10 ahead of Chelsea in 5th and tied with Liverpool in 3rd. Stoke stay 19th 4 points off safety. 

Watford 1 vs. 2 Burnley

A stale first half performance by both teams led to a lively second half. 2 goals in 3 minutes by Vokes and Cork were enough to give Burnley the win after Pereyra had given Watford the lead in the 63rd minute. Watford are 12th with 37 points while Burnley remain 7th with 49 points. 

West Brom 1 vs. 1 Swansea 

Goals came in the second half when Rodriguez scored to give West Brom the lead. Tammy Abraham was able to equalise for Swansea in the 75th minute. West Brom remain bottom of the table having ended their losing streak. Swansea are 16th. 

Man City 2 vs. 3 Man United 

This game was up their with Liverpool vs City as the best game of the season. Man city needed 3 points to confirm them as champions for the season and there was no better way than to beat your city rivals. A blitz by City in the first half gave them a 2 goal advantage after Kompany and Gündogan had scored. Sterling could have easily scored two more goals to give City a 4 goal advantage at the break but it was not to be. To say United were poor in the first half would be an under statement, during halftime Mourinho apparently asked the players whether they wanted to be clowns while City went on to win the title. The answer was clearly no as two goals in two minutes by Pogba brought United back into the game, and a 69th minute finish by Smalling ensured the three points and remarkable come back for United. 

Two defeats in two for City and a second leg against a rested Liverpool side to come. City deserve to be champions this season but the debate on whether they are the greatest ever Premier League side has taken a major hit in the last week. With this win United and Mourinho have set a marker for next season and have shown proved that United have not lost their touch. 

Arsenal 3 vs. 2 Southampton 

Many thought that this would be a walk in the park for Arsenal but Southampton were the team to score first after Long gave them the lead in the 17th minute. A good finish by Aubameyang and deflected shot by Welbeck gave Arsenal the advantage going into half time. Southampton managed to equalise in the 73rd minute via Charlie Austin, but after Welbeck had failed to convert a very a good chance he managed to redeem himself by getting Arsenal all 3 points in the 81st minute. Red cards were given to Elneny and Stephens for altercations of the ball. Arsenal remain 6th although just 3 points off Chelsea while Southampton are still in the relegation zone at 17th. 

Rest of Europe

Real Madrid 1 vs. 1 Atletico Madrid

Goals in the second half by Ronaldo and Griezmann earned both teams a point in what was a game that was dominated by Real. A draw means that Real drop down to 4th, 4 points off Atletico in 2nd, while Atletico are 11 points off Barcelona who might have sealed the La Liga title this week. 

Weekend Football Preview

It’s Derby Weekend!

Premier League MW 33

Everton vs. Liverpool

The game weeks starts with a trip to Merseyside, Everton are 9th in the table while Liverpool sit 3rd, two points of Manchester United. Everton lost to City at home in the preview game due to what was a very poor first half. Liverpool have a good week after struggling to beat Crystal Palace, and then demolishing Manchester City in the Champions League. Derbies are always a fiery affair, and while Salah might be rested for the game on current form Liverpool should be able to get a win at Everton.

Bournemouth vs. Crystal Palace 

Bournemouth sit in 10th a chance to go to 9th with a victory, while 3 points for Palace could move them from 17th to 14th. Crystal Palace might have lost 4 out of their last 5 games but since all of those losses came against the top 6 it can be separated. Their performances in those fixtures were encouraging and on numerous occasions they were unlucky not to come away with a point. Bournemouth did well to gain a point at Watford last weekend, but I think Crystal Palace’s recent performances have shown that they could get all 3 points. 

Brighton vs. Huddersfield 

Having suffered losses in the last game week both team will want to respond by getting all 3 points. Brighton have been strong at home this season and so might edge it out in this fixture while Huddersfield need to win to gain some distance from the relegation zone. 

Leicester vs. Newcastle 

Having moved out of the relegation zone in recent weeks a win for Newcastle could see them move to 10th, while Leicester will be trying to continue their battle for 7th with Burnley. Leicester and Newcastle have been in good form and so this should be an interesting clash, the key for Newcastle would be to keep Vardy and Mahrez quite but that is easier said than done. 

Stoke City vs. Tottenham

Stoke City sit 19th in the league and time for them to escape the relegation zone is running out at each game week passes. Injuries to important players has no helped their endeavour and the run of losses seams like it will continue. Tottenham are in seventh heaven after beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge for the first time in 28 years and will be confident going into the fixture. Kane did make a substitute appearance against Chelsea and will want to start against a poor Stoke side as he tries to catch Salah in the golden boot race. Playing at Stoke is tough for even the best teams and Stoke might need to tap into that energy to get something away from Tottenham. 

Watford vs. Burnley

Burnley have put in fine performances in recent week to hold 7th place while Watford could move to 9th with a win. Watford have been inconsistent and relatively poor lately and that is why Burnley should be able to take all three points. 

West Brom vs. Swansea 

Swansea suffered an away loss to Manchester United last weekend and West Brom continued their losing streak at home. After a poor first half at Old Trafford, Swansea did rally in the second and put in a performance that has become a showcase of Carvalhal’s management. In all probability Swansea will continue to poor the misery on the West Brom and should take all three points. 

Man City vs. Man United

A perfect way to end an entertaining Saturday of Premier League fixtures. Needing 3 points to win the title City could ask for no better opponents than their local rivals United. Celebrations of unseen proportions would follow a City win at home and Mourinho and United will do whatever it takes to make sure that does not happen. A crushing loss to Liverpool in the Champions League could either buoy City for this game or could create doubts over their capability, the first is more of a possibility. Liverpool have given Mourinho the perfect blueprint to beat City although Mourinho like many other managers is not know to change his tactics too often. Either way this should be a mouthwatering tie, City fans will want to implement the ultimate humiliation while United fans will not want to suffer it. 

Arsenal vs. Southampton 

Southampton will most likely suffer their second loss in London after losing to West Ham last week. Arsenal put in a great first half performance against CSKA Moskva in the Europa League and will want to carry on their form. Rotations are expected as Aubameyang will probably replace Lacazette up top along with a few other changes. Southampton sit 18th and are most likely to stay their for this game week. 

Rest Of Europe

Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid 

The third major derby of the weekend comes from Madrid as third placed Real entertain second placed Atletico. Real and Atletico both won their games in the champions league and europa league respectively while there is no doubt that Real’s was the more impressive of the two. Ronaldo and Real are back to their best this year while Atletico have been rejuvenated with Diego Costa back in the team. A win for Real would take them to within a point of Atletico while a win for Atletico would see them extend the gap to 7 points. Similar to last weeks London Derby the major difference between this game and that would be that Real unlike Chelsea are in top form and should be able to get three points in what will be a close game. 

Weekend Football Review

An interesting weekend fo results in the Premier League and across Europe. 

Premier League MW 32

Crystal Palace 1 vs. 2 Liverpool 

Crystal Palace had a good first half in which they restricted Liverpool to the odd chance, and managed to get a goal through a Luka Milivojevic penalty when Zaha had been brought down by Karius. The second half was played with a higher tempo and Sadio Mané scored via a James Milner corner in the 49th minute to get Liverpool back in the game. Though like I mentioned in the preview as long as Liverpool had Salah on the pitch they would be able to get 3 points and his goal came in the 84th minute through a Robertson cross and a composed finish in the penalty box. Crystal Palace have played well in the last few fixtures and have not deserved the results they have been dealt, that is why they should avoid relegation this season. Liverpool go 13 points clear of 5th place Chelsea and can concentrate on the champions league fixture against City. 

Brighton 0 vs. 2 Leicester 

Brighton lost only their 3rd home game of the season in what was very close game between the two sides. Brighton had the chance to take the lead in the 77th minute via a penalty when Izquierdo was fouled by Ndidi in the box. Murray missed the penalty and Iborra managed to give Leicester the lead in the 83rd minute following a Chilwell cross. Ndidi was send off for Leicester in the 87th minute due to a second yellow but, Leicester sealed the win in the 96th minute via a Vardy goal. Brighton dropped to 13th while Leicester maintained their position at 8th. 

Man United 2 vs. 0 Swansea 

Lukaku got is his 100th goal in the premier league in the 5th minute to give United the lead, and Sanchez added to the lead in the 20th minute to score is second goal for United. United dominated the first half and their star man was Jesse Lingard who has been in good form this season. Swansea fought back in the second half and De Gea (as he does so often) had to make two brilliant saves to deny Tammy Abraham. Swansea will be encouraged by their second half performance and should survive relegation. United stay second and can look forward to a certain Manchester Derby on Saturday. 

Newcastle 1 vs. 0  Huddersfield 

Ayoze Pérez got the winner for Newcastle in the 80th minute via Kennedy pass in what was a tightly contested fixture. Newcastle dominated the first half while Huddersfield had some chances in the second. Newcastle managed to keep their lead and now move to 12th while Huddersfield drop down to 16th. 

Watford 2 vs. 2 Bournemouth 

A close fixture between 11th and 10th, Femenía gave Watford the lead in the 13th minute while King equalised via a penalty in the 43rd minute when Holebas had handled the ball in the box. Pereyra scored for Watford in the 49th minute to restore the lead but Jermaine Defoe earned a point for bournemouth in the 92nd minute with a poachers finish. 

West Brom 1 vs 2 Burnley 

West Brom continued their dismal form by suffering a club record 8th successive loss. Barnes got Burnley the lead in the 22nd minute which was extended in the 73rd minute by Chris Wood. West Brom did have a better second half getting a goal back via Rondón in the 83rd minute. The goal had no real effect other than costing me a clean sheet in my Fantasy team. Burnley remain 7th 2 points off Arsenal while West Brom remain at the bottom. 

West Ham 3 vs. 0 Southampton 

Southampton looked to have gained some confidence from reaching the semi’s of the FA Cup but 2 weeks seems to have been enough for them to lose it. West Ham looked like they were in a downward spiral but Mário got them the lead in the 13th minute and Arnautovic got followed up by getting a brace in the first half to finish off a positive response by West Ham. West Ham moved to 14th 5 points off relegation while Southampton remain there. 

Everton 1 vs. 3 Man City 

Three first half goals from Sané, Jesus, and Sterling were enough to give City a win at Goodison Park. Bolasie managed to get Everton a consolation goal in the second half but thats pretty much it. City have a Champions League quarter final against Liverpool to look forward to while a win at home against United on Saturday would be an amazing way to seal the title. 

Arsenal 3 vs. 0 Stoke City 

Stoke City could not capitalise on what was a poor first half performance from Arsenal at the Emirates. Aubameyang gave Arsenal a lead through a penalty at the 75th minute and added to his tally in the 86th minute. Lacazette came off the bench to score a penalty in the 89th minute one which should give him some much needed confidence. Back to Back wins for Arsenal since November take them to within 5 points off Chelsea in 5th. Stoke remain in the relegation zone. 

Rest of Europe

Bayern Munich 6 vs. 0 Dortmund

Two goals from Lewandowski along with goals from Rodriguez, Müller, and Ribéry destroyed dortmund in the first half. Lewandowski managed to complete his hattrick in the second half in what was a resounding win for Bayern Munich showcasing why they are 17 points clear of Schalke in 2nd. 

Sevilla 2 vs. 2 Barcelona 

Vázquez and Muriel scored in the first and second half respectively to give Sevilla what looked like a comfortable lead against an underperforming Barca team. Barca though had a certain Lionel Messi on the bench who provided an assist for Suárez in the 88th minute and then scored himself in the 89th minute to gain a point for the Blaugrana. Barcelona still lead La Liga with a 9 point gap. 

Juventus 3 vs 1 AC Milan 

Dybala got Juventus the lead in the 8th minute while ex Juve defender Bonucci levelled for Milan in the 28th minute. A late push by Juventus saw Cuadrado and Khedira seal the victory, and as Napoli had earlier drawn to Sassuolo the lead at the top has been extended to 4 points. 

 

 

Weekend Football Preview

Premier League MW 32 

Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool 

Liverpool are third in the table going into the gameweek, a win at Crystal Palace would take them to second and 10 points clear of 5th place Chelsea. Crystal Palace are in the midst of a relegation battle and while their start to the season was awful, under Roy Hodgson they have managed to regain some form. Playing at Selhurst Park is always tough but a certain Mo Salah should be enough to take 3 points for Liverpool. 

Brighton vs. Leicester 

Brighton were early relegation contenders though they sit 14th while Leicester are 8th. A win for Brighton would see them move to 10th, while a win for Leicester would move them to 7th and a potential Europa League place. Brighton have played well at home this season although a resurgent Vardy and Mahrez could cause them problems. 

Man United vs. Swansea 

United have had their fair share of problems recently both on and off the pitch. Swansea have been a different team under new manager Carlos Carvalhal. A win for United is on the cards but Swansea will make them work for it. 

Newcastle vs. Huddersfield 

Two teams very much in the battle for relegation. Newcastle have been in good form recently and should be able to get 3 points from the fixture. 

Watford vs. Bournemouth 

A fixture of no real importance although Watford fans will be seeking a response from the players after losing 5-0 to Liverpool. 

West Brom vs. Burnley 

WestBrom are most definetly going to be relgated come the end of the season and Burnley have been steadily progressing under Sean Dyche. Burnley should win to strenghen their claim for a place in the Europa Leaue next season. 

West Ham vs. Southampton 

Both teams desperately need a win if they are to avoid relegation. The environment at West Ham is toxic and with Southampton having appointed Mark Hughes along with having progressed to the FA Cup semi’s momentum should be on their side. 

Everton vs. Man City 

Hard to see anything but a win for Man City. Everton might make them fight for the 3 points with Tosun having picked up some form in recent weeks. A win for Man City would set them up to beat Man United to become Champions next week. 

Arsenal vs. Stoke City 

Stoke have been poor and Arsenal having nothing to fight for in the premier league can afford to rest players for their Europa League quarter final against CSKA Moscow. 

Rest Of Europe

Bayern Munich vs. Dortmund 

Bayern Munich have once again ran away with the Bundesliga sitting 17 points clear of second placed Schalke. Though this fixture does not disappoint and if Dortmund were to win they would move to second. 

Sevilla vs. Barcelona 

A close game that Barcelona should win to move 14 points clear of second placed Atletico. 

Juventus vs. AC Milan 

Juventus have not been able to run away with league this season mainly due to an amazing Napoli side managed by Maurizio Sarri. Milan have turned up under the management of former player Genaro Gattuso and could cause Juventus problems. This should be an interesting fixture.